The failure of a 100-year-old drawbridge over the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Conn., disrupted service on Sunday afternoon for hundreds of rail travelers who were forced take shuttle buses when more than six trains could not cross the river.
Metro-North Railroad’s Outer New Haven Line was suspended in both directions between the Norwalk and South Norwalk stations, after the bridge’s gears misaligned when a boat passed under the tracks before 2 p.m. Two Amtrak trains were also affected. The bridge was finally lowered and service was restored at 5:20 p.m., a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman said, but delays continued for some time afterward.
“You have a hundred-year-old bridge that carries four railroad tracks over a major river, and it opens on a pivot with gears like bicycle gears,” said Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for the railroad. “Something goes wrong and it won’t close,” she said. “It’s causing major problems, I can tell you that,” she said.
Hundreds of travelers had to debark at either the South Norwalk or East Norwalk stations and take a shuttle bus over the river. Once across, they boarded other trains to reach their final destination.