Putnam Division & Branches: Getty Square, Mohansic, Saw Mill

Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

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Re: Putnam Division/Branch

Postby OldPut » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:49 pm

Otto,thank you for that map. Sort of like a treasure map! Photos to follow. Hopefully with a spike or two.-Robert
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Re: Putnam Division/Branch

Postby NYFreak » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:32 pm

Hey, I used to live in Lodon Bridge Acres, a neighborhood developed in the 60s across, and north east Kirk Lake. I lived there from 1963 to 1976.

When I lived there, there was a turnstile clearing on Stocum Ave; it was on the right side of the road (when coming from Hill St.), at the top of the hill. From there, tracks extended left (crossing Stocum Ave) and curved to run (sort-of) parallel to Stocum Ave back toward Hill St. Three houses now sit on the trackbed, but in the 70s it was visible, and only about 30 ft from the road.

Directly at the Hill St./Stocum intersection stood the house of a friend of mine, and next to it there was a level dirt road that curved left (south) to a house at the border of the Country Club. Given its location, I believe that this road originally was an extension of trackbed, possibly where filled mine cars would sit.

On the other side of the turnstile, the tracks went South along Kirk Lake. When I lived there, there were 8 hay fields along the span of Hill St from Stocum Ave to North Lane, divided by stone walls. Behind these fields were woods sloping down to the lake shore, and in those woods the trackbed ran. I believe that after the tracks were abandoned in the 30s, fields and woods I'm describing became Camp Mahopac (btw, if anyone has pics or info about this camp I'd love to hear from you by email.) Anyway, as kids my brothers and I discovered the ruins of many camp cabins and even a "main lodge" building there.

The property has since been developed into upscale houses on three roads Kayla Ln, Kaitlin Rd and Tyler Ct. The trackbed ran in the woods between their back yards and the lake shore. Part of it is still visbible on Google Maps paralleling the very last stretch of Tyler Ct (where it stops at a cul-de-sac.) You can also see where the trackbed crosses a very long driveway off that cul-de-sac.

Continuing south, I believe the trackbed became what is now Lakeshore Dr, and made up one segment of Out of the Woods Ln before it crossed 6N. Hope that helps.
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Re: Putnam Division/Branch

Postby Otto Vondrak » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:05 pm

From another discussion, I am posting some maps showing the short-lived Mohansic Branch that came off the Putnam Division at Yorktown Heights.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350717386/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350104489/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350104391/
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Is this the Putnam division?

Postby kjd73170 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:10 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGTcSf7M ... plpp_video

Looks early 1960's? Fan trip up the line before track removal?

Thanks!
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby bill8106 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:16 pm

Parts of the movie definitely are. The station at the 1:30 mark is Ardsley, the camera man is shooting from Ashford Ave facing north, the train is southbound. If you look closely, there are people at the very bottom of the frame that look like they are lined up, possibly to (re)board the train.

Maybe the scene at the lake is Woodlands Lake in Macy Park, but I don't know if there was ever a pumphouse there. Riders might have gotten off there and/or in Ardsley (maybe to grab a bite to eat), then the train continued north, then reversed to pick up people for the ride back to New York.

But this sequnce is intriguing: the shot starting at :58 looks like Elmsford. Then the next scene, begining at 1:00, shows people off the train, all walking in one direction, away from the camera. This looks like East View (the station after Elmsford) and the RS-3 is running around the train, which makes sense because there was a siding there. You can see the long hood as it's pulling away from the train, and it's running long-hood forward on the leg back to NY. Also, in the very opening shot, the RS-3 is in the background but you can see that it was running short hood forward when it started out. I can't figure out where everyone was walking towards if that shot is indeed at East View.

There are then clips that look like either Tibbets or Van Cortlandt Park.

The scenes in the very beginning could be High Bridge but I'm thinking it's the High Line or somewhere else along the West Side, maybe 30th or 60th street. For a few seconds starting at 0:15, there is a steam ship or ocean liner stack in the distance with smoke coming out of it. I doubt you can see the tops of ships docked on the Hudson from High Bridge. The scene towards the end of the HH and GW bridges are obviously the Hudson Division and West Side.

So to venture a guess, the fan trip started on the West Side, crossed over to the Put at BN Yard, went up the Put and back. There are a lot of folks on this board who are experts on the Put and also participated in fan trips in the '60s, so hopefully there will be verification.
Last edited by bill8106 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:37 am

This movie seems to be an assortment of trips part of which was definately on the Put. I recognized the aerial view at Ardsley along with others on here. It might have been a trip in the very early 60's that covered the West Side Freight Line, the Putnam Branch and I think Port Morris as well. I might have a flyer on that trip here somewhere although I did not ride it. I rode the last scheduled passenger train on the Put in 1958.
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Last edited by Noel Weaver on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby kjd73170 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:05 am

So rare is it to see older images of the Put in Color. Even the books by Joe Schiavone and Otto as well as the Dan Gallo books have most of the imagery in B&W. I know on the DVD included with one of the Joe Schiavone books there is a few color scenes/photos. Thanks for the responses!
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:34 am

kjd73170 wrote:So rare is it to see older images of the Put in Color. Even the books by Joe Schiavone and Otto as well as the Dan Gallo books have most of the imagery in B&W.


