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The Stamford station, officially known as the Stewart B. McKinney Transportation Center[3] or the Stamford Transportation Center, is a major railroad station in the city of Stamford, Connecticut, serving passengers traveling on Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and Shore Line East. In addition, it is also a major bus terminal for Greyhound, Peter Pan, and CTtransit buses. Annual ridership on Metro-North exceeded 8.4 million in 2016, making it the second busiest station in the entire system, after Grand Central Terminal.[4]

Stamford
Center tracks and train at Stamford station, September 2018.JPG
New Haven Line train at Stamford Transportation Center in 2018
Location490 Washington Boulevard (30 South State Street)
Stamford, Connecticut
United States
Coordinates41°02′49″N 73°32′29″W / 41.046937°N 73.541493°W / 41.046937; -73.541493Coordinates: 41°02′49″N 73°32′29″W / 41.046937°N 73.541493°W / 41.046937; -73.541493
Owned byConnDOT
Line(s)Northeast Corridor
Platforms2 island platforms
2 side platforms
Tracks5
ConnectionsLocal Transit CT Transit Stamford: 311, 312, 313, 321, 324, 326, 327, 328, 331, 333, 334, 335, 336, 341, 342, 344, 345, 351, 971
Intercity Bus Greyhound
Construction
Parking1,500
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeSTM (Amtrak)
ZTF (IATA)
Fare zone16 (Metro-North)
History
Opened1849
Rebuilt1861, 1890s, 1987, 2004
Electrified12,500V (AC) overhead catenary
Traffic
Passengers (2016)8.424 million[1]Increase 27% (Metro-North)
Passengers (FY2017)410,593[2]Increase 2.25% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
New York Acela Express New Haven
Vermonter Bridgeport
toward St. Albans
New Rochelle Northeast Regional Bridgeport
Preceding station ConnDOT Following station
Terminus Shore Line East
(limited service)
South Norwalk
toward New London
Preceding station MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad Following station
Old Greenwich New Haven Line Noroton Heights
Old Greenwich
(limited service)
New Canaan Branch Glenbrook
towards New Canaan
Greenwich Danbury Branch
(limited service)
Noroton Heights
towards Danbury
Terminus Waterbury Branch
(limited service)
Bridgeport
towards Waterbury
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Rye Montrealer Bridgeport
toward Montreal
Preceding station New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Following station
Sound Beach
toward New York
Main Line Glenbrook
toward New Haven

Just northeast of the station is the split for the New Canaan Branch. A few Shore Line East trains terminate at Stamford during the morning rush hour, and originate there in the evening.

United Airlines codeshares with Amtrak to provide service out of Stamford station to the train station at United's Northeast hub, Newark Liberty International Airport. As such, the train station has the IATA airport code (as an IATA-indexed train station) ZTF.

Downtown Stamford is directly north of the station, while the South End is directly south.

HistoryEdit

 
The 1861-built depot in 1868
 
The 1890s-built station in 1983

Regular daily train service began in Stamford on January 1, 1849. In 1867, a depot was built one block east of the present location. The railroad at that time consisted of two tracks and passed through town on ground level (crossing the streets at grade). In the mid-1890s two more tracks were added to the line and most crossings were elevated and bridged, so the 1867 depot, was razed and replaced.[5]

In 1987, the New York Times published a review of the then-new Stamford Transportation Center by architecture critic Paul Goldberger. The station was criticized for "a harshness almost unequaled in contemporary architecture" as well as for cost overruns and many functional failings, including the lack of shelter for the track platforms. The route from the cross-tracks waiting room to the platform was so long and indirect that passengers who waited indoors until a train's arrival was announced could not get to the platform in time to board it.[6]

A complete renovation of the station in the early 2000s, provided for in the original design of the overhead structure, addressed these problems. The two platforms were made island platforms, capable of serving four tracks. Added features included platform canopies, stairs and escalators directly from the waiting room for the tracks, and a new platform crossover, connecting to the parking garage.

Station layoutEdit

 
The station viewed from the parking garage

This station has two a 9-car-long side platform on the south side, a 10-car-long platform on the north side and two high-level 12-car-long island platforms.[7]:20 The main station concourse straddles the tracks of the Northeast Corridor, and contains the ticket booth, a passenger waiting area, and shops. Below the platform level is an MTA police station, other shops, a Greyhound/Peter Pan office and CT Transit Customer Information Center. Stairs and escalators lead to the platform level. On the south side of the station, across an access street, is a large parking garage connected to the concourse by one pedestrian bridge and directly connected to the east end of the platforms by a second bridge (both bridges connect to Level 4 of the garage).

A bus station is located just to the north of the train station, underneath a large bridge carrying Interstate 95. Taxis, often lined up by the dozens, pick up passengers at a stand on the south side of the station. A car rental agency is located southwest of the station building.

