Metro-North’s gets back on track with its brand new high-tech switch center.It’s a multi-million dollar system that controls the trains and gets riders to work on time. Dubbed the Operations Control Center, it puts NASA to shame .The system oversees 400 miles of tracks and well over 1,000 “switches” that route the trains keeping them on the right track and making sure they don’t collide.
Dispatchers sit at terminals below the mega-screen, each responsible for a segment of track ,the blue lines showing the segments that are closed, white lines the tracks that are open , and red show where the trains are.The New Haven line is considered the toughest assignment “because it’s the busiest.”
The center is the last component of a system known as automatic train control, which digitizes train movements along the railway. The advanced system cost well over $100 million to install. It’s the same system the Long Island Railroad is trying to build and would have avoided much of the traffic problems and cancelled trains after last months fire.There is also a brand-new “situation room” also overlooks the new center. There, Metro-North honchos meet if a disaster strikes or there is a terrorist attack on the system.