Van Cortlandt Park Station (Putnam Div)

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Van Cortlandt Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby BAR » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:24 pm

What was the location of the Van Cortland Park Station on the Putnam Division? Was it closer to Broadway or the Major Deegan and how far north of Van Cortland South (West 240th Street?) was it. Thanks.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:11 pm

Van Courtland (VN) station was listed as 4.51 miles from Sedgewick ave, west of the Major Deagan(I-87) and closer to the Saw Mill
River Parkway,was the Juction of the Getty Square Branch(Yonkers).
The Put followed the Hudson line to BN tower,then went it's own way north thru Van Courtland Park,Not sure if the ROW
thru the park is used as a trail.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby BAR » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:21 am

Thanks for the information. I will do some exploration next time I am in the area and try to find the former station location.

Bill
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:31 pm

BAR wrote:What was the location of the Van Cortland Park Station on the Putnam Division? Was it closer to Broadway or the Major Deegan and how far north of Van Cortland South (West 240th Street?) was it. Thanks.



Real easy to find. There's even a parking lot for you. Not much left to see except the remains of one shelter.

http://goo.gl/maps/tsMH1

There were two tracks through here, and the station building was on west side, demolished many many years ago. There's a great picture in my book (and a whole chapter on the Getty Square Branch)...

http://nywbry.com/forgotten/

Here's a modern looking south towards BN:

http://myyonkers.files.wordpress.com/20 ... re-013.jpg

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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby pbass » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:17 pm

The last time I was an engineer on the Putnam Industrial Track as it was called then,the steel frame work for the VC Park station canopy was still there.One of the new GE B23'S radiator wing span was dented by the structure prohibiting B23'S on the PUT.If it is still there today,you can use it as a marker for the former station and also going north a little ways,you will see where the Getty Square Branch veered off to the left.I read in a NY newspaper,the ROW is now a railtrail through that location.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby granton junction » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:39 am

What is the closest subway line and station in the Bronx to the Van Cortland Pk station? Even if it is a long walk, that is fine with me. Thanks.
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Re: Van Cortlandt Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby BAR » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:10 am

I believe that the closest station is 242nd Street-Van Courtland Park (Manhattan College), the last stop on the #1 Train (former IRT). That's how I plan to get up to the former Putnam Division next time I am in New York.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby RussNelson » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:50 pm

pbass wrote:The last time I was an engineer on the Putnam Industrial Track as it was called then,the steel frame work for the VC Park station canopy was still there.One of the new GE B23'S radiator wing span was dented by the structure prohibiting B23'S on the PUT.If it is still there today,you can use it as a marker for the former station and also going north a little ways,you will see where the Getty Square Branch veered off to the left.I read in a NY newspaper,the ROW is now a railtrail through that location.


It is indeed still there. The Getty Square Branch isn't visible at that point, but yes, further to the north becomes a rail-trail for about a mile and a half. You can cross over the Henry Hudson Parkway on a bridge which obviously used to be a railroad bridge, because it's two tracks wide. It comes to an abrupt stop at the north end of VC Park where some apartments were built on the ROW.

Also still there are the Grand Central Terminal test piers. AFAICS, they were built on the Getty Square Branch ROW, but I may be very wrong.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby RussNelson » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:53 pm

Backshophoss wrote:Van Courtland (VN) station was listed as 4.51 miles from Sedgewick ave, west of the Major Deagan(I-87) and closer to the Saw Mill
River Parkway,was the Juction of the Getty Square Branch(Yonkers).
The Put followed the Hudson line to BN tower,then went it's own way north thru Van Courtland Park,Not sure if the ROW
thru the park is used as a trail.

The ROW through the park is an "unimproved" rail-trail. Meaning: nobody stops you from riding on it, but nobody has put a lick of effort into making it easy either. South of the station is rapidly gets brushed-over (because it ends at the end of the park). North of the station it's a dirt tracks, then close to the Westchester line the ties are still in place, and people have just routed the trail of to the side of them.
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby Otto Vondrak » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:58 pm

granton junction wrote:What is the closest subway line and station in the Bronx to the Van Cortland Pk station? Even if it is a long walk, that is fine with me. Thanks.


Did you miss the Google Maps link I posted earlier? C'mon...
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:00 am

RussNelson wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:Van Courtland (VN) station was listed as 4.51 miles from Sedgewick ave, west of the Major Deagan(I-87) and closer to the Saw Mill
River Parkway,was the Juction of the Getty Square Branch(Yonkers).
The Put followed the Hudson line to BN tower,then went it's own way north thru Van Courtland Park,Not sure if the ROW
thru the park is used as a trail.

The ROW through the park is an "unimproved" rail-trail. Meaning: nobody stops you from riding on it, but nobody has put a lick of effort into making it easy either. South of the station is rapidly gets brushed-over (because it ends at the end of the park). North of the station it's a dirt tracks, then close to the Westchester line the ties are still in place, and people have just routed the trail of to the side of them.



I've walked the length of the "trail" from Van Cortlandt Park station to JS tower and up the Getty Sq. Branch to the Westchester County Line where it abruptly ends. Some of the trail is "lost" as the embankment was removed after the line was scrapped in 1944. But the "trail" is easy to follow.

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Re: Van Cortlandt Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby BAR » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:48 am

Otto,

I plan to walk the Putnam trail in Van Cortland Park next time I am in NY and thanks for the map and advice. I also ordered your book yesterday and am looking forward to reading it, especially the Putnam Division chapter. I have two more questions which perhaps will be answered in your book but in any case here they are for anyone wishing to answer:

1. Did the Putnam Division cross West 240th Street (Van Cortland Park South) at grade? I was in the area in the late 1950's but can't remember.

2. On the Google map a street called Putnam Street (or Avenue) is shown near the former track location. Was this street built over the former right of way or was it there before abandonment and adjacent to the tracks?

Thanks very much.

Bill
Williamsburg, VA
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Re: Van Cotland Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby RussNelson » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:45 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:up the Getty Sq. Branch to the Westchester County Line where it abruptly ends. Some of the train is "lost" as the embankment was removed after the line was scrapped in 1944. But the "trail" is easy to follow.


AHA!! I knew it!! Just on the south side of the bridge over the parkway, the trail start a rapid descent down where the ROW should have been. I guess was that they removed the embankment. Makes me wonder why -- that happens so rarely absent the building of something they. Maybe they wanted the park to be more "rustic", or maybe the embankment was in the way of some crossing path?
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Re: Van Cortlandt Park Station (Putnam Div)

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:10 pm

BAR wrote:1. Did the Putnam Division cross West 240th Street (Van Cortland Park South) at grade? I was in the area in the late 1950's but can't remember.


Bill-

Not as far as I can tell. All grade-separated from the beginning of construction. The branch was built as a "rapid transit line" connecting Yonkers to the Bronx way back in the 1880s, which meant no grade crossings. Here's a portion of a 1930's Hagstrom map I used for reference (and published in the book as well)...

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