Metro-North Railroad Operations Center

Buried away “somewhere” near Grand Central is the Metro-North Railroad Operations Center. Not only did it replace a half-dozen signal towers in and around Grand Central Terminal, but it controls the three main lines: Poughkeepsie, Brewster and New Haven PLUS all those smaller lines like New Canaan. Quite an undertaking.

Yes I know they are not perfect yet, but they are trying.

One of the best sources of pictures and articles about the Operations Center is an independent WebSite called I Ride The Harlem Line. They even cover night-time operations.

A little about “ I Ride The Harlem Line”

 My name is Emily, though I am known by many who ride the train simply as Cat Girl, for the hats I customarily wear during the winter time. I am a graphic designer, a Metro North train rider, and a person that has always been interested in history. For the past 4 years I’ve been a regular commuter, though I’ve been a Harlem Line rider all my life. This site is a collection of my usually train-related thoughts, observations, photographs, and travels, as well as my never-ending hunt for intriguing historical artifacts. 


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How to get Canon PhotoStitch Panorama and Photo Stitching software for free

Great ideas from Don

Don Charisma

I’ve owned several Canon digital cameras over the years, which have all come with a “free” utility called PhotoStitch.

PhotoStitch isn’t the most feature packed or the newest software, but it does work well, made by a well respected company. It can do Panning (Scenery etc), Parallel Camera Movement (Documents etc) and Images scanned in sections.

I’ve tested it with Photos taken on my iPhone 4s and it seems that the pictures don’t have to be taken on a Canon camera.

Update Mar-2014 – I’ve just written about alternatives to Canon Photostitch, so you might want to check them out in my article – “Panorama Stitching Software – Alternatives To Canon Photostitch”

DonCharisma Canon PhotoStitch Panorama Canon PhotoStitch Panorama

Reason that I’m writing about this, is that ten years after taking some Panoramas, I wanted to stitch them together. I didn’t have the install CD or the camera or the software any more. After…

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Lift Bridge for Metro-North Trains Is Getting Big Repairs

In 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools. The Senate censured Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose scowling rants about Communist subversion had prompted witch hunts. The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville advised a skinny young truck driver named Elvis Presley to stay behind the wheel.

And a baby-blue railroad bridge was changing the landscape between Manhattan and the Bronx. By its completion a couple of years later, it would ease the ride for suburbanites commuting to Cheever country and long-haul passengers reveling in the red-carpet treatment on the Twentieth Century Limited, a train so famous that it played a supporting role in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “North by Northwest.”

Now the bridge is getting considerably more than a face-lift — a top-to-bottom overhaul that has a price tag of $47.2 million and involves installing new cables to raise and lower the 340-foot-long track sections. Also scheduled are a new electrical control system, new wiring and new power-supply equipment for the third rail on the tracks.

Read More About this Bridge

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The Fabled Rutland Milk

We have just updated to include picture of Rutland Milk running as a NY Central train through MO Junction.



Pictured above is a “rider car” going through Troy, New York. Below is a milk car.


So what was so spectacular about what was called the “Rutland Milk Train”? Well, it started out way up in New York State, ran across the top of the state, ran down the length of Vermont, then back through New York State into New York City! Used to go over Rutland Railroad’s “Corkscrew Division”, but when that track had no more on-line business, they cut through Troy. Besides the truck lobby, what killed the Rutland Milk was inability to sell Vermont milk in New York (Federal “milkshed” regulations). My goodness! Almost 500 miles!

The Rutland milk ran to Chatham as train 88 which held over for 90 minutes for the arrival of the northbound empties from the NYC on the Harlem Division. The trains were swapped over from one railroad to the…

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Federal highway agency OKs construction alternative for CSX tunnel project in D.C.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHW) has approved a preferred construction alternative for CSX Corp.’s Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in Washington, D.C., enabling the Class I to complete design work and initiate the construction permitting process.

The decision marks the completion of an extensive environmental review conducted jointly with the District of Columbia Department of Transportation that incorporated three years of input from residents, businesses and government agencies in the southeast D.C. neighborhood around the tunnel, CSX officials said in a press release. The FHW approved temporary closure of Interstate 695 ramps located at 6th and 8th streets, and the occupancy of a portion of the 11th Street bridge right of way along the interstate.

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Three reasons why All Aboard Florida’s train schedule is in trouble

Andrew Marra from the Palm Beach Post has dug into the train schedules and looked at the bridges along the route of All Aboard Florida.

All Aboard Florida wants to runs 32 trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks from Miami to Orlando.

But the U.S. Coast Guard is saying, “Not so fast!”

The Coast Guard regulates waterway navigation and can order that railroad draw bridges – including ones in Jupiter, Stuart and Fort Lauderdale – be kept open at certain times during the day.

This gives the agency effective veto power over All Aboard’s train schedules.

Coast Guard is the Boater's Friend
Coast Guard is the Boater’s Friend

Here are three reasons why that could mean All Aboard’s plans for hourly trains are in trouble:

1. Boaters’ wait times may already be too long

 the Loxahatchee Bridge in Jupiter, the St. Lucie River Bridge in Stuart and the New River Bridge in Fort Lauderdale. are the worst.

2. Everyone agrees more trains mean more delays


3. All Aboard’s solution may be based on incomplete stats


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Sanguinetti Recalled by the Canucks; Blain to the Comets

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have recalled defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti from the AHL Utica Comets. The Canucks has also reassigned defenseman Jeremie Blain to Utica from the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings.

Sanguinetti, 26, has played 14 games with the Utica Comets this season. He has collected seven points (2-5-7), ranking tied for third in team scoring. The Trenton, New Jersey native has appeared in 45 NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers, collecting six points (2-4-6).

The 6’3”, 190-pound defenseman signed with Vancouver as a free agent on July 1, 2014.

Blain, 22, has not appeared in a game with the Comets this season but did see action in six AHL games with Utica in 2013-14. In Kalamazoo this season, the Blain has collected a goal and an assist in six games. Blain spent the majority of last season with the Kalamazoo Wings and recorded 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 25 games.

The 6’2″, 192-pound defenseman was originally selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (#91 overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

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With help from Penney Vanderbilt