New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.

Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:59 pm

Early in my career when I transferred into the NH signal dept,I asked my supervisor as to the disposition of various NYWB signal dept.apparatus and was told some of it(what quantity & exactly what componets they were],were reclaimed by the NH after the closing of the NYWB.This may help to satisfy the discrepancy regarding the different types of semaphores used by both companies.As the Portchester extension progressed,the inventory of older style equipment would be exhausted & a newer,updated style would be utilised.The latter statement is my assumption as to my employment in various depts.and saw first hand as to the changes that occur over time to rolling stock & the physical plant especially when the company is not finacially stable or sometimes something new is tried on a trial basis.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby Statkowski » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:48 pm

Which explains why a New Haven style three-position, left-hand, upper-quadrant semaphore would end up on the Westchester's Port Chester line.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:22 pm

Varying a few degrees off the topic,what I find so ironic,is the rolling stock & physical plant of both companies.The NH invested so much money into the creation & operation of the NYWB to make it the most modern,efficent & beautiful rail operation[1912],the likes never seen before or since,while the NH continued to operate as a throw back to the days of yore until MTA/CDOT became involved in 1972.I hired out on the former NYC side of PC as a towerman.The NYC towers [those that were still in service],used GRS switch machines & interlocking machines that were as modern as they were at the time of installation.When I went into the NH signal dept.in 1976,I only worked on the rehabilitation of the NH from Woodlawn to Stamford,& was stunned to see only "SHELL" & Stamford as electro-mechanical and "VERN","PIKE" & "GREEN" were still strongarm operated.Something just doesnot figure.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby Statkowski » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:26 pm

All the New Haven's spare cash went into the Westchester (and a number of other pockets). Following that, the general motto was, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Mechanical interlockings worked just fine in certain locations, not so fine in others, hence the "modernization" of S.S. 22, New Rochelle Junction.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:48 pm

Frank Grimmer was my signal supervisor.Frank was a real "old timer" hence his NH signal dept.career began as far back as to when the NYWB was in operation.For what ever reason[s] long since forgotten,I didnot have Mr.Grimmer delve deeper into the question of the disposition of various NYWB signal dept.appliances.We can only speculate as to:a)reclaimed and used by the NH where necessary b)purchased by the U.S.Government for scrap metal.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:44 am

pbass wrote:Frank Grimmer was my signal supervisor.Frank was a real "old timer" hence his NH signal dept.career began as far back as to when the NYWB was in operation.For what ever reason[s] long since forgotten,I didnot have Mr.Grimmer delve deeper into the question of the disposition of various NYWB signal dept.appliances.We can only speculate as to:a)reclaimed and used by the NH where necessary b)purchased by the U.S.Government for scrap metal.


Frank Grimmer, now there is a name that I remember and haven't heard for a long, long time. I remember him when he was a maintainer at SS-60 in Bridgeport. I think he was also a maintainer at Stamford at various times.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:00 am

I met Mr.Grimmer in March,1976.Frank was the foreman of the SHELL signal construction gang.His health was failing later that year and soon took to retirement.As I said, his employment began when the NYWB was in operation so you have most likely heard his named mentioned in your NH/PC employment.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby skippernyc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:21 pm

Dunno if this has been been generally publicized, but, there is at least some more film of the Westchester, aside from Roger Arcara's.

There is a TV program, actually a series of 4 episodes, called 'Locomotion', broadcast on A&E/History channel in early 1994, and DVDs are still available.

In one of the episodes (sorry don't recall now which) there is a brief bit of film footage that shows the opening of the NYW&B Portchester extension n 1929, with a train at the platform and a big Sign commemorating the event.

Perhaps someone can find out from the producers where they obtained that film clip.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby skippernyc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:35 pm

Just want to add to the discussion again, having only seen Roger Arcara's film in 1987 at one the Railfan events he used to host, as well as the other day on Youtube, there is at least some more.

There is a four episode TV program called 'Locomotion', broadcast in early 1994 on A&E/History (and still available on DVD), and during one of the segments, shows a few seconds of the opening of the Portchester extension in 1929.

Perhaps those who have seen the other NH films with NYW&B scenes can determine if it is taken from them, or something unique.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:16 pm

The best I recall,the scenes of the NYWB from NH films were shot from moving NH trains.There is an updated version of the NYWB that is narrated by Roger Arcara with new footage of NH and NYC trains and scenery.Some time ago,I saw on TV a commercial for some dotcom company showing the viaduct with employees on it at the Coliseum Amusement Park.I wanted to get more information on this video,but never saw it again.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby skippernyc » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Perhaps then, its time to try to get at least a comprehensive list, if not an actual collection, of all known movie footage of the NYW&B.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:12 am

That's easier said than done.Except for the Roger Arcara video which has a portion of the video dedicated to the NYWB,all the other views of the NYWB that I have seen on film,are very short snippets and mine are so old they are still on VHS format.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby CNJ999 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:31 am

Hmmm. Their is a rather obscure video addressing mainly old interurban railroads, that was issued by museum up in Maine some years back (1990's?), that includes - surprisingly - a segment covering the NYW&B, which includes film of the Portchester opening. Unfortunately, I don't recall the title, nor could I located my copy this morning. If I can come up with either, I'll post reference to it.

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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby pbass » Fri May 24, 2013 12:27 pm

Found this tidbit from an article written by a Union Pacific engineer in the November 1958 issue of trains magazine-on December 12,1945,he was operating a troop train in Los Angeles,consisting of 21 NYWB cars pulled behind a 2-8-0 steam engine.21 cars was exactly half the amount of servicable Westchester owned cars in existence.What a fine sight that was to see.Now,we can only see them in movies and photographs.
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Re: New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

Postby Travelsonic » Sat May 25, 2013 12:35 pm

pbass wrote:That's easier said than done.Except for the Roger Arcara video which has a portion of the video dedicated to the NYWB,all the other views of the NYWB that I have seen on film,are very short snippets and mine are so old they are still on VHS format.


VHS? Not that hard to - with the right equipment - capture or convert I'd figure?
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