Critical Track Undercutting on the New Haven Line May Have Potential Impacts on Service
You've already read about the extensive infrastructure improvements Metro-North is making to improve the safety and reliability of your service.
As part of that work, we use a machine that lifts the track slightly into the correct position and tamps the ballast (stone) beneath the railroad ties to secure it in place.
But over time this process slightly raises the track's elevation. And this can cause problems for our trains as they travel under overhead bridges and overhead catenary wires and make station stops due to a decrease in clearance.
This is especially true on the New Haven Main Line, where our trains draw power from the overhead catenary, making maintaining the proper clearances from the top of trains to these electrified wires critical.
In order to address these gradual track raises and restore the track to its proper level, we will begin an Undercutting Program on the two middle tracks of the New Haven Line between New Rochelle and Rye during off-peak hours beginning in late May. This initial phase of the work is scheduled for completion by October.
An undercutting machine will be deployed to remove all of the ballast in and approximately 8 inches below the tracks being lowered.
This operation requires extensive preparation before and restoration following the undercutter to ensure the integrity of train operations on adjacent tracks and to place the track back in service when complete.
During undercutting, a train to catch the ballast and other debris that is being removed must occupy an adjacent track, requiring us to take two tracks out of service continuously during this project.
We appreciate your patience during any delays you may experience during this important track maintenance project, and we will keep you updated on subsequent undercutting projects.
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