Ridership stats by agency (2nd Quarter 2009) for most of the commuter rail services in the US. Average Weekday
Metro NorthLocomotive at Stamford, Connecticut
1 Long Island Rail Road, New York
2 Metra, Chicago
3 Metro-North Railroad, New York
4 New Jersey Transit
5 MBTA Commuter Rail, Boston
6 SEPTA Regional Rail, Philadelphia
7 Metrolink, Los Angeles
8 Caltrain, San Francisco and San Jose
9 MARC, Baltimore and Washington DC
10 Virginia Railway Express, Washington DC
11 SFRTA Tri-Rail, Miami
12 NICTD South Shore Line, Chicago
13 Sounder Commuter Rail, Seattle
14 Trinity Railway Express, Dallas/Ft Worth
15 NCTD Coaster, San Diego
16 New Mexico Rail Runner, Albuquerque
17 UTA FrontRunner, Salt Lake City
18 Altamont Commuter Express, San Jose
19 Shore Line East, New Haven
20 Westside Express Service, Portland
21 Music City Star, Nashville
Welcome to our Commuters WebSite
Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:
Our feature articles are "The Commuter" and "Car Culture" .
Included is a current events section that talks about ridership increases.
See our section on COMMUTER TRAINS.
Now it is getting harder and harder to park at commuter railroad stations!
We have interesting articles on Amtrak's Secret Business and a Communist comparison.
Find out about the Jenny Plan and who was Alfred Jenny?
We have stories on "Public Support of Private Railroads" , Commuter cars on Penn Central (ex-NEW York Central) , commuters reach out , and why did commuter trains loose money?
Our current events include Metro-North New Haven Line on track for new cars , Danbury Line electrification and Metro North Commuter RR tracks through Glenham .
Don't miss our reference section .
Commuter Statistics: Metro North Railroad
Commuter Statistics for 2006
Woodbury Commons is Only Typical (Unfortunately)
Old Penn Central and New York Central Commuter Cars
2007 Commuting Cost Study by the Government
All about new light rail (our list may be outdated...but theirs isnt) light rail in France (We already cover Nice) See a 1965 study of the capacity of the New York Central Railroad's electrified route from Woodlawn to Grand Central Terminal, including the terminal facilities.
by Edward Karl Morlok, Jr.
Take a ride on the North East Corridor.
The woes of the New Haven Railroad.
Read all about Harlem River Passenger Service
Yes, we have lots of material on the Second Avenue Subway! and on New York City's subway tunnels.
Grand Central Terminal and the New York City Subway .
Take a quiz on Which One of These People Hurt New York City the Worst?
|Interesting Stuff - Ecology and railroads||January 7, 1929 The New York Central Railroad's "20th Century Limited" runs a record seven identical sections. Eight hundred twenty two people pay the extra $10 fare to ride The Century. An automobile show in New York City gets the credit for this sudden increase in traffic. Combined with other special trains arriving for the show, a record 266 sleeping cars arrive at Grand Central Terminal between 5:00 am and 9:50 am. This is very interesting. It was a harbinger of things to come: the impact of the auto on passenger train travel. I bet Al Gore understands what a high speed rail system (plus good commuter rail systems) would do for the "fuel bill"! DO YOU?|
Find out about Better Life and Fairpromise
Boston subways are bringing back straps. Some new cars have 4, others more.What happened to Subway Straps?
Transtrap is not the answer. It is not a health issue; it is a SAFETY issue. We need the subway strap to help prevent injuries.
New York City Commuter Crisis 1966 is handled by the New York Central Railroad
(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)
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Just Around the Corner by Bertrande H. Snell
Bertrande H. Snell, author of the following article, a native of Parish,
Oswego County, N.Y., was a telegrapher all his working life.
For many years he was employed by the New York Central Railroad, and for
33 years was a telegrapher for Western Union in Syracuse.
Bertrande Snell commenced his writing career with the Syracuse Syracuse Post-Standard in 1945 and continued it until shortly before his death in 1949. His columns were primarily of a reminiscent or historical nature, which included railroad stories.
If you like his column, we have more.
Syracuse Post-Standard, Feb. 20, 1949
This week’s contribution to your Sunday reading consists of a couple of letters just received from old time Hojack telegraphers who have been connected with the telegraph business since way back when. One of these forsook the dot and dash some years ago, while the other is still on the job.
