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Tuesday Tour of the Harlem Line: Southeast Train Photos Tuesday Tours

Not counting Grand Central, the Harlem Line has 37 different stations. Some of them, like Harlem-125th Street, and Fordham, are shared with other lines, but I still count them in that number. So far, I’ve been to 32 of those stations. The inevitable fact of the matter is that although there are a lot of interesting stations – located in nice areas, have historical station buildings, or have some sort of art – not every station is going to be incredibly intriguing. As I post these photos today, I seem to think this is the case with Southeast. The most interesting thing about the station is the yard nearby, but even that isn’t tremendously interesting, and there are better train watching spots on the line.

The station of Brewster North was built in the early 80′s by Metro-North, and has been the final stop on the Harlem’s electrified line. If you’re not lucky enough to be on an express train, it is here you’ll need to swap to a shuttle train for the rest of your journey to the Upper Harlem. Due to confusion with commuters, and a request by the town of Southeast, Brewster North was renamed Southeast in 2003. Southeast is one of the more busy stations on the Harlem Line, and gets commuters from all over the area, including Connecticut.

One of the reasons Southeast is so popular is due to the large parking lot, which can fit more than a thousand cars. This is how I’ve come to know Southeast – growing up my family would always cross the border into New York and take the train to the city, usually from Brewster. But Brewster’s parking lot isn’t the largest, and if it were a weekday we’d always go over to Southeast where there was more parking available. My dad still calls it Brewster North, and I don’t even try correcting him anymore… I know he’ll never remember!






…and I guarantee you if he were to see those pictures, he would ask me, where the heck is Southeast??

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Comments
  • I love that station. I use it all the time when going into the city (I live in Danbury). However, it’s much less fun when you have to park in the far lot and have to walk back to your car after a long day of walking around the city!

  • I hate that station. :) I avoid it at all costs and grumble whenever I am forced to pick someone up from there, or worse, take a train to/from there!

    Begin Rant:

    Yes, it is popular, but only out of necessity. If I had to guess, just about everyone hates this station. It’s popularity as a ‘transit-hub’ is probably comparable to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line, but in no way comparable to quality or convenience.

    There is absolutely nothing there, save for a coffee truck in the a.m. that has only recently been ‘added’. What’s wrong with a few benches for people to wait for rides? Not like you can walk anywhere from the station – there is a mile long hill to walk up to any civilization.

    The stairs to the platform, of course, are at the far end of the platform, so most commuters have to walk quite far. To add insult to injury, there are wooden ramps that have been built along the platform to make it seem like you can save some walking to the stairs and get directly on a southbound train. No! They are never used! Why not? I don’t know.

    In my opinion, a new station platform should be built just north of the current one, to bring it more central to all of the parking. Perhaps there could be another parking lot on the other side of the tracks as well (accessed by an over- or underpass).

    To avoid all of this drama, and risk outing my commuting dream, I go from Patterson and get a parking space right along the platform. I get home the same time I would from Southeast because I save all of that time walking and waiting with mobs of commuters to exit via the only stairway, dodging cars since the pedestrian walkway is also closed!

    End Rant.

    As always, thanks for the lovely blog post! Nice panorama pics, btw. What do you use to take them? :)

    Paul

  • Steven:

    Most of the line north of Southeast also seems to get more CT commuters than NY just by looking at the license plate of cars in the parking lot.

    Southeast is a really boring place to railfan or take pictures -I agree with you there.

  • Steve:

    Your Dad is correct, as all Dad’s are, always correct. That is Brewester North.

    When the connector road was built from 312, it was called the million dollar road to nowhere. For a few years after it was built, no one used the station. Hard to believe that today. There was no diner or dunkin donuts or home depot, it was all vacant land.

  • Al Cyone:

    I can’t help but think that towns with names like “Southeast” should be forced to come up with something better. There’s a town in Pennsylvania called “Jersey Shore” and it’s quite disconcerting to be driving east on I-80 and see it on the next exit sign. At least North Tarrytown took the initiative to recast itself as Sleepy Hollow.

  • max:

    I can’t believe I’m actually in the minority here. I’m normally a New Haven line passanger and used Southeast yesterday since I was in Danbury. Sure, the walk is a bit far, especially the far lot, but its better service and 10 times better cars then what we have. If only I lived closer and I’d use it on weekends as well.

    • I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a bad station… in comparison to some of the other Harlem Line stations though, it is hardly a gem. You are right though -the service though is pretty good, which is why a lot of people from Connecticut come over and use it, instead of going through the hassle of the Danbury Branch and the New Haven Line.

  • Gus Febles:

    Love the family tie you have to Southeast!! My family is like that with the LIRR