Metro-North Railroad will start work on a $94 million renovation of the White Plains station on March 19 that the railroad said will make it “safer, brighter, cleaner and easier to navigate.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that construction will create some minor changes to the Hudson and Harlem line schedules.
Train schedules will shift to allow Metro-North workers to start on the project that is expected to take three years. The project will include new signs, improved platforms, benches with USB chargers, new station dashboards and stronger WiFi and cellular connectivity. Plans call for improving the station’s entrances, upgrading restrooms and adding energy efficient LED lighting among other upgrades.
The station will also receive new wall panels, ceiling tiles and fixtures.
The White Plains station is along the busiest segment of Metro-North’s system. For construction, one of the two tracks will be removed from service during off-peak and weekend hours to allow construction crews access to the platforms. Metro-North officials said in the statement that construction will not affect peak-hour weekday service or schedules.
Crews will also rehabilitate track between Scarsdale and Hartsdale. Both stations will be refurbished next year, according to Metro-North.
The upgrades come as White Plains city officials are preparing for an overhaul of the train station’s surrounding neighborhoods. The city unveiled plans at the end of 2016 for a White Plains Transit District that will involve rezoning and open some city land for development.
The plan was developed through a million-dollar state grant, which financed a yearlong community outreach and planning process.
The city’s vision calls for a rezoning of several blocks near the train station. The new zoning will stress open space and mixed-use residential buildings with ground-floor retail.
The plan opens up about 4.5 acres of city-owned land near the train station for development: two parking lots, a parking garage and a firehouse along Ferris Avenue and Bank Street.
The city sent out a request for expressions of interest in the properties to potential developers last June, but haven’t announced any further decisions since. The RFEI required developers incorporate open space, bicycle infrastructure and apartment buildings with ground-floor retail into any plans.
The city’s Common Council is also reviewing amendments to zoning that would create the transit-oriented district around its train station. The council opened a public hearing for the rezoned district at its March 5 meeting, but it was adjourned to next month without comment.
Here’s the full list of schedules changes for construction, as provided by Metro-North:
Harlem Line, Weekdays:
- There are no schedule changes to peak-period trains.
- Service levels are not affected on Harlem Line trains operating between Grand Central Terminal and Crestwood.
- Ten midday and four nighttime local trains to and from North White Plains will no longer operate between Crestwood and North White Plains.
- Some trains to and from Southeast that currently operate express between White Plains and Harlem-125th Street will add stops at Hartsdale, Scarsdale and/or Crestwood to preserve half-hourly service to those stations, and to provide connecting service to and from the Crestwood local trains.
- Up to four minutes of running time has been added to accommodate speed restrictions and to operate at reduced speed past track and station-construction workers on the adjacent track and platform.
- Up to four minutes of running time has been added to some northbound local trains at Scarsdale to allow southbound trains to clear the single-track between North White Plains and Scarsdale.
Harlem Line, Weekends:
- Twenty-eight Saturday and 20 Sunday local trains will no longer operate between Crestwood and North White Plains.
- To accommodate train meets at the ends of the single-track segments, the northbound schedule pattern for most trains is revised. As is the case during off-peak hours on weekdays, certain trains to and from Southeast that currently operate express between Harlem-125th Street and White Plains will add stops at Hartsdale, Scarsdale and/or Crestwood.
- To accommodate the switch replacement project near Brewster, service between Grand Central Terminal and Southeast is reduced to hourly except inbound in the morning, and outbound in the late afternoon/evening. Half-hourly service will be restored with the fall 2018 schedule change.
- The through train service between Grand Central Terminal and Wassaic on weekends in both directions (one train in each direction each day) is replaced with shuttle trains between Southeast and Wassaic, with connections at Southeast. Overall travel time between Wassaic and Grand Central Terminal is about 10 minutes longer than on the through trains.
- Up to four minutes of running time has been added to account for speed restrictions and to operate at reduced speed past track and station construction-workers on the adjacent track and platform.
- Northbound weekend trains to Poughkeepsie depart Grand Central Terminal two minutes later and trains to Croton-Harmon depart one minute later in order to support rescheduled Harlem Line service.
New Haven Line, Weekday:
- All weekday inbound trains will make stops at Rye, Harrison and Mamaroneck one minute earlier to support track work in the area.