Yonkers is the namesake station for the downtown of New York State's forth-largest city. 3 other Hudson Line Stations (Ludlow, Glenwood, and Greystone) serve other neighborhoods of this city. Trains first started stopping in Yonkers on the Hudson Line on October 1, 1849, and soon became part of the New York Central System. Today both commuter Metro-North trains and Intercity Amtrak trains, with most Empire Service trains, along with the Adirondack, Maple Leaf, and Ethan Allen Express (most trips) serve the station.
Amtrak intercity service is a relatively new addition, starting in about October 1989 after 10 years of campaigning by Yonkers officials who thought the extra stop would help them revitalize their waterfront. Yonkers riders received the short end of the stick during the 2013 service enhancements that added an additional train per hour to the line. Until 2013 when normal service was just two trains per hour off-peak passengers had one-seat rides to all Hudson Line destinations, with local electric trains and semi-express diesel trains running to Poughkeepsie stopping at the station. Today two electric trains per hour stop at the station, one runs entirely local and connects at Croton-Harmon with the diesel express to Poughkeepsie, the second hourly train is a semi-express that doesn't connect with Upper Hudson Line service to Poughkeepsie. Travel times from Yonkers to Upper Hudson Line stations have increased by about 18 minutes. During the late evening hours when service is reduced to two trains per hour, Poughkeepsie-bound trains add a Yonkers stop. The stop's ticket office was permanently closed effective July 7, 2010.
The grand Yonkers train station, opened in 1911 is a mini Grand Central. The same architects, Warren and Wentmore designed the Beaux-Arts style station. The station consists of a grand building on the edge of the elevated embankment/railway viaduct that carries trains through downtown Yonkers. Outside the station at street level is a wide arcade below the tracks along a plaza that leads from Main Street along Buena Vista Avenue to the train station entrance. Here the grand brick building is at street-level alongside the tracks. The building has a grand entrance beneath a clock and covered canopy. Small interlocking NYC logos are on the stonework at the top of the columns on each side of the station doors and also found on columns inside the station. The building faces the Saw Mill River that was daylighted with a dedication ceremony in November 15, 2011 after being put underground, under a parking lot in Larkin Plaza. The depot is between Nepperhan Street (that ends at a T-intersection) and Dock Street that extends under the station plaza.
Upon entering the station passengers are greeted by a high Guastavino arch ceiling with dangling chandeliers. Along the north wall are two cast-iron windows containing the stations now closed ticket office. To the south is the entrance (through green gates that are closed off in late night hours) into the main waiting room. Passengers first pass the brick and marble counters with blue medallions containing the initials FNB. It is unknown what these stand for. FNB perhaps stands for First National Bank, but the counters feel more like a newsstand than for a bank teller. The main waiting room itself has built in wooden benches, plenty of windows that allow the room to fill with natural daylight, a wooden ceiling and restrooms on the side that is beneath the train tracks. A few modern information panels discuss Yonkers History.
To reach the trains passengers go straight after entering the station into a small concourse beneath the tracks. It is relatively dim but lit by ornate light fixtures. The station ticket machines are located here, along with an exit added during renovations that leads to waterfront at Van Der Donck Street just south of Dock Street that crosses directly under the station platforms. A staircase and an elevator lead up to the extreme southern end of the stations two island platforms for the four-track line. The elevator is beyond the end of the platform with passengers using a walkway to walk up to the end of the station platforms.
The two island platforms were clearly added after the original station. The remains of a side platform (now low-level) directly along the roofline of the depot still exist along the eastern, northbound track. These modern high-level platforms were rebuilt with history in mind. The canopies that run for a little under two-thirds of each platform length (the northbound platform's is slightly shorter) are held up by brown colored steelwork. Wooden doors lead to the staircases off each platform and into a small enclosed waiting areas on each platform. There is a second entrance/exit staircase in the middle of the platforms (and shortly beyond the canopies end) down to the sidewalks of Wells Avenue as it crosses under the elevated tracks. Strangely, the northbound platform leads to the south sidewalk and the southbound platform to the north sidewalk.
Photos 1-2: 16 October, 2004; 3-21: 6 February, 2005; 22-28: 17 August, 2006; 29-31: 9 April, 2013; 32-59: 8 October, 2013; 60-94: 28 October, 2013