The Harlem Line

Just south of 163rd Street (about 500 feet before where the yard where the Port Morris Branch joined with the main line), there is an irregular vacant lot surrounding the open track trench that might be a nice location for a station. Although surrounded on the west by a largely industrial section, the lot is cattycorner to the new Boricua College development and down the hill from a significant amount of post-70s redevelopment. If the line ends up going all the way to the Metro North Melrose Station (Park Ave. at East 162nd Street), this may be a bit too close for an additional station (and too short an area for a full subway platform). But in the context of the current development in the area, it might be an option to put the station here and just let Metro North transferees take a short walk up the hill.

Boricua College was founded to meet the educational needs of Puerto Ricans and other Spanish-speaking students. The school held its first classes in 1974 and as of 2008 it had around 1,200 students on two campuses - one in Manhattan's Audobon Terrace and the other in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Boricua Village is a 4.5 acre development the college is building on lots of city-owned land between 163rd Street, 161st Street, Elton Avenue and Third Avenue. The project will include 750 units of affordable housing, a small community high school, retail space and a 14-story tower for Boricua College, giving the school the capacity to more than double its current enrollment while "revitalizing" formerly dormant land.

Proceeding north to the Melrose Yard / Junction, the eastern edge of the yard along Brooke Avenue is home to a number of grand old industrial buildings.

In a remarkable bit of chutzpa, somebody thought this would be a good place for a Days Inn. It is fairly close to the Melrose Metro North station so it might not be so bad for tourists who know what they're doing. But I'd still be a bit fearful for my car in the parking lot.

The Circumferential Subway Line would terminate with the end of the Port Morris Branch at the Melrose Yard / Junction with what was a connection to the Harlem River Line. The final bridge before the yard is over 163rd Street. If Metro-North connectivity is desired, the line could probably run almost adjacent to the Melrose Station. However, it might be best to put the terminus as some point east to provide the maximum benefit to an underserved area.

When I visited, the Melrose Yard / Junction was being used by Brooke Auto Shipping and Storage.

07/18/2008 13:40:20
Dumpsters in the trench north of Elton Avenue - future station site?
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Brick portal off the tunnel - entry to a demolished building?
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No dumping
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Northeast edge of vacant lot surrounding the trench
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Water in the trench between Elton Ave. and 163rd Street
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West side of trench between Elton Ave. and 163rd Street
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Overgrown trench looking south from 163rd Street
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Boricua College development
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Lonely holdout walkup in the Boricua College development
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Boricua College development
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Boricua College development
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Non-union illegal immigrant labor?
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Demolition certificates
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Boricua College development
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Boricua College development
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Industrial buildings to the east of the yard on Brooke Avenue
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973 Brooke Avenue
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Brooke Auto - 975 Brooke Avenue
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Brooke Auto
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The Good Guys Warehouse
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Derelict walkup on East 164th Street
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Closed Ice Plant on Brooke Avenue
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Ice Plant
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Ice Plant
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Ice Plant
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Ice Plant
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Bronx Days Inn
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Bronx Days Inn
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Bronx Days Inn
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Bronx Days Inn
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163rd Street Bridge over the tracks
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South side of 163rd Street Bridge
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North side of 163rd Street Bridge
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Parking lot west of the trench - old siding area?
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South side of 163rd Street Bridge
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Trench emerging into the Melrose Yard
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Trench emerging into the Melrose Yard
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Melrose Avenue viaduct over the Melrose Yard
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Looking south across the Melrose Yard
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Cable ducts remnant on old yard wall?
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Melrose / Brooke Avenue bridge over the Harlem Line
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Melrose / Brooke Avenue bridge
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Looking south on Harlem Line - Melrose station in the distance
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Melrose Avenue bridge - note the disused cable ducts on the bridge abutment
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Harlem Line headed north
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Melrose / Brook Avenue bridge (BIN 2241630)