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Harlem-125 Street is the oldest existing train station in Manhattan, with the current station completed in 1897 along with the Park Avenue viaduct. It is the only intermediate stop on Manhattan Island and the only intermediate stop served by the Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven Lines. North of the station, at the end of the Manhattan portion of Park Avenue (the street name resumes on the opposite side of the River and is the name of the streets along the Harlem/New Haven Line corridor all the way to Fordham) trains cross the Harlem River on the Harlem River Lift Bridge and enter the Bronx at about 133 Street. A few blocks into the Bronx, at Mott Haven Junction the Hudson Line curves west to follow the Harlem River while the Harlem and New Haven Lines continue together through the Bronx diverging at Woodlawn Junction, just south of the New York City/Westchester county line.

For service, nearly every Metro-North east of Hudson train on all 3 lines stops at Harlem-125 Street. The exceptions are a very few (7-15 on each line) peak direction rush hour trains that bypass the station. Unfortunately there no cost savings to staying on the Lexington Avenue line subway to 125 Street instead of getting on at Grand Central. Intermediate tickets from stations in the Bronx to the suburbs are significantly cheaper without any differential between peak and off-peak trains. The fares to 125 Street are exactly the same as those to Grand Central. Tickets can be purchased (and are valid only on Harlem and Hudson Line trains, not New Haven Line trains because of agreements dating back to the New York Central/New Haven Railroad days that made Fordham and Harlem-125 Street discharge/receive only) between 125 Street and Grand Central costing more than double subway fares ($5.75 off peak as of July 2015, or $7.75 peak, Monthly passes are a slightly better deal, assuming you never have to go anywhere else, at $174 between the two stations versus $116.50 for a 30 day unlimited).

The station's historic 1897 station house is nestled along the North side of 125 Street in the middle of Park Avenue under the viaduct above. The station and platforms were last restored in the mid-1990s with the station becoming fully ADA compliant with elevator access up to both platforms starting in 1999. The building has white painted brick walls with pink columns accented by red lines. The windows have green trim. Portions of the building have cinderblock walls clearly covering sealed former entrances or windows. All passengers from street level enter from two sets of doors along 125 Street. Here they are greeted with a wood paneled waiting room with some ornate wooden benches and columns covered in wood. The ticket windows with green wood-paneled windows are along one wall and a few TVMs are in the middle of the room. A couple of panels discuss the history of the Parking Avenue viaduct. Near the entrance doors are the platform elevators. At the opposite end of the public waiting room, a single wood paneled staircase leads up to an intermediate landing where it splits into two with a staircase continuing up to each platform. The waiting room is open at all hours of train service with the ticket windows open from 6:40am to 9:40pm with a few 20-minute closers for agent breaks.

The station itself has two island platforms for the four-track line. These platforms can accommodate 10 cars and are canopied by octagonal frameworks designed to mimic the historic station below. The exposed portions have green lampposts designed to look historic. Each platform contains a small non-public shed for dispatchers that has green walls and fits into the rest of the historic station feel. For access in addition to the staircase and elevator down directly into the station house a second staircase leads down form each platform to the south side of 125 Street right near some sort of former railway building.
Photos 1-11: 10 August, 2005; 12-19: 6 June, 2006; 20-25: 9 June, 2008; 26-43: 10 June, 2012; 44-47: 10 September, 2012; 48-51: 31 October, 2012; 53 & 54: 2 November, 2012

Art For Transit at Riverdale

Arts For Transit at Harlem-125 Street

Harlem Encore, 1999
Aluminum panels with ornamental back-lighting on overpass
By Terry Adkins

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The station entrance to 125th street under the viaduct in the median of Park Avenue
An M2 leading a Stamford local enters 125th Street
A M2 bound for Grand Central leaves 125th St
A Grand Central-bound M7A approaches 125th St
A display sign for the 9:58 train to Wassaic, this train actually only goes as far as Southeast where one must connect to Wassaic
M2 #8415 overcomes a train of M7As as they approach 125th St
M2 #8415 enters 125th St
A New Haven line train to Grand Central leaves 125th St
A wet 125th Street St
P32AC-DM #201 pushing a Hudson Line train from Poughkeepsie leaves 125th St
M7A #4140 enters Track 3 at 125th Street leading the 2:12 local to North White Plains
M7A #4108 leaves 125th Street at the back of the 2:12 local to North White Plains
A M2 leads the 2:17 New Haven Express into 125th St
M7A #4166 enters a rainy 125th Street bound for Grand Central
M2 #8548 leads a Stamford Local into 125th St
M4 #8929, the last car of a GCT-bound New Haven Line train
P32AC-DM #229 pulls a Poughkeepsie bound train into 125th St
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MTA Metro-North Railroad

Last Updated:30 July, 2015
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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