The cause of the problem on Metro-North is a disruption in electric utility service from Con Edison in New York, according to Metro-North officials. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that the state doesn't really know how long it will take to restore electric service to the rail line.
"It could take weeks," he said.
Meanwhile, diesel trains are being used to transport commuters. But those trains can restore only 30 to 40 percent of the disrupted New Haven line railroad service between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal, Malloy said.
That means people will inevitably take to highways, causing even more congestion than usual. The anticipated congestion on Route 8 and I-95 could cause headaches over the next couple of weeks for people in Naugatuck, like Ron Nihill, who travels to Stamford three days a week.
On Thursday, he decided to take the train because highway traffic was just too congested Wednesday morning after Metro-North suspended service between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal.
It took him three hours and 10 minutes Wednesday morning to drive from Stamford to Naugatuck; it is normally a 45-minute to one-hour
trip in the early morning, depending on traffic.
“Anybody who knows Fairfield County knows that you cannot travel from Bridgeport to Stamford on I-95 after 6 a.m.,” he said. “You can, but it’s much heavier traffic, so you have to try to get out a little earlier. Yesterday, I did, but it still took me that long.”
Nihill, a retired Connecticut State Trooper Sergeant, works for the People’s Court reality TV show in Stamford providing executive protection for the court through a company called Pinkerton.
On Thursday, Nihill decided to try his luck on Metro-North. He drove to Bridgeport and took a train directly to Stamford, where the platform was packed with commuters standing shoulder-to-shoulder while anxiously hoping to get to Grand Central Terminal.
“It definitely shows how much people rely on the rail system in Connecticut,” he said.
Nihill, meanwhile, walked a mile-and-a-half from the Stamford terminal to the People’s Court.
Do you travel to Fairfield County or New York City for work on a regular basis? How is the commute affecting you?
We will work on keeping you up-to-date with the latest developments.
Editor's Note: Reporting from David Gurliacci of Darien Patch was used for this article.