Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by Bill D
I rode train #6542 yesterday, which makes the connection at Devon (I did not transfer there, though). Some observations:

There was at least one paper sign posted at GCT by the platform doors indicating the transfer point. The conductor made numerous announcements before and after departing Grand Central regarding the transfer, including the car (fleet) numbers that passengers would have to be in if they were transferring. Around Fairfield, 113 with a mini set passed us at a good clip, headed to Devon for an equipment swap. I'm guessing that once arriving there, the crew did a quick backing move to clear the main, and then changed ends at the platform - maybe someone can verify this? Our train paused at Bridgeport, with the conductor once again making announcements both for passengers onboard as well as on the platform. People seemed to understand, as I did not observe any confusion. When arriving at Devon, conductors exited to the platform, and allowed ample time to make sure all passengers that needed to exited the train. Overall, this setup seems to work well, albeit slowing down the schedule.


Image Image
  by NH2060
Any Waterbury Branch riders here have any feedback so far on the transfer arrangement? i.e. Better than transferring @ Bridgeport, no difference, etc.
  by runningwithscalpels
Your answer may vary depending on who you ask...

Personally I don't think there's much difference, except the temporary platform is wider than the actual platform at Bridgeport, which is nice when there are 11 billion baby strollers, etc to dodge. Then again when I ride, it's Naugatuck-Devon/Bridgeport-Stamford-Fordham, so I'm taking 3 different trains anyway. A change of trains is a change of trains.

A couple weeks ago a lady got on in Bridgeport and was absolutely incensed when the conductor told her she had to change at Devon to go to Waterbury. "Why should I have to change trains? This is an outrage!" If you're used to getting on at Bridgeport, riding the one train and being done with it, I see it being an annoyance, but not to the extent this lady was carrying on.

The conductors have done a fantastic job warning people WELL ahead of time of the change in transfer points. (One train they started making announcements at Westport about staying on the train to Devon and switching there.)

I'm more concerned with the pipe dream of a permanent Devon Transfer and more service on the branch than this temporary charade ;)
  by jonnhrr
So eastbounds making Devon Transfer have to cross over to track 1 - does that cause issues on such a busy stretch of railroad?

  by Jeff Smith
Buh-bye Devon: MTA.INFO

Waterbury Branch Update

Metro-North will issue updated New Haven Line timetables effective November 16, reflecting the decommissioning of the temporary transfer station for Waterbury Branch customers at Devon and the conclusion of work on the Devon Movable Bridge. At that time, normal Waterbury Branch service will resume.
  by runningwithscalpels
Good riddance...4 months later it's still a huge charade...although some of that can't be blamed on the railroad. I routinely watch the SAME people act all confused on a weekly basis about the transfer.

Although it's nice to not have to worry about them playing musical tracks at Bridgeport for the time being.
  by The EGE

Aerial view from September 20th, my photo.
  by jt42cwr
Does anyone know when the temporary Devon Transfer station is supposed to finish being used and the branch return back to normal?
  by Nicholas Chen
My guess is November 16th since the current schedule is only effective until November 15th.
  by DutchRailnut
correct nov 15
  by Jeff Smith

Buh-bye Devon. Oh, and you'll love the picture and caption (Metro North has Acelas?!):
Metro North sets closing date for Devon Transfer

The completion of work to Track 1 means that commuters connecting to the main New Haven line at the temporary transfer point can step right onto trains headed toward Grand Central Terminal or New Haven, spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

And there is even more good news ahead.

“The work is progressing toward the finish line, and we are on track to returning to transferring at Bridgeport beginning on Monday, Nov. 16th,’’ Donovan said.
A Waterbury line commuter tweeted a photo of the transfer point — a large, Y-shaped wooden platform on the Milford shore of the Housatonic River. “No bridge plates,’’ the commuter, @WaterburyLine tweeted. The portable metal decks are used to carry passengers from the platform over a closed track to the train.
And: https://twitter.com/waterburyline" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Wingnut
I took a jaunt to Waterbury yesterday and made use of the transfer. The temporary platform is reminiscent of the southbound Princeton Junction platform which similarly boards trains both on a main track and on a wye. The train ride itself was good and on time. A crowd got on the main line train at Bridgeport and there is definitely a local customer base which rides strictly between Waterbury and Bridgeport. I can see why that woman was annoyed at having to make a transfer but not busting a gasket the way she did. Waterbury has the branch's only high level platform which is barely long enough to cover the doors of a three car consist. The Waterbury Union Station and its landmark clocktower are still gorgeous though.

One thing I noticed is that Waterbury doesn't have an active track to allow freight trains to bypass the HLP. I guess freight traffic in the Naugatuck Valley is so miniscule a bypass wasn't deemed necessary?
  by DutchRailnut
freight is down to about once every few months.