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Metro-North Harlem Line Trip Report

We covered Metro-North’s Harlem Line on two different trips. The first trip was on 2 August 2008 when we rode from Wassaic to Valhalla. We began this first trip in Wassaic on a day that saw the typical summer storms blow through in the middle of our journey. Our train arrived in Wassaic a bit late, but it was nice to see it still powered by an old FL-9 locomotive. Although the train was scheduled to stop at the Appalachian Trail station, we skipped the station since we were running late and no one was on the platform. We arrived in Southeast just a few minutes late and walked across the platform to our waiting connecting train. Southeast marks the beginning of third rail power on the Harlem Line, so on weekends there is always a change from a diesel shuttle train from Wassaic to the electric trains to Grand Central. We only took this train as far as Valhalla though, where we were met to end our journey.

The second trip was the next weekend on 9 August 2008. This was a round trip journey from North White Plains to Grand Central Terminal. Our train to New York stopped at all intermediate stations. We also took many other journeys on the Harlem Line to Grand Central Terminal, starting or ending at other stations such as Katonah, Bedford Hills, and North White Plains. On one of these return journeys the cab door at the rear of the train had been closed further than usual, allowing me to sit at the railfan window and get a couple of pictures down the tracks. I did have to move for the conductor at one point though so he could operate the doors. I think he was surprised to see me there and perhaps a bit annoyed at first, but he was very nice and later even came by to tell me he had unlocked the seat again if I wanted to go back.

For many of the stations I also made return trips to either get a better picture of the station sign or to photograph the old station building.

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