Actually, most of the Putnam Division chapter in "Forgotten Railroads Through Westchester County" is in color, including rare steam scenes from the 1940s. We also published the only known color photo of the Yonkers Branch, too. The Yonkers Branch quit by 1943, and color photography had not been popularized by the time it was ripped up. The Put was no different. Given the cost of color photography, color scenes from pre-1955 are rare indeed. When you take into account the line quite passenger service in 1958, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time. Remember that in those days, most railfans were more interested in capturing the last days of steam, or exciting main line action, and a pokey diesel branch like the Put was not what they were after.

-otto-
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:51 am

I would not be so sure that the Put did not attract fans. At the time of the last trips on this line the nearest steam to New York City and Westchester County was the once a week operation of PRR B-6 no. 5244 in Southern New Jersey, over the Canadian Border at Niagara Falls, Montreal, Northern Maine and on the Norfolk and Western. I might have forgotten something but by 1958 most of the one day trips to seek out steam were nothing more than a memory. One thing that was a minus was the lack of weekend service at the end, the last Saturday train came off a year or so earlier. Our group consisted of four or five of us who got up before the crack of dawn that morning to drive to Brewster for that historic day I took 8 mm movies while J. W., Pete and Harry probably took slides but I don't know for sure. I still have the movies both on tape and on disc at this point. More valuable to me are the memories of this one. I don't remember everything that we did in New York that day but I do know that we went to Van Nest Shop but even with our New Haven passes we got thrown out in no uncertain terms. We did make it back to Sedgwick Avenue for the last trip back up to Brewster. I seem to remember that I used up quite a bit of 8 mm film that day too.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby TCurtin » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:49 pm

That film appears to me to be of the October 1967 fantrip that I would guess was probably the very last fantrip anywhere on the NYC (being only a few months before PC). I was on that trip. It began at 138th Street station, went out to Port Morris and back; ran aound the wye behind MO, up to BN and up the Put to East View; back to MO where the RS3 ran around the train; then up to Spuyten Duyvil and down the WSFL to 30th Street. A really terrific dose of VERY rare mileage. I remember runbys on the Put at both Ardsley and Elmsford southbound. The people you see walking in the woods are on a walking tour of the old Put ROW around Tarrytown Reservoir.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby chnhrr » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:36 pm

TCurtain thanks for the background which gives some meaning to this interesting footage. To the uninitiated MO and BN stand for? I assume WSFL stand for West Side Freight Line.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby TCurtin » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:16 am

Sorry for my confusing use of abbreviations and for assuming everyone knows them.

MO and BN are NYC tower designations.

"MO" is Mott Haven"

"BN" is the junction between University Heights and Marble Hill where the Put branched off the Hudson Div.

And yes, "WSFL" is West Side Freight Line --- I suspect this one I invented!!

Tom
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby kjd73170 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:34 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
kjd73170 wrote:So rare is it to see older images of the Put in Color. Even the books by Joe Schiavone and Otto as well as the Dan Gallo books have most of the imagery in B&W.


Actually, most of the Putnam Division chapter in "Forgotten Railroads Through Westchester County" is in color, including rare steam scenes from the 1940s. We also published the only known color photo of the Yonkers Branch, too. The Yonkers Branch quit by 1943, and color photography had not been popularized by the time it was ripped up. The Put was no different. Given the cost of color photography, color scenes from pre-1955 are rare indeed. When you take into account the line quite passenger service in 1958, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time. Remember that in those days, most railfans were more interested in capturing the last days of steam, or exciting main line action, and a pokey diesel branch like the Put was not what they were after.

-otto-


Yes I do recall that in the book (I had to dig it up, it's been a few years since I went in to it) many of the images were in color. The book by Joe and the older Dan Gallo / Kramer book I had on the shelf downstairs. Don't ask, only allowed so many train books "on display" so visitors don't think I'm a total fanatic (just a mere lunatic). Moving imagery in color is MUCH harder to find on those little branch lines.
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Re: Is this the Putnam division?

Postby lipwak » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:46 pm

Hi,

I put that video up there. My family was friends with the guy who shot it but I don't know much about it. He died many years ago.

I "think" this is one continuous segment but it could be a several which would explain why I am seeing here that the dates could be 1958 and 1967. (I dubbed it off and uploaded it a year ago but don't remember. I might still have the dubs of the DVDs that they came from. I do not still have the DVDs...)

I would love to have your opinions of other train footage I have of his. You can see them on the playlist I made for hist stuff on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B7332D768B4093D

Many thanks.

Cheers,

John L
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Re:

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon May 07, 2012 12:14 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:I was actually able to indentify many of the customer sidings... I'll be posting a revised map soon.

=otto=


:-D Five years later, have you finished the Nepperhan/Saw Mill River "branch" map? Found this searching for something else, and merging into Put thread.
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