Thursday, February 13, 2014
 

 

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Port Authority, Metro-North say they are prepared for storm

NEW YORK - The Port Authority is prepared to handle a major winter Nor‘easter storm scheduled to begin early Thursday morning and last until Friday morning.  Additional Port Authority staff and a readily assembled fleet of snow removal equipment are on standby to handle what forecasters say could result in heavy snow and icing conditions at the Port Authority’s airports, tunnels, bridges, PATH system and seaport.

Projections for the New York-New Jersey region call for significant snowfall, with amounts varying across the metropolitan region.  Port Authority staff will work around-the-clock in 12-hour shifts. The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.

In keeping with the normal course of operations during snow events, the agency will deploy extra personnel at all of its facilities to address the storm’s impact and keep the region moving.  The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.

The Port Authority urges air and bus travelers to check with their carriers before going to the airports or bus terminals to confirm whether their planes or buses will depart and scheduled departure times. The agency also may impose speed restrictions on its crossings if weather conditions warrant.

For up-to-the-minute updates on Port Authority crossings, airports and the PATH system, travelers are encouraged to sign up for the Port Authority alerts at www.paalerts.com.

MTA Metro-North Railroad will operate a reduced schedule on Thursday on all three lines, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven, as the latest snow storm arrives in the metropolitan area.  Accumulations throughout the day are expected to reach 10-to-14 inches in the northern suburbs and slightly less along the Long Island Sound. 

The plan will accommodate 75% of normal weekday ridership. Some local and express trains will be combined and will make additional stops.  Consolidated trains will depart at the later of the two times so no one will “just miss” the train.  

The trains to be combined were chosen to minimize customer impacts and to arrive within 10-15 minutes of their normal time. The schedule is available at MTA.info.

To prepare for the storm, Metro-North has called in hundreds of extra personnel to salt platforms and clear them as snow begins to accumulate at the railroad’s 122 stations. Switch heaters have been activated to ensure switches continue to function despite cold temperatures and icing.  Patrol trains will operate throughout the night to knock snow off the rails and third rail and to keep ice from accumulating on the overhead catenary wire on the New Haven Line. 

Snow fighting equipment has been fueled and tuned: five cold air blowers, three hot air jets and two snow brooms. Metro-North trains are equipped with special third-rail shoes designed to shed snow and ice.  Crews are armed with chainsaws to clear fallen trees that could block trains. The railroad has treated door panels with anti-freeze agents and pre-positioned rail-mounted snow fighting equipment to combat snow accumulation along the tracks. 

During the storm, rescue engines will be manned and positioned at all yards, including Bridgeport, in case a passenger train becomes disabled and need a tow. There will be mechanics positioned at Pelham in case there are problems with the pantographs, the arm-like appendage at the top of New Haven Line trains that draw power from the overhead catenary wires.

The most up-to-date information on MTA service status is always available at www.mta.info. For immediate notice of service changes, sign up for email or text alerts at www.mymtaalerts.com. For weekend subway service changes, visit www.mta.info/weekender.