Railroad’s On-Time Performance Above 97% for Second Straight Year
Metro-North Railroad today announced that 2021 was another excellent year for on-time performance, with 97.1% of Metro-North trains operating on time. The 2021 on-time performance marks only the second time on-time performance has been above 97% for two consecutive years since Metro-North was founded in 1983. This feat was accomplished as Metro-North gradually restored service to pre-pandemic levels and undertook extensive repairs in response to Hurricane Ida in September.
In 2021, Metro-North continued to increase service levels. The first service increase in 2021 was reflected in the April 12 schedule update, which restored weekend service to Wassaic, and another increase in June which brought service up to 67% of pre-pandemic weekday service and 100% of weekend service. Following further increases in ridership as customers returned, the latest major increase occurred just before Labor Day, bringing weekday service up to 82% of pre-COVID levels.
“Maintaining safe and reliable service while restoring more trains and welcoming back more riders is emblematic of Metro-North's commitment to our customers,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “All of the accomplishments made in 2021 were made possible by the diligent work of the Metro-North workforce. Moving forward into 2022, the goal will be to keep the strong progress going, and welcome even more riders back as the region continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In June, Metro-North launched Way Ahead – Moving Forward, the railroad’s updated strategy for a strong regional recovery and continued commitment to safety, reliability and innovation in the delivery of excellent customer service.
The strategy reaffirmed Metro-North's focus on meeting the changing needs of the railroad and region as it recovers from the pandemic and adjusts to structural shifts in people’s work and transportation patterns. Metro-North’s three top priorities have not changed — customers, people, and infrastructure — but the updated strategies are responsive to today’s current challenges.
In November, Metro-North hit a historic milestone that captured core of the Way Ahead- Moving Forward vision. In partnership with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Metro-North brought the final segment of the railroad online with Positive Train Control (PTC). The project included the installation of PTC, passing sidings and signals on the Waterbury Branch. The installations will allow an increased level of service frequencies on the branch.
PTC automates key operational functions and reduces the potential of human error to contribute to certain types of train accidents. With its activation on the Waterbury Branch, all Metro-North lines are now operating with the PTC safety system.
The service and infrastructure accomplishments were complemented by strong state-of-repair work. Metro-North crews replaced 54,583 crossties, 8 miles of rail, 1,869 deck ties and 28 switches, and resurfaced 130 miles of track to improve service reliability, ensure operational flexibility and provide smoother rides. Crews also undercut 3 miles of track between Larchmont and Harrison on the New Haven Line to restore proper clearance to the overhead catenary for freight service on the line.