TS19: Rails along the Hudson!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
One of America’s most famous, busy, and scenic routes – the Hudson Line – is coming soon to Train Simulator!
The Hudson Line! In modern terms it is a vibrant railroad shared by Metro-North, Amtrak, and CSX. In history and lore, it was part of the fabled “Water Level Route” of the New York Central and path of the unrivaled 20th Century Limited. And very soon, the contemporary Hudson Line route is coming to Train Simulator!
Today, this vital and scenic rail route stretching along the east bank of the famed Hudson River serves three roles: It is Metro-North’s busy Hudson Line, which in total extends from New York Grand Central Terminal via Croton-Harmon north to Poughkeepsie, New York; it is the southern end of Amtrak’s Empire Corridor, home to Amtrak’s frequent Empire Service intercity trains and long-haul trains such as the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, and Adirondack; and it is CSX’s Hudson Subdivision, providing freight service in an out of the Bronx and greater New York.
Train Simulator’s upcoming Hudson Line will feature both of New York City’s great stations – bustling New York Penn Station and classic Grand Central Terminal – and then extend north along the Hudson River to the Metro-North shops and CSX yard facilities at Croton-Harmon, New York. The route will also include Amtrak’s West Side Empire Connection, Metro-North’s Park Avenue main line out of Grand Central Terminal, CSX’s Oak Point Link freight route and Harlem River and Oak Point Yards, and the section of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor from the Bronx over Hell Gate Bridge to Sunnyside Yard and Penn Station. All told, the Train Simulator Hudson Line will deliver approximately 60 route miles of intensive and captivating modern “Big Apple” region railroading!
Dating back to the days of the New York Central, the segment of the line from Grand Central Terminal to Croton-Harmon was electrified via D.C. third-rail, and so it is today that the New York City-to-Croton-Harmon section, which typically employs three or four main tracks, sees extraordinary volumes of Metro-North traffic. The route’s workhorse is Metro-North’s M-7A electric-multiple units and these modern EMUs are included and featured with the route. A sister of Long Island Rail Road’s M7s, the MNCR M7A was introduced to service in 2004 and the railroad acquired 336 of the blue-and-silver EMUs for service on its Hudson and Harlem lines. Joining the Metro-North M7A on the route are an authentic and diverse variety of locomotives and equipment, which include MNCR and Amtrak P32AC-DM passenger locomotives, CSX SD40-2 and 3GS-21B “GenSet” freight locomotives, Amtrak Amfleet passenger cars, Metro-North Shoreliner commuter cars, and a selection of freight rolling stock.
In addition to representing the north end of third-rail electrification on the Hudson Line, Croton-Harmon is home to Metro-North’s major shop complex. The sprawling 100-acre MNCR Croton-Harmon shops, originally a New York Central facility and since expanded and modernized, handles major locomotive, EMU, and equipment maintenance for the commuter railroad and is noted for its popular annual “Open House” events.
Between Grand Central Terminal and Croton-Harmon, the upcoming Train Simulator Hudson Line route will include 20 intermediate Metro-North stations as well as MNCR’s Highbridge facility on the north side of New York City. MNCR operates more than 150 trains per weekday on the Hudson Line, with express trains typically covering the distance between CGT and Croton-Harmon in approximately 40 minutes, while locals and “all stops” trains can require more than 70 minutes to complete the run.
Amtrak Empire Corridor and long-distance trains on the Hudson Line operate to and from New York Penn Station via the ex-New York Central West Side Line, now known as the Empire Connection. From Penn Station, this line operates along (and often under) the west side of Manhattan to a connection with the MNCR Hudson Line at Spuyten Duyvil. In addition to New York Penn and Croton-Harmon, many Amtrak trains make station stops at Yonkers, New York.
