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The Metro-North Railroad (officially the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company, and usually abbreviated as Metro-North) is a suburban commuter railroad service between New York City to its northern suburbs in New York and Connecticut. Trains terminate in New York State in Wassaic, Poughkeepsie, Port Jervis, and Spring Valley, and in Connecticut in New Canaan, Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven. Metro-North also provides local service within the Bronx, and from the Bronx into midtown Manhattan.

Metro-North is operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which also operates the MTA New York City Transit buses, the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road. The MTA has styled Metro-North as MTA Metro-North Railroad. The MTA announced in October 2002 that it plans to merge the MNCRR and the LIRR into a new entity, to be called MTA Rail Road [1], which requires approval by the New York State legislature that has failed of passage as of April, 2006.


East of Hudson[]

There are four Metro-North lines on the east side of the Hudson River, three running into Grand Central Terminal - the Hudson Line, Harlem Line and New Haven Line. The fourth, the Beacon Line, is used for internal equipment moves between the Brewster shop & Danbury station. The New Haven Line has three branches providing connecting service - the New Canaan Branch, Danbury Branch and Waterbury Branch. Amtrak also operates intercity train service along the New Haven and Hudson Lines; on both lines, it splits onto its own trackage to Pennsylvania Station. At New Haven, Shore Line East connecting service, run by the State of Connecticut, continues east to New London.

The Hudson and Harlem Lines were originally part of the New York Central Railroad system, and the New Haven Line and its branches were owned by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

There are plans to build a new Metro-North station on the Hudson Line to directly serve the new Yankee Stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

West of Hudson[]

Metro-North also operates trains west of the Hudson River from Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, with service operated by New Jersey Transit under contract (with connecting service to New York Penn Station at Secaucus Junction). Those trains go to Port Jervis (the Port Jervis Line) and Wikipedia:Spring Valley, New York (the Pascack Valley Line). Trackage on the Port Jervis Line north of the Suffern Yard is leased from Norfolk Southern by the MTA. New Jersey Transit owns all of the Pascack Valley Line trackage in Rockland County. Most of the rolling stock is characteristic of New Jersey Transit, although some of it is in Metro-North colors. Both lines were once part of the Erie Railroad system. The fare structure, while set by the MTA, resembles the New Jersey Transit fare structure. New Jersey Transit provides much of the rolling stock and crews to operate West of Hudson service.

All West of Hudson stations in New York, except for Suffern, are owned by Metro-North.

Technical details[]

Some services are operated by diesel, but all services running directly into Manhattan Grand Central Terminal are electric powered. Most of Metro-North's passenger diesel locomotives are General Electric GENESIS P32 diesel-electric hybrids capable of switching to a pure electric mode using contact shoes to contact the railroad's under-running third rail power distribution system. On the Hudson Line, trains are powered by electrified third rail from Grand Central Terminal to Croton-Harmon and are powered by diesel north of that station to Poughkeepsie. The Harlem Line has third rail from Southeast station and diesel north of that station to Wassaic. The New Haven Line is special in that electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) trains are powered through either 700 V DC from a third rail or 13.8 kV AC from an overhead catenary wire. Nominally 13.8 kV (per a MN Power Director), the voltage floats between 13.2 to 13.8 kv. The main line from approximately Woodlawn to Pelham (3 miles, or 4.8 km), is powered by third rail, while from Pelham, New York east to New Haven, Connecticut (58 miles, or 93 km)), as well as the entire New Canaan Branch, is powered by catenary. The Danbury Branch was formerly electrified but in 1961 became a diesel-only line. Plans are underway, however, to reelectrify the line [2] with a concurrent expansion to New Milford. Locomotives on the Waterbury Branch, the only east-of-Hudson Metro North service which has no direct service of any sort into Grand Central, are powered by diesel.

The third rails on the three Metro-North lines (East-of-Hudson) which go into Grand Central Terminal are unusual in that power is collected from below the third rail as opposed to above, unlike most other third rail systems (including the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Subway). This allows the third rail to be completely insulated from above, thus decreasing the chances of a person being electrocuted by coming in contact with the rail. This was important, because until the early 1970s the majority of the suburban stations had low platforms where the third rail was easily accessible; this danger was greatly reduced with the introduction of the high-level platforming of Budd Company-made Metropolitans (M1A's) in 1971 and the Cosmopolitans (M2's) two years later, both purchased by the MTA and practically identical to their sister cars on the LIRR.

West of Hudson trains are usually handled by EMD GP40FH-2 or F40PH-2CAT diesel locomotives, although any MN or New Jersey Transit diesel can show up and the MN diesels based out of Hoboken are banned from the Pascack Valley Line due to the installation of SES. Passenger cars are basically all Comet V coaches built by Alstom, but again anything can show up as the equipment is pooled with NJT.

Although Metro-North uses many official abbreviations (MNCR, MNR, MN, etc.) there are two official AAR reporting marks used on equipment. For non-revenue equipment, the mark registered and recognized on AEI scanner tags is 'MNCW'. While revenue equipment is identified using 'MNCR'.

Fare policy[]

Tickets for travel may be bought from a station agent, automated machine, online, or on the train. There is a 5% discount for buying tickets online, while buying tickets on the train is between $4.75 and $5.50 more than standard price (except at Manitou, Breakneck Ridge, Appalachian Trail, Talmadge Hill, Springdale, Glenbrook and along the Waterbury Branch, where there are no vending machines). On the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines, the surcharge is $5 at stations with vending machines.

Travel between stations located in The Bronx (and Marble Hill, technically part of Manhattan, although on the mainland due to re-routing of the Harlem River) costs $2.25 per trip regardless of time of day. See also CityTicket.

West of Hudson policies are different due to the trains being operated by NJ Transit.


  • The Metro-North mascot is Metro Man. A robotic cyborg in the shape of a train car, he educates children about railway safety.
  • The railroad has been featured in several films, most notably in a scene in the film U.S. Marshals, when a character jumps from an apartment building onto a train, and in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, when a train that has just been attacked by aliens, speeds through a railroad crossing on fire and out of control.

External links[]


Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Bus: Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority | MTA Long Island Bus | MTA Bus Company | MTA New York City Transit buses

Heavy rail: NYC Transit Authority subways | Staten Island Railway

Commuter rail: Long Island Rail Road | Metro-North Railroad

Roads: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Other information: MetroCard | New York City Transit Authority | NYC Subway fleet | NYC Subway History | NYC Transit and MTA Bus fleet

Official website: