WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- As Metro-North prepares for an approaching blizzard, extra engineers and signal maintainers have been called in Monday to help keep the commuter rail running.
As of early Monday morning, Metro-North had not announced any changes in its train schedules, but it was monitoring the weather for possible changes in afternoon train service.
Metro-North will take steps to ensure that switches – the interlocking tracks that allow rail traffic controllers to route trains from one track to another – are working throughout the storm. The railroad is activating switch heaters, lubricating the switches and treating them with anti-freeze agents, Metro-North said in a statement. Rail Traffic Controllers will activate the switches to keep them from freezing shut. In addition, track workers will be positioned in critical locations to be able to respond if any difficulties do crop up at switches.
Snow-fighting equipment will be positioned strategically throughout the system to start when snow accumulation begins.
To ensure safety at platforms, all stations will be pretreated with salt and Metro-North will continue to clear snow and ice.
Trains will be protected by pretreating with deicer all door tracks and third rail contact shoes. To prevent ice build-up on the pantographs on top of New Haven Line trains, they will be raised and lowered throughout the storm. All couplers between cars will be covered with snow bags to prevent icing.
At Pelham, where New Haven Line trains change from overhead power to third rail power, mechanics were stationed beginning at 5 a.m. Monday to assist any train that experiences changeover issues.
Extra train crews and engines will be stationed at major junctions to assist in case any train breaks down. And extra signal maintainers, power and track department personnel will be station at critical interlockings.
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