Written by Barbara Heins.
For a change, there's some good news for Metro-North commuters in New York and Connecticut.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said improvements to the recently enacted New Haven Line train schedules are aimed at reducing crowding on trains and increasing convenience and that the Waterbury Branch morning express train to Stamford will be restored on Monday, June 9.
“Based on the feedback from customers, crew members and Metro-North’s monitoring of train performance received since changes to the railroad’s May schedule took effect, we have added cars to seven morning peak-hour trains and three evening peak-hour trains to reduce crowding,” Malloy said in a statement. “In addition, Waterbury Branch riders will be happy to hear that the morning express train to Stamford will be restored beginning this Monday. This is all part of our effort to work with Metro-North to make our commuter lines provide as safe and reliable a commute as possible for residents.”
According to Malloy, beginning July 7, further adjustments to about a dozen trains will be made on the New Haven Line and on the Danbury Branch to improve overall service. (The current off-peak Danbury bus/train schedule also has been extended until the new timetable takes effect to allow for completion of grade crossing signal work.) Some minor adjustments to schedule times as well as the sequencing of stops on trains will help to balance ridership loading and make better train connections.
Metro-North, which operates the New Haven Line under contract to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, will continue to monitor and analyze ridership patterns, train performance and customer feedback over the next several months with the expectation of implementing any further adjustments in the fall timetable that begins in the fall. To accommodate the New Haven Line changes on the shared tracks between Woodlawn and Grand Central, departure times of three Harlem Line trains also are being slightly adjusted to allow for a smooth convergence of the lines at Woodlawn Junction.
Schedule change details:
- The 6:46 a.m. from Goldens Bridge to Grand Central that currently stops at White Plains at 7:18 a.m. will now stop at White Plains at 7:16 a.m., and will arrive at Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal two minutes earlier.
- The 7:11 a.m. local from North White Plains to Grand Central will depart at 7:17 a.m. and run 5-6 minutes later at all station stops.
- The 7:17 a.m. express from White Plains will depart one minute later and arrive Grand Central two minutes later.
NEW HAVEN LINE
- The 5:28 a.m. from Waterbury will be extended on Monday June 9 from Bridgeport and terminate at Stamford restoring a one-seat ride to Stamford. To accomplish this change, the first northbound train on the Danbury will be adjusted.
- The 7:33 a.m. to Danbury will depart South Norwalk 10 minutes later but the arrival time at Danbury will not change.
- The 6:50 a.m. all-stops local from Stamford to Grand Central will depart six minutes later to restore a connection with a train arriving from New Haven at 6:52 a.m. To accommodate this change and ensure that trains mesh appropriately at Woodlawn, three additional adjustments are required:
- The 6:55 a.m. semi-express from Stamford will operate five minutes earlier.
- The 7:29 a.m. from New Rochelle will operate seven minutes earlier.
- The 7:28 a.m. from Harrison will operate three minutes later.
- The 6:20 a.m. from New Haven to Grand Central will add stops at Old Greenwich, Riverside and Cos Cob but no longer stop at Port Chester or Rye.
- 7:33 a.m. - A new express train will depart Greenwich and stop at Port Chester and Rye only.
- The 6:35 p.m., the only PM peak change, will depart Grand Central for New Haven four minutes earlier.
- Four late night locals from Stamford to Grand Central will arrive four minutes later to accommodate construction work on the New Haven Line.
*No Hudson Line trains are affected.
The July 7 timetable will be posted on the Metro-North website on Friday, June 6 on the interactive search page and as a document next week. Printed timetables will be available on June 27.