I need to begin this post by saying that Metro-North needs to add more Sunday Service, trains just once an hour on each section of the New Haven Line (A local runs GCT-Stamford connecting to a non-stop express from GCT to Stamford that than runs local to New Haven) these trains were really crowded, I even for the first time (granted I am a non-rush hour, infrequent rider) found myself on the inside seat of a three seater for the first time on my return trip an M8 and felt badly asking the couple that had sat down next to me to get up so I could get off at my destination, Fordham. The reason to take the trip was to photograph Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train which was spending its weekend on display at New Haven and was well worth the trip.
My day began on the A train to 207th Street to the Bx12 SBS that yet again due to a 10 minute wait for the A train and the bus’s slowness (but so much faster than the old days on my Metro-North trips when it was the Bx12 LTD and I did at least once miss a train because of it) got me to Fordham Plaza at 10:50 for my 10:54 train so I barely had time to stop at the TVM and by my ticket. The first train was an M2 that I took to Stamford where the express from GCT arrived ten minutes later, I met my old friend Robert on it and we set off to New Haven arriving at 12:54. On the train there were a few discussions by the crew over the PA system about where the anniversary train would be and how it was on track 4.
When we got there we saw the exhibit train on track 4 and wondered over to it. We ended up taking two trips through it (everyone enters at one end and exits through the gift shop). On the first one something with the HEP locomotive happened and the power went out (the converted baggage cars don’t even have emergency lights), so we left briefly taking some surrounding pictures before going back in for another tour. See my section on the train for all the information and my opinions with 26 exterior photos, and 60 of the interior. Yes there are mannequins waring Amtrak uniforms from different eras!
I then did an abbreviated photo essay of some of the New Haven Station (which I’m not in the position to make the pages for at the moment, I’ve got to finish Boston), and would have stayed for another hour but had dinner plans back in NYC so I boarded the 2:56 train and got off at Stamford to transfer to the local train to Fordham where there was a bit of confusion about where the train would depart from since it was leaving from the opposite platform but the trainset of a shuttle from New Canaan was across the platform from the express I walked across and it seemed to take a while for the local to enter and something about the lights of the train looked a we bit different. It was this:
A new M8 entered the station that was complete with a new train smell from the leather and by the time I got off at Fordham every seat was taken. For an easy Bx12SBS to 207 Street and the A train to 181 Street ride home. All I can say is there a nice improvement from the M7s, the seats feel (and are) a bit wider because the cars themselves are, built to not such narrow requirements like the M7s because of the LIRR. It was a nice way to end an interesting but bit long with 4 hours on a train to spend two hours somewhere trip.