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Published on : Friday, May 20, 2016
Metro-North Railroad today announced that, as expected, it will return to its regular weekday schedule for Friday, May 20. The railroad has completed major but temporary repairs to a small section of the railroad’s Park Avenue Viaduct that was damaged in a massive fire at a street-level business at E. 118th Street on Tuesday evening.
The return to a full schedule was made possible by round-the-clock work on the part of dedicated employees who on Thursday safely completed the installation of six temporary steel columns to brace a column damaged in Tuesday’s fire.
After the temporary columns were put into place and fully secured, Metro-North performed a number of required test train runs over the section of damaged viaduct, and the railroad pronounced that all four tracks are ready for service for the first time since the fire, although there will be speed restrictions of 30 miles per hour for the time being.
Customers should be prepared for minor delays resulting from the track speed restriction, which the railroad hopes to clear in the coming days. Customers should continue to check the website and news media for any updates, and listen for announcements at stations.
“I would like to thank our customers for bearing with us during what has been a very challenging two-and-a-half-day period,” said Joseph Giulietti, President of Metro-North Railroad.
“I also thank all the employees who responded to this crisis starting the moment it was reported, and who will continue to respond to it in the weeks ahead as we build permanent repairs to the viaduct,” President Giulietti continued. “It took a team effort of enormous proportions to get this service back as quickly as we did and to manage limited service over the past two and a half days, while dealing with reduced track capacity, and reduced fleet size and shorter trains on Wednesday that resulted when trains were blocked from leaving Grand Central on Tuesday evening.”
Metro-North crews will continue to work aggressively at the site, making other needed structural repairs to the viaduct, including the reinforcement of horizontal steel girders that run east-west along the width of the underside of the viaduct.