Metro North passengers stranded on trains during heat wave - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Metro North passengers stranded on trains during heat wave

Westport emergency responders said they have  issues to work out with the Metropolitan Transit Authority after several hundred passengers were stranded onboard during last week's heat wave.

Responders said they received conflicting reports of where passengers were stranded Friday after record-breaking heat caused the wires above the tracks to sag and get tangled in an arm that connects the trains to electricity.

Metro North officials said three trains got stuck in the wires along the New Haven line, leaving passengers stranded in the heat.

One of those trains got stuck not far from the Greens Farms Station in Westport, and that's where Westport emergency responders say the miscommunication came into play.

Westport's fire chief said they started getting calls from passengers stranded on the train and about a pregnant passenger in medical distress. 

But when they called Metro North, they said dispatchers at Grand Central Station told them that train had already been evacuated.

 "There was quite a bit of confusion. They had a stalled train already in Stratford.  I think probably some of the dispatchers aren't familiar with this part of Connecticut and they were telling us that there was nobody on the train, that it had already been taken to the Stratford station. Of course, Stratford is quite a bit away from Westport," said Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury.

By the time emergency responders located the train and confirmed it was full, Metro North officials said workers had climbed onto the roof to fix the tangled wire and got it moving again. 

After 45 minutes, stuck passengers met emergency responders at Greens Farms.

 "We put some people in our cars to cool them down. We had some pregnant females, they were attended to by EMS. I don't believe anyone was transported to the hospital," Kingsbury said.

A Metro North spokeswoman told Eyewitness News they knew where all the trains were and their status at all times Friday, and that the train was in a swampy area where it couldn't be reached by emergency responders. 

Westport officials said that's something they hope to talk to MTA officials about this week and fix.

"Communication, that's going to be our focus with working with Metro North on this. We need to know the location, where the train is, what the situation is," Kingsbury said.

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