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 ajp
before the MTA took over operations, was there ever 24 hour commuter service in/out of GCT?
  by TomNelligan
For a few years in the mid-1960s, the New York Central ran hourly "Night Owl" service through the night, but it was eventually discontinued due to low ridership.
  by shlustig
The nightly owl service lasted into the 1970's when I was at GCT. Service was finally ended when the MTA closed the Terminal between 1AM and 5AM.
  by PC1100
The Hudson never had true overnight commuter service, although until around 1959 both Hudson Div. suburban timetables and NYC system timetables show a local train to Syracuse departing GCT around 3AM that made many, but not all, local stops in the suburban territory on the Hudson. That's all for the Hudson.

The Harlem had the "Night Owl" service starting in either late 1966 or early 1967. In the beginning it consisted of hourly departures (2AM to 5 AM) out of GCT to North White Plains stopping at Fordham, Mt. Vernon West and all stops from there to NWP. There were departures out of NWP to GCT at 3AM and 4 AM. Not long into the service the 4AM train to NWP became weekends only, but it remained this way into 1972. The July 17, 1972 timetable shows GCT-NWP service reduced to 3AM and 4:30AM departures from GCT, and the NWP-GCT service reduced to a single 3:27AM train out of NWP. These remaining trains were eliminated one year later in July 1973 when GCT was closed for the first time ever between 1:30AM and 5:30AM.

The New Haven a couple of trains through the years that departed GCT around 3AM and 4:30 AM making local stops to Stamford with either one or both of them continuing on to New Haven. I'm not sure about the details of these trains in the New Haven RR days, but as of the April 26, 1971 timetable there was a 3:10AM Stamford local and a 4:40AM local to New Haven. By the July 17, 1972 timetable the 3:10AM Stamford local was gone, but the 4:40AM to New Haven was still running. That train was eliminated in July 1973.
  by ajp
it would be interesting to see a midnight and 03:00 schedule, but keeping GCT open for just 3 trains (assuming one per line) would be cost prohibitive considering MTA's budget problems now.
when I work in the city, I could never guarantee making the last NH train out with the shut down of the Times Square shuttle at 00:00.
  by R36 Combine Coach
Those along the New Haven Line still have the option of Amtrak's overnight Regional (66), departing at 3 AM.
  by ajp
so i just have to bribe the conductor to stop (or slow down) at Mamaroneck.
  by checkthedoorlight
Watch out, A66 now departs NYP at 2:41am.
  by GreatOne2k7
GCT isn't needed for overnight service, 125 St or E 153 St could be used as overnight terminals since they also "connect" to the subway.
  by Clean Cab
The New Haven Railroad ran late night trains in and out of GCT throughout most of the 1950s and 1960's to Stamford and New Haven.
  by Ridgefielder
GreatOne2k7 wrote:GCT isn't needed for overnight service, 125 St or E 153 St could be used as overnight terminals since they also "connect" to the subway.
I know New York is a whole heck of a lot safer than it was 20 years ago, but I'd still hesitate before walking from the #4 train to MNR at E163 St. at, say, 3 a.m. on a Tuesday in February...
  by Train322
From the Oct 64 schedule
After 1:35am-
A 3am local to New Haven (most stops east of Stamford). 10-15 minute stops at N Rochelle, Greenwich and Stamford where it would accept customers on the 4:07 local (mostly) from GCT.
Sun only local in liu of the 3am to Stamford (The Night Cap) ran at 3:25am.

Penn had two expresses at 2:25 and 3:15 (Federal, most days non stop to New Haven).

Inbound, after a local arrival in GCT at 1:50am, a Mon only express at 3:55 (Sun am at 5:01) prior to another arrival at 5:35 (not on Sun or Mon).

With the M8's coming, why not have a Penn local departure? Close GCT overnight to save $ and use Penn for two additional (N Haven and Hudson) overnight trains.

Also, can the current equipment allow a Hudson line local from Penn around 3am?
  by DutchRailnut
there won't be NYP service any time soon, even with M-8's about a mnile of third rail and substations missing and M-8 can not operate on catenary south of Gate interlocking due to 25 Hz.
Also NYP has no room for MNCR, not now or anytime soon.
  by ajp
besides probable NYP conflicts and trackage and operating rights (pilots and such) from Amtrak for the Metropolitan Div and the West side line the only way NYP night service would work now is with P32's modified with over runing 3rd rail shoes to traverse the Penn Station tunnels.
A foamers delight, but in addition you would be missing several stations on both the NH and Hudson lines and leaving the Harlem in the cold. That would be a hard sell.

So in the end it back to the car for me.
  by DutchRailnut
in short answer is " MNCR never had overnight service.
see: NYC or NYNH&HRR forums