Metro-North: Saturday schedule in effect following East Harlem fire

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Wednesday morning commute got off to a rough start for the thousands of people who ride Metro-North between New Haven’s Union Station and Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Metro-North has been running on a Saturday schedule, which means fewer trains running less often.

Related Content: Rough commute expected after fire limits train service

“It’s going to become incredibly congested as people who expect to catch trains can’t catch their normal train,” said Meghan Miller of Branford, whose been commuting into New York for work for the last 15 years. “It’s going to be very crowded and ridiculous.”

Tuesday night a fire broke out at a garden nursery center in East Harlem, underneath the Metro-North tracks. That quickly halted service in and out of Grand Central, stranding thousands of people. The major concern for officials was the safety of the rails in the wake of the fire. Structural engineers spent all night inspecting the tracks. Around 5 a.m. Wednesday two of the four tracks were partially reopened. Allowing trains to go in and out of Grand Central on a limited basis.

Related Content: 4-alarm fire in Harlem impacting Metro-North trains into CT

As people showed up at Union Station Wednesday they were surprised to see a different schedule with less trains during a weekday.

‘I’m going to miss the meeting, miss networking, seeing clients,” said Irene Wachsler of Boston. “I will have to call or Skype with them. That’s the way it is.”

Related Content: 8 ways to avoid the evening train commute

The delays continued into the afternoon hours. Metro North announced trains are operating on a Saturday schedule, with just one to two trains leaving out of New Haven per hour.

Both Missy Crisp from Essex and Michael Griffin were trying to get into the city for a graduation ceremony at NYU. They arrived at Union Station with plans to take the 2:25 train only to find out it was canceled.

“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and you ask the ticket guy and he tells you one thing and they announce something off the general broadcast that is just the opposite,” said Crisp.

Griffin decided to throw in the towel and head home knowing they would be extremely late to the ceremony.

“I’m really disappointed so I just wanna say, Maria, congratulations and I’m there in spirit if not in person,” said Griffin.

The cause of the fire in East Harlem is under investigation.

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