Metro-North Railroad

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This article is about the commuter rail service in Connecticut and New York, USA. For the planned "Metro North" rail line in Dublin, Ireland, see Dublin Metro. For the defunct railroad whose reporting mark was MNRR, see Modoc Northern Railroad.
Metro-North Railroad
Metro-North logo.svg
Sampler of Metro-North services.jpg
Metro-North Railroad provides services in the lower Hudson Valley and coastal Connecticut.
Reporting mark MNCW
Locale New York, southwestern Connecticut
Dates of operation 1983–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters 347 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10017
Website mta.info/mnr

The Metro-North Commuter Railroad (reporting mark MNCW), trading as MTA Metro-North Railroad or simply Metro-North, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public authority of the state of New York. It is the busiest commuter railroad in the United States in terms of monthly ridership, surpassing its sister railroad, the Long Island Rail Road in 2014.[1] Metro–North runs service between New York City and its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut, including in New York State, Port Jervis, Spring Valley, Poughkeepsie, White Plains, and Wassaic; in Connecticut, New Canaan, Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven. Metro-North also provides local rail service within New York City with a reduced fare. There are 122 stations[2] on Metro-North Railroad's five active lines (plus the Meadowlands Rail Line), which operate on more than 775 miles (1,247 km) of track,[3] with the passenger railroad system totaling 385 miles (620 km) of route.[2]

The MTA also operates New York City Transit subways and buses, and the Long Island Rail Road, and has jurisdiction, through Metro-North, over railroad lines on the western and eastern portions of the Hudson River in New York State. Service on the western side of the Hudson is operated by New Jersey Transit under contract with the MTA. Metro-North operates 124 stations.

Lines[edit]

Metro-North system map
Marble Hill station on the Hudson Line
Northeast Corridor and New Haven Line in New Rochelle

East of Hudson[edit]

Three lines provide passenger service on the east side of the Hudson River to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan: the Hudson Line, Harlem Line and New Haven Line. The Beacon Line is owned by Metro-North but is not in service.

The Hudson and Harlem Lines terminate in Poughkeepsie, New York and Wassaic, New York respectively.

The New Haven Line is operated through a partnership between Metro-North and the State of Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) owns the tracks and stations within Connecticut, and finances and performs capital improvements. MTA owns the tracks and stations and handles capital improvements within New York State. MTA performs routine maintenance and provides police services for the entire line, its branches and stations. New cars and locomotives are typically purchased in a joint agreement between MTA and ConnDOT, with the agencies paying for 33.3% and 66.7% of costs respectively. ConnDOT pays more because most of the line is in Connecticut.

The New Haven Line has three branches in Connecticut: the New Canaan Branch, Danbury Branch and Waterbury Branch. At New Haven, the Shore Line East connecting service, run by Connecticut, continues east to New London.

Amtrak operates intercity train service along the New Haven and Hudson Lines. The New Haven Line is part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and high-speed Acela Express trains run from New Rochelle to New Haven Union Station. At New Haven, the New Haven Line connects to the Amtrak New Haven – Springfield Line.

Freight trains run on Metro-North. The Hudson Line connects with the Oak Point Link and is the main route for freight to and from the Bronx and Long Island. Freight railroads CSX, CP Rail, P & W, and Housatonic Railroad have trackage rights on sections of the system. See Rail freight transportation in New York City and Long Island

West of Hudson[edit]

Metro-North provides service west of the Hudson River on trains from Hoboken Terminal, New Jersey, jointly run with New Jersey Transit under contract. There are two branches, the Port Jervis Line and the Pascack Valley Line.[4] The Port Jervis Line is accessed from two New Jersey Transit lines, the Main Line and the Bergen County Line.

The Port Jervis Line terminates in Port Jervis, New York, and the Pascack Valley line in Spring Valley, New York, in Orange and Rockland Counties respectively. Trackage on the Port Jervis Line north of the Suffern Yard is leased from the Norfolk Southern Railway by the MTA, but New Jersey Transit owns all the Pascack Valley Line, including in Rockland County, New York.

Most stops for the Main Line and Pascack Valley Lines are in New Jersey, so New Jersey Transit provides most of the rolling stock and all the staff; Metro-North supplies some equipment. Metro-North equipment has been used on other New Jersey Transit lines on the Hoboken division.

All stations west of the Hudson River in New York except Suffern are owned and operated by Metro-North.

History[edit]

New York Central, New Haven, and Erie Lackawanna operations[edit]

Most of the trackage east of the Hudson River and in New York State was under the control of the New York Central Railroad (NYC). NYC initially operated three commuter lines, two of which ran into Grand Central Terminal. Metro-North's Harlem Line was initially a combination of trackage from the New York and Harlem Railroad and the Boston and Albany Railroad, running from Manhattan to Chatham, New York in Columbia County. At Chatham passengers could transfer to long distance trains on the Boston and Albany to Albany, Boston, Vermont, and Canada.[5] In the 1870s, the New York & Harlem Railroad was bought by Commodore Vanderbilt, who added the railroad to his complex empire of railroads, which were run by the NYC. The Boston and Albany came under the ownership of NYC in 1914.

