South Norwalk (Metro-North station)
West entrance, State Street, near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
|Location||29 Monroe Street
at 1 Chestnut Street,
Norwalk, CT 06854
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Connections||Norwalk Transit District: 10, 11, 12, Evening Shuttle, Sunday Shuttle, Norwalk Commuter Connection - Hospital-Virgin Atlantic, Merrit 7, Westport Road|
|Electrified||12,500V (AC) overhead catenary|
|Passengers (2006)||494,260 0%|
The South Norwalk Metro-North Railroad station is owned and managed by the Norwalk Parking Authority, and is the most significant of three stations serving the residents of Norwalk, Connecticut via the New Haven Line. Nicknamed "SoNo" by riders and staff, the station is the point where the Danbury Branch connects to the Northeast Corridor, as well as a peak-hour terminal for some express trains. It is the last stop for New Haven super-express trains before they run non-stop to Grand Central Terminal in New York. Just east of the station is the South Norwalk Railroad Bridge, and next to that is the SONO Switch Tower Museum, a preserved switch tower which is open on summer weekend afternoons.
South Norwalk is 41 miles (66 km) from Grand Central Terminal, and the average travel time from Grand Central is 64 minutes, though this varies depending on run and time of day.
The station has approximately 800 parking spaces, none owned by the state.
The older station building at the eastbound side of the tracks contains a small restaurant, serving pizza, wine and beer. The 900-square-foot (84 m2) space is subleased from the New England Fashion Design Association.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
The newer, main station house, on the westbound (New York City-bound) side of the tracks, was built in 1994. It has an eclectic cafe serving urban style breakfast and eateris during the day.
The station was the first to receive Wi-Fi service on the New Haven Line in March 2006. The service was provided for one year from a federal grant received from the "One Coast, One Future" initiative designed to help economic development in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport. The grant provides for Wi-Fi service for one year with the expectation that local governments will provide it in the future if they find it valuable enough to do so. Similar service was planned for Stamford and Bridgeport stations in the spring of 2006 but no others. Westport also started providing the service in the spring of 2006.
The City of Norwalk and the Norwalk Transit District let a contract for $238,000.00 to study possible improvements to the South Norwalk Station with a goal to make it a better "intermodal" facility with improved access for cars, buses, shuttles, pedestrians, and taxis in February 2008. An updated Transit Oriented Development Study commissioned by the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency is available at http://www.norwalkredevelopmentagency.com/?q=home.
In late 2008, a renovation project began at the station, involving the installation of power-assist doors, better smoke detectors, emergency lights and energy-efficient lights. Other work included cleaning brickwork, painting, improving signs and moving the automated pay station. improved landscaping and traffic flow. A Norwalk city government official said the changes were meant to make the station more inviting and give visitors a better impression of Norwalk.
In 2012 permanent art was installed in the New Haven lobby and through the connecting tunnel as part of the Norwalk Parking Authority's 'Art in Parking Places' program through a collaboration with the Norwalk Arts Commission and the Norwalk Transit (www.norwalktransit.org) funded by the Federal Transit Administration Public Art Grant.
In 2010, the rail bridges over Monroe Street adjacent to the station were replaced. As part of the replacement the stairways that used to provide pedestrian access to either platform from Monroe Street were removed along with concealment of the original red sandstone abutments behind steel reinforced concrete facings.
Platform and track configuration
|5||■New Haven Line||for Danbury|
|3||■New Haven Line||for Stamford and Grand Central|
|■Northeast Corridor||for New York and Washington, D.C.|
|1||■New Haven Line||no stop|
|■Northeast Corridor||no stop|
|2||■New Haven Line||no stop|
|■Northeast Corridor||no stop|
|4||■New Haven Line||for New Haven – State Street|
|■Northeast Corridor||for St. Albans and Boston|
|6||■New Haven Line||for New Haven – State Street|
|■Northeast Corridor||for St. Albans and Boston|
This station has two high-level island platforms. Each is 10 cars long on the Northeast Corridor, but much shorter for the outer tracks. The western platform, adjacent to Tracks 3 and 5, is generally used by westbound New Haven Line trains via Track 3, and by Danbury Branch trains via Track 5. The eastern platform, adjacent to Tracks 4 and 6, is generally used by eastbound New Haven Line trains via Track 4, or Danbury Branch trains via Track 6.
The New Haven Line has six tracks at this location. The two inner tracks, not adjacent to either platform, are used only by express trains.
Within walking distance
The station in South Norwalk is just south of the "SoNo" entertainment and business district. Going north from the station (to the right on State Street from the main building entrance, or to the left from the older building entrance on the eastbound side of the tracks), turn right on Monroe Street, pass the Norwalk police station and turn left on South Main Street.
Three blocks to the north, where the railroad tracks pass diagonally over the intersection of Washington Street and North and South Main Streets, is the central intersection of the district (http://sonodesigndistrict.net/and http://www.visitsono.com/) The streets near this intersection are blocked to vehicle traffic for major festivals, such as the SoNo Arts Celebration. From this intersection, starting by facing north:
- To the right (east) is Washington Street, with bars, restaurants and shops as well as the tiny SoNo Switchtower Museum. At the end of the block, to the left is the IMAX theater entrance to the Maritime Aquarium and docks where boats offer trips to Sheffield Island Light. Straight ahead is the Stroffolino Bridge over the Norwalk River, at the point where the river opens up into Norwalk Harbor. Just over the bridge in East Norwalk and to the right is Veterans Memorial Park, where the annual Norwalk Oyster Festival takes place.
- To the left (west) is the small South Norwalk Library and the area's only skyscraper, the 50 Washington Street building.
- Straight ahead for three blocks are more restaurants, bars and shops, with the Norwalk Museum in the former City Hall building, just past the former Palace Theatre, a former vaudeville venue. The Bowtie cinema multiplex is further up the street on the right.
- Continuing north along West Avenue for almost a mile is Central Norwalk, just past the Interstate 95 underpass, and the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, close by the Stepping Stones Museum for Children and the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (all three institutions in "Matthews Park" share the same entrance from West Avenue). A small tourist-information office is located in the stone gatehouse at the entrance to Matthews Park on the right side of West Avenue. Across the street is Columbus Park, which also honors various ethnic groups in Norwalk. Several blocks further north, West Avenue intersects with Wall Street (to the right), which has several restaurants. A walk for several blocks down Wall Street, over a small bridge and up the small Mill Hill, leads to Mill Hill Historic Park, on the right, with several small, preserved, historic buildings. One more block leads to Norwalk Green, on the left. Norwalk Green is at least two miles (3 km) from the train station.
- Connecticut Rail Commuter Council is the official state advocate for commuters and brings station problems to the attention of officials.
- Using 260 weekdays in a year multiplied by number of weekday passengers (1,901)
- "Task 2: Technical Memorandum parking Inventory and Utilization: Final Report" submitted by Urbitran Associates Inc. to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, "Table 1: New haven Line Parking Capacity and Utilization", page 6, July 2003
- Lee, Richard (September 24, 2008). "Eat and run: Train station adds eatery". The Advocate (Stamford). p. A11.
- Ginocchio, Mark (March 18, 2007). "Area train stations ready to ask Wi-Fi". The Advocate (Stamford). pp. A3, A8.
- Newman, Jared (February 28, 2008). "$238K contract awarded to study rail station". The Hour (Norwalk). p. A1.
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