FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Angry Metro-North riders took to Twitter on Thursday after yet another day for the beleaguered railroad.
A snapped catenary wire caused a train to become disabled Wednesday night between the Greens Farms and Westport stations. The 7:34 p.m. train from Grand Central Terminal was stopped in its tracks at 8:51 p.m. with about 200 passengers on board. A rescue train from New Haven became delayed due to a switch failure. The rescue train arrived at 10:51, and the evacuation was completed at 10:57 p.m., which meant riders sat in the cold for more than two hours after the stoppage.
Delays out of Westport continued Thursday morning as repairs were completed, and riders were not happy.
“What great service,” wrote Lynn Smith of Fairfield via @usmitly, with the hashtag #thingsnotoverheardonmetronorth. She also said the train was one car short, 10 minutes late and the ride to New York took more than an hour.
“Just cause the train was empty yesterday doesn’t mean we need less cars today! C’moon!!!” wrote Dana Cullen @sonicdjc about service on the New Haven Line.
Delays caused by the Westport problem on Thursday were originally estimated at 20 minutes, and quickly jumped to 30 minutes. “3 degrees and 20 minute delays,” Michael Greve wrote from Darien.
Christian Nakarado was among those struck on the train that got stuck Wednesday. “This #newhaven line train has been stuck without power for an hour waiting for a rescue train and it's getting cold #metronorth sucks again,’’ Nakarado wrote.
Later on, he wrote, “We’ve stripped down and huddled together, setting roller bags on fire for warmth.”
Eric Scholl (@CalU90) of Fairfield wrote on Wednesday night, "Was stuck in car 9269 for 2 hrs w no heat, then put on barely moving "Rescue Train" w no heat-Would like to know my compensation."
Ashleigh Smith summed up the thoughts of a lot of frustrated riders. “If @metronorth couldn't charge a fare every time they were late or short a car, they'd find a solution REAL QUICK #unreliable #metronorth,’’ she wrote at @ashm_smith.
Sarcastic Commuter (@SrcasticCommutr) also expressed his exasperation. "$360/mo gets us crap. There is no secret recipe; if u want better infrastructure u need to pay for it."
The delays Wednesday and Thursday were the latest issues for Metro North, which had a series of problems in 2013, including two major derailments and a nearly two-week service disruption due to power problems. Metro-North also raised fares 5 percent on Jan. 1 along the New Haven Line in Connecticut.
(Editor's note: These comments were made and the story written before the massive signal failure Thursday night on Metro-North.)