NYC's four-track Water Level Route paralleled the Hudson River, Erie Canal, and Great Lakes on a route from New York to Chicago via Albany. It was fast and popular due to the lack of any significant grades. The section between Grand Central and Peekskill, New York, the northern most station in Westchester County, became known as the NYC's Hudson Division, with frequent commuter service in and out of Manhattan. Stations to the north of Peekskill, such as Poughkeepsie, were considered to be long distance services. The other major commuter line was the Putnam Division running from 155th Street in upper Manhattan (later from Sedgwick Avenue in The Bronx) to Brewster, New York. Passengers would transfer to the IRT Ninth Avenue Line for midtown and downtown Manhattan.

From the mid-19th century until 1969, the New Haven Line, including the New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury branches, was owned by New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H). These branches were started in the 1830s with horse-drawn cars, later replaced by steam engines, on a route that connected Lower Manhattan to Harlem. Additional lines started in the mid-19th century included the New York and New Haven Railroad and the Hartford and New Haven Railroad, which provided routes to Hartford, Springfield, Massachusetts, and eventually Boston. The two roads merged in 1872 to become the NYNH&H, growing into the largest passenger and commuter carrier in New England. In the early 20th century the NYNH&H came under the control of J.P. Morgan. Morgan's bankroll allowed the NYNH&H to modernize by upgrading steam power with both electric (along the New Haven Line) and diesel power (branches and lines to eastern and northern New England). The NYNH&H saw much profitability throughout the 1910s and 1920s until the Great Depression of the 1930s forced it into bankruptcy.[6]

Commuter services west of the Hudson River, today's Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines, were initially part of the Erie Railroad. The Port Jervis Line, built in the 1850s and 1860s, 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. Trains that service Port Jervis formerly continued to Binghamton and Buffalo, New York (today used only by freight trains), while Pascack Valley service continued to Haverstraw, New York. In 1956, the Erie Railroad began coordinated service with rival Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, and in 1960 they formed the Erie Lackawanna. Trains were re-routed to the Lackawanna's Hoboken Terminal in 1956-58.

Penn Central[edit]

Passenger rail began to falter after World War II. By the 1950s the railroad industry began to experience a significant downturn due to overregulation, market saturation, and competition from the car and the airplane.[citation needed] Commuter lines took a significant hit from this downfall.[citation needed]

Commuter services historically had always been money losers, and were usually subsidized by long-distance passenger and freight services. As these profits disappeared commuter services usually were the first to be affected. Many railroads began to gradually discontinue their commuter lines after the war. By 1958, the NYC had already suspended service on its Putnam Division, while the newly formed Erie Lackawanna, in an effort to make a successful merger, began to prune some of its commuter services. Most New Yorkers still chose the train as their primary means of commuting, making many of the other lines heavily patronized. Thus the NYC, the NYNH&H, and the Erie Lackawanna had to maintain service on these lines. Mergers between railroads were seen as a way to curtail these issues by combining capital and services and creating efficiencies. In 1968, following the Erie Lackawanna's example, the NYC and its rival the Pennsylvania Railroad formed Penn Central Transportation with the hope of revitalizing their fortunes. In 1969 the bankrupt NYNH&H 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 the largest corporate bankruptcy ever declared. That same year, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority signed a contract to provide subsidies for these lines with Penn Central operating them. The state of Connecticut also provided subsidies in an operating agreement with the MTA to continue operations to New Haven, New Cannan, Danbury, and Waterbury.

In 1972, the bankrupt Penn Central petitioned the ICC to allow the discontinuance of its commuter services. Penn Central's long-distance passenger services had been taken over by the newly formed government-owned Amtrak a year earlier, and subsidies for the continuance of the New York area lines would have to come from the states of New York and Connecticut.

Conrail[edit]

Many of the other Northeastern railroads, including the Erie Lackawanna, were following Penn Central into bankruptcy and the federal government decided to fold them into the newly created Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) in 1976. Conrail was initially given the responsibility of operating the commuter services of these fallen railroads, including the Erie Lackawanna's and Penn Central's.

MTA operation and the formation of Metro-North[edit]

Conrail was being floated by the federal government 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 commuter lines, which it was relieved from by the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981. Thus, it became essential 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, the established SEPTA in southeastern Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston. The MTA in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Transportation formed the Metro-North Commuter Railroad in 1983.

Metro-North took over the former Erie Lackawanna services west of the Hudson and north of the New Jersey state line. Since those lines are physically connected to New Jersey Transit operations were contracted to NJ Transit, with Metro-North subsidizing the service and supplying equipment.

Much work was needed in reorganization, as significant business success would not appear for at least two decades, following the faltering railroad industry in the 1970s.[5] Conrail and later Metro-North had decided to trim whatever services they felt were unnecessary. A significant portion of the old NYC Harlem Line between Millerton and Chatham, New York was abandoned by Conrail leaving northeastern Dutchess and Columbia Counties with no rail transportation. Most commuter lines were kept in service although they were in much need of a repair.

The first major project undertaken by Metro-North 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.

Metro-North spent the better part of its early days updating and repairing its infrastructure. Stations, track, and rolling stock all needed to be repaired, renovated, or replaced. The railroad succeeded and by the mid 90s gained both respect and monetary success, according to the MTA's website. 2006 was the best year for the line, with a 97.8% rate of on-time trains, record ridership (76.9 million people), and a passenger satisfaction rating of 92%.[5]

The Harlem and Hudson lines and the Park Avenue mainline to Grand Central are owned by Midtown TDR Ventures LLC, who bought them from the corporate successors to Penn Central,[7] but the MTA has a lease extending to 2274, and an option to buy starting in 2017.[8]

Technical details[edit]

An M7 train at Bronxville on the Harlem Line.

