Metro-North back to normal, in the nick of time

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Metro-North Railroad service was fully restored late this afternoon, just before the evening rush hour began. A smoky
fire beneath a Harlem River commuter railroad bridge earlier in the day had
forced the suspension of all trains heading into and out of
Grand Central Terminal.

The cause of the fire that broke out around 11:30 a.m. on a pier below the
138th Street lift bridge remained under investigation, fire officials said. The
blaze was contained by 1:35 p.m., but the bridge’s re-opening was delayed while
the Metropolitan Transportation Authority determined whether it was structurally
sound.


The Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines were back in service by 2:15 p.m., but
only running on two of the bridge’s four tracks, Metro North spokeswoman
Marjorie Anders said. That was enough to restore regular service.

“Fate smiles upon Metro North,” Anders said, citing the off-peak time of day.

By 4:15 all four tracks over the bridge were fully operational and rush hour delays were averted.


Earlier MTA CEO Jay Walder had urged riders needing to leave the city to take
the subway — the No. 4 or D trains — to 161st Street and board trains at the
new Yankee Stadium Metro North Station in the Bronx. Considering the Yankees are
playing tonight and expect the first appearance of Joe Torre in the Bronx since
2007, it could have led to a chaotic scene as Yankee fans and commuters
converged.


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