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Partial, but free, New Haven Line service resumes

When New Haven Line service to Grand Central Terminal resumes on Thursday morning out of Stamford, you’ll ride for free. And if you have an October monthly pass, it will be good through Monday, Nov. 5.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he is waived all rail fares on Thursday and Friday’s New Haven Line, which is owned by Connecticut and operated by Metro-North. Commuters leaving from Grand Central for Stamford, which is as far as the New Haven Line is operating on Thursday, will also pay no fare.

New Haven Line service between the New York and Stamford is expected to be scaled down considerably the rest week, however, making about half its normal trips. Because of that Malloy advised commuters to plan accordingly and “work from home if at all possible.”

The last train for Stamford left at 7:10 Sunday night from Grand Central. The worst of Hurricane Sandy started Monday evening and lasted until Tuesday morning.

“Returning to normal service between Stamford and New York so quickly is a testament to the incredible, around-the-clock work by hundreds of dedicated Metro-North workers and I want to personally thank them,” Malloy said Wednesday night. “At the same time, I want to thank our commuters, who rely on this service on a daily basis, for their patience and understanding. In the wake of the devastation by this storm, this is a significant accomplishment.”

James Redeker, the state Department of Transportation Commissioner, said that waiving the fees was a good idea.

“Eliminating the charge for commuters is the right thing to do for the limited service that is available and for those commuters that have been inconvenienced by the lack of available rail service into New York,” Redeker said. “At the same time, we’d rather make this limited service more attractive for the next two days to help alleviate or minimize motor vehicle traffic entering the city.”

Other options to provide alternate transportation into the city, such as buses from the east end of the line, are being explored and state officials said they hoped that the full New Haven to Grand Central service can be restored soon.

Shore Line East commuter rail service, between New Haven and New London, will also resume Thursday morning. In addition, Amtrak will begin operating some limited service between New Haven and Springfield, and between Boston and Washington, D.C.

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