East of Hudson[edit]

Propulsion Systems[edit]

Most services running into Grand Central Terminal are electrically powered.

Diesel trains into Grand Central use General Electric P32AC-DM electro-diesel locomotives capable of switching to a pure electric mode. These locomotives have contact shoes compatible with Metro-North's under-running third rail power distribution system. Shoreliner series coaches are used in push-pull operation.

On the Hudson Line, local trains between Grand Central and Croton–Harmon are powered by third rail. Through trains to Poughkeepsie are diesel powered and do not require a change of locomotive at Croton-Harmon. The Harlem Line has third rail from Grand Central Terminal to Southeast and trains are powered by diesel north to Wassaic. At most times, passengers between Southeast and Wassaic must change at Southeast to a diesel train powered by Brookville BL20-GH locomotives. Electric service on the Hudson and Harlem lines uses M3 and M7 MU cars.

The New Haven Line is unique in that trains use both 750 V DC from a third rail and 12.5 kV AC from overhead catenary. The line from Woodlawn to Pelham 3 miles (4.8 km), is third rail, while from Pelham, New York east to New Haven Union Station 58 miles (93 km) is under catenary. Multi-system M2, M4 and M6 railcars are used and new M8 railcars, of which 405 have been ordered; the first sets entered service in March 2011.

Riverdale Station on the Hudson Line

The New Canaan Branch also uses catenary. The Danbury Branch was electrified but in 1961 became a diesel line. The Waterbury Branch, the only east-of-Hudson Metro-North service which has no direct service to Grand Central, is diesel only.

Power is collected from the bottom of the third rail as opposed to the top, used by other third rail systems, including the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Subway. This system is known as the Wilgus-Sprague third rail, and the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line in Philadelphia and Metro-North are the only two systems in North America that use it. It allows the third rail to be completely insulated from above, thus decreasing the chances of a person being electrocuted by coming in contact with the rail. It also reduces the impact of icing in winter.[9]

Signaling and Safety Appliances[edit]

The Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines and the New Canaan branch and all passenger rolling stock is equipped with cab signalling, which displays the appropriate block signal in the engineer’s cab. All rolling stock is equipped with Automatic Train Control (ATC), which enforces the speed dictated by the cab signal by a penalty brake application should the engineer fail to obey it. There are no intermediate wayside signals between interlockings: operation is solely by cab signal. Wayside signals remain at interlockings.[10] These are a special type of signal, a go or a stop signal. They do not convey information about traffic in the blocks ahead - the cab signal conveys block information.[11]

Metro-North maintenance train going through Beacon on the Hudson Line.
A P32AC-DM arriving at Noroton Heights.

West of Hudson[edit]

Most of the rolling stock on west-of-Hudson lines consists of Metro-North owned and marked Comet V cars, although occasionally other New Jersey Transit (NJT) cars are used as the two railroads pool equipment. The trains are also usually handled by EMD GP40FH-2, GP40PH-2, F40PH-2CAT or Alstom PL42AC diesel locomotives, although any Metro-North or New Jersey Transit diesel can show up. Metro-North owned and marked equipment operated by NJ Transit can also be seen on other NJ Transit lines.

Reporting marks[edit]

Although Metro-North uses many abbreviations (MNCR, MNR, MN, etc.) the only official reporting marks registered and recognized on AEI scanner tags is 'MNCW'. Rolling stock owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation bears the ConnDOT seal and either the New Haven ("NH") logo or the MTA logo and is identified using the reporting mark 'CNDX'.[12]

Rolling stock[edit]

Active rolling stock[edit]

Locomotives[edit]
Builder
and model
Photo Built
year
Year
rebuilt
Fleet
Numbers
Power Notes
EMD
GP35R
MNRR maintenance train at Beacon.jpg 1966 1991-1992;
2013-2015
101-107
(7 units)
2500 hp
  • Work locomotive only.
  • Can operate into Grand Central but has to sit on diesel tracks
    on lowest idle where they have vents.
  • Original Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Railroad, ex-Conrail.
  • Metro North traded B23-7 for these units.
  • Currently being rebuilt by Brookville Equipment.
  • 105 has a K3LA horn
  • Other units have a RS2M horn
  • Soon to be retrofitted from 567C to Detroit Diesel MTU
  • 107 is an Ex. Wisconsin and Southern Railroad unit with heritage from SOO Railroad; To be rebuilt to GP35R after original 6 units have been rebuilt.
EMD
GP40FH-2M
New Jersey Transit train 53 to Port Jervis.jpg 1966-1970 1992-1993; 2007 4900-4905
(6 units)
3000 hp
  • Operated by NJ Transit for West of Hudson service.
EMD
GP40PH-2M
1968 1992;2007 4906
(1 unit)
3000 hp Operated by NJ Transit for West of Hudson service.
EMD
F40PH-3C
MTA Metro-North 4192 pulls NJT train 1027.jpg 1976-1981 2009-2010 4907-4908,
4912-4914
(5 units)
3000 hp Operated by NJ Transit for West of Hudson service.
GE
P32AC-DM
MNR P32 Tremont.JPG 1995-1998 2012-2014 201-231
(31 units)
3200 hp
  • Dual mode for operation into Grand Central Terminal.
  • 201-227 are in new Metro-North paint scheme.
  • 228-231 are in NH 'McGinnis' paint scheme.
  • 231 is last un rebuilt unit on roster
  • Replaced FL9s and F10s from long haul service and ex-LIRR FL9ACs.
  • Rebuilt units have HEP capacity for 7 cars, originally 10 cars.
  • 231 is OOS due to fire
  • 220,225,and 228 is out for rebuild
Brookville
BL06
2000 N/A 404-405
(2 units)
600 hp Used for yard switches in Harmon; equipped with cab signals; Units are welded together.
Brookville
BL20GH
Metro-North Railroad Connecticut DOT Brookville BL20GH 129.jpg 2008–2009 N/A 110-115,
125-130
(12 units)
2250 hp
  • Used on branch line shuttles and as work trains.
  • Can operate into Grand Central but has to sit on diesel tracks
    on lowest idle where they have vents.
  • 110-115 are in Metro-North paint scheme.
  • 125-130 are in NH 'McGinnis' paint scheme.
  • Replaced FL9s, F10s and Amtrak P40 leased units.
Brookville
BL14CG[13]
Metro North 402 front jeh.jpg 2009 N/A 401- 402
(2 units)
2000 hp Used for East side Access project; Replaced GP8 and GP9.
Electric Multiple Units[edit]