Freight service on the Hudson Line is operated by CSX and includes manifests and New York’s rather notorious “trash trains” operating into and out of Oak Point and Harlem River yards. The Canadian Pacific also holds trackage rights on this line, but currently all CP tonnage is handled by CSX trains via a haulage agreement. Serving as an efficient link between the Hudson Line and CSX’s Oak Point Yard is the Oak Point Link, a 2- mile line build by the State of New York along and atop the north bank of the Harlem River and opened in 1998.
Coming soon to Train Simulator, the Hudson Line is one of the busiest, most famous, and remarkably scenic rail lines in the eastern U. S. Metro-North alone carries nearly 17 million passengers on the line annually, with Amtrak accounting for more than a million more. Train Simulator’s Hudson Line promises fast-paced American railroading at its contemporary best – and it’s coming very soon! – Gary Dolzall
Coming soon to Train Simulator, the Hudson Line is one of the busiest, most famous, and scenic rail lines in the eastern U. S. Featuring Metro-North’s modern M7A EMUs along with a variety of Amtrak, Metro-North, and CSX equipment, the route follows the Hudson River from New York City to Croton-Harmon, New York and will include approximately 60 miles of “Big Apple” region railroading! With the wide Hudson River as a backdrop, a New York-bound Metro-North M7A trains rolls into Philipse Manor, New York. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
The upcoming Hudson Line will include a diverse and authentic selection of Metro-North, Amtrak, and CSX equipment, highlighted by Metro-North’s flashy and modern M7A EMUs. A sister of Long Island Rail Road’s M7s, the MNCR M7A (above and below) was introduced to service in 2004 and MNCR acquired 336 of the blue-and-silver EMUs for service on its Hudson and Harlem lines. Note: Screenshots depict content still in development.
The upcoming Hudson Line will include both of New York City’s great passenger stations – Grand Central Terminal and New York Penn. Amtrak Empire Service trains on the Hudson Line operate to and from New York Penn via the ex-New York Central West Side Line, now known as the Empire Connection. From Penn Station, this line operates along (and often under) the west side of Manhattan to a connection with the MNCR at Spuyten Duyvil. Amtrak P32AC-DM 709 is hustling an Empire Service train north through Manhattan (above), while Amtrak 713 has just clattered across the swing bridge over Spuyten Duyvil Creek (below).
Metro-North trains reach Grand Central Terminal via MNCR’s Park Avenue line. At 125th Street Station on a snowy eve, rush hour is in full swing as a trio of Metro-North M7A-equipped trains converge in historic Harlem. On a typical weekday, MNCR operates more than 150 trains on the Hudson Line.
The upcoming Hudson Line will also feature CSX freight operations extending from the railroad’s West Croton Yard at Croton-Harmon to Oak Point Yard in the Bronx. Along the Harlem River and on the “Oak Point Link,” a duo of CSX 3GS-21B “GenSet” locomotives (above) duck under MNCR’s line to Grand Central Terminal. Freight service on the Hudson Line includes manifests and New York’s rather notorious “trash trains,” and as night falls a northbound trash train powered by CSX SD40-2s is headed north near Highbridge (below).
Near Marble Hill station, a Croton-Harmon-bound Metro-North M7A-equipped train swings along the Harlem River. MNCR’s M7As typically operate in six- or eight-car consists.
The upcoming Hudson Line will include more than 20 lineside stations representing a variety of architectural styles and several dating back to the era of the famed New York Central. Two of the intermediate stations on the Hudson Line between New York City and Croton-Harmon are Yonkers (above) and Tarrytown (below).
Dawn is breaking at Croton-Harmon as a northbound Metro-North commuter train powered by a MNCR P32AC-DM and equipped with Shoreliner cars meets a CSX southbound freight departing West Croton Yard (above). Croton-Harmon is home to Metro-North’s major shop complex (below), which maintains the commuter railroad’s electrics, diesels, and commuter equipment.
The morning rush is just beginning as a Metro-North M7A loads passengers at Croton-Harmon station for the run to New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Train Simulator’s Hudson Line promises fast-paced American railroading at its contemporary best – and it’s coming very soon!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS19: Rails along the Hudson!