Posts Tagged ‘Metro-North Railroad’

LIRR to offer joint ticket to Meadowlands Sports Complex Rail Station

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

lg-lirr-TrainToGame

You can now buy and use a single train ticket to ride from stations on the Long Island Rail Road all the way to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, home of Giants Stadium, a new football stadium to be named later, and the Izod Center (as well as the Meadowlands Racetrack and the unfinished Xanadu).

But be careful – even though New Jersey Transit will be running trains to the Meadowlands for events other than Giants and Jets football games, the LIRR thru-tickets are only “officially” valid for football game days. This may have something to do with the fact that, as the LIRR notes, you must show your rail ticket at the fare gates at Secaucus Junction, instead of feeding it through the turnstile, since the LIRR ticket stock does not have the magnetic stripe like the NJT ticket stock.

Read all about this LIRR/NJT joint ticketing initiative here: http://mta.info/lirr/pubs/TrainToTheGame/. That LIRR web page even features a nifty diagram of part of Penn Station, to help people make the LIRR -> NJT transfer. The other part of the graphic is an extremely simple route diagram of the rail service. You can see them below:

Click to see a bigger version

Click to see a bigger version

Oh, and Metro-North is doing the same thing. Even though they are running direct trains from the New Haven line to Secaucus Junction on the days of Sunday 1 PM games, you can also buy a joint ticket from any Metro-North station that you can use to get all the way to the Meadowlands. You will of course need to get from Grand Central Terminal to Penn Station New York in order to board a New Jersey Transit train to Secaucus. The brochure linked to in my recent post on this topic explains things in much much greater detail.

P.S. And no, you can’t buy an LIRR ticket from Penn Station New York to the Meadowlands. I know, because I tried it this evening. Would have been (pointlessly) cool though, in a railfanning kind of way.

Update: Here’s a good Newsday article on the topic of the joint-ticketing.

Metro-North brochure for Meadowlands Rail Service

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

TakeTrainFootBall_web

Metro-North Railroad has created a new brochure to explain their part of the direct service that they are planning to run with New Jersey Transit this fall. It is admittedly a complicated task to convey all of the options and nuances that they are trying to get across, but I think they did an okay job. The brochure is linked from a new web page Metro-North put up for this service. You can also download the PDF directly from this link: http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/SchedPDF_vWEB_Brochure.pdf

Edit: This brochure, in all its glossy printed glory, is available in the information boxes next to each of the upper level tracks at Grand Central Terminal, as of yesterday, August 19, 2009.

NJT Meadowlands Rail Service Begins July 26 2009

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

An article in The Star-Ledger has revealed that New Jersey Transit’s train service to the new station at the Meadowlands Sports Complex will begin on Sunday, July 26, 2009, for the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final match.

In other interesting news contained in the same article, the New York Giants have a connection to the new movie “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3”:

Lastly, the Giants invited us to a screening of “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” at their practice facility this afternoon with about 40 of the players. The film, which comes out June 12, was co-produced by Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.

Initial Ridership Figures for Yankee Stadium Metro-North Station

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Take the train_web

Weekdays: about 50 vs. projection of 400

Game days: high of 4,200 vs. capacity of 10,000

Source: Slow start at new station

Disney’s Christmas Carol Train Tour coming to Grand Central Terminal

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Disney is sending a charter train around the country over the next few months to promote its upcoming movie “A Christmas Carol”. From the photos included in the USA Today and Reuters Blog articles, it looks like the train is made up of baggage cars with exterior advertising wraps and complete interior sets. The press release further reveals that Amtrak locomotives will haul the train, and a “private car” will also be included in the consist. Looks like Amtrak P42 157 will be doing the honors.

Anyhow, the train is scheduled to end its tour with a visit to Metro-North’s Grand Central Terminal in New York City between October 30 and November 1, 2009.

Metro-North relaxes restrictions on bicycle transport

Monday, April 27th, 2009

mtabikeride

As of the new May 3 2009 timetable update, Metro-North Railroad will be allowing bikes on more of its trains.

Here is a summary of the new rules, as per today’s press release:

Of note to bicyclists, with the May 3 timetable, Metro-North is relaxing restrictions on bicycle transport by allowing bikes to be carried on most Reverse Peak trains and in the periods immediately around the evening peak period. So now, bikes will be allowed on most trains departing Grand Central between 3 p.m. and 3:59 p.m. and from 8:01 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Blanket prohibitions against bicycles during these periods will be replaced with train-specific restrictions. The object is to keep bicycles off those trains that have proven to be consistently crowded. The new timetables will provide customers with guidance on when bicycles may be carried aboard trains. Note: these symbols will only appear in the large, full-line (Hudson, Harlem and New Haven) timetables.

The intent of this change is to make Metro-North more “bike-friendly” and to attract new customers who wish to use bicycles as part of their workday travel plans. Folding bicycles are allowed on board Metro-North trains at all times.

