The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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State, national news

September 26, 2013

Frustration for Conn., NY rail commuters

NEW YORK (AP) — Traffic is building along Interstate 95 as tens of thousands of Metro-North Railroad commuters scramble for alternate routes to get to work between Connecticut and New York City.

A high-voltage feeder cable failed early Wednesday at a suburban New York station, knocking out power to the railroad's New Haven line.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is reporting several delays in the southwestern part of the state toward New York City. It says there's congestion along 19 miles of Interstate 95 southbound, south of Milford, and along a nearly 17-mile southbound stretch on Route 15 near Trumbull.

Commuter Richard Gordon of Westport compared the commute to Dante's "Inferno."

He told FoxCT News: "I don't think it's going to be very nice."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Tens of thousands of commuters traveling into and out of New York City are scrambling to devise alternative routes after a power failure on a heavily trafficked line of the nation's second-largest commuter railroad brought service to a creep and forced commuters into cars, clogging the highways.

Officials were working Thursday to find alternative power sources to end the hours-long delays that could last for weeks after a high-voltage feeder cable failed early Wednesday at a suburban New York station.

"I'm just trying to get through the next two days," said Pete Hartney, 64, who makes a daily two-hour commute from Guilford, Conn., to New York City that has extended by 90 minutes following the power outage. "I'm going to try to put up with whatever they throw our way for the next few days, then formulate a plan over the weekend."

Tens of thousands of people in the densely populated suburbs north of New York City and into Connecticut use the Metro-North commuter railroad. Metro-North said its service plans for Thursday's commuters can accommodate about 33 percent of the regular ridership and urged customers to stay at home or find alternative services.

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