Harlem–125th Street (Metro-North station)
View from inbound train as an outbound New Haven Line train departs.
|Location||101 East 125th Street
and 1818 Park Avenue
East Harlem, New York, NY 10035
|Owned by||Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Connections||New York City Subway:
trains at Lexington Avenue
NYCT Bus: M35, M60 SBS, M98, M100, M101, Bx15
|Electrified||700V (DC) third rail|
Harlem–125th Street is a Metro-North Railroad commuter rail hub station in New York City. It is located in East Harlem, Manhattan, at East 125th Street and Park Avenue, serving the Hudson Line, Harlem Line and New Haven Line. The station also serves as an important transfer point between the Metro-North trains and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 5 6 <6> trains) for access to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is the only station besides Grand Central Terminal that serves all three lines east of the Hudson River. Trains leave for Grand Central Terminal, as well as to the Bronx and the northern suburbs, regularly.
The station was built in 1896–97 and designed by Morgan O'Brien, New York Central and Hudson River Railroad principal architect. It replaced an earlier one that was built in 1874 when the New York Central and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, the ancestors of today's Metro-North, moved the tracks from an open cut to the present-day elevated viaduct. The original station on the site was built in 1844, when the trains ran at grade-level on what is now Park Avenue. That station was demolished to make way for the open cut.
As with many NYCRR stations in New York City, the station became a Penn Central station once the NYC & Pennsylvania Railroads merged in 1968. The New Haven Line and its branches would be acquired by Penn Central a year later, thus making it a full Penn Central station. Penn Central's continuous financial despair throughout the 1970s forced them to turn over their commuter service to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. After the 138th Street in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx was closed by Penn Central in 1972, 125th Street Station was the northernmost station to be shared by the Hudson and Harlem Lines. The station and the railroad were turned over to Conrail in 1976, and eventually became part of the MTA's Metro-North Railroad in 1983.
A six-year-long renovation of the 1897 structure was completed in 1999 and cleared out a century's worth of neglect and deterioration. The entire Park Avenue viaduct was replaced piece-by-piece without disturbing Metro-North service for the duration of the renovation. This reconstruction included the removal of the Nick Tower just south of the station. The Nick Tower was a control tower mounted over the tracks spanning the entire right-of-way. The renovation is considered a replication, rather than renovation, of the original 1930s version of the station being that none of the original structure is visible to the public.
The station is used for travel to and from suburbs north of New York City and the Bronx rather than travel to and from Grand Central Terminal. Except for off-peak local trains on the Harlem and Hudson Lines, northbound trains stop at the station only to receive passengers while southbound trains stop only to discharge passengers. It is in the same fare zone as Grand Central Terminal, so customers pay the same fare whether traveling to Harlem or Grand Central, and may use either station.
There are two high-level island platforms, each serving two tracks. During rush hours, three tracks are typically assigned to the peak direction, with the remaining track serving the reverse direction.
The south side of 125th Street below the station viaduct houses a long-abandoned former comfort station (restroom facility) and the block has long been a vacant lot attracting garbage. The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced in 2013 that they would work with a mix of public agencies and private developers to improve the area surrounding the station, long considered a blight on East 125th Street.
Ridership at Harlem–125th Street station rose 55% between 2002 and 2013, much of which included reverse commuters—city residents accessing jobs in the suburbs.
Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway is currently slated to end below the Metro-North station, with the subway tracks heading east below 125th Street. The line would be built deep below the ground, below the Lexington Avenue Line.
- A shot of a station sign on the northbound platform appears in Luke Cage during the title sequence
- Kelley, Tina (December 19, 1999). "Six Years in the Making, a Reconstructed Metro-North Station Opens in Harlem". New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- MNRR Nick Tower Photographs, by Peter Erlich (WorldNYCSubway.org)
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