When it comes to communities with connections to Metro North, you can’t get more connected than the city of Mount Vernon. Two of Mount Vernon’s stations have been featured here before – Fleetwood, and Mount Vernon West, both on the Harlem Line. The city is unique in that it is intersected by both the Harlem and New Haven Lines, and that it has stations on both. Mount Vernon East is the city’s third station, and its connection on the New Haven Line – and in my own humble opinion, probably the nicer of the three.
Mount Vernon East claim to fame: being the true filmed location for the train station in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Mount Vernon East is a relatively short jaunt from Grand Central: approximately 14 miles. It is the first station after the New Haven Line splits from the Harlem Line, and the last station before the switch from third rail power to catenary. It is one of the dwindling number of Metro-North stations that still has a manned ticket window, open on weekday mornings. Located next to the ticket window is a dedication plaque, a memorial to Fred Wilkinson, a longtime member of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council.
Also included at the Mount Vernon East station is one of my favorite Metro-North Arts for Transit pieces. As I work my way through the entire Metro-North system, I definitely enjoy discovering the permanent art placed at quite a few stations by the Arts for Transit program. I’ve already gone on record stating that the pieces at Wassaic and Pleasantville rank pretty high on my list of favorites – though that had been before I visited Mount Vernon East. I’ve always adored stained glass, and glasswork in general, and I have an immense amount of admiration for those who work in the medium, as it is far from easy. But when glasswork is done right, it can be a pretty breathtaking sight. I could probably stare at this piece all day long, and not get bored. It is aptly titled Tranquility – a little oasis of calm hidden in a bustling network of express trains and rushing commuters.
That pretty much takes care of Mount Vernon East, which for those keeping score, is the 70th Metro-North station that I’ve photographed thus far. It just so happens that it is also the first New York state station I’ve featured on the New Haven Line. And besides New Haven’s Union Station, it may be one of my favorite New Haven Line station… though I do have quite a few more stations left to discover.
I grew up a Fleetwood (Mount Vernon) commuter, before transfering allegiances to Rye, North White Plains, and Port Chester. I went to high school in Mount Vernon (A.B. Davis, ’56) and roamed the area. I missed the NYW&B era, but am still fascinated by it. Wrong place, wrong time, too big a budget… Anyhoo, Mount Vernon’s NYNH&H and NYW&B Columbus Avenue station was a great place to explore. As far as the Mount Vernon (East) station goes, I only used it on rare occasions, after cadging a dinner from my family and going home to Rye.
IIRC, the New Haven cut, thru Mount Vernon, was designed to be covered. Erection of the catenary precluded this happening. I’d love to see a picture of the old NH Mount Vernon station. The Mount Vernon trolley lines are another story, especially the burning of the cars out at the Sanford Ave. yard…