The MTA Metro-North Railroad operates rail services north of New York City. Service to most stations on each of the 3 East of Hudson Lines out of Grand Central Terminal is hourly or less during the day, with more frequent service and express trains making less stops during the morning and evening peaks when more expensive peak fares apply. The Lines are:
- The Hudson Line up to Poughkeepsie, the line runs right along the eastern edge of the Hudson River, giving this line beautiful views out the window
The line is 3rd rail electric until Croton Harmon, In terms of service the line generally has three trains per hour or better during the day one electric train from Croton-Harmon making all stops to Grand Central. Another running dual-mode hybrid diesel locomotives that begin at Poughkeepsie run local to Croton-Harmon and then express into Grand Central.
- The Harlem Line up to Wassasic, the line runs in the interior of Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.
Service on this line is 3rd rail electric to Southeast(Brewster North), where a change is required on most trains (except on some peak trains) to a Diesel Shuttle up to Wassasic. This shuttle operates generally every other hour.
Other non-peak hour service runs as fallows: 1 train per hour from Southeast (transfer for Wassasic Shuttle) running non-stop to Grand Central after White Plains. And 2 trains per hour local from North White Plains. (a few run express after Mt. Vernon West)
- The New Haven Line is operated jointly with the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The main line is up to New Haven, with branches to New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury. The main line mainly runs through urban areas.
The main line is entirely electric, with trains receiving it from both pantograph wires and 3rd Rail. The line is 3rd rail from Grand Central until north of Mount Vernon East where trains raze their pantographs while in motion and use them through Connecticut. The New Canaan Branch which leaves the main line in Stamford is electric. The Danbury Branch, leaving in South Norwalk and the Waterbury Branch, leaving in Stratford (Trains connect in Bridgeport, a few do stop at Stratford) are both unelectrified
and trains use Genesis Locomotives and Shoreliners.
Main line trains run every half hour (hourly on Sundays) or better from Stamford making all stops. Service is hourly or better from New Haven-Union Station, local to Stamford, then non-stop to Grand Central, in Stamford you can switch to the hourly shuttle to New Canaan, which also has some direct service during peak hours. Danbury service is usually via shuttle trains at South Norwalk, during each peak direction there are 4 direct trains from Danbury, and 4 more shuttle trains in each direction at other times,
6 shuttle trains run a day in during the weekend. Waterbury service is exclusively shuttle trains with 6 trains each direction during the week and 4 on the weekend.
Since I've ridden every revenue inch of Metro-North, here are my ratings in terms of interest, railfan interest, and beauty, on a scale of one to ten:
||My Two Cents
||You can't ask for a more beautiful and interesting rail line. Sit on the left side of the train going north (and the right south), and for your entire ride you will be treated to a view of the mighty Hudson. Of the many train lines I've been on, I haven't found one as beautiful, or puts you as close to a large body of water. I have to look out the window every time. For more of the Hudson view take Amtrak to Albany, the train line continues along it.
||New Haven Main Line
||The New Haven Main line is completely urban and almost entirely on a 4 track viaduct. Seeing the cities and towns of southeastern Connecticut and fairly frequent train service from Acela or Amtrak thrown in, my eyes are glued out the window or front door if I can get to it.
||The Waterbury branch is the most rural of all the lines, not including the terminal city itself. The line running along the Housatonic River for much of it (sit on the left up-right down), feels like it should be on a much longer Amtrak journey then a short Metro-North one. That's not including the city of Waterbury at its other end.
At the lines destination is a rail museum. The line itself singled track cuts through a few towns and industry but in sections is rural, running along water in a few places, and then onto the low-level platform of the Merrit-7 station with new office towers in the background in the bustling city of Norwalk.
The end of the line is the complete middle-of-nowhere; a station with a park and ride lot, but the scenery is a beauty. The single-tracked line cuts through a few towns but its mainly rural, running along water in a few places, and passing the Appellation trail.
||Southern Harlem Line
The Harlem line up to White Plains is of more interest then it's southern counterpart, due to the more urban environment.
Through the open-cut of the South Bronx and then the Parks of the north. Then to the towns of Westchester and city of White Plains, I pay half-attention on this average line.
||Northern Harlem Line
The Harlem line north of White Plains is another boring rail line. With trees and backyards the only entertainment on this 2 track line with hourly service.
Scores better then New Canaan Branch due to a number of historic station houses, and well as the second track.
||New Canaan Branch
||I don't know of a more boring Rail Branch, their is just nothing to interesting about it. The very short entirely single tracked branch runs at a grade through backyards of suburban Connecticut.
Doesn't get a 1 due to grade-crossing a slightly interesting platform and parking lot at New Canaan and the very narrow bridge crossing the Merritt Parkway.
In addition two lines are operated under contract by New Jersey Transit west of the Hudson River in Rockland and Orange Counties, service is out of Hoboken Terminal, New Jersey. Both of these lines are diesel.
- The Port Jervis Line runs from Port Jervis, NY to Hoboken Terminal, NJ. The line is the end and covered by New Jersey Transit's Main Line/Bergen County Line. There is limited service into New York State north of Suffern, New York (The first stop across the border) with 12 weekday trains a day operating mainly during each peak direction. On the weekend there are 7 trains a day evenly spaced out.
There is more service to Suffern with at least one train an hour since it is the northern terminus of trains within New Jersey.
- The Pasack Valley Line runs from Spring Valley, NY to Hoboken Terminal, NJ. Currently relatively basic service is provided on the line mostly in the peak direction rush hours, with some midday, reverse peak and weekend service. Until October 28th, 2007 (when passing sidings were built and a new signaling system was added) service on this line was much more minimal. It ran Weekday Rush Hours Peak direction only (This is true of the entire line, not just in New York). With 10 trians a day inbound leaving Spring Valley between 5:11 and 7:58AM. And 13 trains outbound leaving Hoboken between 1:55 and 10:55PM.
Last Updated: 5 June, 2016
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