Hudson Line (Metro-North)
A northbound Hudson Line train going through the Hudson Highlands
|Type||Commuter rail line|
|Locale||New York City, Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties|
|Termini||Grand Central Terminal
|Track length||74 mi (118 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Electrification||700V (DC) third rail south of Croton–Harmon|
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|Tarrytown||25.2||5||Tarrytown||Tappan Zee Express, Bee-Line: 1T, 13|
|Sleepy Hollow||26.5||Philipse Manor|
|Ossining||30.8||Ossining||Bee-Line: 11, 13, 14, 19
|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|
|Cold Spring||52.5||Cold Spring||Cold Spring Trolley (seasonal)|
|Putnam County / Dutchess County border|
|Beacon||59.0||8||Beacon||Dutchess LOOP: Beacon Commuter Connection
Leprechaun Lines: Newburgh-Beacon Shuttle
|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|
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
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, the first station, 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, is an express stop and 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 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.
Putnam and Dutchess counties
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.
Electric service from and to Croton–Harmon uses the standard M3 and M7 multiple units also seen on the Metro-North Harlem Line and the Long Island Rail Road. 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. Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have established 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 appear to have been operating normally and area tracks in proper condition.
- "MTA Metro-North Railroad Ridership Increased in 2012".
- Metro-North weighs northward expansion (United Transportation Union; Jan. 4, 2007)
- "4 Dead in Metro-North Train Derailment in the Bronx". Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Metro-North Train Sped at 82 M.P.H. Into 30 M.P.H. Zone Before Crash". Retrieved 3 December 2013.
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