STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Ridership on the New Haven line of Metro-North Railroad has dropped by half as Connecticut commuters stay home or find other ways to get into New York City to avoid snarled commutes caused by a failed circuit.
Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders says about 19,000 riders are using the New Haven line, the Hearst Connecticut Media Group reported (http://bit.ly/15Y7kjM ).
About 5,800 passengers are using the Harlem Line in New York, or about 25 percent higher than usual, she said. About 2,100 riders are taking Metro-North's bus shuttle from Rye, N.Y., to White Plains, N.Y., to board Harlem Line trains.
During the summer, the railroad and New York-based utility Consolidated Edison ran more trains than usual on the 36-year-old feeder cable as a test to see if it could bear additional load, Anders said.
"We ran extra trains in that section and put extra load on the grid and it was decided mutually between Metro-North and Con Edison that there wouldn't be a problem," Anders said.
After the tests, Metro-North and Con Edison considered it unlikely that the primary 138,000-volt feeder line would fail due to overload by the railroad's traffic through the area, she said.
Establishing a secondary power source linked to Con Ed's grid as a backup in case of failure would cost millions of dollars and didn't appear warranted because the single feeder showed no cause for concern, Anders said.
"We thought plenty about this and it was considered a low risk," she said.
A Con Edison spokesman says the utility has not diagnosed the cause of the electrical failure of the feeder cable in Mount Vernon, north of New York.
Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com