M3A, M7A and M9A cars draw power from third rail under-running; M2, M4, and M6 from third rail under-running and 12.5 kV 60 Hz AC catenary; M8 from 650V DC third rail over and under-running, 12.5 kV 60 Hz and 25 kV 60 Hz AC catenary.

Builder and model Photo Built
year
Year Rebuilt Fleet Numbers Notes
Budd,
GE,
Canadian Vickers

M2
Budd M2-New Haven.jpg 1972–
1977
1992-1994, 2006 8400-8471, 8500-8552, 8554-8570 (even numbers only),
8651-8669 (odd numbers only), 8700-8749, 8800-8849
  • Being replaced by M8s.
  • 42 out of 244 cars still in service.
Budd
M3A
M3-Harmon.jpg 1983–
1985
2002; 2014–15 8000-8141
  • Rebuilt in early 1990s.
  • Will undergo "Critical Systems Replacement" after the M8s have arrived.
  • To be replaced by M9s.
  • 142 units in service
Tokyu Car
M4
M4s in New Haven Yard.JPG 1987–
1988
N/A 8900-8935, 8951-8985 (odd numbers only)
  • 3 car sets; to be replaced by M8s
  • 32 out of 54 units in service.
Morrison Knudsen
M6
1994 N/A 9000-9031, 9051-9081 (odd numbers only)
  • 3 car sets; to be replaced by M8s.
  • 23 out of 48 units in service.
  • Last new build DC traction railcars in North America
Bombardier
M7A
MNCR M7A Univ hts.JPG 2004-2006 N/A 4000-4335
  • Replaced M1As in 2008 and ACMUs in 2004.
  • 336 units in service
Kawasaki
M8
MNCRR M-8 at NEC Port Chester.jpg 2009–
2014
N/A 9100-9421
9460-9476 (Unpowered Single Cars; Even #s Only)
9500-9519
9560-9590 (Unpowered Single Cars; Even #s Only)
9600-9623
9530/9631 - 9542/9643 (Potential Future Cafe Married Pairs; 95xx Even #s Only, 96xx Odd #s Only)
  • Replacing M2, M4, M6 rail cars
  • 25 unpowered units on order, with further 25 on option.
  • 383 cars have been delivered out of 405 cars, with 356 in service.
  • Will be able to operate on Shore Line East and into Penn Station.
  • 16 cars were involved in a derailment and collision in Bridgeport
    on May 17, 2013. 9193 and 9247 being the most severely damaged. A side contract was awarded to Kawasaki to replace the 3 of the cars and repair the rest.
  • 9530/9631 - 9542/9643 are currently configured as regular coach cars. CDOT may or may not choose to convert these pairs into a bar car configuration in the future.
Kawasaki
M9[14]
2018-2020 N/A Unknown
(up to 188 cars)
  • Option order for up to 188 Metro-North cars scheduled to be exercised December 2016.
  • Delivery scheduled from December 2018 to February 2020.
  • New car order to replace the M3s.
  • Will be interoperable with M7s during non-revenue operations only.
  • To be operated on Harlem and Hudson lines.
Push Pull Coaches[edit]

These cars are non-powered.

