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Harlem–125th Street station

The Harlem–125th Street station is a commuter rail stop serving the Metro-North Railroad's Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines. It is located at East 125th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. The station also serves as an important transfer point between the Metro-North trains and the New York City Subway's IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains) for access to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is the only station besides Grand Central Terminal that serves all three lines east of the Hudson River. Trains leave for Grand Central Terminal, as well as to the Bronx and the northern suburbs, regularly.

Harlem–125th Street
Grand Central-bound train at Harlem-125th Street station, September 2018.JPG
A southbound (Grand Central-bound) train at the station in 2018
Location101 East 125th Street
and 1818 Park Avenue
East Harlem, New York, NY 10035
Coordinates40°48′19″N 73°56′20″W / 40.8052°N 73.9390°W / 40.8052; -73.9390Coordinates: 40°48′19″N 73°56′20″W / 40.8052°N 73.9390°W / 40.8052; -73.9390
Owned byMetropolitan Transportation Authority
Line(s)Park Avenue main line
Platforms2 island platforms
Tracks4
ConnectionsNew York City Subway:
"4" train"5" train"6" train"6" express train trains at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue
Local Transit NYCT Bus: Bx15, M35, Airport transportation M60 SBS, M98, M100, M101
Construction
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Fare zone1
History
Opened1874; 145 years ago (1874)
Electrified700V (DC) third rail
Services
Preceding station MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad Following station
Grand Central
Terminus
Harlem Line Melrose
towards Wassaic
Hudson Line Yankees–East 153rd Street
towards Poughkeepsie
New Haven Line Fordham
Former services
Preceding station New York Central Railroad Following station
138th Street
toward Chicago
Main Line New York
Terminus
138th Street
toward Peekskill
Hudson Division
138th Street
toward Chatham
Harlem Division
New York Central & Hudson River Railroad
138th Street
toward Peekskill
Hudson Division 110th Street
Closed 1906
toward New York
138th Street
toward Chatham
Harlem Division
Preceding station New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Following station
New York
Terminus
Main Line Mount Vernon
toward New Haven

HistoryEdit

The current station was built in 1896–97 and designed by Morgan O'Brien, New York Central and Hudson River Railroad principal architect. It replaced an earlier one that was built in 1874 when the New York Central and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, the ancestors of today's Metro-North, moved the tracks from an open cut to the present-day elevated viaduct. The original station on the site was built in 1844, when the trains ran at grade-level on what is now Park Avenue. That station was demolished to make way for the open cut.

In 1888, the United States Department of War began work on the Harlem River to allow for unrestricted shipping activity between the Hudson River and the East River and through the new Harlem River Ship Canal at 225th Street.[1][2] To remedy the situation, the Central opted to raise the bridge to 24 feet (7.3 m) above the water for $300,000.[1] Due to political pressure, it had to raise the grade of its line north of 115th Street on a viaduct, raising the project's cost significantly.[1] The Park Avenue Line's grade had to be raised to reach the higher bridge, and as a result, a new four-track steel viaduct was built between 132nd Street and 106th Street. Between 110th Street and 106th Street, the steel viaduct was to be placed atop the preexisting masonry retaining walls and fill. Between 115th Street and 130th Street, the viaduct was set to replace the open cut structure completed in 1875.[3] Since the line was to be raised on a viaduct, the stone viaducts and the bridges crossing it could be removed.[4] The 110th Street, 125th Street and Mott Haven stations were to be elevated as part of the project.[5] The railroad had threatened to eliminate the 125th Street stop after neighboring property owners threatened to sue and successfully delayed construction.[2]

