Riverdale is the most northern stop in the Bronx and New York City limits on the Hudson Line and the first/last stop (and only one in New York City Proper) on the banks of the Hudson River (Spuyten Dyvil is technically on the Harlem River). The station is also the most southern one bypassed by Amtrak trains. Since the April 7, 2013 schedule changes it has had service every half-hour or better, previously trains only stopped once per hour. The station is located nearly at water level and is accessible by only two, narrow steep streets, with hairpin turns, 254th or 255th Streets. These streets are too steep to allow a full-sized city bus to use them. Since 1991 the Hudson Rail Link shuttle buses (they are small buses that feel similar to school buses except with more comfortable seats) have connected the surrounding Riverdale community with the train station. The buses accept MetroCard (including Unlimited ride MetroCards) for the price of a regular MTA Bus Ride with discounts for weekly and monthly riders purchasing UniTickets for MetroNorth and the RailLink buses only. The buses run weekdays only. During peak hours three buses running on 3 routes (A, B and D) meet each train. During non-rush hours one, more circuitous Route C runs and serves most of the stops of the 3 rush hour routes. The minibuses are operated by an outside contractor and meet nearly every weekday train (from 5:00am to Midnight), 3 additional Hudson Rail Link Routes (and one off peak route) serve southern Riverdale and connect with Metro-North at Spuyten Duyvil.
The station has two side platforms that can accommodate 8 cars for the four powered track line with a fifth unpowered siding, this is the CSX freight lead along the river New York-bound side of the tracks with this track fenced off from the platform. The track continues all the way north through Ludlow before switching back onto the main line. There is a pedestrian crossing of this freight track in the middle of the station with fences on each side (that need to be manually opened to let a train through) that provides access to the Riverdale Riverfront Pormenade & Fishing Access Site. This consists of a sidewalk and three overlooks between the trees. This leads up to a ramp to the middle of the New York-bound platform that provides all access to the small park.
At the southern ends of the platforms is the enclosed pedestrian bridge containing the station's TVMs with an elevator up and single staircase down to each platform. In addition, at the eastern end of the bridge, a half-staircase leads down to Railroad Terrace that is still at a level above the platforms. A small bus stop is here and the Rail Link buses drop-off their passengers. The platforms are canopied with modern (added while the station was undergoing rebuilding in 2005) green structures for about half the length of the western Grand Central-bound platform and just a couple cars at the southern end of the northbound platform. The rest of the northbound platform has direct ramp and staircase access down to Railroad Terrace that becomes the station's small parking lot that extends north of the station. The parking lot is long and narrow extending north of the station and contains 118 spaces owned by Metro-North with permit (only $342 a year, although there is a waitlist) or daily-metered parking ($4.00 per day).
Photos 1-19: 12 August, 2005; 20-28: 18 November, 2005; 29-52: 27 September, 2012; 53-61: 4 September, 2015