Train service on Port Jervis line suspended

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:05

Port Jervis — Train service on the Port Jervis Line is suspended until further notice due to extensive damage to many portions of the line as a result of Hurricane Irene. The full extent of the damage has not been determined, as much of the line remains inaccessible and under water, according to a press release from the MTA Metro-North Railway. Through a combination of observations made on the ground and from a helicopter, Metro-North work crews have observed significant washouts and fallen trees at numerous locations along the tracks west of Suffern. Some of the more significant issues that have been identified include: Three washout locations of 1,000 feet each near Sloatsburg. A 400-foot section of track washed out to a depth of 8 feet south of Sloatsburg. Significant damage to several railroad bridges. Suspected significant damage to the signal system, which is exposed and under water. Metro-North will retain an engineering firm to perform a thorough inspection of 24 miles of infrastructure to determine the full extent of necessary repairs and determine required environmental permitting. Major construction work would follow. It will take months to rebuild the track, signal and bridge infrastructure required to reinstitute train service, although the exact duration will be determined by the investigation. Alternatives for commuters Metro-North worked with Orange County to develop an alternate service plan for the 2,300 people who use the Port Jervis Line each weekday.: If the Thruway is open in the morning, bus service will take customers from the Harriman Station to the Ramsey/Route 17 station to catch trains. For the return trip, customers will get off trains at Ramsey/Route 17 and board a bus for the trip back to Harriman. Buses will follow the train schedule. As road and station conditions improve in Orange County, Metro-North will seek to expand the bus options available. In addition, customers can use their Port Jervis Line commutation ticket on the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry or on the Newburgh-Beacon Bus. Customers will have direct bus service at Harriman station. Port Jervis Line commutation tickets also will be honored for travel on the Hudson Line. Customers from Salisbury Mills Station west to Port Jervis station can park at Harriman and Beacon or Cortlandt stations on the Hudson Line. Valid LAZ permits will be honored at these locations. Parking at these stations will be provided for those customers for the remainder of this week, although a permit does not guarantee a space.