On October 15, 1897, a spacious new station in Harlem was opened at 125th Street, replacing a small station in the old Park Avenue open cut located between 125th Street and 126th Street. The new station was built atop the old open cut and directly under the new Park Avenue Viaduct. The station was 30 feet (9.1 m) higher than the old one.[6] The platforms, which were built on the viaduct, were built to be 400 feet (120 m) long.[7] Unlike the old station, which was a local stop, the new station was constructed with two island platforms to allow express trains to stop, with the local tracks curving outwards to make room for them.[8][9] The station was designed by architect Morgan O'Brien, and consisted of three levels: the basement containing a section of the old cut not filled in, a waiting room at street level, and the elevated platforms. The original station platforms were discovered in the basement level in 1988 as the station was set to be renovated.[10]

As with many NYCRR stations in New York City, the station became a Penn Central station once the NYC & Pennsylvania Railroads merged in 1968. The New Haven Line and its branches would be acquired by Penn Central a year later, thus making it a full Penn Central station. Penn Central's continuous financial despair throughout the 1970s forced them to turn over their commuter service to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. After the 138th Street in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx was closed by Penn Central in 1972, 125th Street Station was the northernmost station to be shared by the Hudson and Harlem Lines. The station and the railroad were turned over to Conrail in 1976, and eventually became part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s Metro-North Railroad in 1983.

A six-year-long renovation of the 1897 structure was completed in 1999 and cleared out a century's worth of neglect and deterioration.[11] The entire Park Avenue viaduct was replaced piece-by-piece without disturbing Metro-North service for the duration of the renovation. This reconstruction included the removal of the Nick Tower just south of the station. The Nick Tower was a control tower mounted over the tracks spanning the entire right-of-way.[12] The renovation is considered a replication, rather than renovation, of the original 1930s version of the station being that none of the original structure is visible to the public.

Under the 2015–2019 MTA Capital Plan, the station, along with four other Metro-North Railroad stations, would receive enhancements as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative. Updates would include cellular service, Wi-Fi, USB charging stations, interactive service advisories, and maps.[13]

ServiceEdit

The station is used for travel to and from suburbs north of New York City and the Bronx rather than travel to and from Grand Central Terminal. All off peak and reverse peak trains to or from Grand Central Terminal stop at Harlem. It is in the same fare zone as Grand Central Terminal, so customers pay the same fare whether traveling to Harlem or Grand Central, and may use either station.[14] Except for local Harlem and Hudson Line trains, northbound trains stop at the station only to receive passengers. Westbound New Haven Line trains and most inbound AM Peak Harlem and Hudson Line trains stop only to discharge passengers. Other Southbound Harlem and Hudson Line trains may leave five minutes early.

Station layoutEdit

There are two 10-car long high-level island platforms, each serving two tracks.[15]:1 During rush hours, three tracks are typically assigned to the peak direction, with the remaining track serving the reverse direction.[16]

P
Platform level
Track 4      Harlem Line,      Hudson Line,      New Haven Line toward Grand Central (Terminus)
     Hudson Line toward Croton–Harmon or Poughkeepsie (Yankees–East 153rd Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right  
Track 2      Harlem Line,      Hudson Line,      New Haven Line toward Grand Central (Terminus)
     Harlem Line toward North White Plains or Southeast (Melrose or Fordham)
     Hudson Line toward Croton–Harmon or Poughkeepsie (Yankees–East 153rd Street)
     New Haven Line toward New Haven or Stamford (Fordham)
Track 1      Harlem Line,      Hudson Line,      New Haven Line toward Grand Central (Terminus)
     Harlem Line toward North White Plains, Southeast or Wassaic (Melrose or Fordham)
     Hudson Line toward Croton–Harmon or Poughkeepsie (Yankees–East 153rd Street)
     New Haven Line toward Stamford, New Canaan, New Haven or New Haven–State Street (Fordham)
     Danbury Branch toward Danbury (Greenwich)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right  
Track 3      Harlem Line toward North White Plains, Southeast or Wassaic (Melrose or Fordham)
     Hudson Line toward Croton–Harmon or Poughkeepsie (Yankees–East 153rd Street)
     New Haven Line toward Stamford, New Canaan, New Haven or New Haven–State Street (Fordham)
     Danbury Branch toward Danbury (Greenwich)
G Street level Exit/entrance, station house, buses

Future developmentEdit

 
The station's former New York Central Railroad comfort station across 125th Street, which has been abandoned for a long time.