Builder and model Photo Built
year
Year Rebuilt Fleet Numbers Notes
Pullman Standard 1950s-
1960s
1970s, 1990s MN-1 – MN-3
  • Rebuilt in the 1980s.
  • Official Metro-North business train.
  • Two of the observation cars from the Lackawanna's Phoebe Snow
    have survived (as MN-1 and 2), as has a former NYC club cars (MN-3). MN-1 and MN-2 were built by The Budd Company (not Pullman Standard).
  • It is pulled by a single GP35R or BL20GH, or even 2 P32AC-DMs running back to back.
  • 3 units active.
Bombardier
Comet II
1982 1999-2002, 2009 6125-6131 (odd numbers only), 6134-
6140 (even numbers only), 6142-6149,
6176-6180 (even numbers only)
  • One door on each end, odd number trailers have toilets.
  • ex-West of Hudson service transferred 2009.
  • 6125, 6127, 6129, 6131 are cab cars.
  • 29 units active.
Bombardier
Shoreliner I
1982-
1983
1995–1996; 2008–2009 6101-6109 (odd numbers only), 6150-
6160, 6162-6166 (even numbers only),
6201-6209 (odd numbers only), 6223-
6229 (odd numbers only), 6250-6260,
6262-6268 (even numbers only)
  • One door on each end, odd number trailers have toilets.
  • 6101, 6103, 6105, 6107, 6109, 6201, 6203, 6205, 6207, 6209, 6223, 6225, 6227 and 6229 are Cab Control units.
  • 6223, 6225, 6227, 6229 are ex.Shoreline East units
  • 43 units active.
Bombardier
Shoreliner II
MNRR 1128 (8694129738).jpg 1987-
1988
2008-2009 6111-6117 (odd numbers only), 6161-
6167 (odd numbers only), 6168-6174,
6121-6179, 6186-6190 (even
numbers only), 6211-6219 (odd numbers
only), 6270-6278 (even numbers only)
  • Nearly identical to the Shoreliner I.
  • 6111, 6113, 6115, 6117, 6211, 6213, 6215, 6217, 6219 are Cab Control units.
  • 29 units active
  • 3 cars were damaged in the derailment on December 1, 2013
Bombardier
Shoreliner III
MNCRR Shoreliner IV GSTONE.JPG 1996-
2002
TBD 6280-6286, 6288, 6301-6310, 6330-
6372, 6374-6398 (even numbers only),
6430-6474 (even numbers only)
  • Have center doors in addition to end doors.
  • Odd number trailers have toilets.
  • 6301-6310 are cab cars.
  • 106 units active.
  • 3 cars were damaged in the derailment on December 1, 2013
Bombardier
Shoreliner IV
Metro-North Shoreliner IV 6222.jpg 1996–
2002
N/A 6221-6222, 6311-6320
  • Engineer's side door removed in cab cars.
  • Odd number trailers have toilets.
  • 6221-6222 are owned by CDOT.
  • 11 units active.
  • 6222 was damaged in derailment on December 1, 2013
Alstom
Comet V
MTA Metro North 6710 on New Jersey Transit train 1728.jpg 2004 N/A 6700-6714, 6750-6799
  • Operated by NJ Transit for West of Hudson service.
  • 6700-6714 are cab cars
  • 64 units active.

Retired rolling stock[edit]

Roster rolling stock manufactured from 1946 to the present.

Builder and model Photo Built Retired Heritage Successor Power Notes
Locomotives
EMD FP10 EMD F10.jpg 1946-1949 (rebuilt in late 1970s) 2008 GM&O; MBTA Genesis P32AC-DM, BL20GH 1750 hp Original Chicago and Northwestern F3s, later MBTA; rebuilt F3s. 412 in service at adirondack scenic railroad as 1502; 410 Is owned by Transit Museum and is stored at Croton-Harmon
EMDGP8 1956 2009 New York Central Brookville BL14CG 1500 hp Work Locomotive; Stored at Croton-Harmon
EMD GP9 1957 2010 New York Central Brookville BL14CG 1750 hp Work Locomotive only; used during winters to melt ice off the third rail. Reactivated for switcher service in 2012 after retirement 2010. At Croton-Harmon.
ALCO RS-3M 1956 1990s New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad EMD GP35R 1200 hp Preserved at Danbury Railway Museum
EMD FL9 Metro North locomotives in New Haven livery.jpg 1956-1959 1998-2002, 2009 New York, New Haven and Hartford;Penn Central; Conrail Genesis P32AC-DM, BL20GH, Amtrak P40DC 1800 hp Dual-mode locomotive with third rail shoe for running in Park Ave Tunnel - in later years was relegated to 100% diesel work on branch lines. Several have been donated to railroad museums. 6 are in New Haven
General Electric B23-7 1976 1993 Conrail GP35R 2250 hp Work Locomotive; ex-Conrail. Traded Back to Conrail for the GP35Rs. All units are owned by Finger Lake Railway
GE U34CH 1978 1994 Erie Lackawanna GP40PH-2 3600 hp Used for the Port Jervis Line. Rebuilt Chicago Northwestern U30C; Scrapped
Republic Locomotive FL9AC 1992 2005 New York New Haven and Hartford; LIRR Genesis P32AC-DM 3000 hp These units have been cut up for scrap. Ex. LIRR; rebuilt FL9s
GE P40DC ASLE841.JPG 1993 2009 Amtrak BL20GH 4000 hp Amtrak lease units to replace FL9s that were starting to become maintenance nightmares. Stayed in Amtrak paint with Amtrak logo and used on Danbury, Waterbury and Wassaic branches. Amtrak 833, 834, 836, 838, 840, 841, 842, and 843. When Metro North returned these units, they were sold to CDOT for Shoreline East. Can sometimes be seen on weekday midday runs on the Waterbury branch when a Shoreline East set is used while the Metro-North set is being refueled.
Self-Propelled Cars
Budd RDC-1 1950- 1956 1991 New York Central; New York New Haven and Hartford P32AC-DM; Shoreliner coaches 550 hp Used on Port Jervis Line and Waterbury Branch. New Haven 32 and 47 are at Danbury Railway Museum; 47 was stripped for parts for 32. 32 is operational. Metro North demotored certain units for push pull coaches
Pullman Standard 4400s "Washboards" 1956 1983 New York, New Haven and Hartford GE M2s 650V DC Third Rail under running
11 kV 25 Hz AC catenary
Ex-New Haven Railroad; ran on New Haven Line; 2 units are at Danbury Railway Museum; 2 units are part of Metro North's catenary inspection train. Replaced by M2s
Pullman Standard ACMU 1100 MNRR ACMU-1100-NWP.jpg 1962-1965 2004 New York Central Bombardier M7s 650V DC third rail under-running Ex-New York Central; electrical multiple units; replaced by M-7s. 1128 and 1171 are at Danbury railway Museum.
Budd SPV-2000 1978-1981 1996 Amtrak/CDOT, MTA P32AC-DM/ Shoreliner coaches 550 hp Owned by MTA and CDOT (CDOT units had Amtrak logos in addition to State of CT seal.) Used on branch lines of Metro North and Amtrak's Springfield line. CDOT de-powered their units for Shoreline East. Those have since been retired in favor of Ex-VRE Mafersa push-pull coaches. Some units sit in NH yard on dead line, and some leased to Amtrak for training. MNCR 293 is preserved at Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum in Willimantic, CT. Several CDOT-owned de-powered units were sent to New Orleans for hurricane-standby duty.
Budd M1A Mnrr M1A.jpg 1971-1973 2011 Penn Central Bombardier M7s 650V DC third rail under-running Replaced by M7As
Coaches
Various stainless-steel coaches and club cars Various years 1985 New York New Haven and Hartford, New York Central Shoreliner I and II Cars Non-Powered Disposed of or sold through the 1980s as new equipment came on line.
Pullman Standard 4800 series coaches 1950s 1985 SEMTA Shoreliner I and II Cars Non-Powered Detroit's commuter carrier.
Morrison-Knudsen Boise Budds 1982 1998 MBTA,VRE Shoreliner III cars Non-Powered Rebuilt Budd RDCs that had their Engines Removed and used as Push-Pull cars; Original MBTA then sold to VRE in 1986 then VRE sold them to Metro North. 2 units sit on a deadline in Croton-Harmon; Rest sold to Caltrans
General Electric/Avco/Canadian Vickers Comet IA 1978 2005 Metro North Alstom Comet V Non-Powered Two cabs and eight trailers were built from surplus shells from the Arrow III EMU for NJDOT. They saw use primarily on the Port Jervis Line. Replaced by Comet V cars.
Bombardier Comet III 1991 1998/2008 New Jersey Transit Alstom Comet V Non-Powered Sold to NJT in 1998, sold back to Metro North in 2008 then retired.
Bar Cars[edit]

