Harlem Division Questions

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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:14 pm

PC1100 wrote:Any idea what year the White Plains Traveling Switcher was abolished? Also, in NYC days was there a White Plains-Brewster Traveling switcher, and if so did it last into the Conrail era?


I think those jobs were abolished after the transition to Metro-North in 1983. A friend worked the WP-1 into the 1980s and told me once they were directed to go down and service the Nepperhan Branch on the Put because that crew had outlawed. They were the jack of all trades!

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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:38 pm

About the time Metro North was created,CR had moved JN-2/JN-Z from Put Jct to Danbury as WNDA-1("wanda 1" on the radio)
WP-1 was moved from North White Plains to Oak Point believe as WNOP-1.
Both were "nightcrawlers" working the graveyard shift,WNDA-1 would be at Grand Union switching(Mt Kisco)
when the Am rush would start.
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby PC1100 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:49 am

Thanks for the information. Very interesting. My understanding is that through the end of the NYC era there were through freights up the Harlem from 72nd St. Yard to customers north of North White Plains. Did this last through the closing of 72nd St. in the early '80s or was everything north of NWP handled out of Brewster via the connection with the Maybrook line after that was installed in the late '70s? I'm trying to figure out when the last freight would have passed through the section of the line between NWP and Hawthorne. I believe there was a lumber company at Hawthorne and a couple of businesses between Thornwood and Pleasantville. Anyone know how late these were served?
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby TCurtin » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:12 pm

In the 60's (tail end of NYC era) there was a freight symboled "JNDO" from Brewster to 72ndSt, or 30th St --- I forget which --- which got freight onto and off the Harlem to be delivered by the traveling switchers. I remember in the AM rush there was often a good long cut of cars on the long siding between NWP and White Plains that I presume was set out there by that job.

Conrail WNDA-1 switched the remaining Harlem freight customers until Conrail left Danbury at the end of 1992. In the last years of that job. I recall there
was a local customer as far down as Pleasantville. King Lumber at Goldens Br. remained until the end. I don't know about the Grand Union Warehouse, how long that lasted.
WNDA-1 also switched the upper Harlem to Wassaic as long as there was business up there. Harlem Valley Psych Center and Wassaic State School were big coal users
for as long as they operated. Also there was a customer right at Wassaic.
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:30 pm

JN-2/WNDA1 Always worked the Grand Union Warehouse around sunrise,and wait out the AM rush,untill train 948 passed
Mt Kisco Crossover(the 1st off peak south from Put to GCT),and follow train 917(aka the "slave"{household help for the rich}train to Put Jct
After Chatham-Wassaic was ripped out,WP-1 would bring JN-2's cars up from Oak Point/Port Morris to North White Plains yard to swap cars.

Believe the reason they hung out at Grand Union was the "greasy spoon" restaurant for breakfast in the warehouse. :wink:

Back in the PC era,JN-2 would get "drafted" to shove or tow train 948 to North White if it crapped out on the road,by the Harlem DS
Train 948 tended to have a bunch of "bad ordered" or barely usable coaches and power that needed shop time at Harmon or GCT
on a regular basis. :(
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby NaugyRR » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:42 am

TCurtin wrote:In the 60's (tail end of NYC era) there was a freight symboled "JNDO" from Brewster to 72ndSt, or 30th St --- I forget which --- which got freight onto and off the Harlem to be delivered by the traveling switchers. I remember in the AM rush there was often a good long cut of cars on the long siding between NWP and White Plains that I presume was set out there by that job.

Conrail WNDA-1 switched the remaining Harlem freight customers until Conrail left Danbury at the end of 1992. In the last years of that job. I recall there
was a local customer as far down as Pleasantville. King Lumber at Goldens Br. remained until the end. I don't know about the Grand Union Warehouse, how long that lasted.
WNDA-1 also switched the upper Harlem to Wassaic as long as there was business up there. Harlem Valley Psych Center and Wassaic State School were big coal users
for as long as they operated. Also there was a customer right at Wassaic.


