Poughkeepsie Metro-North Railroad station serves the
residents of Poughkeepsie, New York and surrounding areas as the northern terminus of
the Hudson Line.
It is also
served by many Amtrak trains, which continue
north to Albany and points
beyond, and south to New York City's Pennsylvania
Trains leave for New York every hour on
weekdays, and about every 25 minutes during rush hour
. It is 73.5 miles (118 km) from Grand Central
Terminal, and the travel time to Grand Central is
approximately one hour, 46 minutes.
Poughkeepsie is 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from
Hamburg, the next station to the south.
This is the
longest distance between stations on the Hudson Line, the longest
on any Metro-North main line, and the third longest on the entire
Built in 1918, the main station building is meant to be a much
smaller version of Grand Central. It was a source of civic pride
when it opened. In 1976 it was added to the National Register of
Historic Places, and is currently the only station exclusive to
the Hudson Line besides Philipse
Manor to be so recognized.
The station is a four story building built into a rockface, with
the bottom two levels given over to the tracks and the top two
accounted for by the main waiting room, a two story brick-faced
building. Its five-bay facade
features sculptured masonry
designs over the five high arched windows.
To the west, a 420x15-foot (128x5 m) steel-frame overhead walkway
provides access to the tracks via
stairs and elevators. Today it continues westward to provides
access to the adjacent parking
. At the time of the station's original construction, it
served the businesses along Main Street.
waiting room, modeled on Grand Central Terminal, is a high gallery lit during daylight by the
windows and the three original chandeliers.
The 14 benches within are
also original finished chestnut
walls are paneled
in wood to eight feet
(240 cm), after which the carved stone shows all the way to the
. More original woodwork, the stained walnut rafters, is present in
the ceiling, possibly modeled after a similar design in San Miniato al
Monte, an 11th-century church in Florence, Italy.
Amenities include bathrooms
modernized), a concession stand, as well as a ticket counter
selling Metro-North tickets alongside two vending machines
which also sell MetroCards;
Amtrak tickets are available only by Quik-Trak machine. The
northernmost MTA Police
adjacent to the station as well. As of August 2006, daily commuter
ridership was 1,633 and there were 1,101 parking spots.
There are five tracks at the platform level, enough to accommodate
both Amtrak and Metro-North stops simulataneously, although only
four are regularly used. The fourth and easternmost has a lower
speed limit and is used mainly for non-revenue maintenance trains
or those experiencing difficulties.
In the late 1960s the North-South Arterial (US 9
) was built and elevated
immediately to the station's east, somewhat isolating it from the
rest of the city. Traffic going along the expressway gets a good
view of the station, and it and the nearby steeple Church of
the Holy Comforter
have become landmarks to travelers passing
through the city.
Platform and track configuration
Rear of station with walkways and
This station has two high-level platforms each six cars long.
western one is a side platform adjacent to Track 2 and generally
used by southbound or inbound or Manhattan-bound trains.
The eastern one is an island
platform adjacent to Tracks 1 and 3 and is used trains traveling in
The Hudson Line has four tracks at this location. Track 5, to the
east of the eastern platform but not adjacent to it, is not used by
trains that stop here.
The first Poughkeepsie station was built in 1850 as what became the
New York Central
's Water Level Route
worked its way up the Hudson River
first two years it was the end of the line, but even after it was
completed all the way to Albany, it remained
the most important intermediate stop.
Many local industries,
particularly the carpet mills and shoe factories in the city, used
the rail facilities to get their products to market. The
concentration of industry around a major rail stop also led to the
rise of banking and finance within the city as well.
with the completion of the nearby Poughkeepsie
Railroad Bridge providing east-west rail service across the Hudson,
Poughkeepsie became even more important to regional rail
When it came time for a third station to be
built on the site, the firm of Warren & Wetmore
was hired to
design a station that would impress travelers and communicate the
city's confidence and cosmopolitan aspirations. They chose to model
it on Grand Central, another successful design of theirs.
After five years of design and construction, the station was opened
on February 18
. The city's main newspaper, then the
(now the Poughkeepsie Journal
unstinting in its praise:
The building has remained largely intact since then, despite
declines in passenger rail use and the demise of the New York
Central. It has since transitioned, under the auspices of the
, from being a station for primarily
intercity rail to the commuter
services of Metro-North. It was added to the National Register of
in 1976. Until April 4,
2009, the southbound Lake Shore Limited (Train
48) stopped at this station, as well as at Hudson, and Rhinecliff-Kingston stations.
A massive restoration in the late 20th century included the
reconstruction of the overpass
station to Main Street and a large parking garage
to serve commuters
(many of whom come from points north and
west). Since the 1990s, there have been rumors and
plans to expand the Hudson Line north to Rhinecliff (or even further to Rensselaer). Local property owners have objected to this
given plans to build stations in Hyde Park and Staatsburg though those who do commute via Poughkeepsie are in
favor of the plan.