Connecticut transportation officials say the state will pay about $200,000 to Metro-North Railroad to avoid cuts to commuter rail service between New York and New Haven.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority was threatening to eliminate three state Metro-North trains, including the last express of the night out of Grand Central Terminal, as part of plans to reduce its budget deficit.

Department of Transportation spokesman Judd Everhart said Gov. M. Jodi Rell insisted that Metro-North preserve rail service to the state. To maintain the current rail schedule, he said, the state agreed to pay for the use of locomotives and other equipment that Metro-North had not charged it for in the past.

Everhart says the $200,000 is coming from funds already in the state budget.