Metro-North service will return to normal Friday, days after fire

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NEW YORK — Metro-North trains will run on their regular weekday schedule Friday morning, days after a fire under the tracks in East Harlem disrupted service.

An accidental fuel spill sparked a blaze about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday beneath the tracks at Park Avenue and E. 118th St., the FDNY said.

Fire marshals said the spill happened while a generator was being re-fueled.

 

Dark smoke could seen for miles billowing above the tracks, which take commuters north out of Manhattan into the suburbs and Connecticut. Those commuters, some 150,000, endured hours of delays, well into Wednesday.

Metro-North Railroad said its trains would operate on a Saturday schedule while crews installed six temporary steel columns to brace a column damaged in the fire.

Several test trains were run over the damaged section and it was deemed safe, though speed restrictions of 30 mph will be in place in that area “for the time being,” transit officials said.

“I would like to thank our customers for bearing with us during what has been a very challenging two-and-a-half-day period,” Joseph Giulietti, president of Metro-North Railroad, said in a statement Thursday.

“I also thank all the employees who responded to this crisis starting the moment it was reported, and who will continue to respond to it in the weeks ahead as we build permanent repairs to the viaduct.”

More than 150 firefighters responded to the Tuesday night blaze. One firefighter suffered a minor injury when he slipped, but no civilians were hurt.