Union Station (New Haven)

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New Haven
Amtrak inter-city rail station
Metro-North New Haven Line commuter rail station
Shore Line East commuter rail station
NewHavenUnionStationWikipic.jpg
Station statistics
Address 50 Union Avenue US 1.svg
New Haven, CT 06519
Coordinates 41°17′51″N 72°55′36″W / 41.297532°N 72.926559°W / 41.297532; -72.926559
Line(s)

Amtrak:

ConnDOT:

Metro-North:

Connections
Intercity Bus CT Transit: J, New Haven Commuter Connection – Downtown, Sargent Drive, Temple Street – Union Station Shuttle
Intercity Bus Greyhound:
Intercity Bus Megabus:M51
Intercity Bus Yale Shuttle:Red Line Yale Shuttle:Weekend Blue Line
Levels 5 (Four-story station building and basement with tunnel connecting tracks)
Platforms 4 island platforms
Tracks 9
Parking The Union Station parking garage offers 24-hour parking at a rate of $1 per hour or $11 for 24 hours. Additional station parking is located downtown and connected to Union Station via free shuttle. Street parking is also available.
Bicycle facilities Yes
Baggage check Yes (trains 66 & 67 Only)
Other information
Opened 1920
Rebuilt 1985
Electrified 12,500V (AC) overhead catenary
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code NHV (Amtrak)
ZVE (IATA)
Owned by Owned by Connecticut Department of Transportation; Operated by New Haven Parking Authority
Fare zone 21 (Metro-North)
Traffic
Passengers (2007) 1.821 million (Metro-North)
Passengers (2013) 745,530[1] Decrease 1.3% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Acela Express
Northeast Regional
Terminus New Haven – Springfield Shuttle
Vermonter
toward St. Albans
MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad
New Haven Line
Terminus
ConnDOT
toward Stamford
Shore Line East
toward New London
    Proposed    
Terminus New Haven – Hartford – Springfield Rail
toward Springfield
New Haven Railroad Station
Union Station (New Haven) is located in Connecticut
Union Station (New Haven)
Location Union Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Coordinates 41°17′51″N 72°55′37″W / 41.29750°N 72.92694°W / 41.29750; -72.92694Coordinates: 41°17′51″N 72°55′37″W / 41.29750°N 72.92694°W / 41.29750; -72.92694
Area 1 acre (0.4 ha)
Built 1920
Architect Cass Gilbert[3]
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Second Renaissance Revival
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 75001941[2]
Added to NRHP September 3, 1975

Union Station, also known as New Haven Railroad Station (IATA: ZVE), is the main railroad passenger station in New Haven, Connecticut. Designed by noted American architect Cass Gilbert, the beaux-arts Union Station was completed and opened in 1920 after the previous Union Station (which was located at the foot of Meadow Street, near the site of the current Union Station parking garage) was destroyed by fire. It served the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad until it fell into decline, along with the rest of the railroad industry in North America after World War II. It was shuttered in 1972, leaving only the under-track 'subway' open for passengers, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 3, 1975,[2] but it was almost demolished before the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project came to the rescue in 1979. Reopened after extensive renovations in early 1985, it is now the premier gateway to the city.

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as New Haven Railroad Station. Its significance is partly as an example of the work of Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Woolworth Building in New York and the U.S. Supreme Court Building.[4]

The restored building features interior limestone walls, ornate ceilings, chandeliers and striking stainless steel ceilings in the tunnels to the trains. The large waiting room is thirty-five feet high and features models of NYNH&HRR trains on the benches.

Current service[edit]

Amtrak[edit]

Amtrak trains at New Haven

Amtrak runs frequent service through Union Station along the electrified Northeast Corridor rail line. Most Amtrak trains are Northeast Regional trains or Acela Express trains operating between Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Shuttle trains to Springfield, Massachusetts connect with some Northeast Regional trains; other Northeast Regionals run through to Springfield from New York or vice versa. These through trains must change locomotives at New Haven, as the track north to Springfield is not electrified, unlike the Northeast Corridor. The locomotive change is usually from an AEM-7AC in the electrified territory to a P42DC for the Springfield line non-electrified territory, or vice versa.