The south side of 125th Street below the station viaduct houses a long-abandoned former comfort station (restroom facility) and the block has long been a vacant lot attracting garbage.[17] The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced in 2013 that they would work with a mix of public agencies and private developers to improve the area surrounding the station, long considered a blight on East 125th Street.[18]

In 2015, a nonprofit organization consisting of local small businesses, property owners and stakeholders called NHEMA (now Uptown Grand Central[19]) adopted this space as a NYC Department of Transportation community plaza, and ever since has programmed the space with activities including a year-round farmers market, pop-up shop featuring local small businesses, concerts, a mobile library and free exercise classes for the community.

Ridership at Harlem–125th Street station rose 55% between 2002 and 2013, much of which included reverse commuters—city residents accessing jobs in the suburbs.

Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway is currently slated to end below the Metro-North station, with the subway tracks heading east below 125th Street.[20] The line would be built deep below the ground, below the Lexington Avenue Line.

Popular cultureEdit

  • A shot of a station sign on the northbound platform appears in Luke Cage during the title sequence

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Gray, Christopher (February 19, 1995). "Streetscapes/The Park Avenue Railroad Viaduct; A $120 Million Renovation for an 1897 Behemoth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Gray, Christopher (September 18, 1988). "Streetscapes: The 125th Street Station; Metro-North Plans New Makeup, Not Plastic Surgery, for a Beauty". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  3. ^ Second Avenue Subway in the Borough of Manhattan, New York County: Environmental Impact Statement. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2004. pp. G1–6, G1–7.
  4. ^ "The Park Avenue Improvement In New York City". Scientific American. 70 (17). April 28, 1894.
  5. ^ "The New Railway Entrance To Manhattan Island". Harper's Weekly. Harper's Magazine Company. 39 (2002): 414. May 4, 1895.
  6. ^ "The New Railway Entrance To Manhattan Island". Harper's Weekly. Harper's Magazine Company. 39 (2002): 414. May 4, 1895.
  7. ^ "A New Railroad Station.; To be Opened Soon at 125th Street by the Central and Harlem River Roads" (PDF). The New York Times. October 8, 1897. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Railroad Station For Harlem: To be Built at Park Avenue near One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street" (PDF). The New York Times. April 6, 1896. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  9. ^ Health and Pleasure on "America's Greatest Railroad.": Descriptive of Summer Resorts and Excursion Routes, Embracing More Than One Thousand Tours by the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company. 1895. p. 75.
  10. ^ Gray, Christopher (September 18, 1988). "Streetscapes: The 125th Street Station; Metro-North Plans New Makeup, Not Plastic Surgery, for a Beauty". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  11. ^ Kelley, Tina (December 19, 1999). "Six Years in the Making, a Reconstructed Metro-North Station Opens in Harlem". New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  12. ^ MNRR Nick Tower Photographs, by Peter Erlich (WorldNYCSubway.org)
  13. ^ "Metro-North Railroad to Make Design Improvements to Five Stations Under Enhanced Stations Initiative Program". MTA. December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  14. ^ "Fares adopted by MTA Board on January 25, 2017, effective March 19, 2017 Harlem and Hudson Line Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 19, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  15. ^ "Metro-North Railroad Track & Structures Department Track Charts Maintenance Program Interlocking Diagrams & Yard Diagrams 2015" (PDF). Metro-North Railroad. 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  16. ^ Parkinson, Tom; Fisher, Ian (1996). Rail Transit Capacity. Transportation Research Board. p. 98. ISBN 9780309057189.
  17. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/uptown-grand-central-slated-serious-makeover-article-1.1564903
  18. ^ http://www.nycedc.com/project/park-avenue125th-street-public-realm
  19. ^ http://uptowngrandcentral.org/
  20. ^ http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/10/8533946/where-second-avenue-subway-going

External linksEdit