Connecticut senator: Investigate Metro-North delays

“As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, I am calling for a Congressional hearing into the inexcusable and inexplicable cable failure that has caused indefinite, severe disruptions along Metro North Railroad’s New Haven Line,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

“For the second time this year, failing rail infrastructure has caused catastrophic delays and cancellations, resulting in cascading delays and congestion throughout our region’s already overcrowded highways,” the lawmaker continued. “For the 125,000 daily commuters who rely on our rail lines — the busiest lines in the nation — and our regional economy as a whole, this is unacceptable and intolerable. Congress must immediately investigate how this breakdown could have occurred, why contingency plans were not in place, and why reliable, timely estimates are not available for the restoration of service.”

Service for Metro-North trains in Connecticut was shut down earlier this year after a crash in Fairfield that injured more than 70 people. The railway was also damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Blumenthal said Friday that he was calling for a “comprehensive assessment of all rail infrastructure along the crowded Northeast corridor, including the Metro-North New Haven Line, to examine and identify areas where immediate emergency investments might be necessary.

“The urgent priority right now must be to restore service as quickly as possible so as to prevent further inconvenience and serious economic harm to Connecticut and the entire metropolitan region,” he said.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates Metro-North, has attributed the delays on the Connecticut railway to a “continuing Con Ed power outage to a crucial 8-mile segment of the New Haven Line.”

The agency said it would operate trains on the New Haven on a reduced schedule over the weekend.