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Metro-North New Haven Line

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Metro North-New Haven Line train at Westport. Photo by Richard Panse, December 2006.

Contents

Overview

The New Haven line runs from Grand Central to New Haven, Connecticut sharing the Metro-North Grand Central/Park Avenue Tunnel and then the Metro-North Harlem Line to Woodlawn. New Haven Line trains stop at Grand Central; 125th Street, recently renamed as Harlem-125th Street; and Fordham. The New Haven Line has three branches, New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury.

Station By Station

Main Line to New Haven

We will begin our ride to New Haven at Mount Vernon East which has four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossunder.

We arrive at Pelham, with the same arrangement as Mount Vernon. North of the station, the Amtrak line from Penn Station (via Queens and the Hell Gate Bridge) merges via a two track connection at "Shell" tower. The New Haven branch trains perform the changeover to catenary power, and the power change over is smooth with only a brief interruption to blower fans and lights.

New Rochelle is next, located in a cut on the east side and at grade on the west side. There are five tracks passing through the station, with platform arrangement, from west to east, as follows: wall platform for southbound trains, two bypass tracks with no platform, and finally an island platform for northbound trains. The station house is located on the southbound side. There is a crossover connecting the platforms. This station is also served by occasional Amtrak trains. Directly adjacent to the station on the west is the New York Thruway (I-95). From here to New Haven, I-95 will not be too far apart from the railroad, although it may not be adjacent at all times.

Larchmont is next and we revert to four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossover at the south end. An old low platform was observed at the north end of the current station. Mamaroneck follows. An unusual feature of the two high wall platforms is construction of these platforms on top of the old low platforms. Only ornamental rails reveal the presence of old low platforms. There is a crossunder.

Harrison follows, with four tracks and two wall platforms. There is a station house on the west side. The station is at grade and old low platforms were seen at the south end of both platforms. The station is currently undergoing needed renovation. Rye is next. The town of Rye is the home of America's first theme park, Rye Playland, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The station has four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossover. Old low platforms were seen at the south end of both platforms. Renovation might be planned since survey marks were found.

Port Chester follows, also with four tracks, two wall platforms and a crossunder. A highlight of this station is an abandoned right-of-way to the northeast, part of the former [New York, Westchester, and Boston Railroad]]. There was no rail, ties or wire on this right-of-way. Station renovation may be planned as survey marks were found.

Departing Port Chester, we leave New York and enter Connecticut. Greenwich is the first stop. There are four tracks, two wall platforms, a crossover and old low platforms on the south end. Here too, renovations may be pending due to survey marks on the platform. Cos Cob is next with four tracks and two wall platforms. The station house is on the west side and old low platforms are still used as exits on the north end of the station. The line passes the New Haven's Cos Cob power generating plant and crosses a drawbridge on the way to the next station, Riverside. This near-grade station has four tracks with two wall platforms and a crossover. The station house is on the west side. Old Greenwich is next and with the exception of a crossunder instead of crossover is identical to Riverside. Old low platforms are at the south end of the east platform.

Stamford is next. Amtrak trains also stop here, and Amtrak is funding the major renovations still underway. Connections are available for the New Canaan Branch. The main station is over the tracks, all platforms having a crossover. Track arrangement from west to east is: Wall platform, track 5; island platform track 5 and 3 (doors can open both sides on track 5), center bypass track (track 1), island platform (tracks 2 and 4), wall platform (track 4; doors can open on both sides for trains on track 4). Current track usage at Stamford has southbound Amtrak and Metro North Express Trains using the inside track (track 3) and locals using Track 5, northbound Express and Amtrak on Track 2 and terminating locals on Track 4. Stamford is also home to a Metro North maintenance facility and storage yards for Amtrak and Metro North trains.

We enter Noroton Heights. Four tracks, two wall platforms, with a crossover. Currently, due to renovations, the easternmost track is covered with a temporary bridge. Old low platforms are to the north of the station. The station house is on the west side, and a bus-stop style shelter on the east side. The same temporary bridges are also located at the next two stations.

Darien is next and has the same track layout. There is a crossunder. The station house is on the west side. There are remains of low platforms at both ends of both platforms. Rowayton follows and has four tracks and two wall platforms. Like Darien, we have temporary bridges covering the easternmost track. These three stations are getting their needed repairs.

