Hudson Line (Metro-North)

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     Hudson Line
Metro-North logo.svg
Metro-North Hudson Line.jpg
A northbound Hudson Line train going through the Hudson Highlands
Type Commuter rail line
System Metro-North
Status Operating
Locale New York City, Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties
Termini Grand Central Terminal
Stations 29
Daily ridership 38,500(2012)[1]
Owner Argent Ventures
Operator(s) Metro-North
Character Commuter rail
Track length 74 mi (118 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 700V (DC) third rail south of Croton–Harmon
Route map
CSX Hudson Subdivision
Poughkeepsie Yard
Zone 9
Zone 8
FDR Mid-Hudson Bridge
New Hamburg
Wappingers Creek
Newburgh–Beacon Bridge
Beacon Line
Fishkill Creek
Zone 8
Zone 7
Breakneck Ridgeflag stop
Breakneck Tunnel
Cold Spring
Garrison Tunnel (southbound only)
Manitouflag stop
Bear Mountain Bridge
Anthony's Nose Tunnel
Middle Tunnel
Little Tunnel
Roa Hookclosed
Annsville Creek
Zone 7
Zone 6
Oscawana Tunnel
Zone 6
Zone 5
Croton Northclosed
end of electrification
Croton River
Philipse Manor
Zone 5
Zone 4
Tappan Zee Bridge
Dobbs Ferry
Zone 4
Zone 3
Mt. St. Vincentclosed
Zone 3
Zone 2
Line to Penn Station
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge
West 125th Streetproposed
West 62nd Streetproposed
Penn Station
Spuyten Duyvil
Marble Hill
Broadway Bridge
at "BN" the former Putnam Line diverges,
now known as "BN Yard"
University Heights Bridge
University Heights
Morris Heights
Washington Bridge
Alexander Hamilton Bridge
High Bridge
Highbridge Yard (employees only)
Major Deegan Expressway
Yankees – East 153rd Street
Diverging from Harlem / New Haven lines
138th St (closed)
Major Deegan Expressway
Park Avenue Bridge
Zone 2
Zone 1
Harlem–125th Street
110th St (closed)
Park Avenue Tunnel
86th St (closed)
72nd St (closed)
59th St (closed)
Grand Central Terminal

Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line is a commuter rail line running north from New York City along the east shore of the Hudson River. Metro-North service ends at Poughkeepsie, with Amtrak's Empire Corridor trains continuing north to and beyond Albany. The line was originally the Hudson River Railroad (and the Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad south of Spuyten Duyvil), and later part of the famous Water Level Route of the New York Central Railroad.

The Croton–Harmon station divides the two segments of the line. South of there, it is electrified, with third rail, where it serves suburban stations located more closely together. Most of the electrified zone has four tracks, usually express and local tracks in each direction. For a few miles in the Bronx there are only two or three tracks.

North of Croton–Harmon the line is mostly double-tracked, with a few three-track areas. The diesel trains that run to the more separated stops between Croton–Harmon and Poughkeepsie are generally expresses that skip most of the lower stations. From just north of Spuyten Duyvil to the end of the line, the Hudson Line is shared with Amtrak's various routes up the river.

Since the tracks continue north of Poughkeepsie, there have been various proposals over the years from both the MTA (Metro-North's parent agency) and Amtrak, to extend service northwards. Most have been scratched after strong opposition from residents of northern Dutchess County, who fear the effect on their still largely rural communities that being within an easy rail commute of midtown Manhattan would have. However, Poughkeepsie-area commuters have supported such plans since they would ease pressure on that station. As recently as January 2007, supervisors of some towns north of Poughkeepsie have expressed new interest in extending rail service.[2]


The Hudson line was built by the Hudson River Railroad in 1851 as an extension to the Troy and Greenbush Railroad connecting Troy and Albany in the capital region. Cornelius Vanderbilt purchased the Hudson River Railroad in 1864 and merged it in 1869 with other short line railroads that Vanderbilt also owned including the New York and Harlem Railroad (Harlem Line). These two merged railroads were named the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. It was renamed the New York Central Railroad in 1914.

