Just the Ticket, Rebuilding a Railroad Station

Metro-North executives announced at the October 15 Village Board of Trustees work session that the Tarrytown station would be part of Phase II in the MTA Capital Program.


With renovation the ticket window will remain, however, food concessions may be added.

It will include a completely renovated station building with a ticket agent and waiting area. New heated overpasses, stairways and elevators will be included in the project as will new platforms, canopies, lighting and shelters.

In an outline given to the Village Board, Metro-North executives pointed out that the station building was constructed c. 1890 and has served the community well throughout the years. Over 100 years later, in 2004, Metro-North completed what they termed a "Condition Assessment" — i.e., what must be improved at the station as soon as as possible. Based on this assessment Metro-North has already set aside $3.5 million to renovate the current station. The outline indicated that the project will soon receive Metro-North Board approval for a design contract, and design work will be completed by the second quarter of 2008. Construction is expected to begin early in the second half of 2008 and will aim for a 2010 completion. It will include a new roof, new windows, façade improvement, structural improvements, new sidewalk and a renovated interior suitable for potential lessees. The idea of leasing out a portion of the waiting room or the station has already been incorporated in other area stations and has been an outstanding addition for riders and village residents together. The net effect has been to bring town activities closer to the station, and most citizens conclude that it has been a very successful innovation.

One item on the meeting agenda that received some specific attention by Village personnel was the question of keeping the station area clean. Over the years, riders have noticed increasing litter and asked that litter such as cups, tin cans and newspapers be picked up more regularly by Metro-North Railroad. Mr. Richard Kirner, Metro-North’s Assistant Director of Track Coordination, responded that they are very aware of the problem and will continue to examine ways to increase the policing of the grounds around the tracks and the station. Kirner explained that the Metro-North uses a "rotation" system of moving groups of maintenance employees from station to station on a regular basis. He also explained that tree maintenance was under his wing and that pruning and cutting dead trees will continue to be a target as his group moves from location to location.

While Metro-North agrees that cleaning the station and track area is best served by Metro-North, he also asked that local media point out to all riders that, in the final analysis, they are the ones who are directly responsible for loose paper and cigarette butts in the first place. Kirner felt that more care by the traveling public would put less pressure on the constant need for cleanup.

For those that are keeping track of history, it now appears that most wooden buildings seem to stay in shape about as long as their human counterparts. And, while both of us get to be renovated from time to time, happily, it’s the customer who gets to use a new coffee shop (for example) with its special brand of coffee, before getting on the train in the morning.

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About the Author: Arnold Thiesfeldt