Metro-North restores early-morning through train from Wilton

In an apparent effort to appease growing discontent among its customers, Metro-North will restore the Danbury line’s 5:28 a.m. through train as of Monday, May 12.

This week, Metro-North announced new timetables for the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines effective Sunday, May 11. The new train times are designed to provide improved performance and reliability while accommodating new safety measures, the company says.

The new time tables also specifically restore the first early morning through train that originates in Danbury. The 5:28 a.m. train once again will be a one-seat ride to Grand Central, so customers will not have to change trains in South Norwalk, Metro-North said.

In the afternoon the 4:29 p.m. departure from Grand Central to Danbury will be a through train with a 5:18 p.m. stop at Stamford, but no transfer is required.

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office released a statement on the time table changes saying they were appreciated, but fell short of expectations.

“While a step in the right direction, the new schedule falls short on delivering commitments to increase the frequency of trains and minimize travel time. It’s been almost a full year since the derailment in Bridgeport and since then, New Haven Line customers have been enduring longer, less reliable train service,” Mr. Malloy said.

According to a press release from Metro-North, 96% of inbound morning peak customers “will have a shorter commute compared to the current timetables, which were implemented last November.”

Metro-North did not say how these commutation times relate to previous time tables.

“Our first goal, now and always, is to provide a safe service,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “This train schedule supports our ongoing efforts to serve our customers while providing our maintenance forces the time they need to inspect, maintain and repair the system.”

The schedule accounts for operating conditions and new mandatory speed restrictions. Some trip times will decrease and others will increase, but all will be more predictable, the company said.

Mr. Malloy said his office will not be happy with improvements until 95% success is achieved.

“It is time to implement a schedule that takes advantage of the safety and infrastructure investments to deliver safe and reliable service that strives to achieve an on-time performance goal of at least 95%,” he said.