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Posts Tagged ‘mamaroneck’

Best of 2012, a year-end review Train

Friday, December 28th, 2012

2012 has been an interesting year here at I Ride the Harlem Line… we finished up touring the stations on the New Haven, Port Jervis, Pascack Valley, and Hudson lines, as well as visited some places far outside Metro-North’s territory. As if that wasn’t enough, we also began our Grand Central 100 for 100 Project, posting one image every day for 100 days, all to celebrate Grand Central Terminal’s centennial.

As is customary around the end of the year, let’s take a look back at what was most popular on the site this year, based on the number of reads… presenting the top 15 posts of 2012:

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Starting off our countdown at number 15 is a photographic look at the old Milwaukee Road Depot in Minneapolis. Completed in 1899, the old station was renovated and turned into a hotel. An old train shed now offers an ice skating rink. This is one of a few posts on the blog about Minneapolis this year, from my visit there in April. Some of the other stuff from Minneapolis included the Stone Arch Bridge, a former railroad bridge converted to pedestrian use, riding around on the Hiawatha Line, the old and new Minnehaha Station, and the classical music playing Lake Street – Midtown station.

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14th most viewed for the year is our Hudson Line tour to Yonkers. The nicely restored brick station at Yonkers, built by the New York Central, is definitely one of the gems of the Hudson Line.

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There are plenty of hoaxes and tall tales related to Grand Central Terminal, but only one of them made our top fifteen list this year. Coming in at number 13 is the 1929 hoax in the Information Booth. As the story goes, a tricky scammer convinced a fruit seller that the railroad was planning on selling space in the information booth, and that prime space could be turned into a fruit stand. Of course, it was a complete lie, and the scammer skipped town with a nice wad of cash. Amusingly, you can buy apple in the Terminal today – either in Grand Central Market, or in the figurative sense, the Apple store in the main concourse.

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Another Grand Central themed post comes in at number 12 on our countdown – featuring the sky ceiling that nobody really knows about. This painting can be found inside Grande Harvest Wines – it is the last surviving remnant of the 242-seat newsreel theater that was once in Grand Central Terminal.

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Our tour of New Haven Line station Mamaroneck makes the list at number 11. Mamaroneck has a lovely old station that was undergoing a transformation into a restaurant called the Club Car – we managed to get a sneak preview of the place, and shared it along with the station tour.

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The Hudson Line tour of Tarrytown station also makes the list, likely for our coverage of the new and most wonderful Arts for Transit piece by Holly Sears. The 1898 Richardsonian Romanesque-style station at Tarrytown was built by architectural firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, who are most known for their stations on the Boston and Albany railroad.

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Ninth most popular for the year was my first foray into 3D modeling, and 3D printing. I decided I would try to model the Harlem Line’s Brewster station from historical photos – basically how it looked when it was first built. The interesting journey  was featured in various places around the internet, including the TinkerCad Blog, Shapeways Blog, Adafruit and Wired.

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One of the more memorable things I got to do this year was to have a brief chat with Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut. Having been with Metro-North since its inception, the man has a pretty interesting viewpoint regarding the history of the Harlem Line. We talked about Metro-North’s formation from ConRail, Millerton, and other admirable rail systems, among other things.

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Before touring the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines, I wrote a brief introduction to the West of Hudson lines, which was the seventh most viewed post on the site this year. The intro included a few maps, time tables, and a look back on the damage Hurricane Irene wrought on the Port Jervis line.

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Sixth on our top 15 countdown is a trip to Metro-North’s Operations Control Center. This is the workplace for the railroad’s Rail Traffic Controllers – one of the most stressful and possibly thankless jobs at Metro-North. The current OCC is certainly high tech, but we also got a glimpse of the old OCC, and an ad for one of the New York Central’s historical towers in Grand Central – which looked quite archaic in comparison!

