CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
|FOR RELEASE: February 26, 2014||
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot
Danbury Branch Interim Service Plan Released
In response to recent performance issues at grade crossings, a revised commuter service plan for the Danbury Branch of the New Haven rail line was released today by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Metro-North.
Under the plan, peak-hour trains will continue to operate, and buses will be used during off-peak, evening and weekend hours. The Danbury Branch operates between Danbury and South Norwalk, connecting with the main New Haven Line.
Beginning Saturday, March 1, weekend train service will be replaced with bus service. Beginning Monday, March 3, weekday morning peak-hour trains will leave Danbury 8-10 minutes earlier than the current schedule. Evening peak-hour trains will arrive in Danbury 11 minutes later than the current schedule. Travel times for all rail and bus trips have been adjusted compared to current schedules to reflect additional travel time required due to rail and highway travel time requirements.
“We have identified an issue with false activation of equipment at railroad crossings when there is no train approaching. Ensuring safety of the rail crossings through the proper operation of the signal system is our number one priority. We are aggressively pursuing a remedy, but until a fix is in place, we will operate the Danbury Branch on this revised schedule,” said DOT Commissioner James Redeker.
The issues are with new technology implemented at certain crossings in late 2013 as part of the Danbury Signalization Project. As a result, a team has been assembled that includes the system designer, the contractor, DOT, Metro-North and a third-party expert to focus on identifying the problem and implementing a permanent solution to the grade crossing issues. Since the issues were identified, trains have been operating on a “stop and warn” system, requiring the train to stop before each crossing and warn motorists that a train is coming through. This practice ensures the safety of the grade crossing. To date, there have been no incidents of the grade crossings failing to protect the safety of motorists when trains are approaching a crossing.
"This schedule will provide the predictability that our customers want and it will give our contractors the track time they need to investigate and correct the problems as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of our customers," said Metro-North President Joe Giulietti.
About 2,200 commuters use the Danbury branch on an average weekday. In addition to Danbury and South Norwalk, there are stations at Bethel, Redding, Branchville, Cannondale, Wilton and Merritt 7.
Revised schedules are available at: www.mta.info/mnr.