Issue 371 June 24, 2002
Metro-North Penn Station Plans Shape Up

Metro-North Railroad, which is studying scenarios for providing service to Penn Station NY, has narrowed its choices to service over the Hudson and New Haven lines, eliminating the Harlem Line from consideration.  Metro-North previously reduced a group of twenty possible alignments to three weekday services: on the Hudson Line via Amtrakís west side Empire Connection, the Harlem Line via the Hudson Line and the New Haven Line via Amtrakís Hell Gate Line.

Metro-North has determined that Hudson and New Haven line connections would serve the highest potential ridership and provide the best time savings for riders, during both weekday and off-peak/weekend time periods. In addition to yielding lower ridership, Metro-North says a Harlem line option would require track construction to connect the Harlem and Hudson lines.  Both the Hudson and New Haven line alternatives would use existing tracks, reducing costs.

As part of its Penn Station plan, Metro-North would build new stations, at West 125th and West 59th Streets for the Hudson Line and at Co-Op City, Parkchester and Hunts Point for the New Haven Line. 

Metro-North west side access would complement the MTAís plan to link the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central.  It would in fact require the completion of the latter project, at least on weekdays, because of Penn Stationís capacity crunch.  Itís unclear as yet how much Penn Station capacity would be freed up by the diversion of some LIRR to Grand Central Terminal, given expected LIRR and NJ Transit ridership growth.

MTR #371 portable document format (PDF) file version
(requires Adobe Acrobat).

Related Articles and Links

MTA' s Penn Station Access Project

ARC Misses the Mark (May 13, 2002)

Saving Regional Rail From its Own Success (Aug. 7, 1998)

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