Tag Archives: Westport train station

[OPINION] Slow Trains Cost Big Bucks

An alert — and frustrated — “06880” reader writes:

When my wife, daughter and I moved to Westport in the 1980s, the main reasons were the schools, and amenities like Longshore.

But another major reason was that my wife’s commute to the city would work (barely). It was about an hour on Metro-North.

However, as the real estate agent explained to us, houses closer to the city cost more. Her rule of thumb was that for every extra minute of commuting time, homes were $10,000 less expensive. For us, Westport was the “sweet spot.”

Commuting looks pleasant in this image. (Photo copyright Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

It now takes about 20 minutes longer to get to New York City by train than it did back then. That means our house (the same one) is worth $200,000 less than it would if the trains ran on the same schedule.

Westport has about 10,000 homes. If they’re worth $200,000 less on average, that means they’ve lost $2 billion in value due to slower trains.

That $10,000 figure was in 1980s housing dollars. It might be 3 times that much now.

And we were looking at lower-priced houses in Westport, so that $10,000 figure for the lower-priced houses in Westport we were considering was probably twice that for higher-priced houses. So perhaps the real cost of slow Metro-North trains might be 6 times as much: $12 billion.

That’s real money!

The train to New York was quicker in 1949 than 2019.

Pics Of The Day #686

It wasn’t the biggest snowfall. It shouldn’t have caused as many power outages as it did.

But it sure was pretty.

Here are some scenes, captured around Westport by alert “06880” photographers.

And now — okay. It’s March. We’re ready for some spring shots!

This yard on Roseville Road sparkled (Photo/Gregg Bromberg)

Marion Road (Photo/Anne Bernier)

Winslow Park (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Levitt Pavilion (Photo/JP Vellotti)

Kings Highway Elementary School (Photo/Maggie Gomez)

Playhouse condos, from Winslow Park (Photo/Molly Alger)

Old Mill Beach (Photo/Matt Murray)

The train station last night, in the thick of the storm (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

Pics Of The Day #684

Westport’s Department of Public Works was out early this morning, making sure town roads were safe for everyone. (Photo/Jimmy Izzo)

When the snow stopped, this was the scene, looking westbound at the Saugatuck train station (Photo/Max Stanger)

Photo Challenge #212

Maybe it’s because relatively few Westporters wait for trains on the eastbound platform.

Maybe it’s because after eating at Donut Crazy, you’re on such a sugar high you can’t sit down.

Whatever the reason, only 2 readers knew that last week’s Photo Challenge — Seth Schachter’s shot showing the word “Welcome” — was actually a bench for riders taking Metro-North toward New Haven. (Click here for photo.)

Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Andrew Colabella were the 2 eagle-eyed — or perhaps travel-weary — eagle-eyed readers. Their responses were quite “welcome.”

So how about this week’s Photo Challenge? If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Elaine Marino)

Pic Of The Day #568

Waiting for the train in the rain (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

Pic Of The Day #407

Westport train station (Betsy P. Kahn)

Pic Of The Day #353

Man on Westport train tracks (Photo/Suzanne Tanner)

Photo Challenge #165

Last week’s high-tech photo challenge image could be found at a fairly low-tech spot.

Gene Borio’s shot showed a sleek, silver apparatus at the Westport train station.

The best description came from Lee Emery: “Random charging station on the train platform. Just appeared one day.”

John D. McCarthy, Lawrence J. Zlatkin and Jonathan McClure also recognized the device, and knew why it was there.  Also nailing the site: Earl Carlyss.

Apparently, most commuters do what they’ve always done: Just look past their surroundings, and wait for the train. (Click here to see what it looks like.)

This week’s photo challenge is a 2-fer:

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

  1. Where in Westport would you see this? And
  2. Who the heck was Doc Skerlick?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Friday Flashback #67

Most Friday Flashbacks show how much Westport has changed.

This one shows how little it has, too.

The photo of the Saugatuck train station waiting room was taken around 1979.

It could have been yesterday.

(Photo courtesy of Ken Bernhard)

Tuesdays @ The Train

One of the enduring images of postwar Westport was Mom rounding up the kids, tossing them in the back of the station wagon, and driving down to Saugatuck to pick up Dad as he stumbled off the bar car — I mean, got off the train — after a hard day of work.

Times have changed. Mom now commutes; Dad works from home. One-car families gave way to 2 (or 3, or 4); the “station car” is now likely to be a BMW or Tesla. The bar car went the way of the 59-minute train ride (it’s now 68 — at least).

But the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce pays homage to those days. Starting this Tuesday, June 27 — and continuing July 18 and August 8 — they’re sponsoring a new event.

“Tuesdays @ the Train” are family-friendly (and free). From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., you can meet Mom (or Dad) at the train, then cross under the tracks to Luciano Park (for 25 years the home of Festival Italiano).

There will be live music; food for purchase from Dunville’s, Tarry Lodge and Viva’s, plus Phil and Tom’s ice cream; a beer-and-wine garden, and games like bocce, bean bag target toss and badminton.

Chamber of Commerce executive director Matt Mandell built 2 giant Jengas and a Giant Kerplunk.

There’s a playground right in the park too, with a basketball hoop.

NOTE: You don’t need to be a commuter — or have a family — to enjoy “Tuesdays @ the Train.” Local workers, those who drive to work or work from home, retirees — and singles, divorced, flown-nest and childless couples — are warmly welcome too.

(For more information on Tuesdays @ the Train, click here.)