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Update: Hudson Line to Resume Service Wednesday Morning

Metro-North to Conduct Safety Stand-Down Thursday.

Photo credit: Metro-North
Photo credit: Metro-North
Written by Lanning Taliaferro and Krista Madsen

Metro-North Railroad will resume more than 98% of its regular Hudson Line service in time for Wednesday morning’s commute.

“Thanks to an extraordinary effort and around the clock work, over 98% of service will be restored for Hudson Line commuters in time for tomorrow morning’s rush hour,” Governor Cuomo said.

According to Metro North, six AM peak trains will be combined into three, and all customers should expect possible Hudson Line delays of 10 to 15 minutes.

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the following trains will be cancelled/combined:

· The 7:15 AM from Scarborough to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the7:16 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains. 

· The 7:37 AM from Ossining to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the7:40 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains. 

· The 8:45 AM train from Greystone to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 8:22 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.

The Hudson RailLink bus service will serve the Spuyten Duyvil Station, but there will be no parking at that station because of the presence of numerous heavy duty trucks and specialized track equipment needed for the rebuilding effort. 

The work continues with the Track Department installing new ties and running rails, in addition to laying down new rock. New third rail that provides electricity to power the trains will be installed by the Power Department followed by the Signal Department working to restore the signal system. When that work is completed, test trains will be run before service can be resumed. This work will take all day Tuesday and likely run into the next few days. The goal is to restore all tracks as soon as possible.

Meanwhile the railroad will operate all but three of its 175 regular daily Hudson Line trains on a single track.

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The safety briefing Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded today is called a "stand-down," and Metro North will be conducting one Thursday morning.

"It's more than a daily safety briefing," said Metro North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders. "Every worksite, every shop, every gang has a safety briefing every day. They talk about the work to be done. They talk about backing each other up, using proper techniques." 

A full stand-down is rarer.

"It's supposed to be extraordinary. It's supposed to make people really pay attention," Anders said.

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The National Transportation Safety Board turned the crash site over to Metro North, ABC7 News reports. 

Repairs will probably take several days, Metro North said. "Crews are working to completely rebuild the middle track (Track 2) by installing new ties and a running rail, in addition to laying down new rock. Then a new third rail will be installed by the Power Department followed by the Signal Department working to restore the signal system.  When that work is completed, test trains will be run before service can be resumed."

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Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today asked Metro-North for an action plan addressing safety issues on its system.

He also asked that the report from the inspection of the track that followed the Bridgeport derailment be provided immediately, as well as monthly reports of all track, bridge, signal, power, equipment inspection and maintenance action. 

In a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metro-North, the Governor wrote, “Connecticut has invested, and continues to invest, billions in our rail infrastructure, something that I continue to support.  However, given many recent events there is understandably a negative public perception of the railroad infrastructure and state of good repair, coupled with deep concerns for our safety.  While I know that our rail lines meet or exceed the minimum safety requirements set by the Federal Railroad Administration, our goal must go well beyond the minimum.”

Update 1:35 p.m.: Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement this afternoon that going forward all MTA employees will be required to attend safety briefings. His comments are below: 

“Since the crash, the State has been taking new precautions to protect the safety of New York commuters and devoting every resource at our disposal to expedite restoration efforts. At my direction, the MTA will be implementing a Safety Stand-down that will require all employees to participate in safety briefings. Since Sunday, other State agencies and authorities have been providing extra support to restore service to the Hudson River Line as quickly as possible, including Port Authority escorts of heavy equipment, extra DOT and Office of Emergency Management workers to help on the scene and DEC personal to monitor any environmental issues. In the aftermath of Sunday’s tragic crash, New York’s commuters have shown incredible patience. The State will continue work day and night to get things back to normal so New Yorkers are no longer inconvenienced.”

Original story: Various news outlets are reporting Tuesday morning that Metro-North engineer William Rockefeller, 46, of Germantown, may have fallen asleep at the wheel before his speeding train derailed Sunday killing four. 

The New York Daily News reports that he was "consciously asleep" or "zoned out" moments before the incident, awaking to brake too late. Enforcement sources reportedly told the Daily News that Rockefeller says he recalls nothing and isn't talking to authorities at this point, on the advice of his union. 

“At this point, we are not aware of any problems or anomalies with the brakes,” Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Officials have noted that the train made nine stops successfully before reaching this curve in the Bronx. The train was found, from black box records, to be going 82 mph in a zone that switches from 70 mph to 30 mph.

Investigators are reportedly looking into Rockefeller's cell phone use, doing toxicology tests, and considering the possibility of him logging in too many hours on the job. Rockefeller is said to have an untarnished 11-year record with Metro-North.
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Trying to jumpstart a temporary parking program near Harlem Line train stations, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is asking for volunteers who can offer a driveway spot to commuters forced off the Hudson Line by Sunday's deadly train wreck. 

Here's the text of his proposal:

Greenburgh is known for our angels. When it snows volunteer snow angels pitch in and help shovel driveways of seniors and the disabled. After last years hurricane we matched those who had no power with those who have power---freezing residents were housed at comfortable  homes within the town. Can't get rid of your TV? Contact our TV angels. They will remove the TV from senior citizen homes and drop it off at the highway garage.

Residents of the villages within Greenburgh take the Hudson line to work. The recent Bronx Metro North train tragedy over the weekend will inconvenience Hudson line commuters who have limited train service to NYC. Many would love to take the train from Scarsdale, Hartsdale, White Plains or North White Plains to NYC. The problem: Lack of parking.

One of our former house angels came up with a great idea: she offered 4 parking spaces at her home until the Hudson line is back in service. She requested that her name not be released  publicly. There may be others who would like to help our neighbors who reside in the river villages. If you live within walking distance of the Hartsdale, Scarsdale, White Plains or N White Plains train station and would be willing to donate some parking spaces at your home to commuters who want to take the Harlem line to work, please advise by e mailing me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com. If you live in the villages and want to take advantage of the program, I will try to match you up with a volunteer parking angel.

This is what community is about---neighbors helping neighbors.

Meanwhile, Metro North continues to run buses between Yonkers and the 242nd subway stop for those still using the limited service on the Hudson Line to get in and out of NYC.

Read more about the derailment on Patch.

Kensico Dam Commuters: Trains are Crowded but Quiet
$42K Raised for Family of Jim Lovell, Local Train Crash Victim
Montrose Resident: Local Train Crash Victim 'Did Everything for his Family'
Ossining's Sunshine Home Remembers Kisook Ahn, Killed in Derailment
Commuters' Group Concerned About Year of Accidents
Gov. Cuomo: 'Any Parties Involved in Derailment Will Be Held Responsible
Bronx Train Derailment Shuts Metro-North Hudson Line
Victims Were From Cold Spring, Montrose, Newburgh, Queens
Can't Bear the Tough Commute? Work Here in Westchester

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