Catenary Work Resumes on 2nd Track
On March 19th, catenary work resumed on two tracks between Southport and Bridgeport. This phase is expected to continue through the end of November.
Over the winter, the catenary and bridge replacement project continued in this section with only one track out of service.
To accomplishment this next phase of work-which includes catenary wire replacement, bridge construction and installation of interlocking wire-we also have to take a second track out of service to allow the Connecticut Department of Transportation's contractor to continue work in this phase of the project (The bridges, for example, span both tracks and the contractor needs an adjacent track for work equipment.)
This leaves us again with only two of four tracks in service in this 7-mile area, impacting our operating flexibility and ability to combat potential service disruptions during emergencies. And although we will work diligently to ensure we provide you with the best commute possible during this period, some of you may experience occasional train delays and service disruptions.
(In 2011 we had 2 tracks out of service for this project. However, we returned one track back to service in December 2011 in order to be as prepared as much as possible in the event of any winter weather-related emergencies.)
During this phase a lot of work will be accomplished, including:
- 4 open-deck bridges in Bridgeport and Fairfield (at North Benson Rd., Fairfield Ave., South Ave. and Main St.) are being replaced with closed deck ballast-style ones (which provide a smoother ride) in this area. The support girders of these bridges rest on two tracks, making it necessary to take them out simultaneously. This work is scheduled to take place from June to September.
- New interlocking wire (basically the wire for track switches) will be replaced at Bridgeport Station. This work is slated during June and July.
- About 7 miles of new catenary wire will be installed over one track between Bridgeport and Southport. This work will occur from September to November
Underway since 1991, this project will replace the original catenary, first erected in 1907.
If it seems that we have a lot more to do, we would like to point out that a lot has been done already! The Connecticut portion of the line has seen the replacement of wires from New York/Connecticut State Line to just east of South Norwalk; and from Milford to New Haven (including an interface with the Amtrak shoreline catenary system east of New Haven Station)
Currently about 59% of the catenary replacement work in Connecticut has been finished. And, from 1991 to 1995, on the New York State portion of the New Haven Line, third rail replaced existing catenary wire from Woodlawn to just north of Mt. Vernon East. We also installed new catenary wire from Pelham to Port Chester. The catenary project is being done to replace the older, existing fixed termination catenary system with a state-of-the-art constant tension system. As the name implies, this type of construction can better accommodate temperature extremes.
We're coming closer to the finish line with this catenary work and as we advance, we'll continue to provide you with updates.
- Google Translate