Buses will replace trains beginning Saturday

Riders planning to board a train in Wilton or Cannondale will have to take a bus instead during off-peak and weekend hours, beginning Saturday, March 1. Peak-hour trains will continue to run.

Buses will be substituted for trains on the Danbury branch line to allow Metro-North to address signal issues that have caused problems in recent weeks.

According to the state Department of Transportation, grade crossing gates and lights have been activated on occasion when no train is in the area. Metro-North Railroad has taken steps to reduce the effect on traffic and ensure safe train operation.

“Metro-North and the DOT are working aggressively to develop service plans to mitigate delays and will announce an interim service plan on Wednesday to begin on Saturday, March 1, 2014,” a press release said. The agencies are also working to determine the cause of the problem.

Since the issues were identified, trains have been running on a “stop and warn” system, requiring the train to stop before each crossing and warn motorists that a train is coming through. This practice has reduced train speeds and affected service.

About 2,200 commuters use the Danbury branch on an average weekday.

—Jeannette Ross