The new West Haven Station opened on August 18, 2013 after a ground-breaking on November 10, 2010 as an infill station along what was previously the longest, a ten mile gap, between stations along the New Haven Line. Nearby Orange in this gap was also considered for a new station and another infill station might also be constructed there as well. Trains last stopped in West Haven during the 1920s. The station also restored most of the fourth track along the Northeast Corridor between Woodmont and New Haven that was abandoned from passenger service in the 1980s to save on maintenance costs. There is still a short stretch, including the Milford Train station where the New Haven Line is still just three tracks. The catenary for this track wasn't quite finished when the station opened so for the first month of operations bridge plates had to be used for boarding New York-bound trains. Service to West Haven is provided by every Metro-North train, hourly or better, that goes to New Haven. In addition the 2 westbound and 3 eastbound Shore Line East trips that are extended to Stamford also stop at West Haven.
The station consists of two long 12 car side platforms for the four-track line just west of the underpass of Saw Mill Road. The platforms are fully canopied with modern brick supports holding up a curving roof except for 3 short gaps where the original 1914 truss catenary structures are. These canopies are modern brick supports holding up a curved grey and white canopy. Along each platform in a number of places are small waiting areas with glass windscreen partially enclosed benches. In the middle of the New York-bound platform (Track 3) is a brick and glass station house. On the outside of this station house facing the drop-off loop along the parking lot are silver letters for West Haven. Inside is an airy waiting room with a double height ceiling, restrooms, water fountains and an office with clearly the provisions for a ticket window although the station is planned to be kept unstaffed with TVMs for fares on each platform. There is a minimal set of two sets of benches for waiting passengers. Finally there is a touch screen computer for train information that is basically a static display to the MTA's website. The waiting room is open Weekdays 5:30am to 6:00pm and weekends from 7:00am to Noon. A staircase rises up to a second level within this waiting room along with a separate enclosed staircase/elevator bank on the opposite side to a modern glass overpass. This overpass has uniquely angled walls offering unusual views down to the tracks below, and leads to a brick enclosed staircase/elevator tower down to the New Haven-bound platform (Track 4).
Each platform is along a large parking lot with the parking lots at the same level as the high-level platforms. This is neat design feature that isn't done too often with a few yellow bollards to keep cars from driving onto the platform. There are a total of 658 permit and daily parking spaces. The parking lot along the New Haven-bound platform stretches to Hood Terrace and on the New York-bound platform to Railroad Avenue. The entrances to the parking lots have signs held up by grey pillars with decorative spheres on top and triangles above the actual signs. These seem to be the new default station entrance signs for CTDOT and are also found at the Shore Line East station of Madison.
All Photos: 16 October, 2013