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Commuter Rail to Yankee Stadium

George Steinbrenner, Yankees' owner, is continually trying to gain advantageous concessions from New York City and State. He talks of moving to New Jersey while New York proposes either major renovations to the existing stadium or building a completely new complex on Manhattan's West Side.

I don't think Mr Steinbrenner really wants to move to New Jersey, for attendance is likely to drop. Building a new stadium near Penn Station on Manhattan's West Side will cost tremendous sums of money. Recent plans to improve the existing stadium include highway widenings and adding more parking spaces, an expensive proposal that will increase congestion on the regions highways without providing significantly easier access to the stadium itself.

New York City is the epicenter of mass transit. Getting people to Yankee games via transit will be far more productive and inviting for game goers. Metro North's Hudson Line passes within feet of the stadium. A stadium station has been proposed for many years, and now is the time to build it.

The Yankee Stadium Station could be served by Metro North, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad. Yankee Clipper Specials should be run, dedicated trains set to arrive just before starting time and leave shortly after game completion. New sidings or small yards should be built, both north and south of the station to hold trains during the game.

New Haven and Harlem Line trains would come in via the wye at Mott Haven, drop their passengers off at the station and then proceed into the yard north of the station. Hudson Line trains would drop their passengers and park in the southern yard. NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad can run a joint service out of Penn Station. The LIRR would come into Penn from the Island. A NJ Transit train would come into Penn and give its passengers a cross platform transfer to the LIRR train. The LIRR train then takes off up the west side of Manhattan. At Spuyten Duyvil, the train would turn onto the Hudson Line and head for Yankee Stadium, drop its passengers and then layup in the southern yard.

The NJ Transit/LIRR service will need to have some technical issues addressed, but none are insurmountable. First, the West Side tracks do not have electricity, while the power on the Hudson Line comes from an under-running third rail, which the current LIRR electric trains can't use. This can be resolved by using the LIRR's Bimodal electric/diesel locomotive, having it run electric out of Penn Station and then switching to diesel for the rest of the trip to Yankee Stadium.

Second, the switch between the northbound West Side Line and the eastbound Hudson Line has been removed. Reestablishing this switch will conflict with the superelevation of the Spuyten Duyvil curve, which is banked to accommodate the standard flow of trains, between the north and east. Perhaps the curve from the south can be established in such a way that instead of connecting immediately into the main line, the Yankee bound line can parallel the main line a short way and make the actual switches after the superelevation is diminished.

This rail based program will be a tremendous asset for the city and the Yankees. People who work in the city will find it incredibly easy to go to a game after work by taking the subway to the stadium and then taking the commuter rail home when the game is completed.


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Last updated: 4 April 1999