cab ride: 125 to Mount Vernon West: 1930

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cab ride: 125 to Mount Vernon West: 1930

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:44 pm

While the videos are from the NYC era, essentially all of the familiar landmarks we know are there, and of course, you see the old Harlem River swingbridge, all the old stations in the Bronx, etc...

The trip begins as we pass under the Nereid Avenue arch bridge on the Harlem Division, swinging through Woodlawn. Notice all the semaphore signals (searchlight signals would not be introduced en masse until after the war). Trip continues south, right up to the Park Avenue tunnel mouth. Part 2 picks up at the viaduct and continues north to Mount Vernon West.

Part 1 (ignore Burlington Zephyr, NYC starts at 3:08):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvgOFhROwSE&NR=1

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H31rJ4e9Arc
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Postby BobLI » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:06 pm

Were all those stations on the 4 track line in the bronx? I also noticed a very wide ROW and freight yards, also some in the bronx?

Wish we knew where more of the scenes are to compare then with now.
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Re: NYC film

Postby Tom Curtin » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:20 pm

Wow, this is great!!!!

Here are some items I gleaned from 3 or 4 viewings

1. The eastbound (toward GCT) and westbound sequences may have been taken at different times. The eastbound has semaphore signals (at least west of MO), and the westbound ride seems to have searchlight signals all the way.

2. On the eastbound sequence look to the left just after passing Botanical Garden and you will see the long vanished stub off the Third Ave. El that terminated at approximately Bedford Park Bl. and Southern Bl.

3. The film dates to no earlier than 1931 since there are recognizable New Haven EP-3s (built 1931) in both directions.

5. Oddly, on the westbound sequence you pass NK tower (106th St) twice!

Time line, as best I can:
EB:
3:33 Woodlawn
4:01 Williamsbridge
4:29 Botanical Garden (Hey, note tower on track 4 side just past there, which I didn't know had been there!)
4:57 Fordham station
5:05 Claremont Parkway station (I THINK!!!)
5:53 Mott Haven yd,
6:26 138th St. Station ("The Bronx")
6:39 Harlem River
7:20 NK
7:30 NK again

WB:
0:25 125th St.
2:02 Harlem River
2:25 MO
3:10 166th St. yd on track 3 side (just past where the Port Morris rat hole line branched off)
3:24 Morrissania (168th St.)
3:34 Tremont (177th St.)
3:48 183rd St.
3:55 Fordham station
4:07 Fordham yd. on track 4 side. I remember this small yard was still in use when I was a student there in the 60s)
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Postby MP 0.1 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:05 pm

Anyone know when the pedestrian bridge at approximately 100th Street was removed...the abutments are still there.

Great finds, Otto, thanks.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:03 pm

Wish we knew where more of the scenes are to compare then with now.


As Tom has pointed out, just about any regular rider of today's Harlem Line would be able to follow that film. I agree that the film has been edited and spliced, because certain scenes appear twice, and certain stations appear out of geographical order. But it's still a great cab ride! Tom, thanks for pinpointing those scenes, I agree with your assessments.

-otto-
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Postby Murjax » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:27 pm

Wow, that's a great find. Remember, most people back in the 30s didn't have cameras like we have today. Especially video cameras. Whoever took that was very rich. I consider these videos to be of great historical reference to me. There's a lot of history in there for sure. :)
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Postby Clean Cab » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:34 am

Very enjoyable video. It's surprising how much has changed on the Harlem line, and yet, how little has changed. The tracks are almost the same, but so many stations are gone as well as the wayside signals.

I was wondering why one engineer was wearing a fedora and a jacket and tie? I seem to recall that engineers dressed up on their last day of working before they retired. Maybe this is the case?
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:46 pm

<i>Wow, that's a great find. Remember, most people back in the 30s didn't have cameras like we have today. Especially video cameras. </i>

Well, a video camera of the 1930's was the size of a large cooler on a tripod, with about a locomotive sized electronics truck plugged into it :)

Movie cameras, of course, were much smaller. But, even a cheap Cine-Kodak 8mm was expensive - maybe $100 in 1930's dollars (!). The better B&H Filmo 16mm cameras were much more - the Filmo was a professional model.