Metro-North Railroad was the last commuter railroad in the United States to operate bar cars, electric MUs equipped with bars that served alcohol. The bar cars were delivered in the 1970s, and Metro-North has not ordered new ones. The last train which included a bar car left Grand Central for New Haven at 7:34PM on Friday, May 9, 2014. While there is talk of retrofitting M8 cars with bars, no decision has been reached and no money allocated.[15]

Fare policies[edit]

Metro-North offers many different ticket types and prices depending on the frequency of travel and distance of the ride. While the fare policies of the east of Hudson and west of Hudson divisions are essentially the same, west of Hudson trains are operated by New Jersey Transit using its ticketing system.

East of Hudson[edit]

Tickets may be bought from a ticket office at stations, ticket vending machines (TVMs), online through the "WebTicket" program, or on the train. Monthly tickets may be bought through the MTA's "Mail&Ride" program where monthly passes are delivered by mail. There is a discount for buying tickets online and through Mail&Ride. A surcharge is added if a ticket is purchased on a train.

Ticket types available include One-Way, Round-trip (two one-way tickets), 10-trip, Weekly (unlimited travel for one calendar week), Monthly (unlimited travel for one calendar month), and special student and disabled fare tickets. MetroCards are available on the reverse side of the weekly, monthly, and round-trip tickets.

All tickets to/from Manhattan (Grand Central Terminal and Harlem-125th Street) are distinguished as being peak or off-peak. Peak fares, substantially higher than off-peak, apply to trains that arrive in Grand Central between 5 AM and 10 AM and leave between 5:30 AM and 9 AM and 4 PM and 8 PM. Trains arriving at Grand Central during the PM peak are not subject to peak fares. Off-peak fares are charged all other times including weekends and holidays. Tickets for travel outside Manhattan are called "intermediate" tickets and the peak/off-peak rules do not apply.

The fares are distinguished by the 14 zones that the lines are divided into within New York State. In Connecticut, the fare structure is more complex due to the many branches on the New Haven line. Generally, these zones correspond to express stops on the lines and from "blocks" of service within the schedules.

On weekends, the railroad offers a special reduced-fare CityTicket, introduced in 2004,[16] for passengers who travel within New York City. It can be used for trips on Hudson Line and Harlem Line trains in the Bronx and Manhattan. It is not valid on New Haven Line trains between Manhattan and Fordham, as trips between those stations are not permitted on that line.

West of Hudson[edit]

The fare structure resembles the New Jersey Transit fare structure.

Plans[edit]

Metro-North is continually upgrading trackage, equipment, and station facilities.[17]

Metro-North is in the process of upgrading its Operations Control Center in Grand Central Terminal. In 2008, construction began on a new Operations Control Center to replace all control hardware. Software upgrades are providing for state of the art rail traffic technology. Construction is underway on the OCC at GCT and construction on a backup OCC is also underway.

