New Rochelle to Stamford

At CP 216 (MP 16.3), formerly Shell Tower, in New Rochelle, the double track Amtrak line trails into the south side (MP 15/10 on the turnouts) of the original New Haven four track, CTC, route from Grand Central, now owned by Metro-North, heading northeast, with speed limit 70 mph for passenger trains (and 40 mph for freights) on all tracks, past the multi-platform passenger station at New Rochelle (MP 16.6), crossovers at CP 217 (MP 16.7), a 30 mph freight speed limit from MP 16.9 to MP 17.0MP 17.2, where the speed limit rises to 90 mph on all tracks, the passenger station at Larchmont (MP 18.7), the passenger station at Mamaroneck (MP 20.5), MP 21.4, where the speed limit falls to 75 mph, the passenger station at Harrison (MP 22.2), crossovers at CP 223 (MP 23.5), a curve with 60 mph maximum speed, the passenger station at Rye (MP 24.1) a curve with 60 mph maximum speed, the passenger station at Port Chester (MP 25.7), a curve with 45/30 maximum speed, and State Line (MP 26.1), where the line passes from New York State into Connecticut and the speed limit falls to 70 mph.

The line turns east-northeast, following (but back from) the north shore of Long Island Sound, past the passenger station at Greenwich (MP 28.1), crossovers at CP 229 (MP 29.0), the passenger station at Cos Cob (MP 29.6), where the New Haven once generated the electricity used on its electrified lines, the movable bridge over an inlet at CP 230 (MP 30.0), with speed limit 50/30 on the bridge, where the speed limit reverts to 75 mph, the passenger station at Riverside (MP 30.3), the passenger station at Old Greenwich (MP 31.3), all of these stations (except New Rochelle) having two side platforms, served only by Metro-North stoppers, crossovers at West Stam (MP 32.9), a 60 mph curve, the two island-platform passenger station at Amtrak-served (and Metro-North served) Stamford (MP 33.1), and the junction at Stam (MP 33.3), where the New Canaan line branches away to the north-northeast and the main line continues east-northeast.

All of the stations on the New Haven line, except Stamford, have four tracks running through them, but only two platforms on the outermost tracks. The provision of four tracks makes it possible for the express services to overtake slower local stopping services, permitting the latter to stop at all stations without impeding the progress of the expresses. This is even more important during the rush period than it is during the off-peak period when we traveled. Stamford has “dual island platforms” that will permit the expresses and locals to be in the platforms simultaneously, and for two-way interchange of passengers to occur.

The timetable on the New Haven Line, where Stamford is located, provides for both Express and Local Service, which in the off-peak operates on an hourly pattern, with some half-hourly services. In each iteration, Stamford is an interchange point between services to/from New Haven that run express between Stamford and Manhattan (125th St. and GCT), and local services that start at Stamford and serve every station into GCT. Inbound, the express precedes the local at the same platform. Outbound, the terminating local precedes the continuing express. Additionally, there is an hourly shuttle on the New Canaan branch that originates in Stamford. (In the peak period, there is both much more services on the mainline and the branch trains run all the way to/from GCT.)