Poughkeepsie, NY to New York City by train
The previous day we had been followed by rain showers and decided to stay in a motel in New Paltz rather than in a tent in the Catskills. We had also decided to park our car at the Poughkeepsie train station and take the train from Poughkeepsie into New York City where we would be visiting for a couple of days. As we headed across the Hudson River over the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge, the wet weather was with us again and I was happy that we had made the decision to try out the train option.
The Poughkeepsie Station is now part of the Metro North Railroad stations but in its earlier life it was part of the Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railroad empire.
There is plenty of parking at the train station. When we arrived, we thought that parking would be pretty limited since we only saw the small parking lot at the entrance to the station but we learned later that there was a large parking garage located on the other side of the tracks closer to the river. Once we figured out the process, paying for parking was pretty simple either at the machines inside of the building or outside at kiosks on the station platform. All you had to do was remember the number of the parking stall where you had parked. Parking fees were reasonable with free parking on weekends and certain holidays and at other times the rate was $6 per day.
When we had purchased our train ticket, the agent had told us which track to go to but, when we walked down to the track, we were the only ones there (another train had left a bit earlier). As usual, I wondered if, perhaps, we had come to the wrong platform. Others who arrived a bit later had the same question, but together we decided that we were in the right place. It wasn’t long before the empty space in front of us was filled by a sleek blue and silver train of the Metro North Railroad.
From Poughkeepsie, the tracks follow the Hudson River south to New York City so sitting on the right hand side of the train affords the most scenic views.Â Today, with the mist and rain and the wet windows of the train, conditions were less than optimal for photography but it was interesting, nonetheless, to be able to look out and observe the variety of landscapes and water-based activity along the route.
As we traveled along our route, I was able to catch a few moments of extra sleep. However, at one location, I opened my eyes, looked out of the window, and came almost instantly to a wide-awake state. I thought that I was seeing a serious tornado touching down on the far bank of the river.Â It turned out to just be industrial smoke and a low cloud formation combining to form the illusion of a tornado but it certainly woke me up in a hurry!
The Hudson River is a major water thoroughfare is this part of the country and still plays an important role in both recreational and commercial activities of the region.
With plenty of interesting things to see for the first time, the trip went along quickly and we soon left the river and its bridges behind and entered into the labyrinth of underground pillars and passageways leading us into New York’s Central Station.