The New York Central operated many intercity and commuter trains over this line for many years. It was a key route in connecting Grand Central Terminal in New York to LaSalle Street Station in Chicago. Commuter service along the line was offered as far north as Albany Union Station, with 121 trains serving Albany per day during the NYC's peak years.

At the end of the second world war, private rail service began a sharp decline with the start of the Jet Age and the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The New York Central began losing money on almost all commuter and intercity routes. They merged with their former rival the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968 to form the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company, which was later renamed the Penn Central Transportation Company. The railroad continued to lose money however. Penn Central attempted several maneuvers to delay bankruptcy including auctioning off the air rights of Grand Central Terminal; the Pennsylvania Railroad had done the same thing to their main New York station Penn Station. This however was denied, preserving Grand Central.

In 1971 the National Railroad Passenger Corporation took over all intercity passenger service in the US. Penn Central continued to operate freight and commuter service along the Hudson line until it was folded into Conrail in 1976. Conrail operated commuter service to Albany until it abandoned service north of Poughkeepsie in 1981 (though Amtrak's Empire Service continued to Albany and beyond). In 1983, the MTA Metro-North Railroad took control of all commuter operations in the Hudson Valley.

Since the discontinuation of commuter service to Albany, there have been proposals to restore service further north. Service as far as Hudson station has been proposed. Service to Hyde Park and Rhinecliff has also been proposed. Rhinecliff is already served by Amtrak. There are mixed feelings about extending service, with some supporting it for an easier commute and others disliking it for fear of their mainly small towns becoming an easy commute from Manhattan.

In 2009 a new station was opened at East 153rd Street in the Bronx, near Yankee Stadium. It sees regular service on the Hudson Line, plus special service from the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines for New York Yankees games.

Line description[edit]

Despite its name, the Hudson Line does not reach the river until it has gone 11 miles (18 km) and six stations from Grand Central. Once along the river the view is nearly constant, with it visible much of the way to Poughkeepsie.

Manhattan and the Bronx[edit]

Once past 125th Street and over the Harlem River, the Hudson Line departs from the track shared with the Harlem and New Haven Lines, passing first Yankees – East 153rd Street, which offers access to the lower Bronx and Yankee Stadium. After it is the employee-only Highbridge stop as it follows the river northward and, at first, the Major Deegan Expressway.

Marble Hill, technically in Manhattan despite being on the mainland, offers a transfer to the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway at the Marble Hill – 225th Street station. A short curve away brings the trains to Spuyten Duyvil and its stairs to the street. Just past the station, the track rejoins the original Hudson River Railroad, shared with Amtrak, and after one more stop at Riverdale is out of New York City.

The West Side Line (right, un-electrified) joins the Hudson Line just north of Spuyten Duyvil.

Westchester County[edit]

Tarrytown station on the Hudson Line

The Palisades present themselves across the river as trains pass through the city of Yonkers and its four stops, mostly local. Some express trains do stop at the recently renovated Yonkers station, the first where a transfer to Amtrak is possible.

Smaller, local-only suburban stations are passed as the Tappan Zee Bridge appears to the north and the river widens. Finally, between Irvington and Tarrytown, it passes overhead. Rockland County fades to almost three miles (4.8 km) away across Haverstraw Bay. But after passing through Sing Sing prison, the train reaches Ossining, where a ferry brings travelers across the wide river.

Electric trains end their runs one stop beyond, at Croton–Harmon, a terminal shared again with Amtrak just south of Harmon Yard and east of Croton Point. The tracks veer inland, closely following US 9, to the next and newest stop, Cortlandt, the only non-New York City station on the line where the Hudson River cannot be seen.

It reappears at Peekskill, the last stop in the county, where the Bear Mountain Bridge can be seen to the north.

