Metro North power outage

A power outage on a 138,000 volt line that provides power to Metro North trains in New York has snarled commutes from Connecticut to New York City and has also affected Amtrak service in the busy New York – Boston corridor. Work is underway to put in a temporary fix by diverting power from surrounding businesses and neighborhoods. A backup feeder line was offline, and full service restoration may take weeks.

Metro North is responding by putting diesel trains into service and by running buses to try to accommodate the 130,000 daily commuters on the line, but this provides only about a third of the capacity needed for a normal commute.

NY Times, “Power Failure Disrupts Metro North’s New Haven Line; May Last Days”, September 25, 2013:

The disruption began after a Consolidated Edison feeder cable in Mount Vernon, N.Y., failed around 5:20 a.m., snarling service between Stamford, Conn., and Grand Central Terminal.

CT Post, “Metro-North, Con Edison tested plan that led to failure”, September 26, 2013

Though it may take officials weeks to determine the cause, it appears the 138,000 volt line that was left to bear the burden of energizing trains along an eight-mile stretch of track in Westchester County, N.Y., from Pelham to Rye became overwhelmed and superheated.

Bloomberg Business Week, “Delayed NYC Commuters Ask Why Metro-North Power Failed Again”, September 27, 2013

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, said yesterday that Con Edison representatives told him the company is working to get a portion of the electricity needed to the commuter line. The power would come from three transformers to be tested this weekend, Malloy said. He said updates will be provided to residents the night before the Sept. 30 commute. “There appears to have been little plan for this type of catastrophic failure,” Malloy said during the briefing at Grand Central.

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