Many of you North Country people will readily recognize one or both the signatures on these letters and I hope you’ll get as much pleasure from them as I did - which was no little.
The first communication is from L.F. McNeal of 127 Bowers Ave., Watertown. He is a New York Central train dispatcher and an officer of the American Train Dispatchers’ Association. A graduate of Parish High School, he was for many years station agent there and later night dispatcher at Oswego. Here’s his letter:
“It seems fitting I should congratulate you upon your retirement from the field of dot and dash, since you and I are the only survivors of that student class who learned telegraphy from our mutual, capable, congenial and patient friend, W.B. Shaver - way back in 1899.
“Arriving at 60 isn’t far - after you’ve gone by it! “Looking backward” and “around the corner” is, indeed interesting, amusing and refreshing to that family of railroaders, who may not remember when the “Ghost train” made its last trip; but I assure you that every last man of them looks forward to the day when “the ghost walks” with just as much enthusiasm as you and I did when we, too, were waiting for “pay day.”
“Procrastination was one of the words we had little use for when we were preparing for the future - for our life’s work. We did things then for which we frequently had to make amends and excuses, afterward. years of experience have changed our viewpoint, until, now, we got more pleasure from drifting than from pulling against the current.
“For a long time, I have been thinking of telling you that Mrs. Jennie Cottet Barney was the pianist whose name you couldn’t remember, when writing about the dance orchestra that toured the country around Parish as far as the livery horse could go - and still get back home by break of day next morning.
(Note - Sorry, Mac, you’re a little wrong about that...Mrs. Barney was, indeed, the regular pianist for that outfit; but on the night in question she was unable to accompany them to Mallory. So they drafted me as a poor, a very poor substitute: and, boy! did I have fun! - Bert).
“...Bert, I have clusters of old gems that I would shine with new brilliant if they were touched up and polished by your very capable brush. Sometime when I have joined you in retirement I will open up the casket, dig out some old jewels and send them to you for refurbishing - but not now; for I feel an attack of procrastination coming on, so I will close with this bit of verse, written by Charles Hanson Towne, which seems very apropos:
Around The Corner
Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end:
Yet days go by and weeks rush on
And years and months are spent and gone
And I never see my old friend’s face.
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows that I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine. We were younger then.
But now we are busy and tired old men.
Tired of playing foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name..
“Tomorrow,” I say, I will call on Jim.
“Just to show that I’m thinking of him.
...But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes
While we play tag with our fancied woes;
Then Around the Corner, from miles away,
Comes a telegram, reading, “Jim died today!”
And that’s what we get - and serve -in the end;
Around the Corner, a vanished friend.
“73 , good luck and years of good writing,
LOYAL F. MC NEAL.”
And now - another letter from a retired telegrapher whose experiences and activities in that line centered in a district farther north than those of Mr. McNeal.
G.A. Jepson of Barneveld speaking:
“I address you as above for I have a brotherly feeling for you. I followed railroading for 22 years as a telegrapher and station agent and according to some of your articles, experienced a great many of the same things you have written about.
“I have been reading your articles for a number of years and have enjoyed them very much and when I saw your recent column in The Sunday Post-Standard that you are giving up your job, I think I knew in a small way just about how you feel.
“My railroad experience lasted abut the same number of years as tours. I started in the spring of 1896 and left in September, 1918. I worked as relief operator and agent until February, 1898, when i went to Holland Patent as agent and stayed there until September, 1918. Then I obtained the agency here at Barneveld and remained on that job until September, 1918, at which time I resigned to go into the lumber business.
“I still have a longing for the old key and sounder. I go to the railroad station quite often and sit, listening to the instruments which I can still read very good. There is something attractive about the telegraph which one cannot get away from.
“Your story of not too long ago about your experience with the auditors especially pleased me as I once had the very same thing happen to me with route agent Ellison of Watertown and Auditor Jim Root of the NYC.
“I have worked nearly every station from Ogdensburg to Utica, including the Clayton branch, the C&A from Carthage to Newton Falls, and the Black River branch from Carthage to Watertown. I can recall working at Carthage during the winter of 1897-98 and the freight agent’s name was C.F. Dyer, who hailed from Lacona and was later station agent there for many years.
“I learned the business with George Avery of Hammond. George afterward went to Parish as agent and was located there for a number of years.
“Most all the old friends and fellow-workers are gone. Very few even of the train crews are left - and what a change in working conditions!