And here’s a link to the existing rules.

I took my bike on Metro-North once to go mountain biking at Blue Mountain in Peekskill and had no problems. I highly recommend the MNCR+BIKE combo.

Meadowlands (Giants, Jets, and more) Train Service Details Revealed

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The MTA has revealed a ton of details about the expected new rail service to the NJ Meadowlands Sports Complex starting later this year, for NFL NY Giants and NY Jets football games and other Sports Complex events.

Map of Rail Service to the Meadowlands

Map of Rail Service to the Meadowlands

First things first – New Jersey Transit fares:

  • Hoboken to Meadowlands Station = $5.75 per person (off-peak round-trip ticket)
  • Penn Station to Meadowlands Station = $7.75 per person (off-peak round-trip ticket) and $4.00 per person (one-way ticket).
  • Secaucus to Meadowlands Station = $5.00 per person (likely off-peak round trip)
  • Special NJT “game day pass” for season tickets

Number of New Jersey Transit trains per hour, and running times:

  • Three trains from Penn Station in the first 15 minutes of each hour to Secaucus Junction, and the ride is about 12 minutes. From Secaucus, after making the transfer, the ride to the Stadium is about 10 minutes.
  • Hoboken train runs about every 10 minutes to the Stadium. The trip from Hoboken to the Stadium is about 25 minutes.

Metro-North and NJ Transit “Train to the GameTM” – Direct service from the New Haven Line to the Secaucus Junction/Meadowlands for games that kick-off at 1 p.m on Sundays (beginning August 2009):

  • Pre-Game: Two inbound trains from New Haven to Secaucus and one inbound train from Stamford to Secaucus
  • Post-Game: Three outbound trains from Secaucus to New Haven
  • Schedule (PDF) – link may be gone soon
  • Updated Schedule (PDF)
  • Further Updated Schedule (PDF) – link is still live for now, grab it while you can, trust me, it’s good stuff
  • Current Schedule, Valid 9/20/09 thru 10/17/09 (PDF)this is the one you NEED, big changes from the last one
  • Fare: Combined ticket will likely cost your regular Metro-North fare to Grand Central Terminal plus the New Jersey Transit fare outlined above
  • Information learned from the thread at Railroad.net:
    • The train will actually be a regularly scheduled NJT train west of Penn Station
    • Train equipment will likely be NJT ALP44 or ALP46 electric locomotives and Comet Multilevel coaches
    • Metro-North and ConnDOT equipment can not be used as they can not handle the voltage changes, power delivery methods, and clearances along the entire route
    • The 32 minute eastbound hold at Penn Station that Train 3646 will experience is due to a lack of slots through the East River Tunnelluckily this wait has been scheduled out of the schedule

Metro-North’s Hudson Rail Link receives new bus

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
metro-north-hudson-rail-link-saf-t-liner-hdx-bus-m0029

Hudson Rail Link Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus

Metro-North’s Hudson Rail Link feeder bus service has received at least one new bus, and it is now in service. The bus, numbered M0029, was manufactured by Thomas Built Buses, Inc. and is their Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus model.

The Saf-T-Liner® HDX bus features a rear-engine design that is the mainstay of transit-style bus fleets. It has a capacity of 66-90 passengers. The engine is located in the back for ideal weight distribution whether empty and loaded. This also creates a quiet and comfortable ride, with an oversized windshield giving the driver great visibility. Able to tackle mountain roads and city streets in style, this bus features a thermostatically controlled hydraulic cooling system, larger brakes, a steel drop frame, optional air suspension and optional transmission retarders for improved braking.

This is the fourth generation of buses used in Hudson Rail Link service since the operation began in 1991 with five 17-passenger vans. Those vans were replaced by eight transit-style buses in 1995. Increasing ridership led the third generation of buses to be introduced around 2003, with 10 All American Forward Engine buses from Blue Bird Corp.

blue-bird-hudson-rail-link

Hudson Rail Link All American FE from Blue Bird

As a rider of this excellent bus service, I have noticed that the Blue Bird buses are starting to get a little rough around the edges. I don’t know if it is from old age, high mileage, or lack of maintenance, but apparently it has come to the point where a school bus recently had to be substituted in. The new Thomas Built bus should be a welcomed addition to the fleet. However, I don’t know at this time if all of the existing buses are going to be replaced now with the new buses.

The Hudson Rail Link bus service has multiple routes serving the Metro-North train stations at Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale in the Bronx, NY, and can most likely be credited with significantly increasing train ridership from these stations. The bus service is operated under contract by Atlantic Hudson, Inc.

Additional photos I took today:

Edit (3/6/2009) :: There are at least two new buses : #M0029 that I photographed above, and #M0028 that I’ve seen a couple times recently.

Edit #2 (3/9/2009) :: I rode one of the new buses. What can I say – buses suck. But it still had that new car smell. The engine also sounds waaaaay different from the engine in the old buses.