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One of the most memorable shots of Hurricane Sandy was this capture of a boat resting on the Hudson Line’s tracks in Ossining, which I couldn’t help but turn into an image macro. In other news, whoever happens to own that boat is probably a big asshole, as it seems to be named after a Nazi warship. I guess the owner never realized his boat would end up on the front page of several newspapers – or top 5 in our countdown.

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Fourth most popular for the year was our April Fool’s prank about Harlem Line service getting restored up to Millerton, complete with two fake timetables and a fake ticket. Rumor has it, some folks in Metro-North’s customer service department hate me even more than they did before after this trick!

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Coming in at third most popular is the Grand Central 100 for 100 project, featuring 100 historical photos of the Terminal in the hundred days leading up to its centennial. By now we’re more than halfway through, so if you aren’t following the project on Facebook, you totally should be!

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It appears that everybody loves Dobbs Ferry station, as our tour was the number two most read post on the site for 2012. Featuring another Richardsonian Romanesque station by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, Dobbs Ferry also has a nice location right on the Hudson River’s waterfront.

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Everybody seems to say that the cat is the internet’s unofficial mascot, and it certainly seems that is true! By far, the number one most read post on the site was about Sadie the Subway Cat, of the New York Transit Museum. In addition to our March photo session with the popular feline, we updated you on Sadie’s subsequent retirement, and a humorous update on her new life outside the museum.

That just about wraps up 2012 – I’m definitely looking forward to bringing you new things in 2013… everybody have a Happy New Year!

We’re having a birthday party… and you’re invited! Events

Friday, March 30th, 2012

April 10th will be I Ride the Harlem Line’s third birthday… Back when I posted about Mamaroneck I mentioned having a get-together at the Club Car when it opens. Well, according to The Loop, it is open! What better than to combine both things into one event? Although it sounds a bit strange to have a birthday party for I Ride the Harlem Line at an old New Haven Line station, but hey, we all appreciate history and a good train station, no matter where it is!

I would love to see you there! Unless I win the Mega Millions tonight, I unfortunately can’t buy you all food, so you’ll have to bring some money (sorry!). Right now the only confirmed guest we have is Jeff, the admin from railroad.net (who is coming from quite far away!). If you’re thinking about coming, either comment or shoot me an email (info@iridetheharlemline.com) so I at least have a rough idea of how many people will be showing up.

Tuesday Tour of the New Haven Line: Mamaroneck Train Photos

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


Postcard view of Mamaroneck station


Aerial view of Mamaroneck. The old station is to the left, away from the tracks and platform.

Welcome to one of the final Tuesday Tours of the New Haven Line. Our stop today is the delightful village of Mamaroneck. I had every intention of posting Mamaroneck last – I even had Darien’s tour ready to go – but I happened to get a sneak peek of the newly-restored station over the weekend, and couldn’t resist posting it right away. The station, built in 1888 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style (which, admittedly, is one of my favorites), is certainly one of the nicest (and second oldest) on the New Haven Line. However, like many old stations, the condition of the building had degraded, and it needed a lot of work. Metro-North, who owned the station, was having difficulties finding someone to lease the place in the condition it was in. Without the funds to renovate the station themselves, Metro-North instead listed the station for sale in 2007.


Drawing of Mamaroneck station, front view

Though various parties were interested in the station, it was ultimately sold in 2008 to John and Chris Verni of Verco Properties, for $1.25 million. Renovations began after a formal groundbreaking ceremony on April 22, 2010. During my first visit to Mamaroneck last September, I happened to get a few shots of the station while the restoration was in progress. It didn’t look like too much had been completed yet, but I was feeling very optimistic about this place, and knew I would return at some point.

  
 
Work on the Mamaroneck station, photos taken September 2010

Curious about the station’s progress, I decided that a visit to Mamaroneck was in order last weekend. After attempting to peek through the windows, one of the staff members that was there invited me in. Getting a sneak peek of the renovated station, and its tenant the Club Car restaurant, was certainly the highlight of my weekend. Hopefully the restaurant will be open within the next two or three weeks (I was told they are still waiting on Con-Ed), but I’m happy to share with you all a little preview of this great former rail station. And it sure looks beautiful!