“You and I certainly earned our paltry $30 per month - and bought uniforms out of that! But we had experiences that today’s railroad man could hardly appreciate.
“I hope you will excuse me for intruding, but I wanted you to know that I will keep right on reading and enjoying your articles.
“G.A. Jepson, Barneveld, N.Y.”
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This link has ridership stats for most of the commuter rail services in the US.
Looking at the 9-months of data included, LIRR is far out in front. There is a close pack for 2-3-4 with Metro North, Metra and NJT.
|State/City||Transit Agency||2006 Stats Avg Weekday||2006 Jan-Sep|
|CA Los Angeles||Southern California RTA||41,600||8,161,600|
|CA Oceanside||North County Transit District||6,300||1,192,300|
|CA San Carlos||Caltrain||36,200||7,910,700|
|CA Stockton||San Joaquin Reg Rail Comm||2,800||510,300|
|CT New Haven||Connecticut DOT||1,900||343,700|
|FL Miami||South Florida RTA||11,300||2,313,900|
|IL Chicago||. Metra||309,800||54,049,800|
|IN Chesterton||Northern IN Commuter TD||15,300||3,164,000|
|MA Boston||Massachusetts Bay Tr Auth||141,800||28,542,500|
|NJ Newark||New Jersey Transit Corp||NA||52,258,600|
|NM Santa Fe||New Mexico Dept of Transportation||NA||181,300|
|NY New York||MTA Long Island Rail Road||342,200||73,614,000|
|NY New York||MTA Metro-North Railroad||266,600||56,601,300|
|PA Harrisburg||http://www.corridorone.info/ Pennsylvania DOT||1,000||214,500|
|PA Philadelphia||Southeastern Penn TA||104,300||22,907,900|
|TX Dallas||Trinity Railway Express||9,100||1,805,800|
|VA Alexandria||Virginia Railway Express||13,600||2,682,200|
|Projected Total||(See note below)||1,306,200||324,026,700|
|Includes missing agencies: Baltimore MTA, Capitol Corridor JPA, Sound Transit|
This WebPage is maintained for historical articles only.
For an up-to-date listing of North American Commuter Rail and Transit Systems, please visit our TRANSIT WebPage www.ominousweather.com/Transit.html
Check out rapid transit in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Read about America's street car renaissance
Grand Central Terminal and the New York City Subway
This page is our gateway to New York City. Find out about the
New York Central Railroad's
Grand Central Terminal.
Explore the fabulous
New York City Subway System. Learn who
Robert Moses. was and his impact on New York City.
New York City transit planning,
West Side Freight Line (the "High Line") and
St Johns terminal. The
New Haven Railroad and the
Long Island Railroad reached into New York City. Did you know the
Lehigh Valley Railroad even went into New York City (by ferry).
Learn about the
Jenney Plan to bring commuters into New York City and finally explore
mysterious track 61 at Grand Central Terminal
with its relationship to
Presidents of the United States.
Golf in Nice and the French Riviera
Golf in Laurentides / Laurentians Region of Quebec
Golf in the Montréal area
Golf in Northwest France
The U.S. Open
Golf Courses on Google Earth
We are working on our list of Golf Hotels and Resorts
Some of these are well known because of PGA Tour events held there. Pinehurst; The Greenbrier; and Pebble Beach certainly belong in this catagory. Others are located in towns with even more than golf as an attraction. In this Category is The Otesaga in Cooperstown, New York; Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain.
Commuter Cars on Penn Central (ex-NEW York Central)
As of 1973, PC had
2100-2114 ex NYC 1700-1714, originally 2500's (Budd 1941)
2115-2139 ex NYC 1715-1739, originally 3000-3100's (PS 1946)
2140-2151 ex 2600's (ACF 1942)
2160-2166 ex SLSF
2167-2177 ex L&N
2178 ex ATSF
2179 ex RI
2180-2194 ex EL
2400-2470 ex ATSF
All owned by MTA by 1973, who paid for all the conversions of 2160-2194 and 2400-2470. 2100-2151 MIGHT predate MTA funding, but most likely were MTA funded also.
2007 Commuting Cost Study by the Government
It's often said that the trip to work can kill you. But if you live in Houston, what really takes a beating is your wallet. There, the average commuter spends 20.9% of his annual household costs on getting to work. He's not alone. Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Cincinnati also landed on our list of the country's biggest cities where transportation eats up a fifth or more of household costs, according to a study by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership (STPP), a nonprofit research firm, which draws on 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the most recent available. The study looked at annual transit costs such as gas and tolls, and public transit fare, as well as money spent on car payments and maintenance.