Are there any photos of coal being delivered to the Psych Center out there in existence? When riding through I've noticed the old tracks still in place to serve the power plant, as well as an additional set of what look like narrow gauge tracks; is this correct or am I just seeing things?

The customer in Wassaic was the grain elevator in the village, correct? Going south on the train you can see where the siding ROW was to your right, as you travel through the grade crossing.

How long did freight traffic last into Amenia, Sharon, and Millerton? Who were the customers there?
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:35 am

NaugyRR wrote:The customer in Wassaic was the grain elevator in the village, correct? Going south on the train you can see where the siding ROW was to your right, as you travel through the grade crossing.

I think the customer in Wassaic was a Borden's condensed milk plant, south of the elevator.

Incidentally-- is that really a grain elevator? If so it's the only one I've ever seen east of Ohio, with the exception of old seaport loading facilities.
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:26 pm

From a dated 1987 ZTS chart,Wassaic Development Center,Maxon Mills,and Tri Wall Container were the last
customers at Wassaic that Conrail served.
Millerton had an Agway as a customer till the end there.
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby PC1100 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:55 am

Very interesting information here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to sum it up in the late NYC era JNDO brought cars destined for Harlem customers up (from either 30th St. or 72nd St. Yard) to NWP and Brewster, which were then delivered to the customers by the White Plains or Brewster Traveling Switcher. After JNDO was abolished, WP-1 brought cars up to White Plains for interchange with the JN-1 (and later WNDA-1). Is this correct?

Backshophoss wrote:After Chatham-Wassaic was ripped out,WP-1 would bring JN-2's cars up from Oak Point/Port Morris to North White Plains yard to swap cars.


This is where I'm a bit confused. Lou Grogan's book (Page 323) infers that by 1974 PC had stopped routing Harlem freight through Chatham (apparently it was all coming out of 72nd St.). Freight service north of Millerton was terminated in March of 1976, and I have any old CR General Order showing that the block limit station "DYKE" (presumably for freight to serve the Upper Harlem out of Danbury) went into service April 25, 1976. Was this the point when the interchange between WP-1 and JN-1 ended and WNDA-1 began handling all the freight north of NWP out of Danbury? Did any freight interchange for cars destined north of White Plains (between WP-1 - later WNOP-1 - and WNDA-1) continue at NWP until 1992?

Bringing it back to the NYC era, how was freight handled from Chatham to points south of Brewster? Did the Chatham-Put Jct. Traveling Switcher bring it down and interchange there with the Put Jct.-White Plains Switcher?

Please pardon my lack of knowledge on this. I realize that this is all decades ago at this point, and most of this work occurred at night, but it is very fascinating, especially in light of todays almost complete lack of freight on the Harlem!
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Re: Harlem Division Questions

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:43 pm

BLS DYKE was the begining of the connection to the Maybrook Line,it would morph into CP DYKE,an electric lock switch
controlled by Brewster,then at New York as the conversion to 3rd rail went north from North White Plains Yard
JN-2 and WP-1 Ran past C-Day untill CR Created the WNDA's at Danbury,after the connection at CP DYKE was finished
On the Maybrook side ,the switch was a basic Handthrow with a switch lock,as PC shutdown the Maybrook CTC.
Remember the Metro Region was passenger only,All freight trains were part of the Northeast region of PC then CR's NE region.
Oak Point,Port Morris,the 30th street branch,and the Putnam Branch remains were NE region as was the Harlem
north of Dover Plains to Wassaic back then

Note: its possible WP-1 wandered over to the 30th street branch to grab JN-2's cars after JNDO/DOJN were canned during the PC era,
and CR never encouraged traffic on the 30th street branch to boot.
Believe it was early 1977 when the WNDA-1 and WNOP-1 were created
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