Mayhem on the Cold Spring Train

Station plays starring role in Hollywood thriller

By Chip Rowe

Did you hear about the ex-cop named Mike MacCauley who was riding the Hudson Line home to Tarrytown after losing his job as an insurance salesman when a stranger offered him $100,000 if he could attach a tracking device to another passenger whose identity was unknown except that the ticket slip on his seat was punched for Cold Spring?

It’s a little complicated.

MacCauley, played by Liam Neeson, is the protagonist of a newly released Hollywood thriller, The Commuter. After losing his job, he takes the 6:25 p.m. Metro-North train from Grand Central, which inexplicably makes several stops along the Lexington Avenue subway line. At any rate, after receiving a $20,000 down payment, he has about an hour to identify the passenger.

A stranger (Vera Farmiga) offers Mike MacCauley (Liam Neeson) $100,000 to place a tracking device. (StudioCanal)

“For Cold Spring, a few stops past MacCauley’s usual one, to be epicenter of such intrigue is curious,” wrote film critic Jake Coyle, who lives in Croton, in his review for the Associated Press. “But then again, even the feds [federal agents are involved] deserve a bit of antiquing and a brisk hike.”

The Commuter, which has received mixed reviews (“gaping plot holes” is a typical observation), was not filmed in New York City or the Highlands but on a soundstage in London and at two stations in southern England that were “dressed appropriately” to stand in for Cold Spring and Tarrytown, according to the film’s production notes. (In September 2016, commuters in Worplesdon were amused to find their station transformed into the snowy, strange locale of “Tarrytown,” according to the Surrey Advertiser. It’s not clear which station became Cold Spring.)

In the notes, Neeson is quoted as saying the Hudson Line is familiar because he has ridden it regularly for 20 years to reach his country home in Millbrook, east of Poughkeepsie. Anyone seen him?

5 thoughts on “Mayhem on the Cold Spring Train

  1. Hmmm… I wonder if they are commuters. Which makes me wonder if they suffer from lower back pain from 1 hour and 20 minutes each way… day after day after day in those God-awful seats.

    • Yes here in the real world the condition of the seats really are a problem — bad for the back and the spine, and who knows what else. Some time ago I have asked that they be fixed or replaced (so much less expensive than new trains) on the MTA website for comment. Response = not going to happen. Perhaps comments from a back doctor would be more impactful?

  2. So, The Girl on the Train, which was originally set in England, gets moved here and shot on location on the Hudson Line, while this, which is set on the Hudson Line, gets shot in England? Well that makes perfect sense. Thanks, Hollywood!

  3. I said poor taste because three people were killed on a Metro-North train crash when the engineer fell asleep doing 80 miles per hour. One of those people killed was a friend of mine. Most Springers knew him, Jim Lovell. R.I.P. Then recent derailments have accrued on MNRR.