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Irene’s impact on Northeast transit varied

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, transit service availability on the East Coast is varied, from regularly scheduled service, to reduced service and even terminated service.

Washington Metropolitan Area Tranist Authority is currently operating rail service on a regular schedule. Other than expected delays due to weather, WMATA ran its schedule throughout the weekend. Customers needing elevator access are advised to check before they travel for the status of their local station elevators. Elevator and escalator availability may be temporarily impacted by local power issues.

Metrorail ridership was down about 67 percent Saturday, August 27, as compared to last Saturday.

WMATA’s Operations Control Center is continuing to monitor the system for any storm-related after effects.
Customers are encouraged to check for service updates and follow @wmata on Twitter for the latest service information.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service is operating on a regular weekday schedule, effective August 28. Having already removed more than one hundred trees or large branches from track rights-of-way August 27, MBTA and Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company personnel worked throughout Saturday night, clearing the rails and restoring power to signal systems and overhead wires.

Normal service has resumed on the Red, Orange, Blue, and Green lines. Minor delay delays on the D branch due to ongoing signal system repairs between Riverside and Newton Centre Stations. In the event that the signals remain down at the start of service personnel will be in place to institute manual operation.

All downed trees have been removed from the D Branch. However, due to ongoing tree removal activities being conducted by the Town of Newton and NStar, the Riverside Parking facility will remain closed. Customers are urged to seeking alternative parking at other facilities such as Woodland Station. Transit Police will be on scene to assist and direct customers.

On commuter rail, minor signal problems continue on the Worcester and Fitchburg Lines, but are not expected to result in significant delays.

Amtrak is conducting tree removal activities on the Providence line, with no significant delays expected.

NJ Transit
New Jersey Transit rail service is suspended until further notice as a result of residual impacts of Hurricane Irene, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. NJ Transit will operate bus and light-rail service on a modified schedule on Monday, August 29. Crews worked around the clock August 28 to assess storm damage and make necessary repairs.

"We only cancel service when we absolutely have to and Irene has forced us to do so on most of our rail lines," said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. "Our crews will work around the clock to clear trees, restore power and repair flood damage. We will get the trains running again as soon as we can.

"The transportation system throughout the state has been severely stressed. Our goal is to resume service as quickly and safely as possible, however, customers should not expect a normal weekday Monday for transit services as crews continue to assess damage around the state, particularly on the railroad," said Weinstein.

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority is providing limited service August 29.

New York City Subway- With very limited exceptions, service has resumed across the subway system on all lines, including service to and from Far Rockaway. However, service will be less frequent than normal and customers should expect longer waits and more crowded trains. Frequency of service will improve over the course of the day.

Staten Island Railway- Staten Island Railway service resumed regular service early August 29 between St. George and Tottenville.

Long Island Rail Road- The Long Island Rail Road is operating near-normal service this morning on six of its branches, but customers are advised to expect some cancellations and some trains operating with fewer than normal complement of cars. The morning rush service is being restored to and from:

• Babylon
• Hicksville (on the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch)
• Ronkonkoma
• Port Washington (half-hourly service west of Great Neck; no service east of Great Neck)
• Hempstead
• West Hempstead

Service remains suspended to and from:

• Oyster Bay
• Port Jefferson
• Long Beach
• Far Rockaway
• Montauk (east of Babylon)
• Greenport (east of Ronkonkoma)

Metro-North Railroad- Metro-North Railroad cannot operate regular service on any of its three lines. There is still significant damage to many portions of the Metro-North system. Local streams and the Bronx River continue to overflow their banks and crews are working to clean up three mudslides.

Hampton Roads Transit in Virginia re-introduced limited transit services on Sunday, August 28 after a check of local conditions found no significant damage to HRT systems caused by Hurricane Irene.

Light-rail service began at noon Sunday. Ferry service across the Elizabeth River also began at noon.

Sunday HRT enforced a fare-free period for light rail, but starting Monday, August 29, HRT will begin collecting fares on The Tide.

Dulles Metrorail building bridges for rails in Tysons Corner, Va.

Construction will begin
soon on what can best be described as "bridges" over Tysons. One will
begin in May on the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) and cross over Route 123
to the northwest side of southbound Route 123. Another will cross I-495.
Another will be built in the median of Route 7 from just west of Route 123 and
into the median of the Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road.

D.C. Metro and its Board committed to strong safety oversight

Washington, D.C., Metro
Board Chairman Jim Graham and Metro General Manager John Catoe issued the
following joint statement: "The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and
its Board of Directors are committed to working with all safety oversight
agencies that have jurisdiction over Metro and its operations. Regionally, that
oversight comes from the Tri-State Oversight Committee, which was created by
Congress and then implemented through an agreement among the District of
Columbia, State of Maryland and Commonwealth of Virginia. 

IBM signs contracts with three commuter agencies

IBM said the Long Island Rail Road will deploy IBM Maximo
software to manage and maintain approximately 1,180 rail cars, locomotives and
their associated components to improve operations and passenger safety. As part
of a project, expected to be completed in 2012, IBM will assist the LIRR in
expanding its asset management system to include facilities, bridges, tunnels
and linear assets such as rail.

NTSB identifies signal failure in fatal D.C. Metrorail collision

The National Transportation
Safety Board issued nine safety recommendations, six of which are urgent, to address
concerns about the safety of train control systems that use audio frequency
track circuits. The recommendations are the result of NTSB’s ongoing investigation
into the collision between two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority trains
on the Red Line near the Fort Totten station in Washington, D.C., on June 22,

Statement from D.C. Metro Chief Safety Officer

”I would like to clarify
and correct some information contained in a Washington Post article entitled “Metro
Safety System Failed in Near Miss Before June Crash.” However before doing so,
I want to assure the public that our Metrorail system is safe and to let you
know that I personally continue to use it regularly,” said Alexa Dupigny-Samuels,
chief safety officer for the Washington, D.C., Metro.

Visiting motor cars mark Fairmont’s 100th anniversary

More than 40 railroad motor cars from all over the United States will be stopping in Albert Lea, Minn., during part of a 100th anniversary celebration of Fairmont Railway Motors Inc., now Harsco Track Technologies, the Albert Lea Tribune reports.

The celebration will include a display of about 45 North American Rail Car Operators Association motorcars during an open house at the Harsco facility in Fairmont. The 45 restored cars were originally built at the Fairmont plant and shipped to railroads around the United States and Canada.