Metro-North Commuter Railroad
The Metro-North Commuter Railroad (reporting mark MNCR), usually known as MTA Metro-North Railroad, or, by most riders as, Metro-North, is a
suburban commuter rail service that is owned and oprtayed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA),
an authority of New York State. Metro–North runs service between New York City to its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut.
Trains terminate in places respective to their branch line; these locals include, in New York State, in Port Jervis, Spring Valley, Poughkeepsie, and Wassaic; in Connecticut, in New Canaan,
Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven.
The MTA also operates:
the New York City Transit Authority buses and subways;
the Long Island Rail Road;
and the "plum" of the former empire of Robert Moses: the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.
There are 120 stations operated by Metro-North. We have pictures and descriptions of many of them; mostly the railroad stations in Connecticut and those railroad stations along the Hudson Division.
Three Metro-North lines provide passenger service on the east side of the Hudson River, all of which terminate at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan: the Hudson Line, Harlem Line and New Haven Line. An additional line, the Beacon Line (sometimes referred to as the Maybrook Line), is owned by Metro-North but is out of service.
The Hudson and Harlem Lines terminate in Poughkeepsie and Wassaic, New York, respectively. The Hudson Line is electrified as far as Croton-Harmon and the Harlem Line is electrified as far as Southeast (Brewster)
The New Haven Line is operated through a partnership between Metro-North and the State of Connecticut. Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) owns the tracks and stations within Connecticut. MTA owns the tracks and stations within New York State. MTA also performs routine maintenance and provides police services for the entire New Haven Line, its branches and stations.
The New Haven Line has three branches providing connecting service in Connecticut- the New Canaan Branch, Danbury Branch and Waterbury Branch. At New Haven, the Shore Line East connecting service, which is run by ConnDOT, continues east to New London.
Amtrak also operates intercity train service along the New Haven and Hudson Lines. Because the New Haven Line is also part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, high-speed Acela Express trains run on the line from New Rochelle to New Haven Union Station
Freight trains utilize Metro-North , as CSX, P & W, and Housatonic Railroad each have trackage rights on certain sections of the system.
Service on the western side of the Hudson is operated by New Jersey Transit under contract with the MTA. Metro-North also provides service on trains west of the Hudson River that originate from Hoboken Terminal, New Jersey. This service is jointly run by Metro-North and New Jersey Transit, under contract. There are two branches of the west-of-Hudson service, the Port Jervis Line, and the Pascack Valley Line. The Port Jervis Line is accessed from two New Jersey Transit lines, the Main Line and the Bergen County Line.
Before the Metro-North service was put in place, most of the trackage east of the Hudson River and in New York State, was owned by the New York Central Railroad. The New York Central initially operated three commuter lines, two of which ran directly into Grand Central Terminal. Metro-North's Harlem Line had been initially a combination of trackage from the New York and Harlem Railroad and the old Boston and Albany Railroad, running from Manhattan to Chatham in Columbia County.
The NY Central also operated the four tracked Water Level Route which paralleled the Hudson River heading to Chicago via Albany. The 20th Century Limited used this route. The other major commuter line was the Putnam Division running from a terminal station at 155th Street in The Bronx to Brewster, New York. Passengers would transfer to the IRT 9th Avenue Line to reach destinations in Manhattan.
From 1848 until 1969 the New Haven Line, including the New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury branches, was owned by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H).
Commuter services west of the Hudson River, which make up today's Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines, were initially part of the Erie Railroad. The Port Jervis Line, built in the 1850s and 60's, was originally part of the Erie's mainline from Jersey City to Buffalo, New York. The Pascack Valley Line was built by the New Jersey and New York Railroad, which became a subsidiary of the Erie. In 1956 the Erie Railroad began a somewhat successful merger with its rival the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, and in 1960 they formed the Erie Lackawanna which became responsible for the services.
In 1968, the New York Central and its rival the Pennsylvania Railroad formed Penn Central Transportation with the hope of revitalizing their fortunes. In 1969 the now bankrupt New Haven was also combined into Penn Central by the Interstate Commerce Commission. However, this merger eventually failed, due to large financial costs, government regulations, corporate rivalries, and lack of a formal merger plan. In 1970 Penn Central declared bankruptcy, at the time being the largest corporate bankruptcy ever declared.
Many of the other Northeastern railroads at the time, including the Erie Lackawanna, were following Penn Central into bankruptcy and so the federal government decided to fold these lines into the newly created Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) in 1976. Conrail was initially given the responsibility of operating the former commuter services of these fallen railroads including the Erie Lackawanna's and Penn Central's. MTA operation and the formation of Metro-North
Conrail was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a private for profit freight only carrier. Even with state subsidies, Conrail did not want the responsibility of taking on the operating costs of the money losing commuter lines, an act they officially were relieved from by the passage of the Northeast Rail Act of 1981. Now it was required that state owned agencies both operate and subsidize their commuter services. Over the next few years commuter lines under the control of Conrail were gradually taken over by state agencies such as the newly formed New Jersey Transit in New Jersey, and the established SEPTA in southeastern Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston. The MTA in conjuncture with the Connecticut Department of Transportation formed the Metro-North Commuter Railroad in 1983.
