Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

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Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby nydepot » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:45 am

I've been contacted, through my Existing RR Stations in NYS site, by the Historian for the Town of Chester concerning the Erie New City station. It's on the demolition block and they want to save it so they have made the station available for free, you just have to move it. New City is in Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County.

Charles
http://ny.existingstations.com

See below for more info:

ORPHAN RAILROAD STATION
Available for
IMMEDIATE ADOPTION
Free to a Good Home

The offices of the Town Historian and the Historic Review Board of the Town of Clarkstown, in Rockland County, New York, are attempting to facilitate the salvation and restoration of the original NEW CITY RAILROAD STATION, which is in danger of demolition to make way for the construction of a senior citizens housing project on the site.

The owners/developers of the property have indicated a willingness to give the station away for free to anyone or any organization interested in moving it to another location. We are assisting them in accomplishing this goal, while at the same time preventing its destruction and encouraging its restoration for any useful purpose. Current estimates are that work will probably proceed in the spring of 2011, giving prospective Salvationists a few months, at most, to accomplish this goal.

The station is entirely of wood frame construction, with a slate roof. It was constructed circa 1875 as the original and final station on the “New City Branch" of the PascackValley Railroad, a branch of the Erie Railroad which ran from Hoboken, N.J. to Suffern, N.Y. The Pascack Valley Railroad was extended from Park Ridge, N.J. to Montvale, Pearl River, Nanuet and Spring Valley in 1872, followed the next year with an extension through Monsey, Tallman and Airmont to Suffern, where it connected with the Erie Mainline. The section from Spring Valley west was eliminated in the 1950's. Two branches going north were discontinued in the 1940's, including the New City Branch from Nanuet through Bardonia, Germonds and Durant, terminating in downtown New City; and the Haverstraw Branch, from Spring Valley through Union, New Hempstead, Pomona, Mt. Ivy, Thiells, West Haverstraw and its terminal station, downtown Haverstraw.

The station measures 38 feet in length by 16 feet in width, with a six-foot roof overhang on all four sides. The station was never upgraded, and is in its original condition. It has been used for the past half-century by the Vanderbilt Lumber Company as a storage building for lumber and building supplies. It has no utilities, and has seriously deteriorated over the past 50-60 years, especially the edges of the six-foot overhang on all four sides.

Preliminary “guesstimates" by contractors have indicated the building may be capable of being picked up and moved in it's entirely by flatbed truck, or can be dismantled, moved, and reassembled at a new site. We have no cost estimates or feasibility studies at this time (10/1/2010) for either method of moving.

Interested parties may contact the Town Historian, Robert Knight, at (845) 598-5306 or by email at historvbuffbob@gmail.com for further information.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:02 pm

What a great story, thanks so much for posting! I am really surprised the old station still exists. I was in New City a few years ago and thought I saw something that might've been the old station, wonder if it was?

The New City Branch is somewhat unique in that when passenger service was discontinued the branch itself was removed not long after. Back around 1939-1940. The branch ran about 4-5 miles from Nanuet Jct to New City. I think it was actually part of Erie's New Jersey & New York RR and a casualty of the 1938 bankruptcy and reorganization.

I found a local history book and some news items that referred to the branch at the local library. At one time the line had fairly frequent passenger service, mostly connecting at Nanuet with NJ&NY trains to/from Jersey City. Around 1900 there were a few through rush hour trains to Jersey City though.

Back in the 1890s and later there was also a small enginehouse or roundhouse at New City. The gentleman who was the overnight engine watchman was remembered in the local history book. Every evening about 6:30 PM he could be seen sauntering along Main Street with his lunch pail. He would water, coal and turn the couple of Camelbacks laying over until the AM rush.

There was another story about how "all the Nyack lawyers" got to the Rockland County Courthouse in New City back in the 1890s. They would take a morning Northern Branch train from Nyack, change at Sparkill for the Piermont Branch train to Nanuet Jct., then take the New City train.

The branch was one of the first to get the earliest (and not very successful) Erie motor cars. A borrowed 'Harriman' Union Pacific McKeen car with porthole windows ran on the branch for a short time around 1905. In the last years the Erie assigned 5000 series motorcars to the New City trains.

There was even a regular freight that still meandered up the branch once or twice a week in the late 1930s. The New York Times published a "last run" story.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:27 pm

There was even a regular freight that still meandered up the branch once or twice a week in the late 1930s. The New York Times published a "last run" story.


I found the story in the July 6, 1939 edition of the Times, the last freight run was the day before, July 5th. The last load was cement (probably bagged in a boxcar) for a New City lumber yard. The article says, "Mathew E.Wilcox, the railroad's [New City] agent, closed the station after the freight had backed the carload of cement into the siding of a lumber yard here."

Somewhere I read one more train was run to pickup the empties, July 10th comes to mind.

A previous article in the Times stated that New City passenger service ended in May 1939. At the end this was probably one motor car making a few rush hour trips to and from Nanuet.

<sigh> :(
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:57 pm

Only two of the four New City Branch stations stand (discounting Nanuet). Durant and Germonds are long gone. New City and Bardonia are the only two left. My question is where does Chester have interested in putting it? I assume somewhere else in New City? I know I'd be interested in its preservation. The question is where will it go?
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Marty Feldner » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:36 pm

Chester has no interest in the station. The information was merely forwarded by Chester historian Cliff Patrick to several people (I also got it), including Charles- because of his 'Existing Stations' website.

The station itself is literally in the middle of a (presumably soon to be former) lumberyard at the intersection of Rt. 304 and Demerest Avenue, New City.

