Glenbrook station, 1935

If there was ever to be a competition for the most seemingly mundane station on the New Haven Line, the station our tour visits today, Glenbrook, would be high on the list of contenders (likely along with Ansonia). Glenbrook is along the New Canaan Branch, just north of Stamford, and about 35 miles from Grand Central. The four-car platform is wedged between two grade crossings, and faces the backs of several buildings. Besides the bus stop style shelters on the platform, there is no canopy, and no protection from the elements. Like the rest of the stations along the branch (with the exception of New Canaan) there are no ticket vending machines at Glenbrook. The only other things one can actually find on the platform are the typical station trash bins, a few wire benches, and a newspaper vending machine that looks like it is never filled.

Mural at Glenbrook Station

Beneath the unremarkable exterior of this small railroad station, however, is a story. Most of the building backs the platform faces are just grey concrete – a few of them have advertisements – but one has a mural. The mural that faces the platform was commissioned by the wife of former Glenbrook commuter Sean Rooney, and it depicts his favorite golf course. Every morning Rooney would wake, just as many of us commuters do, and head to the station to await the morning Metro-North train to get to work. But unlike many of the other commuters with whom he waited on the platform, one evening ten years ago Rooney never managed to catch that train home. Rooney worked on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower, and died when that building collapsed on September 11th, 2001. The mural’s colors are not only a tribute to the life of a man, a fellow commuter, but bring a small bit of life to an otherwise grey and drab railroad station.


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