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Metro-North's Work On Danbury Branch Crossings To Continue Through April

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DANBURY, Conn. -- Work will continue through April as Metro-North makes repairs on faulty grade crossings along the Danbury Branch line, the commuter railroad announced on its website .

"We have been making modifications to the 11 grade crossings and have returned three to normal operations," Metro-North said in a statement. "Work on the remaining eight will continue through April."

In November, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Metro-North completed a new signal system project for the entire Danbury Branch.

But Metro-North recently identified problems with the new technology train detection system that controls the closing of a gate crossing. It sometimes activates with no trains approaching.

"We have not experienced any failures of the crossing system to activate when required," Metro-North said.

Metro-North will continue operating trains with a “Stop and Warn” procedure at a faulty crossing, requiring all trains to come to a complete stop before entering the crossing and determine whether the gate is activated. When cleared, the train proceeds at 15 mph through the crossing.

"Although this procedure may cause train and local traffic delays, it is the safest way for us to operate a train, safeguarding customers and any vehicular traffic," Metro-North said.

Travel times have been adjusted for peak hour train service, and substitute bus service is operating during the off-peak, evening and weekend hours on the Danbury Branch while the repairs are made.

Customers who ride the Danbury Branch may present their tickets for travel on Harlem Line trains while the work continues.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will be expediting its “state of good repair” replacement program for the grade crossings and also improve drainage at various locations.

On the Danbury Branch, the trains are pulled or pushed by diesel engines along its 23.9-mile route. Danbury Branch stops are at Danbury, Bethel, West Redding, Branchville, Cannondale, Wilton, Merritt 7 and South Norwalk.

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