FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As new schedules take effect Sunday on Metro-North, New Haven Line riders in Fairfield County will find some adjustments on the timetables as well as some additional trains on the Danbury Branch.
The new schedules will take effect Sunday, Nov. 17, according to the Metro-North website.
Running times for train trips to and from New Haven have been improved on weekdays and weekends. As a result, a number of weekday PM Peak train times have been adjusted, most by one to two minutes, Metro-North said.
In addition, the 5:48 p.m. train to New Haven will depart Grand Central at 5:40 p.m. and the 6:07 p.m. train to New Haven and 6:11 p.m. to New Canaan will trade departure times from Grand Central Terminal to better accommodate New Canaan Branch service.
On the Danbury Branch, the weekday Reverse Peak and Off Peak service will be expanded with the addition of three new shuttle trains making round trips between Danbury and South Norwalk.
- In the AM Reverse-Peak, a new northbound shuttle departs South Norwalk at 7:33 a.m., getting customers to employment centers at Merritt 7 and Wilton before 8 a.m.
- New shuttles also depart South Norwalk at 10:08 a.m. and 10:40 p.m. (The 11:15 a.m. from South Norwalk will depart 60 minutes later at 12:15 p.m.)
- In the Off Peak, new shuttles depart Danbury at 8:57 a.m., 11:32 a.m. and 7:25 p.m. The 12:40 p.m. from Danbury will depart 52 minutes later at 1:32 p.m. The last departure from Danbury will depart 36 minutes later, at 11:10 p.m.
- The 6:55 p.m. Peak train from Grand Central, previously connecting to a Danbury shuttle at Stamford, will become a 7:12 p.m. departure, now connecting to a shuttle at South Norwalk.
- The last train to Danbury will depart South Norwalk 50 minutes later at 12:29 a.m., giving those traveling from New York a post-11 p.m. departure on weekdays.
The service upgrades are thanks to the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s signal upgrade on the entire Danbury Branch.
Also, as part of the July 1 schedule change to accommodate the Bronx Right-of-Way Improvement Program, an additional diesel train serving the Harlem and Hudson Lines was put into service on the Danbury Branch. This equipment increased Danbury Branch “through” service to Grand Central from three to four trains on an interim basis. With the Nov. 17 schedule change, the equipment will return to Harlem and Hudson Line service and Danbury Branch “through” service will return to three trains. In order to maximize the use of equipment based on Danbury Branch ridership, these additional changes are being made:
• The 5:32 a.m. Peak train from Danbury will depart four minutes later at 5:36 a.m. and connect at South Norwalk with a main line electric train. Arrival at Grand Central is still 7:38 a.m. While this train will require a transfer, the running time has improved by four minutes.
• The 7:54 a.m. Peak train from Danbury, which was temporarily changed from a shuttle train to a through train in July to facilitate the Bronx Right-of-Way Improvement project, will remain a through train permanently.
See Metro-North's online timetable for more details. New schedules can be picked up at Grand Central Terminal and outlying stations to check for changes in your commute.
These schedule changes take place as Metro-North completes the Bronx Right-Of-Way Improvements on track between Melrose and Woodlawn and extend work on three of the four tracks from Melrose to the Harlem River Lift Bridge through the end of the year, Metro-North said.
Additional schedule changes are expected early next year after the right-of-way improvements are completed, the railroad said.