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Metro-North Today

 

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 Metro North New Haven Line

By Peggy Darlington

 With Assistance from Glenn L. Rowe

 

Grand Central


The railroad portion of Grand Central Terminal is accessed through the main concourse, probably one of the most easily-recognized interiors in the world. The building has recently been renovated to its as-built design. This is most noticeable on the ceiling of the terminal, where a painting depicting constellations had been painted over for years.

Grand Central's upper level features 29 tracks surrounding island platforms, as follows (from west to east): 41/42, 39, 40, 38, 37/36, 35/34, 33/32, 30/29, 28/27, 26/25, 24/23, 21/20, 19/18, 17/16, 15/14 and 13/11. The lower level's tracks are numbered in the 100s and are arranged in platforms as follows: 117, 116, 115, 114/113, 112, 111/110, 109/108, 107/106, 105, 104/103, 102/101. Formerly, long distance trains to places like Albany, Boston, and Chicago operated from the upper level, and local commuter trains used the lower level. Now that all long-distance trains are concentrated at Penn Station, the tracks are used interchangeably for all of Metro-North's services.

The New Haven Line has three branches, New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury

Departing by train from Grand Central, the tracks combine to a four-track trunk line through a tunnel under Park Avenue. Along the tunnel are three former stations, located at

 

59th Street

59th Street which had two side platforms on four tracks. These are now used for storage and emergency exits. See Brennan's Page for more information on the closed stations in the tunnel.

 

72nd Street

72nd Street , Which had two side platforms These are now used for storage and emergency exits. See Brennan's Page for more information on the closed stations in the tunnel

 

86th Street

86th Street,  which had two side platforms on four tracks. These are now used for storage and emergency exits. See Brennan's Page for more information on the closed stations in the tunnel. The tunnel portal is at 97th Street and we rise to a full viaduct by 99th Street, the structure being full concrete tie and ballast construction.

 

110th Street

An abandoned station is found at I10th Street  which had four tracks and two side platforms.

 

125th Street

We arrive at 125th Street, recently restored to original appearance. Tracks four and two share the west island; tracks 1 and 3 share the east island. Tracks one and two are on the "express" side of the platforms. This is the last transfer point for all three lines. The station is on a viaduct.

While we share trackage with the Harlem Line we skip all stops except Fordham, even when running on the local track

 

Fordham

Fordham is next, served by Harlem and New Haven trains, and also has four tracks and two wall platforms. The south end is covered while the north end is near grade with a crossover.

 

Mount Vernon East

Mount Vernon East  has four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossunder.

 

Pelham

We arrive at Pelham, with the same arrangement as Mount Vernon. North of the station, the Amtrak line from Penn Station (via Queens and the Hell Gate Bridge) merges via a two track connection at "Shell" tower. The New Haven branch trains perform the changeover to Catenary power, and the power change over is smooth with only a brief interruption to blower fans and lights.

 

Columbus Avenue

Abandoned Station, Columbus Avenue is next and had four tracks and two low side platforms

 

New Rochelle

New Rochelle is next, located in a cut on the east side and at grade on the west side. There are five tracks passing through the station, with platform arrangement, from west to east, as follows: wall platform for southbound trains, two bypass tracks with no platform, and finally an island platform for northbound trains. The station house is located on the southbound side. There is a crossover connecting the platforms. This station is also served by occasional Amtrak trains. Directly adjacent to the station on the west is the New York Thruway (I-95). From here to New Haven, I-95 will not be too far apart from the railroad, although it may not be adjacent at all times.

 

Larchmont

Larchmont is next and we revert to four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossover at the south end. An old low platform was observed at the north end of the current station. This station is being renovated. 

 

Mamaroneck

Mamaroneck follows. An unusual feature of the two high wall platforms is construction of these platforms on top of the old low platforms. Only ornamental rails reveal the presence of old low platforms. There is a crossunder.

 

Harrison

Harrison (New York) follows, with four tracks and two wall platforms. There is a station house on the west side. The station is at grade and old low platforms were seen at the south end of both platforms. The station is currently undergoing needed renovation.

 

Rye

Rye is next. The town of Rye is the home of America's first theme park, Rye Playland, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The station has four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossover. Old low platforms were seen at the south end of both platforms. Renovation might be planned since survey marks were found.  

 

Port Chester

Port Chester follows, also with four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossunder. A highlight of this station is an abandoned right-of-way to the northeast, part of the former New York, Westchester, and Boston Railroad. There was no rail, ties or wire on this right-of-way. Station renovation may be planned as survey marks were found.  

 

Greenwich

Departing Port Chester, we leave New York and enter Connecticut. Greenwich is the first stop. There are four tracks, two wall platforms, a crossover and old low platforms on the south end. This station has been renovated.

 

Cos Cob

Cos Cob is next with four tracks and two wall platforms. It has been renovated. The station house is on the west side and old low platforms are still used as exits on the north end of the station.

 

Riverside

The line passes the New Haven's Cos Cob power generating plant and crosses a drawbridge on the way to the next station, Riverside. This near-grade station has four tracks with two wall platforms and a crossover. The station house is on the west side.  

 

Old Greenwich

Old Greenwich is next and with the exception of a crossunder instead of crossover is identical to Riverside. Old low platforms are at the south end of the east platform.  

