PC1100 wrote:Based on this it sounds as though the station was originally only served by the Dover Plains shuttles. Can anyone clarify? Other photos show the high level platform being built in 1983, so the old station apparently didn't last very long.
Can't really answer this one too well, other than to say the schedule I have from 1972 shows the line divided very similar to the way it's divided today. (The bulk of the action is between GCT and NWP, with a decent amount of service to Brewster, then infrequent shuttles for the extreme upper stations.) The only exception is that passengers would change trains at Brewster back then, as opposed to Southeast. I find it kind of odd, considering the third rail ended at North White Plains back then... so you'd have people changing from one diesel train to another. Even one Saturday northbound train that originated
at NWP would require a change at Brewster.
If I had to hazard a guess, it's probably because the Upper Harlem was pretty rural back then (parts of it still are today) and didn't have many passengers. No sense in sending a full trains' worth of cars all the way up to Dover Plains, when you could condense it down to just a single RDC. Considering there's a big fat Penn Central logo on the front cover, I'd imagine cost savings was a bigger factor than whether or not people had to change trains twice to get from one end of the line to the other.
Back to the original question, based on what you said, I guess Brewster North was indeed just shuttles at first, and then took over as the "shuttle transfer point" when third-rail service was extended in 1984. Pretty interesting; I was always under the impression the station was always high-level, to go along with the electrification extension. It wasn't until this thread started that I learned the station was actually built in 1980 -- and with low-level platforms, no less!
PC1100 wrote:It's interesting to note that when the current platform opened it was unique compared to the other stations done as part of the '83-'84 electrification project. There were no stairways, elevators nor overpass at the south end from the parking lot to the platform as there currently is. The access to the platform was at the north end via a ramp and a small stairway from track level, which you had to walk across track 2 to get to. It was definitely still like that when I saw it back in 1988, but I don't know how much longer it stayed like that.
Hmm... weird. I have at least one picture from 1995 showing the overpass was there... though I don't remember whether there were elevators at that time.
Here's one of them: http://www.pnaw10.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=3623
I even remember trying to take pictures from the overpass, but my el-cheapo film camera back in the day didn't cooperate too well with the scratched, tinted windows.
I don't remember a ramp or walkway across track 2 -- but I'm not saying you're wrong about them still being in use in 1998. I didn't shoot anything at that end of the platform in 1995, so I can't prove or disprove it. However, you may be interested to know the ramp and stairs are still visible underneath the current platform:
I was wondering what the heck the deal was with those stairs... now I know. That former west-side platform is now separated from the tracks by a chain-link fence (I think it was in 1995 too, but none of my pictures show that side of the station). It was
acting as a sidewalk to let folks get from the present-day overpass to the northern end of the parking lot without having to walk in traffic, but as you can see here
, that is no longer the case. The sidewalk is closed because they've got a bunch of temporary bridges to allow high-level boarding from the west side. The bridges looked a bit weather-worn, and they were boarded up... so I guess their initial duty is over with, but "someone" must have decided it wise to leave them there in case of future need.