Here is a color-coded breakdown of how the news flowed during this morning’s incident.
Red – Information form Clever Commute
Blue – Information from Metro North
Green – Comments
The chronology. Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan said the suspension started at about 6:15 a.m
o Note that the first e-mail from Metro North comes almost 40 minutes after the suspension (and the first Tweet from Metro North was about 10 minutes after that).
o The commuters had been sharing info for almost a half-hour before MNR made any public announcements.
6:30 AM – 602 new haven going backwards near Bridgeport. Police activity. Going back to Stratford
6:35 AM – Suspicious package on bridge over Fairfield RR station. All service halted
6:38 AM – All four tracks involved in police activity in Fairfield indefinite delays in both directions
6:45 AM - 6:34 wpt to GCT 10mins late so far and no announcements yet.
6:56 AM - New Haven Line service is temporarily delayed for trains traveling through the vicinity of Fairfield station due to Police Activity. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please listen for announcements at your station
6:58 AM - 6:51 Grns Farms to GCT delayed due to Police Activity @ FFLD
7:12 AM - New Haven Line service is temporarily delayed for trains traveling through Fairfield station. Trains are restricted from traveling through this area while Police are investigating a suspicious package. We expect delays of 30 – 60 minutes at this time. Please listen for announcements at your station.
During the crucial 7:12 AM to 8:03 AM period, Metro North did not share ANY information via e-mail…but the commuters did.
7:17 AM - No service below ffld. Suspicious package found
7:25 AM - East bound train at Southport turning around and GCT bound
7:36 AM - 7:44 Train next to arrive at SONO to GCT all stops to Stamford
7:45 AM - Announcement: Get on the 7:44 because we don’t know when the next train will be
8:03 AM – New Haven Line service continues to be temporarily delayed for trains traveling through Fairfield station. Police Special Units are on site investigating a suspicious package. We expect delays of 1 to 2 hours at this time. Please listen for announcements at your station.
During this 22 minute stretch (8:03 AM to 8:25 AM), there is no news from MNR…but Clever Commuters fill the information void
8:07 AM - Train departing Darien towards NY 804am. No announcements at Station, not even on electronic signs
8:25 AM - New Haven Line service has resumed through Fairfield station. Police have completed their investigation. Residual delays of 1 to 2 hours can be expected. Please listen for announcements at your station. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this incident.
MNR goes silent until 9:41 AM. Their next mail is effectively a re-post of the earlier message (saying New Haven Line Customers continue to experience residual delays of 1-2 hours due to earlier police activity in the vicinity of Fairfield)
During this time, there were more alerts from Clever Commute regarding the ad-hoc schedule, and conditions on board the trains
8:26 AM - Conductor said train just left Bridgeport towards Stamford
8:29 AM - 8:24 Rye-GCT running local. Already SRO
8:45 AM - 843 from southport all local stops to Stamford then express to 125th