Station Provides Direct Access to Popular Hiking Trail; Service to Station to Resume on Saturday, May 28, 2022
Reopening Comes Following Safety Enhancements Completed in Partnership with NYS DOT, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, NY-NJ Trail Conference, and Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the reopening of Metro-North Railroad’s Breakneck Ridge station, which has been renewed and enhanced with safety improvements. Weekend service to the station will resume on Saturday, May 28, 2022. The station was closed for safety enhancements performed by Metro-North, NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, NY-NJ Trail Conference, and Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail.
As before, Metro-North will make stops at Breakneck Ridge on weekends and holidays, with six northbound trains stopping at the station in the morning and five southbound trains in the evening. All trains are designed to give hikers multiple opportunities to reach and return from the trail each weekend day.
The enhancements include a new pathway that diverts hikers from the shoulder of Route 9D and provides a safe path of travel between the northbound and southbound platforms, a safety fence separating pedestrians from the railroad tracks, anti-trespass panels around the train platforms, and temporary wayfinding signage to assist visitors in easily accessing the hiking trails.
“Metro-North is happy to reopen and provide direct service to a popular Hudson Valley hiking destination and to deliver important safety improvements that will enhance the overall customer experience for our riders,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “I want to thank our partners at NYSDOT, OPRHP and the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail for their support and also acknowledge the great work of Metro-North employees in effectuating these upgrades.”
State Assembly Member Sandy Galef, who represents Putnam and Westchester Counties, helped secure $200,000 in funding for safety enhancements at the station, including the installed fencing.
“What a perfect time to celebrate the reopening of this unique Metro-North stop,” said Assembly Member Sandy Galef. “It will provide valuable service to those wanting to experience outdoor adventures in the beautiful Hudson Valley and to do so safely.”
"We recognize how important recreational opportunities are for New Yorkers and tourists, especially in the very scenic Hudson Valley,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “We are proud to support the reopening of the Breakneck Ridge Station, which is easily accessible to all and will benefit outdoor enthusiasts and visitors and further promote a healthier New York.”
"Safety has always been the central driver in planning the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail," said Amy Kacala, Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail Executive Director. "HHFT was pleased to partner with Metro-North on the safety enhancements that made opening the Breakneck station possible, and look ahead to continued collaboration with all of our partners on the Fjord Trail project. Now, taking the train to the trail is a convenient and environmentally responsible option this season."
Prior to the reopening, a visitor wishing to access the trail would have had to get off at Cold Spring and walk approximately two miles.
The station reopening was timed for NY-NJ Trail Conference Trail Stewards to be on site on weekends to help screen and orient hikers to ensure they are prepared for the hike. The Trail Steward program has been in place since 2014 and has greatly reduced the incidence of lost or injured hikers. The stewards will be on site from Memorial Day weekend through the beginning of November, and possibly longer this season.
The physical improvements at the station and trailhead are steps toward a comprehensive redesign known as the Breakneck Connector. The Breakneck segment will mark the first mile of the planned 7.5-mile Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail linear park slated to go to construction at the end of 2022. When construction begins, the Breakneck station will again close until the completion of construction in 2025.
The Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail is envisioned as a linear park, spanning 7.5 miles along the Hudson River connecting the Village of Cold Spring and the City of Beacon. Metro-North, NYSDOT, and NYS Parks are among the many partners working together to make the Fjord Trail a reality, including local municipalities, governmental agencies, community groups, and regional conservation organizations, such as project lead Scenic Hudson.
Once the project is completed, Metro-North's Hudson Line stations at Cold Spring, Breakneck Ridge and Beacon will provide direct access to the Fjord Trail.