  
 
  
 
  

  
  
  
 
  
 

The real reason we’re here, however, are the trains. Mamaroneck is one of New York state’s stations along the New Haven Line. Located a little more than 20 miles from Grand Central, a journey to the city takes around forty minutes. The station building, which we saw above, was once closer to the tracks, but was moved to its current location in 1927. This placement did make it a little difficult to serve as a ticket office, since it was so far from the tracks. The building was, however, connected via a tunnel to stairways leading to both platforms.


Tickets stamped in Mamaroneck, from the collection of Otto Vondrak

Metro North’s current facility at the station consists of a covered platform, and a small waiting area with benches and soda/snack machines on the westbound side of the track. Up until 2007 the historic station was used as a ticket office, but it was closed ahead of listing the building for sale. There are, however, ticket vending machines on the platform to serve this purpose.

That is about it for our tour today. I’ll end with some photos of the platform at Mamaroneck, and a few sightings of the new M8 railcars there. There are only two stations left on this Tuesday Tour of the New Haven Line – Darien and Stamford. Anybody want to have a tour finished/railfan get-together at the Club Car when it opens?

  
 
 
  
 
   
 
 

Weekly News Roundup, 12/23 Train

Friday, December 23rd, 2011


Here’s this week’s news, on this incredibly grey and rainy day.

Connecticut to get quiet car trial

When Metro-North started doing trials for their “Quiet CALMute” quiet car program, it only included the Harlem and Hudson Lines. Starting January 9th, however, quiet cars will be appearing on the New Haven Line. The Connecticut Commuter Council’s Jim Cameron blogged about it, and to my amusement said, “treat passengers like adults and they’ll act that way.” I would very much like to ride Jim Cameron’s train, where all the passengers act like adults. You know, where people don’t hide in the bathroom to evade fare and don’t get into fistfights with the conductor because they don’t want to pay.

Many people support the quiet car program, though I still have some reservations about how it will work on a larger scale. I’m curious to hear how it works out when quiet cars are added to some “real” trains. As I’ve mentioned before, the Wassaic trains where quiet cars were added are normally quiet. The people have to wake up early, have long commute times, and often catch up on sleep (oh, and they commute more in a day than Cameron does in a week). On my local, however, we have a delightful business man that dresses in a suit and tie, boards at Mount Kisco and hides in the bathroom until Chappaqua. Then he comes out and shows his Chappaqua monthly, a scheme that saves him $49 a month. He’s not one of the incredibly obnoxious and rude passengers on the train, but it is unfortunate for the real adults that board at Mount Kisco and actually pay the full fare.

Train in Connecticut searched for murder suspect

Connecticut has had some wacky stories this week… from Jesus on a bus, a turkey loose in a tire shop, to a man that defecated in a bank parking lot prior to robbing it. Some Metro-North riders were involved in a situation far less amusing when armed police boarded their train in Darien looking for a man suspected of murdering two. Or maybe a different man that killed someone else. Everybody’s confused, but they were looking for somebody!

Route 120 bridge opens – finally

The Route 120 bridge over the railroad tracks and adjacent to Chappaqua station has opened. Finally. Every morning during my commute, I watched the slow construction on this bridge, and it is nice to see it finished. It contains a walkway and a set of stairs for easy access to the Chappaqua train station.

“Club Car” coming to Mamaroneck

The old Mamaroneck train station is still being renovated, but when it reopens it will be housing the Club Car Restaurant and Lounge.


Renovations in progress at Mamaroneck

MTA approves budget for 2012

The 2012 budget has been approved by the MTA board this week.

Happy Holidays!

To get you into the “holiday spirit” TrainJotting has posted their amusing Twas the Night Before Christmas parody again this year.