Additionally, the Vermonter provides through service from Washington, D.C. beyond Springfield to St. Albans, Vermont. At New Haven, the Vermonter has P42DC diesel-electric locomotives added to both ends of the train. This is mainly because the trains must reverse direction at Palmer, MA to continue north to Vermont. As the Shuttles and Keystones take up most of the cab cars, two locomotives are used.

Amtrak operates a yard on the west side of the tracks, next to the station building.

Because of United Airlines code sharing on select Amtrak trains between Union Station and its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport in the New York City area, Union Station is assigned the IATA airport code of ZVE.

New Haven Union Station is the busiest Amtrak station in Connecticut. The station is the tenth busiest Amtrak station in the country, boarding or detraining nearly two thousand passengers daily.[5]

Metro-North[edit]

Metro-North Railroad operates its New Haven Line from Union Station, to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The service is well patronized by commuters, despite the travel time of nearly two hours. Shore Line East and Metro-North work together on schedules to provide quick transfers of trains for commuters traveling from the Shoreline to Grand Central Terminal or Stamford.

Metro-North operates a large train yard in New Haven on the east side of the tracks, opposite Amtrak's yard. Work is done here, as well as the storing of train cars and locomotives. It is not uncommon to find trains from the Waterbury Branch being stored in New Haven between schedules. The consist usually is made up of one BL20-GH locomotive as well as three Shoreliner passenger cars.[6] Smaller yards are located in Bridgeport and Stamford.

A select number of trains head two minutes east by downtown New Haven into State Street Station for most commuters' convenience.

New Jersey Transit[edit]

New Haven is the northern terminal for New Jersey Transit's Train to the Game service, which operates once in each direction for National Football League games at Meadowlands Sports Complex that have a kickoff time of 1 pm on Sundays. The service is operated by Metro-North from this station to Penn Station and New Jersey Transit from Penn Station through Secaucus Junction, where a transfer to the Meadowlands Rail Line is available.

Shore Line East[edit]

Shore Line East is a commuter rail service owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and operated by Amtrak designed to serve residents living east of New Haven along the coast of Connecticut who work in New Haven, Stamford, or New York. Shore Line East trains run primarily inbound from Old Saybrook, Connecticut in the morning, and primarily outbound in the evening, with a few runs continuing to New London, Connecticut.

Shore Line East trains are also primarily stored at night within the Metro-North train yard. Shore Line East consists can usually be found idling between platforms at New Haven.

CTTransit buses[edit]

CTTransit's New Haven Division provides bus service to the station on two routes. One is a free shuttle that connects Union Station to downtown and the New Haven Green for connection to the remainder of the CTTransit New Haven routes. The J Kimberly Avenue route to Savin Rock and Milford also serves the station.

Station services[edit]

Union Station offers a magazine store that sells quick necessities, there is an AVIS car-rental outlet and restaurants that include Dunkin' Donuts and Subway and parking is available at the station through garages owned by the New Haven Parking Authority.

The Union Station garage currently hosts two Zipcar vehicles along with parking spaces devoted to charging electric vehicles.

Free wireless Internet access is available throughout the station via the AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi connect service. This service extends onboard Acela Express, Northeast Regional, and New Haven-Springfield Shuttle trains operating between New Haven, Springfield, Boston, New York City and Washington D.C.

Future use[edit]

New service[edit]

The states of Connecticut and Massachusetts are considering establishing the New Haven – Hartford – Springfield Commuter Rail Line from New Haven to Springfield on the current Amtrak line, with a shuttle bus connection in Windsor Locks for Bradley International Airport.[7]

Projects[edit]

There have been many plans for new renovations and additions to be taking place at Union Station.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation plans to replace the mechanical split-flap display departure board made by Solari di Udine with two LCD display boards that will allow more text for messages as well as more-clear viewing and easier maintenance. The two new departure boards will be very similar to the boards in Grand Central Terminal.

New Haven Union Station departure board

This is part of a five million dollar project to replace the board, as well as other things such as upgrading to a better announcement sound-system, replacing the tile in the tunnel connecting platforms, and adding departure LED screens on platforms and in the station tunnel.

There has been much controversy over a large three-phase project that is due at Union Station. The plan calls for new parking garages, office space, more space in Union Station to be opened for retail and restaurants, and apartments. Currently, the plan has had some problems, as there are not enough funds for this project to take place.