Putnam and Dutchess counties[edit]

North of Peekskill the river narrows as the Hudson Highlands begin. Dunderberg and Bear mountains can be seen across the river. The train passes through two short tunnels, one under the Bear Mountain Bridge abutment. Putnam County's first station, Manitou, serves a small hamlet. Just north of Garrison, there is another tunnel and then a view of the stone buildings of West Point; the riverside village of Cold Spring is the next stop, last in the county.

The Dutchess County line is crossed in a pair of 842-foot (257 m) tunnels under Breakneck Ridge at Breakneck Point; across the river Storm King Mountain is seen. The Breakneck Ridge flag stop marks the end of the Highlands as the river once again broadens around Newburgh Bay. At Beacon, ferry service is available during peak hours to Newburgh, whose skyline is visible across the river, and shortly after leaving the train passes under the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

Just upriver is New Hamburg, a hamlet of the Town of Poughkeepsie and a station closed in the NYCRR days but eventually reopened. The last 8.5 miles to Poughkeepsie's recently renovated station, including the vast Tilcon quarry, is the longest distance between any two stations on a Metro-North main line.

Rolling stock[edit]

Electric service from and to Croton–Harmon uses the standard M3A and M7A multiple units also seen on the Metro-North Harlem Line and the Long Island Rail Road, as M3 and M7. Diesel trains are headed by Genesis P32AC-DMs. Turning the locomotives around at either end of the line would be cumbersome and time-consuming, so trains use push-pull operation with the locomotive usually on the north end of the train. They usually pull/push six or seven Shoreliner passenger cars with a cab car at the south end of the train.

The Genesis locomotives are mostly in Metro-North's silver-and-blue colors, but sometimes the red, black and white scheme inherited from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad can be seen as equipment on the line is pooled with ConnDOT, whose red-striped passenger coaches are also in wide use on the Hudson Line. The Metro-North-owned Genesis units received a new paint scheme in 2007.


On December 1, 2013, a southbound train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx. Four people were killed and more than 60 passengers were injured in the crash.[3] Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the train was traveling at 82 miles per hour, a speed nearly three times the maximum allowable speed of 30 miles per hour. The train's brakes were apparently operating normally and area tracks in proper condition.[4]

Station stops[edit]

Milepost Zero on the Hudson Line is at the north property line of 42nd St (i.e. 200–300 ft south of the ends of the tracks). The Marble Hill Cutoff shortened the line by 0.73 mile circa 1906, so Yonkers station (for example) is at milepost 15.24 but is about 14.46 miles from end of track at GCT.

