Harlem-125th St. (NYCMTA)

Alrighty, Harlem-125th Street! So, while technically this entry is two stations (Harlem-125th on Metro-North, the penultimate stop before Grand Central, and 125th St.-Lexington Ave.), I’m counting them as one and the same on the basis of proximity. They’re pretty much on the same block, and if phase 2 of the 2nd Ave. extension ever comes to fruition, proposals call for the Lexington Ave. stop to connect Lexington Ave.-125th and the Metro-North station physically anyways. So, with that out of the way, here’s the penultimate Metro-North station before Grand Central, and another MTA subway stop.

Subway station signage
Metro-North signage

The subway station is pretty bogstandard with little noteworthiness. You have the usual benches, wastebaskets, and a mezzanine which was relatively crowded. Outside of that, you also have elevators and your stereotypical NYC subway station headhouse reminiscent of Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That, actually, probably was inspired by NYC, if anything. The platform setup are an upper and lower level, with the lower level being for southbound trains, and the upper level for northbounds. Above that is the mezzanine with fare control. Pretty normal to me.

Downstairs for the #s 4-6 Lexington Ave. Line southbound
The tracks looking northbound
And looking southbound!
The mezzanine!
The elevator!
The RFK Bridge from afar!
Southbound down Lexington Ave.!

So, walking a block over brings one to Harlem-125th St. on Metro-North. The station’s a vibe, honestly, sitting underneath the Park Ave. viaduct. Well, I should describe better. The headhouse is directly underneath the Park Ave. viaduct and is quite the vibe. It feels a little dingy, yet as soon as you go in, it changes drastically. The place, oddly enough, also feels like a time capsule in a way. The waiting area was a bit busy, unsurprisingly given it’s Harlem’s commuter rail station. Furthermore, there’s ticket machines, a ticket office, elevators up to the platforms, and even restrooms! Neat! Going up to the platforms is your standard pair of islands, where there’s also exits straight to 125th St. Heated waiting areas can be found up here too, but they weren’t in use. There’s also modern destination boards similar to those in Port Chester and other stations (I’ve only seen them at Port Chester and in Tremont). Honestly, I like this station, it’s quite the vibe and it’s nice, all things considered, even if 125th St. and Lexington/Park Ave.’s isn’t the best of areas.

The viaduct from afar
Okay, that viaduct actually looks nice with the art.
Entrances bypassing the headhouse – presumably intended for after-hours
Vintage wood!
Departure board!
Okay, this is an old time-y vibe and I LOVE it. It’s also surprisingly well-lit!
Halfway up the stairs
The area halfway up
Track level, towards Grand Central
And towards Poughkeepsie, Wassaic, New Canaan, Danbury, Waterbury, and New Haven
The long urban canyon…
Heated waiting area!
An M7A!
And an M8 passing the M7A!
BUS connection.
And onwards to Fordham, I go!

The good: The station’s honestly a vibe for Metro-North! Like, I honestly dig the old-school headhouse style and the fact the station’s on a viaduct. The area’s also pretty dense, and the subway station serves both express and local trains towards the Bronx. The M60 towards LaGuardia also stops here. Nice!

The bad: The subway station feels a little dingy, but that’s seemingly normal. Oh well! The subway to MNRR transfer can also kinda suck if the weather’s bad, too…

Nearby points of interest: You have some shops and parks nearby, along with the Harlem River!

Transit connections:
Metro-North (Hudson, Harlem, New Canaan, Danbury, New Haven)
Lexington Ave. (4, 5, 6, 6X)
MTA bus (M35, M60-SBS, M98, M101, M103, M125)

Overall, I really like the Metro-North station, having a lot of charm with the vintage interior and being elevated. It’s probably a personal favorite, if anything. However, the subway connection is average with nothing much to be said. It’s passable and accessible, though!

Rating: 8/10


Author: chelsea

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