20 Aug 2014
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‘Heat Related’ Delays on Metro-North New Haven Line Reported [Update] [Update]

Train with commuters on board and no power reportedly stuck on tracks near Greens Farms Railroad Station in Westport; reports of wires down on tracks

‘Heat Related’ Delays on Metro-North New Haven Line Reported [Update] [Update]

[Second Update]

More than 200 passengers were given water and observed for signs of heat exhaustion by Westport EMS after they were trapped on a temporarily disabled Metro-North commuter train in the 100-plus degree heat for over an hour near the Greens Farms Train station in Westport this afternoon.

According to a report from the Westport Fire Department, none of the passengers required transport to the hospital, as had been previously reported on Patch.

According to the report from Deputy Chief Jon Gottfried, numerous passengers on the eastbound train starting calling Westport 911 at about 3:30 p.m., not long after the train had become disabled on an inaccessible stretch of track in Westport.

“Initial reports described passengers experiencing multiple medical emergencies including several pregnant females in distress and a large number of people experiencing heat distress due to lack of air conditioning on the train which was ‘dead in the water,’” Gottfried’s report states.

According to the report, Westport Fire and Police 911 dispatchers contacted the MTA operations dispatch center in New York to determine the train’s exact location, however there was “quite a bit of confusion on the part of the MTA dispatchers” which “contributed to emergency services delay in response.”

“In fact the MTA dispatchers contacted by the Westport Fire dispatcher indicated that the train was not carrying passengers,” the report states.

Despite the conflicting information, Westport Fire, Police and EMS located the train approximately 3/4 of a mile east of the Sherwood Island Connector, near 16 Beachside Common Road, not moving.

“Westport Emergency Services relocated to Beachside Commons to board the train and render assistance, only to be met by the train moving eastbound upon their arrival,” Gottfried’s report states. “The train finally stopped at the Greens Farms station. Westport Emergency services then relocated to the eastbound station to attend to patients in distress.”

When emergency workers arrived at the Greens Farms station they encountered a “large number” of people requiring treatment, so Fairfield EMS was called to assist.

“Passengers were given water and any ill persons were evaluated by EMTs and paramedics from all three services in addition to MTA Police,” the report states. “The three pregnant females declined transportation to the hospital.”

“Once the passengers vacated the train and were given water and medically evaluated the situation calmed down,” the report states. “MTA made arrangements for a second train to transport additional passengers out of Westport for those that did not leave on the disabled train, which was restored to service.”

According to the report, Westport emergency responders plan to meet with MTA officials next week in Westport “to discuss communications problems with MTA.”

[First Update]

Metro-North has reportedly suspended service for all westbound commuter trains on the New Haven Line between New Haven and Stamford due to equipment failures caused by today's intense heat.

Meanwhile service is delayed eastbound between Stamford and New Haven by about 30-45 minutes

According to published reports at least three trains became disabled this afternoon, stranding passengers. Earlier this afternoon a train became disabled in Stratford. Passengers on that train were reportedly off-loaded to another train.

A second train reportedly became disabled in Stratford this afternoon as well.

Later in the day emergency response crews had to evacuate passengers from a train that became disabled near the Greens Farms Train Station in Westport. According to reports, the power went off on the train, killing the air conditioning, and passengers were stuck in the heat for nearly an hour. Three of the passngers reportedly had to be transported to the hospital with heat-related illness.

The rest of the passengers were reportedly off-loaded and put aboard another train.

According to reports Amtrak service between New York and Boston has also been suspended due to a fatal truck acccident on the tracks on Ferry Street in New Haven.

In a report on News 8, a Metro-North spokesperson said the three trains became disabled due to wires sagging in the intense heat. When the wires sag, they get caught in the pantograph, which is the apparatus that conducts electricty from the overhead wires to the train. That, in turn, damages the wires and causes power to be cut to the train.

[Original Report:]

Reports are coming in that there are “indefinite delays” on Metro North’s New Haven line for trains heading east between Stamford and New Haven this evening due to possible downed power lines on the tracks in three locations.

“Due to heat related instances on the New Haven Line… customers traveling eastbound from Stamford to New Haven should expect to experience delays of 35-45 minutes,” the MTA said in an alert issued at about 4:15 p.m. The alert does not mention downed power lines however.

A commuter train with passengers onboard reportedly sat on the tracks near the Greens Farms Railroad Station in Westport for more than 45 minutes, according to reports.

"RT Emergency crews being called to Metro North's Greens Farms station in Westport, CT Riders are stuck with no air," reports WTNH-TV News Anchor/Reporter Ann Nyberg via a tweet.

Another tweet indicates that Fairfield is assisting Westport with mutual in aid in helping passengers who were stuck on the train.

“Over 100 degrees and I have been on a #metronorth train with no power for over 45 minutes,” tweeted Maggie K @MommyAdventure, at about 3:45 p.m.

“Metro North's New Haven line is a mess this afternoon. Train stuck in Westport causing problems up and down the line,” tweeted John Bell @NewsBell.

“Anyone else stuck on #metronorth?” tweeted Just Madras @JustMadras.

“#metronorth rail is closing down because of 2 power lines down in CT,” tweeted Caitlin C @ccoug.

“Made it to SoNo station at a crawl so far... Wires down in 3 spots between here and Stratford,” tweeted J.R. McGrail @JRMcGrail.

So far Patch has not been able to confirm that the downed power lines are what caused the problem in Westport.

Patch will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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