Metro-North Riders Brace For Rush-Hour Disruptions After Explosion

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Shaniece Raffington of Stamford, a student at Fairfield University, waits for a train Wednesday afternoon in Fairfield.
Shaniece Raffington of Stamford, a student at Fairfield University, waits for a train Wednesday afternoon in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Gail Greenberg and Petey Brucker of California are visiting family in Westport and heading into New York City on Wednesday.
Gail Greenberg and Petey Brucker of California are visiting family in Westport and heading into New York City on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
The sign at the Fairfield Train Station says "Service Change" after the building explosion in Harlem.
The sign at the Fairfield Train Station says "Service Change" after the building explosion in Harlem. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
The 2.17 p.m. train pulls into the Fairfield Station on time Wednesday.
The 2.17 p.m. train pulls into the Fairfield Station on time Wednesday. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- With Metro-North train service suspended into and out of Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday afternoon after a building exploded in Harlem, commuters are preparing for a tough ride home.

"For other commuters, this is going to be a nightmare," Vivienne Blake of Stamford said Wednesday afternoon at the Fairfield Train Station. She was in town for an interview. If she were heading to work, "this would be putting me in a real bind." 

The trains Wednesday afternoon were not running on schedule, and there was no service beyond the Bronx.

Shaniece Raffington of Stamford, a student at Fairfield University, said she did not know about the Metro-North delays as she waited for a train in Fairfield. 

"I hope it comes on time," Raffington said of the 2:17 p.m. train. She has no other way to get home, and luckily the train did show up. There were announcements in Stamford in the morning, she said, but they were garbled. 

Gail Greenberg and Petey Brucker of California are visiting her mom in Westport and were looking to catch a train into New York.

"We heard that service ends in the Bronx, and then we have to take a subway the rest of the way," Greenberg said. "We're not so familiar with the subways, but we're not too worried about it. Figure we can always ask a conductor or someone for directions."

Her husband said, "It should be an adventure," as they headed to the Upper West Side to see more family.  

"We decided to take the chance," Greenberg said. "We are coming back tonight. Hopefully things will be back to normal by then."

Metro-North trains were running in Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon but service was ending in the Bronx, N.Y., after two buildings exploded in East Harlem, killing two people and injuring at least 18. The explosion scene at East 116th Street and Park Avenue is right next to the Metro-North tracks. No service was going in or out of Grand Central. 

"There is service up there, but it may not be scheduled service," a Metro-North spokesman said of the trains running in Connecticut along the New Haven Line.

There is no estimate on when full train service will be restored, he said.

Here is a line-by-line guide for northbound Metro-North commuters looking to get out of New York City:

New Haven Line

Riders heading out of New York City should take the No. 5 subway service to the 180th Street station and transfer to the No. 2 subway for service to 233rd Street to access Metro-North's Woodlawn station. New York-bound New Haven Line service will operate to Woodlawn station, where customers can take the No. 2 subway.

Harlem Line

For northbound service, customers should take the No. 5 subway to the 180th Street station and transfer to the No. 2 subway for service to 233rd Street to access the Woodlawn Metro-North station. Southbound customers can take Metro-North train to the Wakefield station and transfer to the No. 2 subway into the city. Limited local Metro-North train service will be provided between Wakefield and Fordham stations.

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