South Norwalk follows. The station appears to have four tracks and two wall platforms. A closer observation reveals a surprise, there are six tracks and the wall platforms are actually island platforms. The north end has two extra tracks, which are connections to the Danbury Branch. The main station house is on the northbound platform and a small station house on the southbound platform. The station has a crossunder. The older station house is on the east side and the new one on the west side. A tunnel connects both platforms.

East Norwalk follows with four tracks and two short wall platforms and a crossunder. Westport is next and with the exception of an old low platform north of the station is identical to East Norwalk. Green's Farms is next. (The map calls this station Green's Farm but station signage says Green's Farms.) There are four tracks and two short wall platforms. The station house is on the west side and a bus-style shelter is on the east side.

We arrive at Southport. This station has four tracks and two short wall platforms, which are offset. A wood station house is on the west side, and a brick station house is on the east side. Fairfield is next with four tracks, two medium length wall platforms and both a crossover and crossunder. The main station house is on the east side, but there is a station house on both platforms.

Next up is an "infill" station, Fairfield Metro, which opened in late 2011. This new station has two side platforms capable of handling 12-car trains and is fully ADA-accessible, with elevators on each platform connecting to a pedestrian overpass. There is a large parking lot available here.

We rise to a high embankment and then a viaduct as we enter another Amtrak Station, Bridgeport. The station has four tracks and two wall platforms with crossunders and station houses on both platforms. A small maintenance-of-way yard is to the northeast of the station. Within the confines of the station, I-95 passes diagonally overhead. Old low platforms were found north of the station. The main station is on the west side. The station also houses the Greyhound bus station as well as the ferry to Port Jefferson, Long Island. The northbound station platform is actually over the water!

Stratford is next, with connections to the Waterbury Branch. The station has four tracks and two short wall platforms and a crossunder. Old low platforms were spotted at the south end. Between here and Milford, our next station, the westernmost track is in various stages of absence, sometimes only one rail, only crossties, or just nothing, possibly due to track replacement work since the catenary wire is still in place.

Milford has three tracks and two short wall platforms. Old low platforms were seen at the south end. The station house is on the west side.

We arrive at New Haven after a two-hour ride from Grand Central. This is an Amtrak Station and Amtrak's presence is obvious. The station is named Union Station. A yard is located to both sides of the station for both Amtrak and Metro North. The main station is on the west side at street level and is also home to New Haven's Greyhound Bus station. A tunnel connects all platforms. From west to east platforms and tracks are as follows: Island platform, tracks one and three; island platform, tracks four and two; one bypass track; island platform, tracks eight and six, island, no track number and track ten. There is no evidence of tracks numbered five, seven and nine. Connections can be made to Shore Line East service.

New Canaan Branch

This line is one track and is served by two car electric trains. The line runs from Stamford to New Canaan. Departing Stamford, our first station is Glenbrook. The station has a grade crossing and is on the east side of the high platform. There is no station house, just a bus shelter. Springdale follows also with a grade crossing and a glorified bus shelter on the east side of the high platform. Talmadge Hill is next also with a grade crossing. The station is on the west side. There is no station house, just two bus shelters. Leaving the station behind the line starts climbing before we finally descend into the last stop, New Canaan. The high platform is on the west side and features a very nice station house. The station has a second track to the east of our line which ends in a bumper block as does our track north of the station.

Danbury Branch

The Danbury Branch runs from South Norwalk and is served by two car diesel trains. This line's character is very rural. Conversations with the conductor revealed the branch does carry a full load during peak hours. Our first station is Merritt 7, named after a nearby business park with the same name. We have a low platform at street level with a grade crossing on the west side. Wilton follows with a high platform and a station house on the east side. Cannondale follows, also with a high platform and a grade crossing. The platform is on the east side. There is a possible closed station house on both sides. The east station house is closed and the west station house appears to be a gift shop. Branchville follows and is identical except for only an west station house now a gift shop.

Redding follows with a high platform on the west side. The station suffers an identity crisis; station signs show the name as "West Redding" while the maps and conductor say "Redding". There is a grade crossing north of the station. Leaving Redding behind we descend and enter Bethel which has a high platform on the east side. There is a modern station house made of brick. For a change of pace there is no grade crossing at this station! South of the station, there is an old station house, which is now in commercial use.

