Metro-North, Con Edison vow to prevent outages - FOX 13 News

Metro-North, Con Edison vow to prevent outages

Posted: Updated:
MTA file photo MTA file photo

SUSAN HAIGH | AP

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The two top officials at Metro-North Railroad and ConEdison on Monday tried to assure Connecticut's senators they're working together to prevent future power problems like the one that disrupted service along the nation's busiest commuter rail line last month, but acknowledged the cause of that outage remains unclear.

"Our companies will redouble our efforts to ensure that we are better prepared in the future," said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut, adding that no alternative transportation service can carry the New Haven Line's 132,000 daily customers.

Con Edison President Craig Ivey said his utility is still trying to determine what went wrong on Sept. 25. He said ConEdison has routinely taken transmission lines out of service without any issues. He said the procedure is typically done about 20 times during a year.

While a forensic review by Con Edison of the procedure is expected by early November, Ivey said he did not believe the age of the 36-year-old cable was to blame for the failure.

On Sept. 13, ConEdison took one of two feeder cables out of service, at the request of Metro-North, to accommodate the railroad's work at its Mount Vernon, N.Y., station. The remaining feeder cable failed on Sept. 25, cutting off power and forcing the commuter railroad to reduce service by half on its New Haven Line. Amtrak service was also affected. The disruption lasted 12 days.

Such high voltage transmission feeders are housed inside oil-filled pipes, requiring crews to freeze the insulating oil as part of the process for shutting down a line. Ivey said it appears that procedure likely contributed to the power failure.

Besides ConEdison's reviews, the New York Public Service Commission is also conducting an independent investigation.

Ivey and Permut were among those testifying Monday in Bridgeport at a congressional field hearing organized by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The subcommittee will accept written testimony regarding the power disruption for the next 10 days.

When asked by Blumenthal whether ConEdison plans to reimburse Metro-North for the refunds it is providing riders due to the outage, Ivey said no.

Blumenthal said he believed the New York utility had "an ethical, if not legal obligation" to reimburse Metro-North and others who suffered due to any failure of ConEdison equipment.

"I would urge you to cover that cost," the Democrat said.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its subcommittee on railroads, said she has requested her committee also conduct hearings on the outage, calling the disruption "an unacceptable and avoidable failure that caused significant damage, both to the economy and to people's lives."

A state Department of Economic and Community Development analysis determined Connecticut's gross state product dropped $62 million during the disruption.

Many spoke on Monday of the need to invest billions of dollars into the region's and nation's aging railroad infrastructure, despite large investments already made by Connecticut and New York. There is an estimated $3 billion backlog of projects on the New Haven Line.

"The fact is, federal investment in mass transit and Amtrak is simply insufficient to address our current state of good repair needs, let alone to build redundancy and contingency," Permut said, referring to suggestions for backup power and other needs. "This critical underfunding of our public works and infrastructure has to change."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Connecticut NewsConnecticut NewsMore>>

  • Dad accidentally delivers baby into toilet

    Dad accidentally delivers baby into toilet

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:28:12 GMT
    A West Haven baby has arrived with a splash, right into a toilet bowl.
    A Connecticut baby has arrived with a splash, right into a toilet bowl. The baby's father, David Davis says that he was forced to deliver the newborn in the bathroom of his West Haven home Friday morning after his wife, Lillie, went into labor. He says the baby slipped through his hands during the delivery, but luckily went into the water. He says she began crying and it was the best sound he'd ever heard.

  • Report: Connecticut averages 14 domestic homicides a year

    Report: Connecticut averages 14 domestic homicides a year

    A new report shows Connecticut each year averages about 14 homicides committed by intimate partners. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic violence examined deaths that occurred between 2000 and 2012. Between those years, there were 162 female victims and 26 male victims. Most of the perpetrators, 166, were male, 166. Twenty-two were female.
    A new report shows Connecticut each year averages about 14 homicides committed by intimate partners. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic violence examined deaths that occurred between 2000 and 2012. Between those years, there were 162 female victims and 26 male victims. Most of the perpetrators, 166, were male, 166. Twenty-two were female.
  • Former swim coach pleads guilty to sex assault

    Former swim coach pleads guilty to sex assault

    A former swim coach and math teacher at Staples High School in Westport has pleaded guilty to raping two pre-teen girls. The Connecticut Post reports that 44-year-old Jeffrey Schare pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree sexual assault and other charges. He faces eight years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3. Police say the assaults took place over a three-year period.
    A former swim coach and math teacher at Staples High School in Westport has pleaded guilty to raping two pre-teen girls. The Connecticut Post reports that 44-year-old Jeffrey Schare pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree sexual assault and other charges. He faces eight years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3. Police say the assaults took place over a three-year period.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices