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Tuesday Tour of the New Haven Line: Stamford Train Photos Tuesday Tours

Welcome to Stamford, the next and final stop on our tour of the New Haven Line. We’ve seen the best (and worst) that the line and its branches have to offer – from the attractive New Canaan, Mamaroneck, and New Haven stations, to the barely-there stations of Merritt 7 and Ansonia. Stamford is much more utilitarian than it is beautiful, consisting of five tracks that accommodate both Metro-North and Amtrak trains, as well as a waiting area complete with a Dunkin Donuts and a MTA police station <insert stereotypical joke here>.

   
 

Photos of Stamford station in the 1970′s and 1980′s

Throughout the many years the railroad has run through Stamford, there have been several different station buildings to occupy the space. One of the buildings with the longest life-span was built in 1896, surviving for nearly 90 years, before being demolished to make room for the current station. There were, in fact, two full stations on each side of the tracks – complete with ticket windows, bathrooms, baggage and waiting rooms. Although many New Haven Line stations had a building on both sides of the tracks, one of the two was usually smaller and did not have full amenities. Stamford’s two full-service stations was a rarity, and reflected the station’s importance. By October of 1907, the line from New York up to Stamford was electrified, which lead to even further population growth in the city.

Stamford station did not see any major changes until 1972, when high-level platforms were constructed to accommodate the new “Cosmopolitan” railcars (M2′s), and again in the early 1980′s when the historical station buildings were razed to make room for the current station.

 
   
  
   

Historic American Buildings Survey photographs of Stamford, taken in 1983 before the two stations were demolished

The current station at Stamford, known as the Stamford Transportation Center, was completed in 1987. The construction took around five years and cost a very over-budget $40 million dollars. The new station opened to less than stellar reviews, using an array of embarrassing adjectives such as dismal, uncomfortable, and gruesome. Though there have been renovations in the time since, the station still feels like a massive, unfriendly box of concrete. The high concentration of police also made me absolutely frightened to take pictures, though there were many places that I could have. Any station with that many tracks usually equals more opportunities to capture the movement of trains. Although I got a few shots of the new M8 railcars, the rest of the station is remarkably drab and relatively non-noteworthy… especially compared to some of the wonderful things we’ve seen on the New Haven Line.

 
  
   
 
  
 
 
   
 
  
  
   

So… that is it. We’ve officially toured the entire Harlem Line, and the entire New Haven Line. Up next will be the Port Jervis Line, which I photographed last year, followed by the Hudson Line, which I will start photographing soon.

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Comments
  • From reading Paul Goldberger’s 1987 review of the station, one might get the impression it murdered his baby or something. Wow.

    Congrats on the achievement…I’m looking forward to your next adventures!

  • Al Brecken:

    If you’r waiting at track-level , there is no place to sit !!! The over-all design is hideous to your eyes , and extemely unpleasant to your comfort.

  • Adam Moss:

    So, no random trip to Kent Road on the Danbury? Considering that was a Metro-North station till 1994.

  • Keith:

    Fantastic coverage of another line!

    The Harlem and New Haven were great, I have no doubt Port Jervis and the Hudson will be fantastic as well.

  • George:

    That MTA Police station is on the Tunnel level. Dunkin Donuts is in the concourse. As far as I know, there is no police station on the concourse itself (which is the waiting area).

    Al Brecken: there are places to sit on track level. They are in windowed partitions. Though maybe this is only on the island platforms?

    The station is ugly alright. They should make Acela stop in Greenwich instead so Greenwich people never have to visit this station.

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