Locality Milepost Zone Station Connections
Manhattan 0.0 1 Grand Central Terminal NYC Transit: 4 5 6 <6> 7 <7> S trains; M1, M2, M3, M4, M42, M101, M102, M103 buses
4.2 Harlem – 125th Street NYC Transit: 4 5 6 <6> trains; M1 (northbound), M35, M60 to LaGuardia Airport, M98, M100, M101, Bx15 buses
Manhattan / Bronx border
Harlem & New Haven Lines split
The Bronx 5.9 2 Yankees – East 153rd Street NYC Transit: 4 B D trains; Bx6, Bx13 buses
6.7 Highbridge Metro-North employees only
8.1 2 Morris Heights NYC Transit: Bx18, Bx40, Bx42 buses
8.7 University Heights NYC Transit: Bx12, Bx12 Select Bus Service
Bronx / Manhattan border
Manhattan 9.8 2 Marble Hill NYC Transit: 1 train; Bx7, Bx9, Bx20, BxM1 buses
Manhattan / Bronx border
The Bronx 11.1 2 Spuyten Duyvil Hudson Rail Link
13.0 Riverdale Hudson Rail Link
Bronx / Westchester County border
Yonkers 14.3 3 Ludlow Bee-Line: 32
15.1 Yonkers Bee-Line: 6, 9, 25, 32
Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf
16.2 Glenwood Bee-Line: 1C, 1T, 1W
17.8 Greystone Bee-Line: 1C, 1T, 1W
Hastings-on-Hudson 19.5 4 Hastings-on-Hudson Bee-Line: 6, 1C, 1T, 1W
Dobbs Ferry 20.7 Dobbs Ferry Bee-Line: 1C, 1T, 1W, 6, 66
Irvington 21.7 Ardsley-on-Hudson
22.7 Irvington
Tarrytown 25.2 5 Tarrytown Tappan Zee Express, Bee-Line: 1T, 13
Sleepy Hollow 26.5 Philipse Manor
Scarborough 29.5 Scarborough
Ossining 30.8 Ossining Bee-Line: 11, 13, 14, 19
Haverstraw–Ossining Ferry
Croton-on-Hudson 33.2 Croton–Harmon Bee-Line: 10, 11, 14
Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
North end of Electrified rail
Cortlandt Manor 38.4 6 Cortlandt Bee-Line: 14
Peekskill 41.2 Peekskill Bee-Line: 16, 18, 31
Westchester County / Putnam County border
Manitou 46.0 7 Manitou
Garrison 49.9 Garrison
Cold Spring 52.5 Cold Spring Cold Spring Trolley (seasonal)
Putnam County / Dutchess County border
Fishkill 55.0 7 Breakneck Ridge
Beacon 59.0 8 Beacon Dutchess LOOP: Beacon Commuter Connection
Leprechaun Lines: Newburgh-Beacon Shuttle
Newburgh-Beacon Ferry
New Hamburg 65.0 New Hamburg Dutchess LOOP: New Hamburg Commuter Connection
Poughkeepsie 73.5 9 Poughkeepsie Dutchess LOOP: A, B, C, D, E, Poughkeepsie Commuter Connection
City of Poughkeepsie Transit: Main Street, Shoppers' Special
UCAT Ulster-Poughkeepsie LINK
Short Line Bus: X32N
Trailways of New York: Newburgh-Kingston service
Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Line continues northward as CSX's Hudson Subdivision

Abandoned Stations[edit]

Unless otherwise noted, these stations were abandoned prior to Metro-North's operation of the line.

Locality Miles
to GCT
Station Station
Lat/long Notes/Connections
Manhattan 86th Street [5] Also served the Harlem Division
110th Street [6] Also served the Harlem Division
The Bronx 138th Street [7] Also served the Harlem Division; Built in 1886, and reduced to sheltered platforms in 1964. Closed by either Penn Central or the MTA.
Highbridge [8] Now Metro-North's Highbridge Maintenance Facility.
Fordham Heights [9] Merged into University Heights (Metro-North station)
Kings Bridge [10] Removed during 1905-06 realignment of Hudson Branch along the Harlem River Ship Canal. Not the same station as the one along Putnam Branch.
Mount Saint Vincent [11] Closed by MTA in 1979
Westchester Croton North [12] Revived briefly by Metro-North from 1983 to 1984.
Crugers Replaced in 1996 by Cortlandt (Metro-North station)
Montrose Replaced in 1996 by Cortlandt (Metro-North station)
Roa Hook
Putnam Garrison [13] Currently a theater within the Garrison Landing Historic District. Replaced by Garrison (Metro-North station)
Storm King Named for Storm King Mountain on the opposite side of the Hudson River
Dutchess Chelsea
Dutchess Junction Shared with Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad until 1916
Dutchess Junction with Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad
Camelot [14] Now cut off by a mine in Crown Heights, New York
Stations north of Poughkeepsie other than existing Amtrak stations were abandoned by Conrail in 1981.
Hyde Park
Rhinecliff Still used by Amtrak as Rhinecliff-Kingston station
Columbia Germantown
Hudson Junction with Boston and Albany Railroad Hudson Branch. Still used by Amtrak.
Newton Hook
Schodack Landing
Rensselaer Junction with Boston and Albany Railroad Main Line
Livingston Avenue Bridge over the Hudson River
Albany Albany Also served Boston and Albany Railroad, West Shore Railroad, and Delaware and Hudson Railroad
Northern terminus of NYC Hudson Division until 1981.


External links[edit]