Who owns Grand Central Terminal?
Who is bigger? Metro-North or Long Island RR?
Metro-North Winter 2010 - 2011
Metro-North reference section
By Ken Kinlock at firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodbye, Solari. Hello 'Grant' New Haven Union Station
Railroads through the region East of the Hudson from Albany to Connecticut.
Includes Chatham and the New York Central Harlem Division.
Click above to read story.
|Metro-North Reference Section|
|Current Metro-North newsletter|
|See a great BLOG originally about the Harlem Line, but extending to the rest of Metro-North|
|The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) launched the Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study to evaluate the feasibility of electrifying the Danbury Branch commuter rail line as well as other possible alternatives to improve rail service on the Branch. Phase I of the Study was completed in 2006 and the results are posted on this website. Phase II of the Study began in November 2007, and includes further refinement of selected improvement alternatives, performance of a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and selection of a preferred alternative(s). This project website will be actively used as an additional tool to help keep the public informed of all activities in the EIS process.|
Glenbrook Station before Metro-North rebuilt it. Picture purchased from Charlie Gunn. See the current Glenbrook Station.
More railway stations you will enjoy. Stations on the Housatonic Line. Maps of railway stations. Railway stations along the old Central New England Railway.
An invitation for you to view my transportation blog
Joseph M. Calisi
International Transportation Photojournalist and Syndicator Of Stories and Images Since 1993
Enjoy and follow my blog!!!
QUICK LINKS TO MASS TRANSIT
State-wide and national (Amtrak)
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
MTA New York City Subway System
MTA Long Island Railroad
MTA Metro-North: Schedules, Fares, Maps, Useful Links
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
Connecticut Shore Line East
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Shown at left is the Metro North bridge at West River between West Haven and New Haven.
This bridge, and many others, are utilized by Amtrak's NorthEast Corridor as well as the freight railroads of New York City and the freight railroads of Connecticut.
See all about the Saugatuck River Bridge in nearby Westport.
Find out about all the other bridges on the Connecticut Shore Line.
The first major project undertaken by the new agency was the extension of the third rail electrification on the Harlem line from North White Plains to a new station at Brewster North (since renamed Southeast). This was completed in 1984. In the early 1990s all wayside signals that did not protect switches and interlockings north of Grand Central Terminal were removed and replaced by modern cab signaling. The northward expansion of the Harlem Line took place most recently when it was expanded from Dover Plains to Wassaic in 2001, requiring a costly rebuilding of tracks that were abandoned years before. In 2009 a new station opened, Yankees-E. 153rd Street, which is accessible from all three Metro-North Railroad, East of Hudson lines with direct game day trains.
Upgrade the catenary system, replace outdated bridges, and straighten certain sections of the New Haven Line to accommodate the Acela's 240 km/h (150 mph) maximum operating speeds. PLANS AND PROPOSALS
Redevelop the former Wingdale Psychiatric Center into a mixed-use commercial and residential neighborhood known as Dover Knolls, centered around the Harlem Valley – Wingdale Station.
Re-electrify the Danbury Branch with a concurrent expansion to New Milford.
Study to increase freight service on the New Haven Line in an effort to reduce the number of trucks on the congested Connecticut Turnpike.
Extend the Waterbury Branch northeast from its current terminus in Waterbury are currently under discussion. The extension would bring passenger rail service to central Connecticut, including the two largest cities in Connecticut without passenger rail service, Bristol and New Britain, and on to Hartford
The MTA is working with the Tappan Zee Bridge Environmental Review on several options where a future replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge would include a rail line to connect the Port Jervis Line in Rockland County to the Hudson Line in Westchester County. Plans call for a rail line to connect with the Hudson Line at Tarrytown, providing a one-seat ride from Rockland County to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. All three also include mass-transit service across Westchester County, connecting to the Harlem Line in White Plains, and the New Haven Line at Port Chester.
Metro-North is also considering extending Port Jervis Line service to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, a move that could make a Tappan Zee Bridge rail line even more useful, as it would serve both commuters and travelers who choose to fly to and from Stewart, instead of the three major New York City-area airports.
Shifting some trains to Penn Station as Long Island Railroad shifts some to Grand Central.
NEW STATIONS Third Metro-North station for the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut. New station in West Haven
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The New York Central's Mohawk Division
Harlem Division New York Central Railroad
The West Shore of the New York Central
The New York Central along the Hudson River
The New York Central Adirondack Division to Lake Placid
What's left of the New York Central's Putnam Division?
The Peoria & Eastern Railway
Troy & Schenectady Railroad
New York Central Catskill Mountain Branch
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Trains running into Grand Central Terminal are electric powered (or diesel that can switch to electric power).
On the Hudson Line, local trains between Grand Central and Croton-Harmon are powered by electrified third rail. Through trains to Poughkeepsie are diesel powered and do not require a change of trains at Croton-Harmon. The Harlem Line has third rail from Grand Central Terminal to Southeast and are powered by diesel north of that station to Wassaic. At most times, passengers traveling between Southeast and Wassaic must change trains at Southeast to a diesel-powered train.