East of Hudson[edit]

Hudson Line[edit]

No plans are in the works on the Hudson Line. On May 23, 2009 Yankees-E. 153rd Street opened, accessible from all East of Hudson lines with direct game-day trains. Trains from the New Haven and Harlem lines gain access via the wye at Mott Haven Junction, the first time that revenue service has operated across this section of the wye.

Northward expansion of the Hudson Line has often met opposition from residents of communities including Hyde Park and Rhinecliff, even though the latter is home to Amtrak's Rhinecliff-Kingston station, frequented by commuters from northern Dutchess and northern Ulster Counties.[18] As recently as January 2007, supervisors of some towns north of Poughkeepsie have expressed new interest in extending rail service.[19]

Harlem Line[edit]

There are plans to 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.

Northward expansion took place most recently when it was extended from Dover Plains to Wassaic in 2001, requiring a costly rebuilding of tracks that had been abandoned years before. Going further north would require substantial investment to rebuild tracks, grade crossings, stations and other facilities that were removed long ago, and obtaining eminent domain for the train property used by the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. Expansion of either line would be limited to Dutchess County: extending Metro-North into Columbia County would require changes to the MTA charter, and residents of that county would become subject to the MTA tax, so extending the Harlem Line back to Chatham would be unlikely.

New Haven Line[edit]

Discussions are underway to re-electrify the Danbury Branch[20] with a concurrent expansion to New Milford. Connecticut officials and Metro-North also began construction of a new station in West Haven in November 2010. It was opened August 18, 2013.[21] ConnDOT is also moving forward on a study to increase freight service on the New Haven Line in an effort to reduce the number of trucks on the congested Connecticut Turnpike. A number of projects are either planned or underway that will 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.[22] Much of the catenary system has not been upgraded since the New Haven Railroad installed the catenary wires in 1907. The Danbury Branch is going to receive $30 million for upgrades of stations along the line and also implementation of a new signal system.

Plans to extend the Waterbury Branch northeast from Waterbury are 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, where transfers to Amtrak would be possible.

West of Hudson[edit]

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. "Alternatives 4A, 4B and 4C" all include plans for such 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. The only difference between the three is whether the cross-Westchester trip will be accomplished by heavy rail, light rail or rapid bus service.[23]

Metro-North is considering extending Port Jervis Line service to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh,[24] 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.

Access to Penn Station[edit]

In September 2009 Metro North announced plans for a $1.7 million Environmental Impact Statement on accessing Penn Station. Metro North has been considering the possibility for several decades but never pursued it because no space was available at Penn Station.[25]

The project depends upon the success of the East Side Access which would reroute some Long Island Rail Road trains from Penn Station to Grand Central.[25] That project is scheduled for completion in 2019 at the earliest.[26]

In January 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly and strongly supported the project.[27] Cuomo plans to apply for federal disaster recovery funds to pay for the project, which would cost approximately $1 billion. The MTA has some money included in its upcoming five year capital plan.

Bronx Metro-North service includes 253 weekday trains with approximately 13,200 total weekday boardings. In addition, Metro-North also connects 5,000 Bronx residents to suburban jobs, making it the largest rail reverse-commute market in the United States.[28]

New Haven Line trains would enter the Hell Gate Line through New Rochelle. At the Sunnyside Yards they would enter Manhattan via the East River Tunnels. Stations would be built at Co-Op City, Morris Park, Parkchester/Van Nest[29] and Hunts Point.[28] Open houses were held at each of the four proposed stations in the Fall of 2012.[25][28] Stations would be ADA accessible, have parking for bicycles and would all be multi-modal transfer areas via train or bus.[28]

Hudson Line trains would access Penn Station via a change at Spuyten Duyvil and would travel under Riverside Park via Amtrak's Empire Connection. Plans call for new stations on West 125th Street[30] and West 62nd Street in Manhattan (the site of the historic New York Central West 60th Yards which is now part of the Trump Place development) .[31]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsed the New Haven Line portion of the Penn Station Access project in his 2014 State of the State speech, stating that some Sandy recovery money could pay for the project's cost of over $1 billion. He did not mention the Hudson Line portion of the project.[32]

Community relations[edit]

Metro-Man, the railroad's mascot, meets young visitors at Open House.

Metro-North sponsors a mascot named Metro-Man, a small remote-operated robot that "speaks" about rail safety during appearances at schools and other events.[33]

Each October, one Saturday is set aside for the railroad to hold an open house at the Croton-Harmon heavy repair facility located next to the station. An extensive tour of the facility is given showing all facets of repair and maintenance along with detailed exhibits that display the different parts of the system such as power and signaling. Also a large display of the many diesel locomotives is set up and a free "Fall Foliage" ride is offered from the shop north to the interlocking south of Garrison station and back. In addition, the MTA Police have a display of their equipment and the K-9 dog corps put on a show so the visitors can see how highly skilled dogs can sniff out contraband and explosives. No open house was held in 2009 or 2010 due to construction at the shop[34] or since.

In popular culture[edit]

The railroad has been featured in several films, including "Hello Dolly!"[35] The Ice Storm, U.S. Marshals, Another Earth[36] and Steven Spielberg's 2005 remake of War of the Worlds.

