THE HUDSON LINE
THE HUDSON LINE BEGINS AT GRAND CENTRAL
TERMINAL and starts a steep climb in the Park Avenue Tunnel. This
part of the line was originally the New York & Harlem in the 1830s. At 86th
Street you are still in the tunnel, but you reach your highest point in elevation on the
Hudson Line. As you leave the tunnel, nearly three miles from Grand Central, you will ride
upon the Park Avenue Viaduct. This structure was completely renovated to allow a smoother, faster ride. On the viaduct you will come to
your first station at 125th Street, the main street of Harlem. As you look west, on the
north side of the street you can see the famous Apollo Theatre.
...After leaving 125 Street, you will
cross the Harlem River and divert in a northwesterly direction. At
Mott Haven Junction (MO), the tracks of the Hudson Line swing off
towards the Harlem River. You will pass the new Yankee Stadium where
a new station opened in 2009 and follow the river to Spuyten Duyvil. This is where the Amtrak
Empire Branch from Penn Station joins the Metro-North tracks. Now your train is heading
north along the banks of the mighty Hudson River. This is the former route of some of the New
York Central's most famous trains; like The Twentieth Century
Limited and The Empire State Express. Try to be seated on the left
side of the train to view the Palisades Cliffs on the opposite side
of the river. As a customer-oriented improvement, Metro-North
removed many of the obstacles along the river that might block your view.
... As you pass through Yonkers, Tarrytown and Ossining
(express stops) your train will reach speeds up to 75 mph. South of Poughkeepsie,
trains travel up to 90 mph on Metro-North tracks. If that's not fast enough, you can
continue your trip to Albany at speeds up to 110mph. What's the hurry? With the views you
have on the Hudson Line, you may want to catch a local.
...Metro-North's major shop facility is located at
Croton-Harmon, at the northern end of third-rail territory. Electric MU's,
locomotives, Bombardier coaches, and other MN equipment are serviced here. There is a
highway bridge that brings cars across the yard to Croton Point Park - you can get a good
view of the shops from there. It's a good place for photographs, but
don't even think of trespassing in the yard. It's dangerous, and
illegal. Croton-Harmon is also an Amtrak stop.
...Poughkeepsie is the northern
terminus of commuter service on the Hudson. The former New York Central station is tucked
in between the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, the Hudson River, and
New York Route 9. The Poughkeepsie Bridge used to carry New Haven freights across
the river to the major yard in Maybrook, New York. It was the only Hudson rail crossing
south of Albany (not counting the New York tug floats). The bridge suffered a tie fire in
1974 (under the stewardship of Penn Central), and has been closed ever since
but will soon reopen as a public park with a pedestrian walkway.
Until approximately 2003, there was a switchback interchange that ran from the former New Haven tracks down to
the Poughkeepsie yard that served several
CSX freight customers. The connection was cut and the tracks removed.
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November 10, 2010