Transit Adventures

Walking to Fordham to a 10 minute late Metro-North train to just a 6 minute layover to New Rochelle for Northeast Regional Train #176

Greetings from New Haven, Connecticut Where I wait for Shuttle Train #470 to leave at its scheduled departure time of 10:30, starting my actual day of traveling after two days of points runs to begin a three train day on a Northeast Regional, Shuttle to Springfield and the Lake Shore Limited to Syracuse I go to Syracuse via Springfield to finally ride over the Berkshires.

I wake up earlier than anticipated and finish packing for my 4 day weekend in Syracuse. I leave the house at 7:10 and decide I might as well start this trip off with a morning walk the 3 miles to the Fordham Station. I start by walking up trough Ft Tryon hear park and hear the whistles of a southbound Empire Service train on the Empire Connection and soon another that I assume is the northbound Maple Leaf, a 9 hour faster option with a Syracuse arrival time of 12:48. I walk over the University Heights Bridge at 7:44 and arrive at the door of the Fordham Station at 8:13 with two southbound Express trains passing through the station at the same time.

The Fordham Station suffers from a lack of TVMs and I’ve learned that the easiest way to buy a ticket is the old fasioned way by going into the station and handing cash over to the ticket office.

I don’t keep track of the inbound expresses that I photograph but the outbound trains situation is a bit amusing, everything is a few minutes late:

  • The 8:15 north whites plains arrives at 8:19. Finally leaves at 8:21.
  • The electronic sign says Stamford, not New Canaan although there is a scheduled 8:24 train there. Another deadhead goes through. The sign then switches to New Canaan. This train arrives at 8:28 an old M3. They keep repeating express, express Rye is next over the PA. It leaves at 8:29.
  • The vibrations of the tracks rarely stop from all the express trains on the 4 track railroad. An M7 deadheads through.
  • The sign changes to a train to Southeast then back to Stamford for my train.

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My train arrives at 8:34, 5 minutes late with old M2-4-6 equipment but the front car closed. I decide to sit I the next car, am empty bar car. I get a seat check above my head, pink and ripped. Varies southbound trains go by. I keep checking departure vision and realize that everything is still listed as on time, although each train is 5 minutes late. I prefer the NJT system that’s closer to the minute.


  • 8:38 – Williams Bridge. Then split off the Harlem Line. I check train time for my Amtrak track at New Rochelle it says we’re six minutes late.
  • I notice an 8:45 train to DC is also on track 4 and remember that all Amtrak trains stop there. A nice cross platform transfer!
  • 8:40 – Mount Vernon East
  • 8:43 – enter Pelham, the ventilation system goes on and off. One women is riding one stop and doesn’t get her ticket checked. The conductor comes back and it’s all intermediate monthly pass holders that don’t get seat checks.
  • 8:45 – going very slowly, I’m not going to have much time at New Rochelle, at least it’s a cross platform transfer.
  • 8:48 – stop at the Amtrak Junction, just before it. I better not see my Amtrak train go by.
  • 8:49 – a southbound Amtrak train to Washington that also stopped at New Rochelle goes by. We then leave. I guess we were waiting for it. We curve onto the wall track, and arrive at 8:51 a six minute layover with a scheduled time of 8:57 for my Amtrak train.

New Rochelle has the old information system that can only Say “Good Service” and doesn’t give individual tracks. A deadhead comes through, good think train time confirms Amtrak track numbers. I notice a few people with luggage, a good sign. An express and two deadheads also on track 2. Amtrak is now telling me 8:59, two minutes late. It arrives led my an HHP-8.


We leave at 9:01 I walk to the back of the train past the conductor who tells me “It’s running as a coach and there are plenty of seats.” This car is an Amfleet-I Business class car #81538 in service as a coach, the last car of the train the conductor says. My second free upgrade seat of the trip!

At 9:07  the conductor comes through to collect my ticket commenting, when they run out of cars they just put cars together. He scans my ticket to New Haven, asks me if I’m connecting. I say yes and tell him I know the drill to walk forward. He jokes “I’m going to put you in charge.” The Business class seat has plenty of legroom, I think more than my ride in an ex-First Class seats, there is no calf rest but a footrest. The seats are cloth and remind me of the ex-Metroliner cars with nice curtained windows.
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  • 9:15 – going through Harrison a man comes through with a trash bag asking any trash? It’s the another in route cleaner like the one I noticed yesterday, I think they ride between New York and Stamford. My train is going awfully slowly.
  • 9:25 – arrive in Stamford and move a bit before pulling up and stopping abruptly. The train soon leaves 7 minutes late.
  • 9:31 – I’m zoning out processing photos a southbound Amtrak passes as we go through Norton Heights
  • 9:35 – Stay on the outside track through East Norwalk and I notice the single-track Danbury branch heading north and cross the Norwalk River
  • 9:51 – Arrive in Bridgeport, an inbound M8 already crowded to Grand Central arrives. I look in my seat pocket and notice a Glossy brochure for the ‘take 2 get 1 free’ promotion that ended a month ago. These aren’t worth it to me since the minimum ticket price to qualify is $49. On my phone checking the train in New Haven, down to 4 minutes late, the Shuttle connection doesn’t leave until 10:30, a 25 minute connection. I notice that my ticket only now only shows my final two segments, today and yesterday.

We arrive in New Haven at 10:11, 5 minutes late. I see the conductor with a bag and quickly snap a few photos of the Business Class Car, it looks like he’s getting off guess they still change crews here on regionals (I know that they don’t on Acela). I get off the train and slowly walk up the platform getting a few photos to my tiny, two car Shuttle train #476 that I’m transferring to and won’t leave until 10:30.