Stamford Transportation Center

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This article is about the United States railroad station. For other stations with similar names, see Stamford station (disambiguation).
Station building as seen from Washington Boulevard
Location 490 Washington Boulevard and
30 South State Street,
Stamford, CT 06902
United States
Coordinates 41°02′49″N 73°32′29″W / 41.046937°N 73.541493°W / 41.046937; -73.541493Coordinates: 41°02′49″N 73°32′29″W / 41.046937°N 73.541493°W / 41.046937; -73.541493
Line(s) Northeast Corridor (ConnDOT)
Platforms 2 island platforms
2 side platforms
Tracks 6 ( 5 Used )
Connections Local Transit CT Transit Stamford: 11, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 33, 34, 41, 42, 43, 44, I-BUS Express, Stamford Commuter Connection - Central, Bulls Head, North, Route 1 East
Intercity Bus Greyhound
Parking 1,500
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code STM (Amtrak)
Fare zone 16 (Metro-North)
Opened 1987
Rebuilt 2004
Electrified 12,500V (AC) overhead catenary
Previous names NYNH
Passengers (2006) 1.928 million Increase 18% (Metro-North)
Passengers (2013) 388,733[1]Decrease 1.3% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Acela Express
Northeast Regional
toward St. Albans
Terminus Shore Line East
toward New London
MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad
New Haven Line
New Haven Line Terminus
Terminus New Canaan Branch
toward New Canaan
Danbury Branch
toward Danbury
Terminus Waterbury Branch
toward Waterbury

Stamford, officially known as the Stewart B. McKinney Transportation Center[2] or the Stamford Transportation Center, is a major railroad station in the city of Stamford, Connecticut, serving passengers traveling on Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and Shore Line East.

The station is 33 miles (53 km) from Grand Central Terminal. Just northeast of the station is the split for the New Canaan Branch. A few Shore Line East trains terminate at Stamford during the morning rush hour, and originate there in the evening.

United Airlines codeshares with Amtrak to provide service out of Stamford station to the train station at United's Northeast hub, Newark Liberty International Airport. As such, the train station has the IATA Airport Code (as an IATA-indexed train station) ZTF.

Downtown Stamford is directly north of the station.


The former depot in 1868.

Regular daily train service began in Stamford on January 1, 1849. In 1867, a depot was built one block east of the present location. The railroad at that time consisted of two tracks and passed through town on ground level (crossing the streets at grade). In the mid-1890s two more tracks were added to the line and most crossings were elevated and bridged, so the 1867 depot, was razed and replaced.[3]

In 1987, the New York Times published a review of the then-new Stamford Transportation Center by architecture critic Paul Goldberger. The station was criticized for "a harshness almost unequaled in contemporary architecture" as well as for cost overruns and many functional failings, including the lack of shelter for the track platforms. The route from the cross-tracks waiting room to the platform was so long and indirect that passengers who waited indoors until a train's arrival was announced could not get to the platform in time to board it.[4]

A complete renovation of the station in the early 2000s, provided for in the original design of the overhead structure, addressed these problems. The two platforms were made island platforms, capable of serving four tracks. Added features included platform canopies, stairs and escalators directly from the waiting room for the tracks, and a new platform crossover, connecting to the parking garage.


5  New Haven Line for New Canaan
3  New Haven Line for 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 for New Haven – State Street
 Northeast Corridor for Boston
4  New Haven Line for New Haven – State Street
 Northeast Corridor for Boston
The station concourse.

This station has two high-level 10-car-long side platforms and two high-level 12-car-long island platforms. The northern side platform, adjacent to Track 5, and the northern island platform, adjacent to Tracks 3 and 5, are generally used by New Canaan Branch trains, by westbound New Haven Line trains, and by southbound Amtrak trains. The southern island platform, adjacent to Tracks 2 and 4, and the southern side platform, adjacent to Track 4, are generally used by eastbound New Haven Line trains and by northbound Amtrak trains. The New Haven Line has five tracks at this location; track 1, not adjacent to any of the platforms, is used only by express trains.

The main station concourse straddles the tracks of the Northeast Corridor, and contains the ticket booth, a passenger waiting area, newsstands, a shoe-shine spot, a Dunkin' Donuts, and Java Joe's. Downstairs below the platform level in the tunnel there is an MTA police station, Juan's Barbershop and a Subway restaurant. There is also a Greyhound/Peter Pan office and CT Transit Customer Information Center. Stairs and escalators lead to the platform level. Stamford has four high-level platforms, which give access to four tracks. A fifth track lies between the express tracks, so that Amtrak and peak-hour Metro-North trains not stopping there may bypass the station safely at full speed. On the south side of the station, across an access street, is a large parking garage connected to the concourse by one pedestrian bridge and directly connected to the east end of the platforms by a second bridge (both bridges connect to Level 4 of the garage).

A bus station is located just to the north of the train station, underneath a large bridge carrying Interstate 95. Taxis, often lined up by the dozens, pick up passengers at a stand on the south side of the station. A car rental agency is located southwest of the station building.


Multiple parking garages are within the area, including a garage that is open 24/7 and is linked by air-bridge to the upper level of the train station.

In 2012 it was announced by the Connecticut Dept of Transportation that the old parking garage would be demolished. An RFP was issued [2] seeking developers' ideas for what to construct on the site of the old garage with the possibility that replacement parking (for 1000 spaces) would be moved to a quarter mile from the rail station.

Harbor Point Gateway Garage, at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and West Henry Street, provides indoor parking near the station. The facility includes an electric vehicle charging station as well as a car wash/detail service. A pedestrian bridge over Washington Boulevard provides direct access to the train platform from the garage.