Recent Tuscan Dairy Farms and Verizon Fios commercials featured Crestwood, on the Harlem Line.[37]

Major accidents[edit]

  • On December 1, 2013, at 7:19 AM EST,[38] seven passenger cars and a diesel locomotive from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Terminal derailed in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx, killing four people and injuring 65, 12 of them critically. At least three cars out of seven were flipped over on their sides.[39] Amtrak Empire Line service was halted until 3:00 PM,[40][41] and Hudson Line service was suspended until December 4.[42]
  • On May 17, 2013, at 6:01 PM EDT during the evening rush hour, two trains collided when an eastbound train derailed in Bridgeport, Connecticut just east of the Fairfield Metro station blocking the adjacent track just as a westbound train passed traveling in the opposite direction. At least sixty passengers were injured, including five with critical injuries. It also caused a major disruption to other rail service in the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak halted all service between New York City and Boston.[43]
  • On April 6, 1988 at 7:59 AM, a northbound Metro-North train collided with another Metro-North train in Mount Vernon, New York, resulting in the death of an engineer. Both Trains were empty at the time of the collision.[44]
  • On February 17, 1987 at about 7:05 PM, a slowly moving 14-car Metro-North Hudson Line train collided with an empty Metro-North training returning to Grand Central on an elevated stretch of tracks at 140th Street and Park Avenue in the Bronx. Twenty passengers were injured in the accident, none of them seriously.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://web.mta.info/mta/network.htm#statsmnr
  2. ^ a b "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011" (pdf). Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). June 21, 2013. p. 147. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  3. ^ "MTA Metro-North Railroad". Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  4. ^ Metro-North map
  5. ^ a b c Railhistory
  6. ^ History of the NHRR. Nhrhta.org (1969-01-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  7. ^ Notice Of Exemption: 12/07/2006 - FD_34953_0
  8. ^ Weiss, Lois (2007-07-06). "Air Rights Make Deals Fly". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  9. ^ Middleton, William D. (2002-09-04). "Railroad Standardization - Notes on Third Rail Electrification". Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Newsletter 27 (4): 10–11. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  10. ^ Metro North Railroad Employees Timetable Effective February 27, 2011.
  11. ^ Metro North Operating Rules Effective February 27, 2011.
  12. ^ [1] AAR Reporting Marks, Feb 3, 2012
  13. ^ Brookville BL14CG photographic evidence here
  14. ^ "New Railcars" on the MTA website
  15. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt, Last stop, last drop: Bar cars chug into commuter history, New York Times, May 10, 2014, p.A1
  16. ^ "CityTicket Begins Tomorrow on LIRR And Metro-North" (Press release). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2004-01-09. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  17. ^ "MTA Service Updates". 
  18. ^ C. J. Chivers (1999-10-12). "Hudson Towns Wary of Rail's Reach; Commuter Line Extension Faces Hostility in Bucolic North Dutchess". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  19. ^ United Transportation Union
  20. ^ "Danbury Branch Electrification Feasibility Study". Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  21. ^ "Our New West Haven Station Is Open For Business!". Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  22. ^ (Reference unavailable at this website)
  23. ^ Tappan Zee Bridge Environmental Review
  24. ^ Trans-Hudson study
  25. ^ a b c Cassidy, Martin B. (2009-09-08). "Metro-North reviving Penn Station-New Haven Line plans". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  26. ^ "MTA Pushes Back Completion of East Side Access Project until 2019". NY1. May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  27. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (January 8, 2014). "Support for Metro-North Line in Bronx and to Penn Station". New York Times. 
  28. ^ a b c d Penn Station Access Study. Mta.info. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  29. ^ "Bronx Neighbors Wants Future Metro-North Stop Named After Area's Distant Past". New York 1 News. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  30. ^ Namako, Tom (2009-09-09). "Next Stop: Penn Sta.". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  31. ^ METRO-NORTH CONSIDERS W. 60s STOP - West Side Spirit - March 26, 2009
  32. ^ "From Albany, a Penn Station Access champion emerges :: Second Ave. Sagas". Secondavenuesagas.com. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  33. ^ "A Railroad Reborn: Metro-North At 25" (Press release). Metro-North Railroad. February 6, 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  34. ^ "Come One – Come All To Harmon Shops's Open House" (Press release). Metro-North Railroad. September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 
  35. ^ The Great Movie Musical Trivia Book - Google Books
  36. ^ Chen, Jialu (July 24, 2011). "'Another Earth' presents worlds of possibilities". The Boston Globe. 
  37. ^ Tuscan Dairy Farms Commercial
  38. ^ "Governor: 4 dead, 63 hurt in NYC train derailment". The Boston Herald. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Metro-North train derails in Bronx area of New York City". BBC News Online. December 1, 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  40. ^ "Metro-North derailment leaves 4 dead, dozens injured". ABC News 7. ABC.com. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  41. ^ "Amtrak Trains From NYC to Albany Back in Service". ABC News. ABC News. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  42. ^ "Service restored to affected Hudson Line". myfoxny.com. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  43. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt; Davey, Robert (May 17, 2013). "Metro-North Trains Collide in Connecticut; Dozens of Injuries Are Reported". The New York Times. 
  44. ^ Feron, James (1988-04-07). "Metro-North Engineer Dies In Crash of 2 Empty Trains". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  45. ^ Barron, James (1987-02-18). "2 Trains Colliin South Bronx; 20 are Injured". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 

External links[edit]