As Snow Continues to Block CT Rail Service, Group Sees White Plains as Alternative for Commuters

Connecticut Commuter Rail Council said commuters should make alternative plans now for Monday's commute to New York City—including the possibility of parking at White Plains and taking Harlem Line to Grand Central Station.

With main and branch Metro-North lines north of Stamford, CT, suspended due to snow-buried rail cars, commuter advocates are urging New York City workers to stay home, get into the city Sunday or pick up a train below Stamford for Monday’s morning commute.

That advice also include a suggestion that commuters drive to White Plains, park in that city and take Metro-North's Harlem Line to Grand Central Station.

Jim Cameron, head of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council, issued a statement to rail riders (see attached PDF) that says as of 12 p.m. Sunday no trains will run between New Haven and Stamford on Monday morning.

“There will be service to [Grand Central Terminal] from Stamford and intermediate stations,” Cameron, a Darien resident, said in his statement.

In New Haven and Bridgeport rail yards, National Guard troops have joined MTA Metro-North Railroad and state transportation workers trying to dig out trains trapped beneath three feet-plus of snow, Cameron said. Bus service is not an option; commuters may be able to get Amtrak tickets, Cameron said.

“There’s a real danger that everyone will want to go to Stamford to park there,” Cameron told Patch in a phone interview. “But that parking garage only accommodates 1,900, and it’s probably filling up now.”

He’s right.

A guard at the shack at the Stamford Transportation Center said he was surprised by how many vehicles were parking by 2 p.m. Sunday (see photos) and though there was still space left, it was filling up fast.

Many lower Fairfield County towns didn't lose power during the winter storm, and residents of those towns are driving on well-plowed roads Sunday. Yet the damage done by heavy snowfall in towns closer to New Haven (such as Milford and Stratford) and Bridgeport (see Fairfield) has been severe, and could disrupt the lives of all southwestern Connecticut commuters trying to get into New York City Monday.

Here’s what Metro-North itself had to say about rail service on the New Haven line:

“Service remains suspended between Stamford and New Haven as well as on the Branch Lines. Since many roads remain closed in the New Haven area, many train crews are having difficulty reporting to New Haven yard in order to operate train service. With parts of the line still buried under four feet of snow, there is also limited track and yard availability. “

Cameron said commuters should follow developments on the council’s website and Twitter feed.

Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation were not immediately available for comment.


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