Upper Harlem - Wassaic Extension - Questions, Info

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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby kinlock » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:13 pm

A big "paper railroad" that still exists after everything around it went away is the New York & Harlem Railroad.
It was chartered 1831, built a line from New York City to Chatham, then leased to the New York Central in 1873 for 401 years. Funny thing, it still exists and owns a lot of New York City real estate including Grand Central Terminal!

After Conrail, Penn Central began a new life with non-rail assets such as the gas pipeline company, coal leases, and real estate such as New York City's Grand Central Terminal and Park Avenue. It should be noted that one corporation that still remains as an asset of the successor company (American Premier Underwriters) is the New York & Harlem Railroad Co. This company, founded in 1831, is responsible for $7.8 million in (redeemable in gold) 3 ½ bonds due in 2043. These bonds are legally secured by the 127-mile right-of-way from New York City to Chatham AND by GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL! Currently, these borrowings are rated "Baa1" by Moody's (not too bad since Penn Central seems to have sold off some of this property).
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby fredmcain » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:27 am

brettj22 wrote:If tracks go into Columbia county won't they be subject to the MTA payroll tax?


Maybe. It depends who goes forward with such a project. It could be done by the State of New York with a different operator than M/N. The distance from Chatham to Grand Central is probably too far for typical commuter rail anyways. If the state were to revive the line, Amtrak or some other operator could operate the line. 'Course, they would then have to have operating rights over M/N south of Wassaic.

In any event the only way humanly possible to ever do this would be to have the solid, unwavering support from residents along the line in Columbia County. One good place to start would be by contacting the local chambers of commerce along the line just to see what they think about the idea. That could also be done to test the waters for a possible revival of the old NYC Putnam division.

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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby Penn Central » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:41 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
Penn Central wrote:When I qualified on the Harlem in 1977, it was from MO to Millerton, although service north of Wassaic had been discontinued by then.


You mean passenger service. Freight service to Millerton continued until March 1980, of course.
Freight service to Millerton continued until March 27, 1980 but Agway feed was the only customer there and they rarely received any cars, so I had never been north of Wassaic. The tracks between Wassaic and Millerton were removed in the summer of 1981. The rails for the old Agway feed store were still in place recently although the main line has been converted to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby nytrainsgogo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:22 pm

AEGUY63 wrote:I read somewhere in one of the studies the MTA did, is that some commuters come from as far north as Albany. But if you walk around the wassaic lot in the morning you'll see NY, CT, MA and even Vermont license plates. Alot of people come from the Great Barrington area. So figure, prior to them the next three stations past Wassaic were Amenia (a good sized town, 44 goes through it), Sharon Station (served residents of CT, although was located in NY) and then Millerton which is a big town, right near Pine Plains, Lakeville, Irondale and Pulvers Corners. if anyone here has been to Millerton, you know that it is a relatively busy town, its no Westchester town, but for being up in Northern Dutchess County, and on the CT border,it boasts a department store, movie theaters, restaurants, auto dealerships, a Sears. In my opinion, Millerton would be an ideal next stop for the Harlem Line. Will it happen, no. Should it of happened when the MNR added service to Wassaic, yes, but in my understanding they had to move quickly.


VERMONT plates? Really? I know there are some people who commute in from the poconos [New Milford, Strodusburg, Delaware Water Gap, PA areas] but VERMONT! Wow. Must be from Bennington area at most, as that is already a 3.2 hour drive. Great Barrington maybe, but Vermont no.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby nytrainsgogo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Bennington to GCT driving on the Taconic is 3hr 38 min. Bennington to Wassaic is 1hr 58 min. Then minimum 2hr ride on the super-expresses. I'm sure nobody wants to get up at 5 to be in New York at 9 [if they are godawful lucky with no traffic, weather or delays.] Even for the beauty beautiful beauty of Vermont, which if you want to work in New York can definately be found in Dutchess, Putnam, Litchfield, Orange, Rockland even parts of Northern Westchester.]

