Amtrak Metro-North Transit Adventures

Local Trains home from Kingston, RI (making 35 out of 38 stops)

Me and my friend go out for a nice breakfast at a restaurant near the Kingston Station called the Station House Restaurant, a perfectly good breakfast place. We then headed over to the Kingston Station(71 Photos) nice and early a little before 10:00am so I can get my full photo essay. The first thing we notice is that Track 1 normally use by New York-bound trains on Track 1 that requires using an overpass bridge is closed. I make a point of picketing up my printed ticket to Old Saybrook at the ticket window and ask the agent what’s happening. Apparently their is a track defect so their single-tracking for the time being. I also walk both of the driveways into the station and see a nice tower near the station. I decide not to confuse any waiting passengers by trying the pedestrian bridge. I’m visiting a good friend (who only weekends in Rhode Island) and I’m bound to be passing through Kingston Station again.


We see the train switching north of the station. Train #161 pulls in on time at 10:41 wrong-railing on track 2 closest to the station. I wait for a few people to get off and board.

We leave passing some Amtrak MOW equipment. As as go through the trees and swamps of southern Rhode Island I get my ticket scanned and a hand-written OSB seat check.

  • 10:57-bypass Westerly
  • 11:05-bypass Mystic

At 11:15 I make my one intermediate Amtrak stop of the entire trip at New London.
We enter Old Saybrook(24 Photos) also arriving on track 2 on the station side. This is the left-hand track but makes sense since it’s the morning when SLE is running New Haven-bound service and the track configuration is reversed. They open up three doors onto the short high-level platform, no MUing doors. There is a single Shore Line East train idling before the siding platform. I see the conductor getting off of it and walking across the tracks.

I head into the station to ask about buying a ticket all the way to Fordham, the answer is I can only sell you a ticket as far as New Haven. I buy that ticket with my credit card. It’s an old Amtrak paper ticket I need to sign with my name. If you pay cash the name is Shore Line/East. The agent tells me that Metro-North though can sell through Shore Line East tickets.
I leave the station and take a walk including over an overpass and through a neighborhood to get photos from the inaccessible north side of the tracks.

I return around 12:40 and notice the train has pulled up. I then realize my camera has died. I have the charger in my bag and board Shore Line East that lacks outlets. I board the train and sit down at a table. A man boards with his dog and Burger King and I move to the last car. I think it’s only open because it contains the train’s only restroom.
At 12:50 a Boston-bound Acela zooms by and then the New London-bound Shore Line East train stops.
My Shore Line East train leaves at 12:55 and slowly switches out of the station. This siding has a catenary. We then switch onto the south track since were a local making the first two stops.

  • 1:00 – We stop at the new high-level Westbrook platforms. All SLE trains now stop here. I notice the north track platforms edge is retractable.
  • 1:06 – stop in Clinton
  • 1:11 – Madison stop. Just before we arrive I see what looks like an old station house that has a faded blue Madison sign and believe is the location of the original low-level Shore Line East station.
  • 1:17 – We switch onto the north track and pass Amtrak MOW equipment and a burned out brick building before stopping at Guilford at 1:18.
  • We speed up along the other track and the second conductor walks backs and asks “Did he already get you?” I don’t show my ticket stub and they believe me.
  • 1:26 – Pass an old Amtrak crane and industry. Then we bypass Branford with some construction ongoing and the next stop publicly listed to get an extra platform and overpass. I notice a bit of construction beginning.
  • 1:30 – We join the Springfield Line and the announcement that were coming up to “New Haven State Street, for downtown New Haven . Do not get off here if your waiting for Meto-North”.
  • 1:37 – We pull into New Haven-State Street

It’s one minute to New Haven-Union Station were I see a Shoreline East train going through the yard. We’re told to show our receipts to wave the in board penalty. We arrive at 1:40 and I get off a door I think a passenger a pushed open himself.
It’s an easy walk across the platform for the 1:46pm train. I notice only one (instead of both) doors per car are open, I guess an economy saving feature of the M8s. The second door re-opens and both doors then close and we leave on time. The conductor comes and needs to reboot her hand-held ticket scanner and printer. She tells me she will come back. I’m surprised credit cards aren’t accepted. Sitting on a New Haven Line local, I’m not going to bother to keep track of every station stop.
It’s very slow running between Milford and Stratford, the slow zone I remember from the other day.
The conductor comes back before Bridgeport where I notice a train yard . I pay my $12.75 and am surprised at how large the wad of cash she had as I get change for my $20. It’s again slow running into Bridgeport as I realize we’re following the just discharged and terminating Waterbury Shuttle.
When we stop at Westport at 2:38 I notice a platform train status display says were 6 minutes late.
We pass the Sono Tower Museum and it’s clearly open. I immediately wish I had just bought a ticket to East Norwalk, done that station, stopped to visit the museum in the tower and walked to South Norwalk, oh well. There will be a next time.
We arrive in Stamford at 2:59 on far track 5 (a surprising arrival). A Boston-bound Northeast Regional is departing across from us. I have to use the overpass to track 4 (another surprising track location) to catch my local train to New York that pulls into the station and leaves promptly at 3:02. A near miss connection. The conductor comes and, punches and folds my receipt as I tell him I want it and gives it back to me.
This local train fills up more, I’m sitting closer to the front than I’d like and I’m off at Fordham at 3:48.

I have a  nice walk home through the Bronx to finish the trip.

The unique tickets:

sle mnr