Here's a picture I took of it in 1999:
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:26 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:Only two of the four New City Branch stations stand...New City and Bardonia are the only two left.


According to Wilson Jones' book about the New Jersey & New York (a really great book, by the way) the Bardonia station was located along Bardonia Road. If it still exists is the building in an altered form? I drove through there and also looked on Google satelite maps and couldn't find anything that looked like a former station.

I was looking around the intersection of Bardonia Road and Rt.304. Is that the right area?
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:20 pm

Either way, an expensive proposition to save... Unfortunate!

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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:06 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:
Roadgeek Adam wrote:Only two of the four New City Branch stations stand...New City and Bardonia are the only two left.


According to Wilson Jones' book about the New Jersey & New York (a really great book, by the way) the Bardonia station was located along Bardonia Road. If it still exists is the building in an altered form? I drove through there and also looked on Google satelite maps and couldn't find anything that looked like a former station.

I was looking around the intersection of Bardonia Road and Rt.304. Is that the right area?


Badonia does stand :) - Bardonia and New City are the only two left. Bardonia is at SR 304 & Bardonia Road, NW Quadrant.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:08 pm

Thanks I'll have to take another look.

Btw, it's not surprising Germonds and Durant (the other two stations) didn't survive. According to a local history I found at the New City library, both were non-agent stations, in reality just shelters.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:52 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:Thanks I'll have to take another look.

Btw, it's not surprising Germonds and Durant (the other two stations) didn't survive. According to a local history I found at the New City library, both were non-agent stations, in reality just shelters.


Very unlikely they would've lived today had the New City Branch been built as the NJ & NY (now Pascack Valley Line). Had the NJ & NY built via the original 1870 plan, we'd be more direct to Haverstraw, but Spring Valley, Mt. Ivy, Theills and such would never have seen station service. (Remember the fact that they couldn't build over or through High Tor is the reason that failed.)

If say the branch would have been the main line, pretty likely Bardonia and New City would have trains today, along with Garnerville and Haverstraw. Spring Valley would've gotten the shaft though.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:37 pm

The last load was cement (probably bagged in a boxcar) for a New City lumber yard. The article says, "Mathew E.Wilcox, the railroad's [New City] agent, closed the station after the freight had backed the carload of cement into the siding of a lumber yard here."


In one of the local history books I found at New City Library (The Way It Was: New City in the 1920s by Norman Baker a former editor of the Rockland Journal-News) it is revealed the lumberyard where the station is now and the lumberyard that received the last inbound carload are one and the same.

The lumberyard was established right alongside the New City station back in the 1870s by Jacob Vanderbilt. He arranged sidings to deliver lumber and building materials, also coal pockets and a track for feed and baled hay. A very enteprising fellow, Vanderbilt also served as New City station agent for a time.

The Matthew Wilcox mentioned in the Times article as the station agent at New City was a longtime agent there. Probably about twenty years or more. Known locally as Matt Wilcox, he was said to be an Erie man who took the New City assignment after working at Bath NY. He loved New City, married a local girl and settled down there. After the branch closed he worked other assignments until retiring.

That's a fascinating photo of the old New City station that Marty Feldner took. In pretty bad condition but not as bad as I feared.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:32 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote: Bardonia is at SR 304 & Bardonia Road, NW Quadrant.



Adam have you actually seen it? Can you spot it on Google satellite maps? 'Cause I'm stumped.

Saturday I was in the Nanuet area and stopped by the intersection of Bardonia Road and Rt. 304. On the NW quadrant (west of Rt. 304 the name of the street actually changes, it's no longer Bardonia Road it's Ludvigh Road) there is a modern MetLife office building on the corner. Just north is a dry cleaners.

I drove west on Ludvigh and found Jensen Drive which runs behind MetLife and the dry cleaners. The two establishments and their parking lots take up a large area at the northwest quadrant mentioned.

Further northwest are private homes. All new construction.
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:42 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:
Roadgeek Adam wrote: Bardonia is at SR 304 & Bardonia Road, NW Quadrant.



Adam have you actually seen it? Can you spot it on Google satellite maps? 'Cause I'm stumped.

Saturday I was in the Nanuet area and stopped by the intersection of Bardonia Road and Rt. 304. On the NW quadrant (west of Rt. 304 the name of the street actually changes, it's no longer Bardonia Road it's Ludvigh Road) there is a modern MetLife office building on the corner. Just north is a dry cleaners.

I drove west on Ludvigh and found Jensen Drive which runs behind MetLife and the dry cleaners. The two establishments and their parking lots take up a large area at the northwest quadrant mentioned.

Further northwest are private homes. All new construction.


Yeah well, I just realized the problem, I should've said NE not NW.

Here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 1,,0,-0.54
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Tommy Meehan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:24 pm

Thanks. There's a photo of the station in the Wilson Jones book and that looks like the same general design.

Doesn't look like your typical railroad station but references in the Norman Baker book I mentioned explain that. Baker wrote that it was not exclusively a train station. It was a general store, post office and train station. You could buy groceries, pick up your mail and get your train all in one shot. :)
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Re: Erie's New City Station - free to a good home

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:57 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:Thanks. There's a photo of the station in the Wilson Jones book and that looks like the same general design.

Doesn't look like your typical railroad station but references in the Norman Baker book I mentioned explain that. Baker wrote that it was not exclusively a train station. It was a general store, post office and train station. You could buy groceries, pick up your mail and get your train all in one shot. :)


New Hampton on the Erie Main was the same way. I believe the still-standing Oxford was as well.
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