Currently a complete renovation of the New Haven rail yard is being planned in conjunction will the new M8 rail cars that have been purchased. Back in October O&G Industries of Torrington placed a bid for $124.8 million to build a new 293,000-square-foot (27,200 m2) maintenance facility. The contract was then awarded on December 11, 2009. Start Date was January 25, 2010. This will be the main repair shop for the electric multiple unit cars, with 13 car spots on three tracks, overhead cranes and floor lifts to allow easy removal of major car components, and a DC Power system. The new facility will also include support shops to store, repair and maintain the major components, with a parts storage area. There will be a second floor which will contain offices and amenities/facilities for Metro-North employees. The upper floors will also contain a training center with simulators a security center and offices for DOT employees and MTA Police officers.

The Estimated construction program cost is $195,000,000.

  • Federal FTA Grants $94,500,00
  • State Match to Federal Grant $23,625,000
  • Federal ARRA Grant $29,927,641
  • State Funding $47,000,000

The total project scope includes:

  • M-8 Acceptance Facility -> Construction Complete
  • EMU and CSR Shop Improvements -> Completion scheduled for April 2010
  • Component Change-Out Facility -> Construction started January 25, 2010, Construction scheduled for completion October 11, 2012 and be fully Operational by the spring of 2013
  • Diesel Storage Yard -> Bid Opening Held January 6, 2010. Award was scheduled for March 2010.
  • Renovation of the EMU annex for Maintenance of Way
  • Stores Building Demolition
  • Running Repair shop upgrades
  • West End Yard
  • EMU/Program Shop Upgrades
  • East End Yard
  • Main Line Signal System Modification
  • Employee Parking
  • Purchase and Fit Out Off Site Warehouse
  • Independent Wheel Truing Facility
  • Fuel Cells for CCO Facility
  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • Yard Signal System
  • Conversion CSR Shop to Paint and Heavy Repair Shop
  • Rail Car Wash Facility
  • Final Track Completion

Station layout[edit]

The lobby at the back entrance to Union Station.

Union Station is four stories tall with five floors in total. The waiting room, main concourse, is filled with wooden benches that hold model New Haven Railroad trains. Ticket booths for all trains are located on one side of the room (as well as ticket machines). On the other side of the room, there is an automated teller machine, Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, and Union News (magazine store).

Front of station[edit]

At Union Station's main entrance, a lane is before Union Avenue. Taxis line the lane waiting to take passengers, along with a city bus stop, and room for cars to drive through to conveniently drop people off in front of the station without disrupting Union Avenue traffic. Parking is allowed opposite of the taxis as long as the car only remains there for five to ten minutes.

West End[edit]

Elevators are located at the West End of Union Station that can bring people to other levels, including the balcony that surround the main concourse. A Greyhound bus station is located here, with a small waiting room, office, and outdoor bus stop. The Amtrak Station Office is also located at the West End.

East End[edit]

The East End of Union Station hosts many things. At the far end, a door leads to the main parking garage directly next door to the station. An automated teller machine is located around here, too. Vending machines are located here, as well as restrooms, MTA Police, and MTA/Amtrak offices. The stairs, escalators, and elevators, as well as the departure board, are located on the Eastern side as well.

Upper Levels[edit]

A balcony surrounds the main concourse that will probably be used as restaurant space in the near future. Office space is located on the third and fourth floors.

Lower Level[edit]

The lower level hosts office space, as well as Amtrak Police, Sbarro, an auxiliary Dunkin' Donuts, and the tunnel to platforms.

Platform and track configuration[edit]

Tunnel connecting platforms to station building

This station has four high-level island platforms, each nine cars long. All platforms are used for service in either direction.

The New Haven Line has nine tracks at the station. The northern platform is adjacent to Tracks 1 and 3. The second platform from the north is adjacent to Tracks 2 and 4. The second platform from the south is adjacent to Tracks 8 and 10. The southern platform is adjacent to Tracks 12 and 14. Track 6, not adjacent to any platform in the center of the station, is used only by through trains or idling Shore Line East consists. Tracks 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 don't exist.

All tracks are connected by the stainless-steel tunnel with elevators and staircases leading onto the platforms, as well as escalators, a staircase, and an elevator leading to the tunnel itself.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]