Tag Archives: Green’s Farms railroad station

New Parking Spots Ease Railroad Station Crunch

It’s easy to commute on auto-pilot. But over the past few months, alert commuters have noticed activity at the west end of the Greens Farms railroad station.

Workers cleared brush, and removed old equipment. “06880” reader Scott Smith figured they were creating a staging area for the forthcoming replacement of the Beachside Avenue bridge.

But now there are new, striped spaces. The addition to the lot looks permanent.

New parking spaces at the Greens Farms railroad station.

It is.

Police chief Foti Koskinas — whose department oversees railroad parking operations and facilities — says that while part of that area will indeed be staging. the town has added 54 new parking spots there. Twenty-four are for permit holders; 30 are for daily parkers.

Koskinas says the town took advantage of the upcoming bridge work to add to their long-term lease with the state.

The new parking spaces will be available later this coming week. For safety reasons, the Police Department is waiting until permanent lights are installed.

Another angle showing the new spots. This view is looking east. (Photos/Scott Smith)

Greens Farms is not the only rail station in town with added parking. Koskinas says that 17 new permit-only spots have been added on Franklin Street, near Lot 7 (the one just north of the I-95 overpass) and Lot 3 (the big lot on Ferry Lane, south of the tracks).

Feedback from commuters has been great, Koskinas says. And that’s just from those who were alert enough to notice them.

(Click here for a map of the all parking lots at the Saugatuck train station.)

The Brook Lives!

Amid all the political signs at the Greens Farms railroad station (though there’s a remarkable paucity for the presidential candidates*) — one stood out Sunday for Oliva Schoen.

brook-1

(Photo/Oliva Schoen)

Then she saw a few more nearby.

And one on the Post Road.

If you’re wondering: They’re true. The Brook — aka as the Brook Cafe, and the Cedar Brook — was said to be the oldest continually operating gay bar in America, when it closed 6 years ago.

It was located on the Post Road near the Sherwood Island Connector — right across from what were then state police barracks. (It’s Walgreens today.)

There’s no word on whether SEWHIP (“so hip”) — Society to Expose Westport’s Historically Important Past — will put up a sign recalling Krazy Vin’s. That’s the strip joint that operated where Starbucks is today. You know — directly oppposite the Brook.

Those were some days!

(Want to know more about Westport’s gay bar? Click here.)

*Go figure

More Saugatuck News: Railroad Parking Lot Closed Beginning Monday

It’s official: Construction begins this Monday (July 11) on railroad station Lot 1 — the one across the street from the former Blu Parrot/Jasmine/Arrow. The projected completion date is after Labor Day (September 5).

Alternate parking locations have been created at both the Saugatuck and Greens Farms stations. Commuters should figure on an additional 5-10 minutes on Monday to get used to the new setup.

Saugatuck railroad station temporary parking. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Saugatuck railroad station temporary parking. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Commuters are encourage to use the shuttle service from the Imperial Avenue parking lot to Saugatuck train. The link to the schedule for the shuttle is listed below. Shuttle service may be expanded, depending on need. Click here for more information, including schedules.

For more information on railroad parking, click here.

Greens Farms railroad station temporary parking. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Greens Farms railroad station temporary parking. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

They’ve Been Working On The Railroad

In mid-September, “06880” reported on the removal of a number of scrub and pine trees, on both sides of the Greens Farms railroad station tracks. They were endangering high voltage lines, and could not be trimmed.

Now there’s more work being done at the station. An alert reader sent this photo:

Greens Farms train station

“This is so close to the water and wetlands,” he says. “A lot of birds migrate through here. And a lot of warblers live in there.”

Rest easy. It’s temporary.

According to Foti Koskinas (the deputy police chief who oversees maintenance and operations of the Greens Farms and Saugatuck train stations on behalf of the town), an approximately 180 square foot area of hillside — bordered by parking spaces, the parking lot driveway, train tracks and New Creek Road — is being worked on.

It had been filled with tree stumps, railroad ties, bolts, debris and garbage.

This weekend, the area will be cleaned up. Plantings are going in. The sidewalk under the tracks is being replaced. Four additional parking spots will be added.

It should all be ready by Tuesday. The birds will return shortly after.

One Last Cup Of Coffee

For nearly 10 years, George Russo has gotten up early. Very early.

He leaves Stamford for the Green’s Farms railroad station, arriving at 4:15 a.m. He spends an hour brewing coffee, sorting newspapers, and preparing for the 9 morning trains.

The first one comes at 5:16. A couple of dozen commuters board, well-caffeinated and ready for the morning ride.

George Russo (right) with "loyal customer Joe."

George Russo (right) with “loyal customer Joe.”

George loves his job, and his customers. But next Friday (April 26) marks his last day of work.

The town will renovate the Green’s Farms station. George’s lease was up, and put out to bid.

New terms included a 150% increase in rent. He’d have to buy a parking sticker, too.

Despite 180 signatures on a customer-inspired petition, the lease went to a new company called Steam Cafe. They’ll also operate the coffee stand at the eastbound Saugatuck train station.

“It will be sad,” says George. “I don’t want to leave.”

Green's Farms train station.

Green’s Farms train station.

He’s an early-morning guy. When the rush is over, at 9 a.m., he leaves.

“I’ve made lots of good friends here,” he says. Customers routinely invite him to play golf at their country clubs, or offer tickets to Yankees and Giants games.

The economics of the coffee concession business are changing, though. When he started, George sold 300 papers a day. Now he’s down to 80.

“Everyone reads the paper on their iPhone or iPad,” he says. If they don’t stop in for a paper, they may not buy coffee either.

George plans to take a few months off, then look for something else to do.

Of course, he’d love to keep doing what he’s done for 10 years.

“I used to do construction,” he says. “But I’m almost 60. I can’t climb ladders like I used to.”