West Side Freight Line/St. John's Terminal

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West Side Freight Line/St. John's Terminal

Postby railfan365 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:36 am

Back when the High Line was a working railroad, was there any turn around provision at St. John's Terminal? If not, and after the line was cut off at Bank street, did they change directions by double ending the trains or did they just run the engine(s) around each train? Thanks.
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Re: Operations On The West Side Line.

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon May 13, 2013 5:29 pm

The tracks in the new elevated St. John's Park Terminal were stub-ended (and used mostly for LCL). Below is an old NYC photo taken in 1934 when the terminal was about to open.


I think by the time the line was cut back to Bank Street in the 1960s (a 1962 NYC ETT I have shows the end-of-track was already Bank Street) I think train service was very sporadic. I don't know how they turned locomotives (they were all bi-directional) but they may have just shoved south when they had a load for a consignee with a facing point siding switch. If it was a trailing point switch they could've gone engine-first. Back in the 1960s operating a drill with an engine on each end was pretty rare.

Bank Street is where the line went "through" the Bell Labs building and from photos it appears to be double-track. It was also within yard limits.

Btw, when it was a working railroad line it was known as the 30th Street Branch or the West Side Freight Line. I never heard the name High Line until the preservation effort began. None of the former New York Central employees I've asked ever heard it called that either.
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Operations On The High Line.

Postby railfan365 » Mon May 13, 2013 6:14 pm

Interesting bit of insight.

Meanwhile, it's a shame that the use of such a cleverly contrived urban line trailed off so badly.
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