Commuters can rest easy knowing that Metro-North train service will resume its regular weekday schedule Wednesday morning. Jim Cameron, a Darien resident and head of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council , praised Metro-North for the job it has done recovering from the weekend blizzard.
"I think they deserve a lot of credit for what they did in restoring service after an incredible blizzard. I don't think the Long Island Rail Road or New Jersey Transit were as quick in getting back service," Cameron said.
Metro-North erred on the side of caution in getting service back, including running the trains on weekend schedules and using diesel engines in addition to the electric trains, which have a tendency to ingest a lot of snow.
"This particular type of snow is problematic," he said. "When it's light and granular like this it gets sucked in more easily than heavy, wet snow. They've done things to retrofit the cars, but it's just the nature of the design."
Cameron has heard some anecdotal reports of trains being overcrowded and uncomfortable but said the Commuter Council received only two formal complaints about service. "The good news is [the snow] happened during a holiday weekend, when ridership is down."
He added that the train service has learned from past mistakes, such as an incident in 2003 when snow halted train service. He said that in the past Metro-North has "overpromised and under-delivered" about when it could get service back on track. But it learned from its past mistakes and kept commuters' expectations realistic.
"The Commuter Council has been very critical of Metro-North in the past for not communicating. But unlike in the past, this year we were overwhelmed with email updates, almost on an hourly basis," he said.
Cameron is optimistic that Metro-North will be back up and running effectively. Wednesday is "the real test," he said. "I'll be going in for the first time tomorrow, so I'll see firsthand how they did."
Have you had any commuting troubles this week? Or words of praise for the railroad? Leave a comment below!
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