M Mezzanine Crossover between platforms
P
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right  
Track 5 ← Northbound and southbound      New Canaan Branch trains →
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right  
Track 3 ← Southbound      New Haven Line,      Danbury Branch,      Acela Express,      Northeast Regional, and      Vermonter trains
Track 1      Acela Express and      New Haven Line trains that do not stop at Stamford →
Track 2 Northbound      New Haven Line,      Danbury Branch,      Acela Express,      Northeast Regional, and      Vermonter trains →
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right  
Track 4 Northbound      New Haven Line,      Danbury Branch, and      Waterbury Branch trains →
Side platform, doors will open on the right  
G Street level Exit/entrance and parking

ParkingEdit

Multiple parking garages are within the area, including a garage that is open 24/7 and is linked by air-bridge to the upper level of the train station.

In 2012 it was announced by the Connecticut Dept of Transportation that the old parking garage would be demolished. An RFP was issued [1] seeking developers' ideas for what to construct on the site of the old garage with the possibility that replacement parking (for 1000 spaces) would be moved to a quarter mile from the rail station.

Harbor Point Gateway Garage, at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and West Henry Street, provides indoor parking near the station. The facility includes an electric vehicle charging station as well as a car wash/detail service. A pedestrian bridge over Washington Boulevard provides direct access to the train platform from the garage.

RidershipEdit

The number of people taking Metro-North to Stamford doubled from 2,155 in 1996 to 4,226 in 2006. In recent years, additional office space has been built near the train station to allow commuters to avoid Interstate 95, which is typically very congested during rush hour. For example, The Royal Bank of Scotland completed a $400 million office building in 2008 within 200 yards of the station.[8]

Stamford is the busiest Metro-North Railroad station outside of New York City, with the only busier station being Grand Central Terminal. As of 2016, average weekday commuter ridership for the center was 30,000 passengers, ranking among the busiest in the metropolitan area.[citation needed]

The station, along with the Greenwich railroad station, is receiving increasing numbers of "reverse commuters" who work in Stamford but live in New York City. Reverse commuting has doubled from 1997 to 2007 and increased 150 percent since 1990, with 1,900 reverse commuters as of 2007. Younger employees, often single and with enough money to live in Manhattan, for instance, sometimes prefer to live there, although more housing and nightlife have come to Downtown Stamford in recent years. Metro-North has added trains and express service to serve these commuters. As financial companies move to Stamford from Manhattan, some employees often become reverse commuters. Larger companies that are farther away than a few minutes walk from the station routinely provide shuttle service for their workers.[9]

ServicesEdit

 
Stamford Transportation Center with a Metro-North M8 train headed towards Grand Central.

Stamford receives very frequent rail service on the New Haven Line. During peak hours, trains at Stamford come in intervals as little as three or seven minutes apart.[10] Reverse commute trains during rush hours also operate relatively frequently, at intervals of ten to twenty minutes.[10] Off-peak trains in both directions arrive at Stamford every thirty to forty minutes, but usually within a half-hour of each other.[10]

As of 2014, Stamford has been a central stop for a special "Yankee Clipper" Train. The direct train runs to and from all weeknight and weekend games to Yankees–East 153rd Street to serve New York Yankees baseball games and New York City FC soccer matches at Yankee Stadium. The trains are timed to arrive between 45 minutes and 2 hours prior to the start of the game, and depart between 20 and 45 minutes after they end.[11]

Due to ridership growth in recent years, eastern Connecticut rail service provider Shore Line East announced on March 19, 2007 that it would extend more of its trains to Stamford during peak hours.[12] To coincide with the extension of this service, Metro-North added another five trains on the New Haven Line to cope with the increases in passenger demand at Stamford.[12]

Amtrak also runs three routes which stop at Stamford: the Acela Express, the only high-speed rail service in the United States, the Northeast Regional, providing local service along the Northeast Corridor, on which Stamford is a vital station, and the Vermonter, the only train from Connecticut that goes to Vermont. Stamford is now the second-busiest Amtrak station in Connecticut, after New Haven's Union Station.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "City of Stamford Economic Development Transportation Page" (Website). City of Stamford. November 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of Connecticut" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ NEW BUSES HIT THE ROAD ON MONDAY IN STAMFORD January 11, 2001
  4. ^ "Transportation". City of Stamford Economic Development. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Photo Archivist's Selection of the Month: December 2000 / What would be a suitable selection for December? How about the railroad?". Stamford Historical Society. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
  6. ^ Goldberger, Paul (December 7, 1987). "A Hard-Edged Station for Stamford". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  7. ^ "Metro-North Railroad Track & Structures Department Track Charts Maintenance Program Interlocking Diagrams & Yard Diagrams 2015" (PDF). Metro-North Railroad. 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  8. ^ Belson, Ken (May 21, 2007). "In Stamford, a Plan to Rebuild an Area and Build an Advantage". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Prevost, Lisa (August 12, 2007). "Now Arriving: Reverse Commuters". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "New Haven Line Weekday Timetable" (PDF). Metro-North. March 18, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "2018 Yankees "Train to the Game" Service". Metro-North Railroad. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Metro-North, Shore Line East to operate more commuter trains in Connecticut". Progressive Railroading. March 19, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2007.

External linksEdit