Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by Pensyfan19
Hello all;

I know that it has been some time since I have posted on this forum, but I am currently in the midst of working on a massive project that covers obscure facts about various northeast commuter railroads, ranging from leased engines and odd consists to special trains and overlooked historic events. Therefore, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share any obscure facts about Metro North/Shore Line East/Hartford Line that you can think of so that I can add as much info as I can to this project. Info must be limited to any time after the formation of said commuter railroad, and does not include any info about its predecessors. Thank you for your help.
  by R36 Combine Coach
First, the oddballs of MNCR's fleet:

4183, a onetime build of a U34 for the Port Jervis Line in 1978 (actually a rebuild of a former CNW U30) along with an oddball fleet of cars: the eight Comet I-As (two cabs, six coaches) that were assembled from leftover Arrow III shells.

6131/5178, only Comet IIB cab car built, as NJT decided to have Arrow I MUs converted to cab cars instead of Comet IIB cab cars in 1988.

Comet IIIs 5179-5180, the only Comet IIIs owned by MNCR, later went to NJT as 5009/5010, returned to Metro-North in 2008, with 5010 now the "Laser Train". They are now the last two in their class, as the rest stored in Bay Head were scrapped at Neptune on the Coast Line.

As for special events, Metro-North served the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck.

ConnDOT has leased Amtrak P40s for some time. The Amtrak branded SPVs were not AMTK owned, but ConnDOT. There were also some depowered push-pull RDCs (Boise Budds) in the 80s.

The MNCR Hudson and Harlem lines were actually owned by Penn Central (under the American Premier Underwriters holding company) as late as 2008.

When The Ice Storm was shot in spring 1996, a pair of M-2s had to covered in fake ice as prop. The film crew also added PC decals and icicles on the platform, in warm May weather (see DVD documentary featurette).

M-8s were the first Kawasaki cars built entirely in the Lincoln (NE) plant.
  by NaugyRR
Metro-North leased about a half a dozen P40's in the late 2000's as they awaited delivery of the Brookville units for branch service. I remember riding behind them on the upper Harlem Line while they were on property.

Photos at Harlem Valley - Wingdale...
  by CNJGeep
Not sure when it stopped but there used to be a mid day Waterbury trip that used an SLE set
  by GirlOnTheTrain
CNJGeep wrote: Wed Nov 15, 2023 2:38 pm Not sure when it stopped but there used to be a mid day Waterbury trip that used an SLE set

It stopped in 2014 when they changed the crew base for the shuttle from New Haven to Stamford.
  by expbusop
Is there some kind of work going on overnight, when coming down Saw Mill I can see the lights of trucks on the ROW. This is about 4:45 am and a northbound deadhead is going slow through the crossing of Readers Digest Rd
  by ExCon90
The West-of-Hudson portion of MN is accessible only over the rails of NJ Transit, and trains are composed of intermingled locomotives and cars of both operators. Passengers can ride in MN equipment entirely within New Jersey.
  by ajp
Winged Foot CC was accessed from Mamaroneck station with a special security bus stop for the 2006 event. As far as I remember it just used normal NH line schedules (the tourist crowds were big and wandered thru Mamaroneck in the evening)
The 2020 US Open was closed to spectators and did not warrant any special arrangements at Mamaroneck.
  by ajp
Bombadiers and P 32's
when I think of SLE in those days I envisioned Mafesta cars and GP 40's.
  by R36 Combine Coach
Danbury had bar service (one weekday PM through train only) to around 2002. There was a Shoreliner used for bar service, no images are available but it was apparently converted back to a standard coach.
  by Railjunkie
Amtrak Empire service borrowed/leased cars during the Thanksgiving rush and I do remember having them on a Buffalo Bills special back in the late 90s from Conndot. We called the Combat cars cause nothing ever worked correctly. I'm sure Amtrak borrowed/leased cars for other service as well.
  by NH2060
If it’s not too late to contribute anything, here are few interesting facts:

1. Peter Stangl -who was the first President of the RR- originally wanted the name of the RR to be Grand Central & Northern, not Metro-North. But I think what put the kibosh on that was the NY state portions of the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines being under the MTA umbrella. Doesn’t make sense to have it named that when those two lines run out of Hoboken, not GCT.

2. Two ex-NH/PC “Washboard” MUs ran in MNR service on the New Canaan branch until March or April 1983. Five cars were officially rostered as MNR equipment (the remaining 90 or so cars were officially retired/in storage awaiting scrapping)

3. When the extension north of Dover Plains was in the planning stages in the mid 1990s some of the extension options included a) extending it only to where the Tenmile River station is and b) going all the way to Millerton. One source claims the ex-NYC Mount Riga station was on the table (presumably because it was at the northernmost point in Dutchess County so it would result in a bigger ridership catchment with plenty of room for a rail yard without having the MTA charter amended to allow trains to go into Columbia County).

4. The Winged Foot service was indeed SLE. A single round trip ran for a week or two in June from Old Saybrook to Mamaroneck and back. The first and so far only time a SLE consist ran in revenue service west of Stamford and in NY state. I was fortunate to have ridden one of the specials; consist was 5 SPV coaches and a GP40-2H. Also by chance saw another special cross the Mianus River drawbridge westbound.