First phase of MTA wire upgrade to be completed by weekend

Officials say crews will replace the overhead wires

Officials say crews will replace the overhead wires that power the trains with cables that are stronger and more reliable. (Credit: News 12)

NORWALK - Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Tuesday that the first phase of an upgrade to the overhead wires that power trains along the New Haven Line is just about done.

Officials say crews will replace the overhead wires that power the trains with cables that are stronger and more reliable. The upgrade is expected to be completed by this weekend. The second phase of the project is set to begin in August.

The catenary wires that power the trains are from an old design, and are about 100 years old. Transportation leaders say the wire system caused a number of outages and delays.

Commuters say they welcome the upgrade, especially if it will lead to fewer outages.

Once the upgrade is completed, it will free up all four tracks along the line from Bridgeport to Southport. The governor says that will reduce congestion along the line, especially during peak hours.

This comes as Congressmen Rosa DeLauro, Elizabeth Esty and Jim Himes held a briefing Tuesday at Union Station in New Haven to introduce a new federal bill that calls for new federal safety measures for rails nationwide. They say last year's series of safety concerns and derailments on Metro-North served as the impetus behind this legislation. 

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