MANHATTAN — Commuters traveling on Metro-North's New Haven line should factor in extra travel time for at least a couple days after a failed power line temporarily knocked out service and caused major disruptions on Wednesday, officials said.
A 138,000-volt cable fizzled out in Mount Vernon, N.Y. about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, cutting off power to the trains and wreaking havoc on the morning commute from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal.
It could take as long a few weeks to fix the cable, but Con Edison and Metro-North are working out ways to bring in power from another location if that is the case, a MTA spokesman said.
Metro-North officials scrambled to fix the problem by running diesel trains hourly between Stamford, Conn. and Manhattan and expected problems to persist throughout the day Thursday in both directions.
Limited bus service will also be provided on the Waterbury branch starting Thursday, according to the MTA. Limited shuttle train servcie will also run on the Danbury and New Caanan lines.
Details for Thursday's rush-hour and off-peak commute were listed on the MTA's website.
"We're offering extremely limited service," MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said. "All the trains are crowded."
Acela service will not operate between Boston and New York on Thursday but regional service will operate under diesel power, according to Amtrak.
Extra cars will be added to the regional trains to accommodate Acela passengers.
Commuters can expect delays of up to one hour Thursday, Amtrak added.
Transit officials tried to ease some of the crowding by running buses from Stamford, Conn. to White Plains, N.Y., where commuters can pick up the trains Metro-North's Harlem line, she said.
A secondary power cable that would normally act as a failsafe to prevent the outage was not available because of system upgrades, Con Edison officials said. They are working with the commuter rail to restore normal service.
About 65,000 people use the New Haven line for their daily commute, officials said.
Anders said it was unknown how long the service would be limited to hourly trains.