 

Stamford

Stamford is next. Amtrak trains also stop here. Amtrak  funded the major renovations . Connections are available for the New Canaan Branch. The main station is over the tracks, all platforms having a crossover. From west to east, platform and track arrangements are: Wall platform serving track 4; island platform serving track 4 and track 2 (trains on track 5 and track 3 open both sides); one bypass track; island platform serving track 1 and 3.and a wall platform serving track 3 Stamford is also home to a Metro North maintenance facility and storage yards for Amtrak and Metro North trains. The wall platforms are shorter than the island platforms. 

 

Glen Brook

Glen Brook followed with four tracks and two low side platforms. It is now abandoned. This station was not the same station as is on the New Canaan Branch. 

 

Noroton Heights

We enter Noroton Heights. Four tracks, two wall platforms, with a crossover. Currently, due to renovations, the easternmost track is covered with a temporary bridge. Old low platforms are to the north of the station. The station house is on the west side, and a bus-stop style shelter on the east side. The same temporary bridges are also located at the next two stations.

 

Darien

Darien is next and has the same track layout and has been rebuilt. There is a crossunder. The station house is on the west side. There are remains of low platforms at both ends of both platforms.  

 

Rowayton

Rowayton follows and has four tracks and two wall platforms. this station has also been rebuilt.

 

Norwalk

Norwalk follows and is abandoned 

 

South Norwalk

South Norwalk follows. The station appears to have four tracks and two wall platforms. A closer observation reveals a surprise, there are six tracks and the wall platforms are actually island platforms. The north end has two extra tracks, which are connections to the Danbury Branch. The main station house is on the northbound platform and a small station house on the southbound platform. The station has a crossunder. The older station house is on the east side and the new one on the west side. A tunnel connects both platforms. 

 

Saugatatuck

next is an abandoned station, Saugatuck

 

East Norwalk

East Norwalk follows with four tracks and two short wall platforms and a crossunder.

 

Westport

Westport is next and with the exception of an old low platform north of the station is identical to East Norwalk. 

 

Green's Farms

Green's Farms is next. There are four tracks and two wall platforms. The station house is on the west side and a bus-style shelter is on the east side.

 

Southport

We arrive at Southport. This station has four tracks and two short wall platforms, which are offset. A wood station house is on the west side, and a brick station house is on the east side.

 

Fairfield

Fairfield is next with four tracks, two medium length wall platforms and both a crossover and crossunder. The main station house is on the east side, but there is a station house on both platforms. 

FAIRFIELD METRO 

Fairfield Metro is the newest station on the new Haven Line. It opened on 12/6/11. It has two side platforms and an enclosed crossover. Platforms have full canopies and hold 12 car trains. There are four tracks at this station. The New Haven Line is the busiest rail Line in the U.S with 37.3 million customers in 2010, an increase of 2.8 % from 2009. The station is owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

 

Bridgeport

We rise to a high embankment and then a viaduct as we enter another Amtrak Station, Bridgeport. The station has four tracks and two wall platforms with crossunders and station houses on both platforms. A small maintenance-of-way yard is to the northeast of the station. Within the confines of the station, I-95 passes diagonally overhead. Old low platforms were found north of the station. The main station is on the west side. The station also houses the Greyhound bus station as well as the ferry to Port Jefferson, Long Island. The northbound station platform is actually over the water! This is the connection to the Waterbury Branch.

 

Devon

This station had 2 low  side platforms

 

Stratford

Stratford is next, and is where the Waterbury Branch actually leaves the main New Haven Line but does not stop . The station has four tracks and two short wall platforms and a crossunder.

 

Milford

Between here and Milford, our next station, the westernmost track is in various stages of absence, sometimes only one rail, only crossties, or just nothing, possibly due to track replacement work since the Catenary wire is still in place. Milford has three tracks and two short wall platforms. Old low platforms were seen at the south end. The station house is on the west side.

 

Woodmont

North of here was Woodmont which had four tracks and two low side platforms. it had four tracks and two low side platforms and is now abandoned

 

West Haven

The next station, West Haven also with four tracks and two low side platforms is now abandoned .There is talk of a new station here. It is unclear whether the new station would reuse this station (with platforms being rebuilt as high platforms) or built at a new location.

 

New Haven

four tracks and two low side platforms and is now abandoned. We arrive at New Haven after a two-hour ride from Grand Central. This is an Amtrak Station and Amtrak's presence is obvious. The station is named Union Station. It was built in1920 and restored using federal funds in 1985.  A yard is located to both sides of the station for both Amtrak and Metro North. The main station is on the west side at street level and is also home to New Haven's Greyhound Bus station. Connections can be made to Shore Line East service. A tunnel connects all platforms. From west to east platforms and tracks are as follows:

v    Island platform serving tracks 14/12

v    Island platform serving tracks 10/8

v    Island platform serving tracks 4/2

v    Island platform serving tracks 3/1

No evidence found for tracks 13, 9, 7, 6, 5, 

 

New Haven State Street

four tracks and two low side platforms and is now abandoned. A new station in downtown New Haven has limited weekday serviced, New Haven State Street. It has four tracks and an island platform serving only the northbound tracks. It has a crossover to Parking on the west side. Shore Line East also serves this station. It is less than a mile north of Union Station. The crossover has a cyan roof as does the platform canopy with dark blue supports with gold accents. These structures are curved (Turtle back) rather than flat. 

There is an off again, on again proposal to restore service to Springfield, MA. Old stations were located at:

North Haven, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford (Also Amtrak stops here today), Windsor locks (Also Amtrak today), West Housepoint, Thompsonville, Lang Meadow, South Springfield, Springfield (Also Amtrak today) If this happens it is not known what stations would  be revived. 

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 Last revised 12/3/2011

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