America's Most Expensive Commute Cities
5. Kansas City
Transit costs are high because Houston has few policies hindering sprawl, which in turn allows for cheaper housing. In San Francisco, which is much more dense and has more prohibitive zoning laws than Houston, residents rank 22nd in commute costs but fifth in the combination of housing and transportation.
Worst hit by the composite ranking were the residents of Tampa and Miami where housing and transportation costs were the most out of sync with the average household's income levels. Tampa residents spent 57.7%, while Miami denizens spent 57.5% of their take home pay on the two.
The study also found a very high correlation between cities that had extensive train systems and those in which households spent the least on transportation costs. Four of the five cheapest commutes were rated as having large or extensive rail systems, and of the five most expensive commutes, only Cleveland was rated above having a small or non-existent rail system, according to STPP.
Besides saving commuters money on parking, tolls and gas, rail systems are often seen as a way to manage sprawl as train stations create central and desirable points for living and working.
It's important to understand, though, that the least costly commutes tend to be accompanied by high housing costs. New York and San Francisco were among the cheapest in the country, at two and seven respectively and have some of the highest housing expenses and least affordable housing markets in the nation.
Traffic In Texas
That's what's happening in Dallas. It and Houston have 15% of the country's fastest-growing suburbs between them. Dallas is investing $4.86 billion in expanding its commuter rail system, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which services area suburbs and neighboring Forth Worth. The job is expected to be completed in 2013 and local economists say the city should reap $8.1 billion in increased economic activity over the life of the project. Houston, on the other hand, has mainly focused on road construction and expansion, which isn't expected to pay off as well.
"To say DART Rail's impact has been substantial for the Dallas region's economy would be an understatement," says Bernard Weinstein an economist at the University of North Texas Center for Economic Development. "It's a trend that's impossible to miss; the local business community certainly hasn't."
Woodbury Commons is Only Typical (Unfortunately)
Sitting in 10 mile-backups on the NY Thruway today approaching Exit 16 (Harriman/Woodbury) from both south and north reinforced the need for transportation alternatives to the Woodbury Commons outlet center. The center, with hundreds of outlets for luxury brands, sits just a few hundred yards west of the Metro North's Port Jervis line.
Metro-North would gladly build a station at Woodbury Common. Wetlands issues could have been overcome, and an Environmental Impact Statement was in the process of being prepared. However, the town of Woodbury effectively stopped it dead because of concerns over an increase in traffic and congestion. In fact, the area leading to Woodbury Commons is subjected to the worst traffic and congestion of all Orange County, and residents are fed up with it. They've stopped the mall from expanding, and are forcing the operator of WC to more effectively manage the parking/congestion issues.
For the foreseeable future, you can forget a station at the mall. There IS a shuttle bus that runs (weekends only) from Harriman station to the mall. Granted, it's very restrictive in terms of connections, but it's better than nothing.
Let's not forget the fact that most people, given the choice between driving and all the hassles it entails, and taking the train, will still drive. Imagine dragging all those shopping bags on a shuttle bus, then a train, then the subway, then another train, then walking home from the station...people ain't gonna do it.
Until gas prices rise significantly further, most people will continue to drive to the Woodbury Commons of the world, even if transit alternatives were available.
The problem with Woodbury (and so many other major retail centers) is that the automobile is the only option people have. If rail and other public transportation alternatives could handle 20% of the volume, it would make a significant improvement in the quality of life for all - motorists and transport users alike. Those who want to come by train, et. al. could do so and those who want to drive would find it easier to get a parking spot and they wouldn't have to sit in traffic for so long. Further, the mall owner would benefit by attracting customers who know do not come because they do not drive.
For transit users, malls could set up a parcel system, where people could either leave packages at the station or the stores could deliver the packages to the station as a courtesy.
Old Penn Central and New York Central Commuter Cars
1-1967 NY Central car directory (issued by the Chief Mechanical Engineer, New York).
Eighteen of the old Harriman-style commuter coaches were still on the roster at that time. They were listed as follows-
1101-1145 (not inclusive, 11 cars) built 1925 by Osgood Bradley in Lot 969.
1150-1167 (not inclusive, 4 cars) built 1926 by Osgood Bradley in Lot 990.