However :) if you were going to do all that driving, why not drive to white plains station??? Saves abt .5 hr..
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby TCurtin » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:53 am

It sounds incredible, I know --- but I have met an occasional person over the years who does a commute that surpsasses the limits of credibility. How's this for example: Westerly, RI to NYC? Another example: a guy who drove from Kent, CT to Danbury to get Metro North.

However, I have to say that Bennington VT-NYC holds the record so far that is, IF the person is doing it daily. Remember. there are known people who drive from one place or another out in the hinterlands to Wassaic (which is the northernmost location with commute service from GCT) early Monday morning and leave their car there all week --- they have what NY city realtors like to call a "pied-a-terre" ["pee-aid-a-tair," a small apartment not their principal residence] in the city.

Drvive time Wassaic-Gt. Barrington is probably 45-50 minutes in a good day, followed by the rail trip.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby TCurtin » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:59 am

Jeff Smith wrote:It would take an act (and miracle) of the state legislature to extend the tax (whether sales or payroll) beyond the MTA zone. As a matter of fact, Rockland and Orange want out of the zone.

Yes, and 25 years ago Dutchess Co. wanted out of it too. You saw how far that got
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:37 am

nytrainsgogo wrote:
AEGUY63 wrote:I read somewhere in one of the studies the MTA did, is that some commuters come from as far north as Albany. But if you walk around the wassaic lot in the morning you'll see NY, CT, MA and even Vermont license plates. Alot of people come from the Great Barrington area. So figure, prior to them the next three stations past Wassaic were Amenia (a good sized town, 44 goes through it), Sharon Station (served residents of CT, although was located in NY) and then Millerton which is a big town, right near Pine Plains, Lakeville, Irondale and Pulvers Corners. if anyone here has been to Millerton, you know that it is a relatively busy town, its no Westchester town, but for being up in Northern Dutchess County, and on the CT border,it boasts a department store, movie theaters, restaurants, auto dealerships, a Sears. In my opinion, Millerton would be an ideal next stop for the Harlem Line. Will it happen, no. Should it of happened when the MNR added service to Wassaic, yes, but in my understanding they had to move quickly.


VERMONT plates? Really? I know there are some people who commute in from the poconos [New Milford, Strodusburg, Delaware Water Gap, PA areas] but VERMONT! Wow. Must be from Bennington area at most, as that is already a 3.2 hour drive. Great Barrington maybe, but Vermont no.

One note on the plates: when I was growing up in CT ('80s/early '90s) there were a fair amount of Ridgefield residents who registered their vehicles in Vermont-- enough that if you saw a picture of the Ridgefield High School parking lot circa 1991 you'd probably see north of a dozen cars with VT tags. You did it for tax reasons: CT taxes vehicles based on value, while I think VT (at least then) taxed vehicles based upon weight or number of axles or some such thing. All you needed in order to claim residency for motor vehicle purposes was some kind of property in the state (think a ski condo, or a hunting shack, or a double-wide trailer parked on a half-acre of old pasture somewhere close to Okemo.) SO, it's possible that the Vermont plates actually belong to people from Sharon, Kent or some other CT town close to Wassaic. Still an extreme commute but nowhere near as absurd as Bennington, especially if you only do it a couple days a week.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:23 am

TCurtin wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:It would take an act (and miracle) of the state legislature to extend the tax (whether sales or payroll) beyond the MTA zone. As a matter of fact, Rockland and Orange want out of the zone.

Yes, and 25 years ago Dutchess Co. wanted out of it too. You saw how far that got


And they are probably happy not to have succeeded.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby nytrainsgogo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:16 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
nytrainsgogo wrote:
AEGUY63 wrote:I read somewhere in one of the studies the MTA did, is that some commuters come from as far north as Albany. But if you walk around the wassaic lot in the morning you'll see NY, CT, MA and even Vermont license plates. Alot of people come from the Great Barrington area. So figure, prior to them the next three stations past Wassaic were Amenia (a good sized town, 44 goes through it), Sharon Station (served residents of CT, although was located in NY) and then Millerton which is a big town, right near Pine Plains, Lakeville, Irondale and Pulvers Corners. if anyone here has been to Millerton, you know that it is a relatively busy town, its no Westchester town, but for being up in Northern Dutchess County, and on the CT border,it boasts a department store, movie theaters, restaurants, auto dealerships, a Sears. In my opinion, Millerton would be an ideal next stop for the Harlem Line. Will it happen, no. Should it of happened when the MNR added service to Wassaic, yes, but in my understanding they had to move quickly.


