Hudson Line (Metro-North)
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 line into two distinct segments. South of there, the line is electrified with third rail, serving suburban stations located relatively close together. Most of the electrified zone has four tracks, usually two express and local tracks in each direction. For a few miles in the Bronx there are only two or three tracks. Local service is usually provided by electric trains, while diesel trains run express. North of Croton–Harmon, the line is not electrified and is mostly double-tracked (with a few triple track areas); the stations are also spaced further apart. Service between Croton–Harmon and Poughkeepsie is provided by diesel trains; these generally run express and 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 Empire Corridor routes up the river.
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). On July 1, 1973 along with several other stations in Penn Central's Metropolitan Region, the 138th Street, Oscawana and Manitou stops were closed. Manitou reopened in 1983.
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.
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 determined that the train was traveling at 82 miles per hour (132 km/h), a speed nearly three times the maximum allowable speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). The train's brakes were apparently operating normally and area tracks in proper condition.
Despite its name, the Hudson Line does not reach the river until it has traveled 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, 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 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. A few 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, as does the inevitable replacement known as the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. 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 (13.7 km) 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 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.
Future service proposals
Penn Station Access
As part of the Penn Station Access project, the MTA has proposed to send some Hudson Line trains to Penn Station on Manhattan's West Side. Hudson Line trains would access Penn Station via the Empire Connection, a segment of track owned by Amtrak. This segment. currently used by Amtrak's Empire Corridor trains to access Penn Station, diverges from the Hudson Line between Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stations. The proposal includes the construction two new Hudson Line stations along the Empire Connection in Manhattan; one near 125th Street in Manhattanville and the other near 62nd Street on the Upper West Side. The project would give Hudson Line riders a direct ride to destinations on the West Side.
Extension of service north of Poughkeepsie
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. Amtrak's predecessor Conrail operated commuter rail service north of Poughkeepsie to Albany-Rensselaer until 1981; since then, only Amtrak's intercity trains continue beyond Poughkeepsie. Most proposals 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. They feared that their small towns would become strip malls. In 1999, Metro-North proposed to extend the line 25 miles (40 km) to Tivoli or just 15 miles (24 km) to Rhinecliff. Three new stops would have been built: at Tivoli, Staatsburg and Hyde Park. Service would have also stopped at Rhinecliff, which is served by Amtrak. Parking facilities would have been built at the stations, and a yard would have been built. The Draft Environmental Impact Study for the extension, would have cost $3 million, was deemed as necessary as ridership on the northern part of the Hudson Line was growing faster than that of any other part of the system. The Towns of Milan, Red Hook and Rhinebeck and the Villages of Tivoli and Rhinebeck passed resolutions against the study. The study was not done because of significant opposition. 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.
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 miles (1.17 km) circa 1906, so Yonkers station (for example) is at milepost 15.24 but is about 14.46 miles (23.27 km) from end of track at GCT.
|Connections / notes|
|1||Grand Central Terminal||0.0 (0.0)||October 6, 1871|| Metro-North: Harlem and New Haven lines
NYC Subway: (at Grand Central–42nd Street)
NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M42, M101, M102, M103, Q32, X2, X5, X10, X12, X14, X22, X22A, X27, X28, X31, X37, X38, X42, X63, X64, X68
MTA Bus: BxM1, QM21
Originally Grand Central Depot, then Grand Central Station
|86th Street||May 15, 1876||c. 1903|
|110th Street||c. 1900|
|Harlem – 125th Street||4.2 (6.8)||1897|| Metro-North: Harlem and New Haven lines
NYC Subway: (at 125th Street)
NYCT Bus: M1 (NB), M35, M60 SBS to LGA, M98, M100, M101, Bx15
|Manhattan / Bronx border|
|138th Street||1886||1972||Also named Mott Haven and The Bronx|
|Harlem / New Haven Lines diverge|
|Yankees–East 153rd Street||5.9 (9.5)||May 23, 2009|| Metro-North: Harlem and New Haven Lines (game days only)
NYC Subway: (at 161st Street–Yankee Stadium)
NYCT Bus: Bx6, Bx13
SeaStreak to Highlands Terminal
|Highbridge||6.7 (10.8)||Metro-North employees only, closed to passengers in the 1970s|
|Morris Heights||8.1 (13.0)||NYCT Bus: Bx18, Bx40, Bx42|
|University Heights||8.7 (14.0)||NYCT Bus: Bx12, Bx12 SBS|
|Fordham Heights||Merged into University Heights station before 1920|
|Bronx / Manhattan border|
|Marble Hill||9.8 (15.8)||1906|| NYC Subway: (at Marble Hill–225th Street)
NYCT Bus: Bx7, Bx9, Bx20
MTA Bus: BxM1
|Manhattan / Bronx border|