1170-1176 (not inclusive, 3 cars) built 1927-28 by Osgood Bradley in Lot 2065.
Where were these cars in the 1960s? Not on the Harlem or Hudson that I ever saw. Their last assignment (from photos) was on the Put.
From Central's 1967 car directory, the 40 former long haul coaches converted for commuter service at Beech Grove are listed as follows-
1700-1714 "Converted Beech Grove 1966 for commuter service." New Lot 2264. Orig delivered from Budd in 1941 as 2564-2579, Lot 2147.
1715-1739 "Converted Beech Grove 1966 for commuter service." New Lot 2265. "Cars built by Pullman-Standard 1947 as coaches in 3100-3152 series. Lot 2169."
There were several cars cars acquired by MTA for diesel service. The later cars were acquired from a variety of roads and I don't think they got any rebuilding. Maybe just some brake and truck work and they went on the road. The 1700s from Beech Grove, on the other hand, were very nicely converted. They got new "walkover" seats, new lighting and interior upgrades.
The old heavyweights left between 1970 and 1973.
All the standard steel coaches in the Harlem/Hudson commuter pool were air-conditioned by the early 1960s. As reported in RAILWAY AGE, TRAINS and the New York press, it was a quid pro quo with NY State. Beginning in 1958 NY's Rockefeller Admin agreed to seek funds for new suburban cars and reduce property taxes on passenger-related facilities. Central agreed to maintain existing suburban service on the Harlem and Hudson Divs. and air-condition the old coaches that served riders in non-third rail territory.
It was also reported that this agreement was done face-to-face between Perlman and Rockefeller. Unlike earlier governors, Nelson Rockefeller understood very well the financial problems NYC was having and also the reasons why Perlman (and others) wanted to exit the suburban passenger business.
Cagnes-Sur-Mer is home to the Renoir Museum. See where Renoir worked.
Postcard of Renoir's "L'Atelier"
Renoir did this painting of his workroom at his home in Cagne-Sur-Mer, France.
If you visit the Renoir Museum in Cagne-Sur-Mer, you'll see both the painting and the workroom. The workroom is excellently preserved as it was, right down to a wire screen over the big window which was put up to prevent reoccurance of an accident when Renoir's children threw a ball through the window into Renoir's paint.
See our special section on
New Haven Railroad Bridges along the Shore Line
and New Haven Signal Stations
Includes New Haven Railroad history from 1844 to 1967. How the Farmington Canal was converted to a railroad. Naugatuck Line and other abandoned railroads in Connecticut. The Essex Steam Train. Story of the 'Pullmans on a hill'
Which One of These People Hurt New York City Public Transit the Most?
Click on the picture to find the correct answer.
If you get the wrong answer, you will still see a good story!
Commuter Statistics: Metro North Railroad
Ever wonder which stations had the most inbound passengers each day?
Here's a partial list:
1. Croton-Harmon 3368
2. Tarrytown 2677
3. Beacon 2040
4. Ossining 1650
5. Poughkeepsie 1633
6. Peekskill 1457
7. Hastings 1154
8. New Hamburg 997
9. Yonkers 922
10. Spuyten Duyvil 913
1. White Plains (8534)
2. Scarsdale (4125)
3. Bronxville (3318)
4. Hartsdale (2808)
5. Fleetwood (2617)
6. North White Plains (2403)
7. Chappaqua (2136)
8. Crestwood (1633)
9. Tuckahoe (1448)
10. Southeast (1398)
New Haven Division:
1. Stamford (6185)
2. Larchmont (3534)
3. New Rochelle (3472)
4. Greenwich (3052)
5. Bridgeport (3039)
6. New Haven (3020)
7. Fairfield (2702)
8. Port Chester (2457)
9. Mamaroneck (2440)
10. Pelham (2400)
11. Westport (2326)
12. Rye (2303)
13. Harrison (2207)
14. South Norwalk (1953)
15. Mt. Vernon East (1866)
See the full station list (and number of parking spaces) for all of Metro North
The Global Highway:
Interchange to Everywhere
A portal to the World. The Global Highway leads everywhere! Follow it to wherever you might want to go. We have something for everyone! Travel and other greatlinks!
Amtrak's Secret Business
Electric on the New Haven
See some historic photographs of the New Haven Railroad's electrification. Old Cos Cob generation plant. Electrics in New Haven, New York City, and in between!
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