VERMONT plates? Really? I know there are some people who commute in from the poconos [New Milford, Strodusburg, Delaware Water Gap, PA areas] but VERMONT! Wow. Must be from Bennington area at most, as that is already a 3.2 hour drive. Great Barrington maybe, but Vermont no.

One note on the plates: when I was growing up in CT ('80s/early '90s) there were a fair amount of Ridgefield residents who registered their vehicles in Vermont-- enough that if you saw a picture of the Ridgefield High School parking lot circa 1991 you'd probably see north of a dozen cars with VT tags. You did it for tax reasons: CT taxes vehicles based on value, while I think VT (at least then) taxed vehicles based upon weight or number of axles or some such thing. All you needed in order to claim residency for motor vehicle purposes was some kind of property in the state (think a ski condo, or a hunting shack, or a double-wide trailer parked on a half-acre of old pasture somewhere close to Okemo.) SO, it's possible that the Vermont plates actually belong to people from Sharon, Kent or some other CT town close to Wassaic. Still an extreme commute but nowhere near as absurd as Bennington, especially if you only do it a couple days a week.



Ah yes...see the same thing around Westchester, lol. Still, I would drive to White Plains or at least Southeast, as you can do nearly 80 mph on I-684 [if you then take the Lake Street shortcut to the train station, avoiding the nasty 287 traffic.]

It must be nice living in Pike County PA, Orange or Dutchess, Litchfield, Pittsfield/Great Barrington area and certiantly in Vermont, but to work in NYC at the same time must be a hell of a hassle. The pied-à-terrie as mentioned above sounds like a great soloution, but with alot of time away from your family if you have one. If you could afford it, living in the city or suburbs and then maintaining a secondary residence in the country would be the optimal choice of many, but for most it isn't feasible and you have to choose between quality of life or income.
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Re: Wassaic extension question

Postby nytrainsgogo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:20 pm

TCurtin wrote:It sounds incredible, I know --- but I have met an occasional person over the years who does a commute that surpsasses the limits of credibility. How's this for example: Westerly, RI to NYC? Another example: a guy who drove from Kent, CT to Danbury to get Metro North.

However, I have to say that Bennington VT-NYC holds the record so far that is, IF the person is doing it daily. Remember. there are known people who drive from one place or another out in the hinterlands to Wassaic (which is the northernmost location with commute service from GCT) early Monday morning and leave their car there all week --- they have what NY city realtors like to call a "pied-a-terre" ["pee-aid-a-tair," a small apartment not their principal residence] in the city.

Drvive time Wassaic-Gt. Barrington is probably 45-50 minutes in a good day, followed by the rail trip.


The Great Barrington area is so nice, must be a pleasure to live up there.

Westerly would be around 2 hours and better than some NYC-exurb MTA/NJT commutes [Westerly is closer to Boston by a lot!!!] on the Acela, but Westerly is not that exceptional as opposed to Long Island if you wanted to live near the shore and work in NYC. The guy from Kent should drive to White Plains, as anyone going to Danbury or Waterbury is in for a miserable 3-hour ride after their drive. the 84-684 traffic ain't that bad. Sorry if i'm carrying on about White Plains :)
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Wassaic Question

Postby lilbluefoxie » Tue May 29, 2012 1:15 pm

Is 17 minutes (time between train arriving there and then going back down to new york) enough time to grab some photos along the walkway next to the station and then back to the platform? I dunno how big the station is.
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Re: Wassaic Question

Postby freightguy » Tue May 29, 2012 1:33 pm

Short form answer "Yes"
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Re: Wassaic Question

Postby lilbluefoxie » Tue May 29, 2012 2:02 pm

freightguy wrote:Short form answer "Yes"


Thanks :)
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Re: Wassaic Question

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue May 29, 2012 3:05 pm

crossing is 85 foot from edge of platform, the yard however is further back and only photo accesible from route 22.
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