Marble Hill History

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

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Marble Hill History

Postby pnaw10 » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:28 am

I've recently discovered some older pictures of the Hudson Line near Marble Hill, located here:

http://www.nycsubway.org/nyc/metronorth/hudson.html

As you can see, especially in this photo and this photo, there's quite a bit different between 1970 and now.

Having been born in 1979, I've always remembered Marble Hill the way it is now. Until I saw these pictures, I never knew the station originally existed on the other side of Broadway, or that there used to be four tracks through this area. If anyone knows when and why the fourth track was removed, and when and why the station was moved to its current location, I'd love to hear the story.

Considering MN just rebuilt Marble Hill's island platform in the location where I've always known it to be, it's apparent there are no plans to bring back the fourth track. As far as I can guess, there probably wasn't a pressing need for the extra track, since the line is bottlenecked to two tracks through the rock cut just before Spuyten Duyvil anyway. But, that's just my guess... I could be wrong, and I'm sure anyone who was around at the time can give a better explanation. Thanks in advance!
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Postby Terrapin Station » Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:18 am

Like you, I didn't know about the old station until someone pointed me to those photos. I think they are fascinating. It's neat that there were those staircases down from the sidewalk/end of the bridge, and there is just a fence there (maybe they also redid the concrete). It's also neat to see the station house and second set of stairs for the uptown 225th St IRT platform that are both now gone. I'd love to get a "today" photo from the same angle as the second photo. Not being an MNR employee, I think it would entail taking a boat to the shore and climbing up to the edge of the R-O-W. Don't think I'll be able to do that anytime soon, but if the opportunity ever comes up, I will. As for the first photo, here are some recent shots I took (note the change from abandoned industrial building to River Plaza (Target):

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/ACMU/PDRM0229

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/MNR_M-1/PDRM0219

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/MNR_M-1/PDRM4540a

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/MNR_Push-Pull/PDRM0222 - note: caption is wrong, that album got messed up

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/album125/zIMG_0158a

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery/album125/zIMG_0114a

And as you said, I assume there wasn't much need for the 4th track, and that made it easy to get rid of it for the benefit of adding an island platform.
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Marble Hill

Postby Tom Curtin » Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:02 pm

Not being an expert on the Hudson Line, I have to say this is only a guess albeit a plausible one: The station was moved when the high level platforms were put in account the tracks on the other side of B'way are on a curve.

(Other places where stations on curves were relocated to straight track: White Plains on the Harlem; and Mt. Vernon, Rye, Noroton Hgts, and Bridgeport on the New Haven.)

I won't swear to this either but I believe the 4th track in that area was removed at the same time. I remember when I was in college in The Bronx in the 60s there were 4 tracks there.
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Postby harmon44 » Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:18 pm

The 4th track was taken out when the high platforms went in. Rail traffic was much less then. I don't know how much planning for the future was integrated when they put in the high platforms.
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Postby Penn Central » Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:49 am

harmon44 wrote:The 4th track was taken out when the high platforms went in. Rail traffic was much less then. I don't know how much planning for the future was integrated when they put in the high platforms.


It is correct that the station was moved when the high level platform was installed. There was a bit of deja vu this year as a temporary platform was placed on the south side of Broadway while the permanent platform was replaced. It has been removed.

While there was less passenger traffic when the fourth track was removed between MO and FH, there was still a lot more freight and I was running some of it! The Put Division still ran up to Eastview. There was a customer in FH yard and the wye was in service at DV to go down the west side. The Put Division had a lot of work in the 70s with Phizer Chemical in Elmsford and Stella Dorro on the Bronx/Yonkers border. We had a plastics company on the old Yonkers secondary track that required a fly-by move to get the car around the engine. That was fun.
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Postby Lackawanna484 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:47 am

Fly-by move?

How did that work?

Thanks for any info
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Postby pnaw10 » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:17 am

Penn Central wrote:There was a bit of deja vu this year as a temporary platform was placed on the south side of Broadway while the permanent platform was replaced. It has been removed.


Thanks for the informative responses, everyone! Not to be a (deleted by moderator), but as a journalist, I strive for accuracy... the temp platform did point southward, but it was still on the north side of Broadway (or should we say west side since the tracks run east-west for this stretch).

Basically, MN utilized the same pedestrian overpass that's been there since the original high-level platform went in, but they erected a temporary staircase facing southbound, and the platform went south from there. Being only long enough for two cars, it didn't quite reach far enough to the Broadway bridge, let alone the south side of Broadway.

Dave Pirmann just posted a bunch of photos I sent him recently... there are a few which show the original stairway leading to a missing platform, along with the temp stairway and temp platform.

One of my favorite pics shows an M3 at the temporary platform... the curve never seemed so banked when the train is moving, but you really notice the tilt when the train is stopped. At least I thought so anyway...

(EDITED BY MODERATOR FOR OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE)
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