The New Haven Line is unique in that trains are powered through both 700 V DC from a third rail or 13.8 kV AC from an overhead catenary wire. Trains from Grand Central use third rail to Pelham then catenary east to New Haven Union Station.
The New Canaan Branch also uses catenary. The Danbury Branch was formerly electrified but in 1961 became a diesel-only line. The Waterbury Branch, the only east-of-Hudson Metro-North service which has no direct service of any sort into Grand Central, is diesel-only.
Most of the rolling stock and diesels on west-of-Hudson Metro-North lines are Metro-North owned, although occasionally other NJT cars or diesels are used, as the two railroads pool equipment.
|Metro-North Winter 2010 - 2011|
The Winter of 2010 - 2011 has been unusual. Big snow storms sweep across the whole country. New York City and Western Connecticut have been hard hit.
Right in the thick of it has been Metro-North's New Haven Division. The vast majority of the daily schedule is run with electric MU cars. Of these, the largest group are the M-2
cars which are almost 40 years old. Replacement M-8 cars are being built but in early March of 2011, only a few M-8 cars were running yet. At some points, over 160 cars (mostly M-2's) have been out of service.
Repair shops worked overtime and trains were cancelled.
The picture at the bottom left shows a train unable to stop and running through the bumper at New Canaan. Stub-end station has a slight downgrade. Picture at bottom right refers to train doors that will not open or close. Didn't they just used to put tape across the doorway and keep the car in service? Why New Haven trains are late in the snow The New Haven Right-of-way is OLD and that shows in bad weather.
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? From a MNCR publication:
Take a look at this poem written by retired Stamford Yard
Foreman Bill Cameron after the blizzard of 1996--talk about deja vu!
Winter of 2011
It snowed more than I can remember
The blizzard of late December.
We thought we had moxey, we thought we had brains
So we tried for a schedule and sent out our trains.
Our plan was courageous our intentions were pure
But sometimes intentions get hit with manure.
Like soldiers we stood on the main in the snow
Trying to fix what simply won’t go.
Ice on the pantos and components that burn
We’re losing the battle and the tide, it won’t turn.
The wounded come in and the casualties mount
Two crippled cars for everyone going out.
We won’t surrender, though our best plans unwind
We’ll run what we could on the red metro line.
The battles now over and everyone lost
We’re patching our wagons and counting the cost.
We took a good beating, there’s no doubt of that
We’ll regroup, we’ll rearm, and we’re coming back!
(Thanks to Assistant Director-Yard Opers. New Haven Line John Kulka for sending us this poem.)
Its really not funny but the way the article is written I can't help but laugh:
Metro-North service derailed on first day back on new schedule. Published 10:15 a.m., Monday, March 7, 2011
Talk about bad timing.
On the day Metro-North was to resume full service after nearly a month on a reduced schedule, flooding, mudslides and other rain-related problems caused widespead delays, cancelations and service changes.
Service on the Danbury Branch is suspended indefinitely because of a reported mudslide near the station in Bethel. Metro-North is providing express bus service from Danbury to South Norwalk and Bethel to South Norwalk, along with a train shuttle between South Norwalk and Wilton. All other stations on the Danbury Branch were shut down all together.
Trains on the New Haven line were also cancelled or delayed throughout the morning.
Metro-North had been operating on a reduced schedule since Feb. 7 because its New Haven Line fleet had been depleted by weather-related engine problems.
The agency got a boost last week when the M-8 cars debuted Tuesday from Stamford station, and had enjoyed a relatively hassle-free last three weeks after a chaotic January marred by near non-stop delays and cancelations.
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Is Metro-North Bigger than the Long Island Railroad?
In 2010, Metro-North officially edged out the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) in ridership for the first time in nearly three decades; making it now largest commuter railroad in the country,
It’s a huge turning point for both agencies, which often have fierce behind-the-scenes competition for money, resources, and respect.
In September, 2010, Metro-North carried 6,852,667 million people on its rails, a three-percent increase from that month in 2009.
LIRR, on the other hand, carried 6,834,000 riders, a three percent decrease from last September.
Still, the LIRR’s ridership year-to-date is ahead by about 700,000 riders.
The amount of money each railroad received has been a sore issue among officials. In the MTA’s 2005 to 2009 capital plan, the LIRR received $2.3 billion, compared to Metro-north’s $1.4 million — a $900 million difference. MTA officials seem to think that Metro-North’s victory is short-lived, blaming the numbers on the recession and a series of LIRR mishaps (a tornado, a major fire at Jamaica, a hurricane and a major upgrade of signal control system).
Railroads On The Rebound
Over the last 50+ years, railroads have changed a lot. Now they are about to change again.
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Since 1950 , railroads have consolidated. Freight moved from a "box car mentality" to a "unit train,mentality". Passenger went from a robust business to a "caretaker" arrangement called AMTRAK. This happened as everybody could drive for free on the Interstate Highway System or fly on an airline system where the government subsidized both airlines and airports. In the meantime, railroad express and railroad post offices went "down the tubes". The old Post Office Department and the Railway Express Agency could not adjust to the new way. UPS and Fex Ex could.
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