The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has issued an explanation and apology for problems which delayed more than 50 Metro-North trains and thousands of passengers Thursday night. It is blaming human error.
The MTA says the computers that run the signal system for Metro-North’s New Haven, Harlem and Hudson lines lost reliable power at about 7:45 p.m. when one of the two main power supply units was taken out of service for replacement.
The problem was that at the time a wire was disconnected on the other main power supply. Until a backup could be connected, engineers were told to take their trains to the nearest station, with railroad workers checking manually to make sure that the switches were properly aligned.
Some trains started moving again at 9:30 p.m., but railroad operators did not have ful control over the signal system for another hour.
The MTA acknowledges the work should not have been done during a peak travel time, and says an internal review is underway into this incident — but an outside consultant also will be brought in to help determine why the mistakes were made.