Metro-North service returned to Grand Central Terminal after this morning's fatal explosion at two East Harlem buildings knocked out the commuter rail service in Manhattan.

Service on the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson lines were restored around 4:45 p.m. after debris was cleared from the explosion that caused the collapse of buildings at Park Avenue and 116th Street.

Train service on the New Haven and Harlem lines were brought back around 3:45 p.m. when Metro-North and the FDNY cleared two of four tracks for service. Later, the Hudson line was restored when the other two tracks were cleared of debris, inspected, and approved for operation by Metro-North and the FDNY, according to the MTA.

Riders who needed to access Metro-North trains were told to take the subway to Bronx stops near the commuter rail's stations.

The first train out of Grand central Station was the 3:43 p.m. train to Wassaic on the Harlem line.

Riders can expect crowding and delays during the evening rush as trains run at reduced speeds thropugh the collapse site in order to protect track wortkers and limit vibrations, the MTA said.

 

The blast near 116th Street, which officials pinned on a gas leak, sent debris flying onto nearby Metro-North tracks. Power had to be cut to the third rail on all four tracks near the explosion, the MTA said.

To get in and out of Manhattan on Metro-North, riders had to take the subway to the commuter rail's Bronx stations. New York City Transit has been cross honoring Metro-North tickets..

Dozens of MTA employees donning bright orange vests at Grand Central Terminal earlier in the afternoon were aiding commuters on how to make it home and to work.

"This is an all-hands on deck," said Donna Haynes, a Metro-North marketing employee, who was wearing an orange vest.

Jose Lopez, a Jackson Heights resident who works as a waiter in White Plains, decided to wait for service to resume instead of trekking to the Bronx or taking a cab to Westchester.

"The price is $80 from here to White Plains. It's too much," Lopez said.

(With Sheila Anne Feeney)