'Home Movies' were NOT common back then. After WWII, things were different, of course - who doesn't have reels of 8mm memories shot on that beautiful Kodachrome 40 film. BTW, keep yours in a cool/dry/dark place, they'll keep your memories for decades - with little or NO loss in color.

<i>I was wondering why one engineer was wearing a fedora and a jacket and tie? I seem to recall that engineers dressed up on their last day of working before they retired. Maybe this is the case?</i>

Maybe - that'd sure be an event you'd get on camera. but he looked rather young to be retiring. Did the NY Central have a dress code back then?
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Postby PC1100 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:50 pm

Amazing video! The tower south of Botanical Garden was "BG." It closed sometime between April 25, 1965 and October 31, 1965. That's definately Claremont Parkway at 5:05. In fact, that switch coming off track 4 (with the walkway running over it from the station building to the platform) is still there today and is used by Tulnoy Lumber. While you have to look closely to see it, a section of the southbound platform is still there today, along with the bases for the canopy supports, just north of the switch for the lumber company. Not bad considering the stop was eliminated in 1951! You can still see the foundation supports for all of those stations today, up near the top of the walls of the cut. In fact, on what was the northbound platform of Morrisania (closed 1973), you can still see the outline of the stairway on the rock wall of the cut. Someone posted photos on this forum a while back showing what most of these station areas look like today.

Regarding the engineer wearing the fedora, jacket, and tie, that was either standard practice or very common in the electric zone of the NYC into the early 1960s. If you look closely at old pictures and videos of electric loco's and MU's, you'll see both engineers and firemen wearing a hat, jacket, and tie. There's a film by Pentrex showing a January 1955 episode of a TV show called Omnibus, which featured a live broadcast of the 20th Century Limited departing from GCT. The engineer was interviewed, and when asked why he was wearing a suit and tie, and not the then standard engineers uniform, he explained that in electric service engine crews typcially dressed up as conditions were cleaner than in steam service.
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Film

Postby Tom Curtin » Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:57 am

The tower south of Botanical Garden was "BG." It closed sometime between April 25, 1965 and October 31, 1965.
Ok, well then I should remember it since this was during my time as a student at Fordham.

That's definately Claremont Parkway at 5:05. In fact, that switch coming off track 4 (with the walkway running over it from the station building to the platform) is still there today
Yeah, I noticed the switch on track 4 at that location, and in fact this was the first thing that got me thinking this was Claremont station. Then I viewed the film a few more times and concluded that it simply had to be!! Discontinued 1951 huh? I wouldn't have guessed it was that long ago!
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Postby mlrr » Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:50 pm

Low-level platforms on the Harlem and New Haven Line?!?!?!?!
I'm going insane, lol.

Mind you, this is coming from someone who was born in the same year as Metro-North :-)

The video makes for a good RR history lesson! Thanks!

The fact that the landmarks and track arrangement are still easily recognizeable show how little has changed and yet how much has changed (i.e. low-level platforms)
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Postby Clean Cab » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:29 pm

Are we sure that this movie was made in 1930? I think the concrete stone arch bridge at 238St was built as a WPA project sometime after 1933.
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Date

Postby Tom Curtin » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:33 pm

No we're not sure. You tube says 1930. I wrote in my previous post that there are New Haven EP3s visible in some scenes --- delivered 1931. Your comment about the 238th St viaduct is interesting
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Re: cab ride: 125 to Mount Vernon West: 1930

Postby PC1100 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:16 pm

Does anyone know if the video in this thread is available anywhere? The link is not active anymore and I tried several searches on YouTube for that topic and nothing turned up. Thanks!
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Re: cab ride: 125 to Mount Vernon West: 1930

Postby fredmcain » Tue May 09, 2017 11:22 am

Yeah, I noticed that too. It seems to have been taken off of there.
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