|Kings Bridge||c. 1905||Removed during 1905-06 realignment of Hudson Branch along the Harlem River Ship Canal|
|Spuyten Duyvil||11.1 (17.9)|| Hudson Rail Link: J, K, L, M
Southbound platform is not accessible
|Riverdale||13.0 (20.9)||Hudson Rail Link: A, B, C, D|
|Mt. St. Vincent||1979||Served the College of Mount Saint Vincent off of 261st Street and River Road|
|Bronx / Westchester County border|
|3||Ludlow||14.3 (23.0)|| Bee-Line Bus: 32
Southbound platform is not accessible
|Yonkers||15.1 (24.3)||1911|| Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf
Bee-Line Bus: 6, 9, 25, 32
|Glenwood||16.2 (26.1)||Bee-Line Bus: 1C, 1T, 1W|
|Greystone||17.8 (28.6)||1899|| Bee-Line Bus: 1C, 1T, 1W
|4||Hastings-on-Hudson||19.5 (31.4)||1840s||Bee-Line Bus: 6, 1C, 1T, 1W|
|Dobbs Ferry||20.7 (33.3)||Bee-Line Bus: 1C, 1T, 1W, 6, 66|
|Ardsley-on-Hudson||21.7 (34.9)||c. 1895-1900|
|Irvington||22.7 (36.5)||Southbound platform is not accessible|
|5||Tarrytown||25.2 (40.6)|| Bee-Line Bus: 1T, 13
Transport of Rockland: Tappan ZEExpress
|Philipse Manor||26.5 (42.6)||1910|
|Scarborough||29.5 (47.5)||before 1860|
|Ossining||30.8 (49.6)||1848|| Bee-Line Bus: 11, 13, 14, 19
NY Waterway: Haverstraw–Ossining Ferry
|Croton–Harmon||33.2 (53.4)|| Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Bee-Line Bus: 10, 11, 14
Terminus of electrification
|Croton North||c. 1890
|Revived briefly by Metro-North from 1983 to 1984.|
|Crugers||Replaced in 1996 by Cortlandt|
|Cortlandt||38.4 (61.8)||April 1996||Bee-Line Bus: 14|
|Montrose||Replaced in 1996 by Cortlandt|
|Peekskill||41.2 (66.3)||1874||Bee-Line Bus: 16, 18, 31|
|Westchester County / Putnam County border|
|7||Manitou||46.0 (74.0)||Limited service|
|Cold Spring||52.5 (84.5)||Putnam Transit: Cold Spring Trolley (seasonal)|
|Storm King||South side of the Breakneck Ridge Tunnels|
|Putnam County / Dutchess County border|
|Breakneck Ridge||55.0 (88.5)|
|Dutchess Junction||c. 1866||1950s||Located south of junction with Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad (eliminated in 1916)|
|Beacon||59.0 (95.0)|| Dutchess County LOOP: Beacon RailLink
Leprechaun Lines: Newburgh-Beacon-Stewart Shuttle
NY Waterway: Newburgh-Beacon Ferry
|New Hamburg||65.0 (104.6)||Dutchess County LOOP: New Hamburg RailLink|
|Camelot||Now cut off by a mine in Crown Heights|
|Poughkeepsie||73.5 (118.3)|| Amtrak: Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf
Dutchess County LOOP: A, B, C, D, E, Poughkeepsie RailLink
City of Poughkeepsie Transit: Main Street, Shoppers' Special
Ulster County Area Transit: Ulster-Poughkeepsie LINK
Short Line Bus: X32N
Trailways of New York: Newburgh-Kingston service
|Line continues northward as CSX's Hudson Subdivision
Stations north of Poughkeepsie other than existing Amtrak stations were abandoned by Conrail in 1981
|Rhinecliff||1914||Now Amtrak's Rhinecliff-Kingston station|
|Dutchess County / Columbia County border|
|Hudson||1874||Former junction with Boston and Albany Railroad's Hudson Branch, Still used by Amtrak|
|Rensselaer||1981||Junction with Boston and Albany Railroad's Main Line|
|Columbia County / Albany County border|
|Albany||1900||1986||Also served Boston and Albany Railroad, West Shore Railroad, and Delaware and Hudson Railroad|
|Northern terminus of NYC Hudson Division until 1981.|
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- "Poughkeepsie-Dutchess County Transportation Council Transportation Plan Update" (PDF). co.dutchess.ny.us. July 1998. p. 69. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
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- Metro-North weighs northward expansion (United Transportation Union; Jan. 4, 2007)
- "The Grand Central Railroad Depot, Harlem Railroad". The New York Times. October 1, 1871. p. 6. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- 86th Street; Park Avenue (Brennan's Abandoned Stations web-site)
- Bronx Railroad Stations (Brennan's Abandoned Stations web-site)
- Penn Central ACMU 1044 at 138th Street Station; May 21, 1972 by Joe Testagrose (WorldNYCSubway.org)
- Metro North Harlem Line (Station Reporter)
- "MTA Metro-North Railroad To Open New Train Station in New York City To Serve Southwest Bronx and Yankee Stadium" (Press release). Metro-North Railroad. May 21, 2009. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- Documents of the Senate of the State of New York: Volume 3 (1907)
- File:1899 Home Life Map of New York City ( Manhattan and the Bronx ) - Geographicus - NYC-HomeLife-1899.jpg
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- Kuhn, Robert (January 1991). "National Register of Historic Places nomination, Philipse Manor Railroad Station". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
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- 1997 Photo by Marty Feldner (Existing Railroad Stations in Westchester County, New York)
- Neil Larson (July 1987). "National Register of Historic Places Registration:Croton North Railroad Station". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved December 30, 2010. See also: "Accompanying 11 photos".
- Image of 1984 Metro-North Hudson Line schedule (Flickr.com)
- Hershenson, Roberta (September 8, 1996). "Cortlandt Welcomes New Train Station". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- Butcher, Faith Ann (July 9, 2011). "Ossining, Peekskill Historic Railroad Buildings Available to Rent". The Examiner News. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
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- Chelsea New York Central station (Robert Mortell's Road and Rail Pictures)
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