The number of people taking Metro-North to Stamford doubled from 2,155 in 1996 to 4,226 in 2006. In recent years, additional office space has been built near the train station to allow commuters to avoid Interstate 95, which is typically very congested during rush hour. For example, The Royal Bank of Scotland completed a $400 million office building in 2008 within 200 yards of the station.[5]

Stamford is the busiest New Haven Line station outside of New York City. As of 2012, average weekday commuter ridership for the center was 30,000 passengers, ranking among the busiest in the metropolitan area.[6]


Stamford receives very frequent rail service on the New Haven Line. During peak hours, trains at Stamford come in intervals as little as three or seven minutes apart.[7] Reverse commute trains during rush hours also operate relatively frequently, at intervals of ten to twenty minutes.[7] Off-peak trains in both directions arrive at Stamford every thirty to forty minutes, but usually within a half-hour of each other.[7]

Due to ridership growth in recent years, eastern Connecticut rail service provider Shore Line East announced on 19 March 2007 that it would extend more of its trains to Stamford station during peak hours.[8] To coincide with the extension of this service, Metro-North added another five trains on the New Haven Line to cope with the increases in passenger demand at Stamford.[8]

Along with Metro-North service, trains run by national service provider Amtrak stop at Stamford station. The Acela Express, the only high-speed rail service in the United States; the Northeast Regional, providing local service along the Northeast Corridor, on which Stamford is a vital station; and the Vermonter, the only train from Connecticut that goes to Vermont and splits at New Haven, all stop at Stamford station. Stamford is now the second-busiest Amtrak station in Connecticut, after New Haven's Union Station.[9]

Nearby points of interest[edit]

Atlantic Street, north from the station garage.

The South End of Stamford is on the southern side of the station and is currently a poor neighborhood about to undergo massive redevelopment already approved by city land-use authorities. The West Side of Stamford begins a couple of blocks to the northwest of the station, across the Mill River, and is considered the city's most dangerous section.[10]

All of Downtown Stamford, including corporate offices, entertainment and cultural venues, shopping and restaurants, is within walking distance of the train station, almost all of it less than a mile and all of it to the north, across Interstate 95. The most direct and well-traveled access is along Washington Boulevard (at the west end of the station). Direct access is also along Atlantic Street (on the east end of the station; past Broad street it becomes Bedford Street). The major east-west streets parallel to the tracks and to Interstate 95 are Tresser Boulevard (a block north) and Broad Street (three and sometimes two blocks north).

These two streets, immediately north of the station, have narrow sidewalks and are less pedestrian-friendly than Tresser Boulevard, a block north: The northeast exit from the station joins with I-95 Exit 7 to become South State Street, a one-way street running east, between the railroad tracks and Interstate 95. North State Street is a one-way road running west that is just north of the highway. Tresser Boulevard is a block north of North State Street and runs parallel to it.

Entertainment and culture[edit]

Entertainment and cultural venues include Rich Forum (music, dance and theater) on Atlantic Street and Tresser Boulevard; the Palace Theatre (music and theater), farther north on Atlantic Street; Avon Theatre (arthouse movies), still farther north; Columbus Park (summer concerts); Bowtie Majestic and Bowtie Landmark cinemas. The city's large public library, Ferguson Library, is at the corner of Atlantic Street and Broad Street. A Starbucks coffee house in the same building has direct access to the Ferguson's used book store.


UBS AG's North American headquarters.

The only major office building near the south side of the tracks is Metro Center, operational headquarters of Thomson Corporation. UBS AG North American headquarters is immediately north of the station (with additional offices in One Stamford Forum on Tresser Boulevard). Royal Bank of Scotland North American headquarters (across the street from UBS) serves as the central office for all North American Investment Banking operations. Purdue Pharma headquarters is on Tresser Boulevard. Several corporate headquarters, including Xerox are not in the downtown area and not within walking distance.

Other Downtown locations[edit]

Also on Tresser Boulevard is the south entrance of Stamford Town Center shopping mall and Government Center (at the intersection with Washington Boulevard), the city government headquarters. The Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut is about three blocks north of Government Center on Washington Boulevard and Broad Street. In addition to the mall (in which Macy's, Barnes & Noble and Saks Fifth Avenue are located) large, "big box" stores downtown include Target (across the street from UConn-Stamford) and Burlington Coat Factory. There are no museums in Downtown Stamford. Restaurants and bars are located throughout the downtown area, with concentrations around Columbus Park, Summer Street, Bedford Street and Atlantic Street.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2013, State of Connecticut" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  3. ^ [1] Web page titled "Photo Archivist's Selection of the Month: December 2000 / What would be a suitable selection for December? How about the railroad?" at the Stamford Historical Society Web site, accessed March 24, 2007
  4. ^ Goldberger, Paul (December 7, 1987). "A Hard-Edged Station for Stamford". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  5. ^ Belson, Ken (May 21, 2007). "In Stamford, a Plan to Rebuild an Area and Build an Advantage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  6. ^ Prevost, Lisa (August 12, 2007). "Now Arriving: Reverse Commuters". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  7. ^ a b c Weekday New Haven Line timetable Metro-North official site Retrieved 2007-08-18
  8. ^ a b Metro-North, Shore Line East to operate more commuter trains in Connecticut Progressive Railroading Retrieved 2007-08-18
  9. ^ Stamford, CT (STM) Amtrak official site Retrieved 2007-08-18
  10. ^ Clark, Stephen P. (April 28, 2007). "Immigrant looking to lead West Side's revitalization". The Advocate (Stamford). Despite efforts to curb it, the area is still a breeding ground for drug dealers, and gangs, such as the Bloods, the Crips, the Merrell Avenue Posse and the Haitian Posse [...] A shootout last year [2006] between factions of the Crips that left two people injured spurred a citywide police sweep called Operation Clean Streets. 

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