We arrive at Danbury with three tracks, and a grade crossing northeast of the station. There is a high island platform serving the east track and center track. The westernmost track bypasses the station while the east track ends within the station at a bump block. The two west tracks curve to the northeast and head towards a yard. A highlight of this line is a view of the Danbury Railroad Museum which time did not permit me to explore except for photos from the station.

Waterbury Branch

This line runs from Bridgeport to Waterbury and is served by two car diesel trains. The line has one track.

We leave Bridgeport on the main line and pass through Stratford before we turn off to the northwest via a single track. The curve is long and wide and the wheels did squeal. The line climbs an embankment giving a postcard view to the west and to mountains further west. We briefly level off on a plateau then start to descend. After a curve to the northwest, a siding appears to the northwest of our line, which splits into two tracks to an unknown destination. We continue to the northeast and enter our first station, Derby/Shelton. The station has one low platform on the west side including a station house with a hip roof. The station is at grade level and features a bus shelter. There is no grade crossing at this station.

Ansonia follows, with a short low platform on the east side and is ADA compliant with a mini lift. The platform has a bus shelter made of wood that needs paint. North of the station, we pass an industrial zone before reverting to a rural character. We pass a rock dam and nice lake to our west. This branch reminds me of the Metro-North Hudson Line. Civilization intrudes and we arrive at our next station, Seymour. The station has a low platform on the west side. A brick bus shelter passes for a station house.

We descend further, picking up speed and again civilization interrupts our view of nature. We have arrived at Beacon Falls. The low platform is on the east side and is a strange platform, not quite low and not quite high. Rather it is about mid-level and features a mini-lift. We continue northward and continue our descent. We are now in a deep earthen valley that soon broadens out. Industry intrudes again and we arrive at Naugatuck, which has a new high level platform just north of the former station building. The station building is the home of the Naugatuck Historical Society and its Museum and the office of a town agency.

We continue our descent and soon pass through an industrial area on both sides, with the buildings almost within touching distance of our train. We pass through a freight yard and enter Waterbury, our last stop. The station has a high platform on the east side and an ornate station house that unfortunately is closed. The track continues north of the station after passing a low platform also on the east side. In place of this station house, we now have a bus shelter. I found a sign indicating renovations were made in 1997.

Photo Gallery


Image 20151
(80k, 480x640)
Photo by: Peggy Darlington
Location: New Haven

Image 36825
(173k, 1024x657)
Photo by: Willie Rosenberg
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: New Haven Yard

Image 45610
(217k, 1024x681)
Photo by: Willie Rosenberg
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: New Haven

Image 81689
(187k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: New Haven

Image 86824
(212k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: New Haven Yard

Image 86843
(172k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: Stamford Yard/Shops

Image 86868
(170k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: New Haven Yard

Image 87499
(220k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: Stamford Yard/Shops

Image 87540
(270k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: Stamford Yard/Shops

Image 88275
(129k, 820x620)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: Stamford Yard/Shops

Image 88303
(158k, 820x620)
Photo by: Paul Pesante
Location: Cos Cob

Image 94664
(229k, 1024x671)
Collection of: Joe Testagrose

Image 103285
(209k, 930x618)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Pelham

Image 103318
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Mamaroneck

Image 108123
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Photo by: Lee Winson
Location: New Rochelle


More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-400 401-450 451-500 501-550 551-600 601-650 651-700 701-750 751-800 801-824

Photos By Location

Mount Vernon East, Pelham, Shell Interlocking, New Rochelle, New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Rye, Port Chester, Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich, Stamford, Stamford Yard/Shops, Noroton Heights, Darien, Rowayton, South Norwalk, Dock Yard, South Norwalk, East Norwalk, Westport, Green's Farms, Southport, Fairfield, Fairfield Metro, Bridgeport, Bridgeport - Harbor Yard Ballpark, Stratford, Milford, New Haven Yard, New Haven, (Misc/Unknown), State Street New Haven, GE/Budd Plant, Erie PA, Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, New London, (Misc/Unknown), New Haven, Glenbrook, Springdale, Between Springdale and Talmadge Hill, Talmadge Hill, New Canaan, Derby/Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, Waterbury


Page Credits

By Peggy Darlington.









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