Harlem–125th Street station

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Harlem–125th Street
MNRR NH-Line-Train 125th-St.jpg
View from inbound train as an outbound New Haven Line train departs.
Location 101 East 125th Street
and 1818 Park Avenue
East Harlem, New York, NY 10035
Coordinates 40°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 by Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line(s)
Platforms 2 island platforms
Tracks 4
Connections New York City Subway:
"4" train"5" train"6" train "6" express train trains at Lexington Avenue
Local Transit NYCT Bus: Bx15, M35, Airport transportation M60 SBS, M98, M100, M101
Construction
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Fare zone 1
History
Opened 1896; 122 years ago (1896)
Electrified 700V (DC) third rail
Services
Preceding station   MTA NYC logo.svg Metro-North Railroad   Following station
Terminus
Harlem Line
toward Wassaic
Hudson Line
toward Poughkeepsie
New Haven Line
Former services
Preceding station   New York Central Railroad   Following station
toward Chicago
Main Line
Terminus
toward Peekskill
Hudson Division
toward New York
toward Chatham
Harlem Division

Harlem–125th Street is a Metro-North Railroad commuter rail hub station in New York City. It is located in East Harlem, Manhattan, at East 125th Street and Park Avenue, serving the Hudson Line, Harlem Line and New Haven Line. The station also serves as an important transfer point between the Metro-North trains and the 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.

History[edit]

Station in 1876

The 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.

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 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Use[edit]

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. 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 layout[edit]

There are two high-level island platforms, each serving two tracks. During rush hours, three tracks are typically assigned to the peak direction, with the remaining track serving the reverse direction.

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 Handicapped/disabled access
Track 2 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 Haven or New Haven–State Street (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 Handicapped/disabled access
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 development[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5]

In 2015, a nonprofit organization consisting of local small businesses, property owners and stakeholders called NHEMA (now Uptown Grand Central[6]) 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.[7] The line would be built deep below the ground, below the Lexington Avenue Line.

Popular culture[edit]

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]