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.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:31 am

Improved clearanced on the West Shore spelled doom for the Put as a through route. I think the West Shore was single tracked by 1961? The Put was closed as a through route in 1962.

There was some silly talk around 1983 or so that the City of Yonkers and the County were going to purchase the remaining Put trackage and run it as a short line, presumably interchanging with Conrail at BN. I think it was all political posturing, and Conrail wanted some outrageous scrap value price for the property. I dont know what customers were left on the line above Stella D'oro, but I guess they thought they might make a go of it.

-otto-
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Postby Dieter » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:03 am

I remember that. There was babblement about revitalizing the city center (?) of Yonkers, and they were going to run "Light Rail", probably they had running SPV 2000's or used RDC's in mind.

I think what killed it was kicking up the bus service.

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Postby South Ferry » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:36 pm

Here's my FIRST post...

Photos of Van Cortlandt on the Putnam-- http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/ridemoretrainz/Putnam_VCP/

along with a short SILENT video-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS_PDw0VCTk
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Postby Dieter » Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:15 pm

NICE LITTLE VIDEO! Thanks for sharing and Welcome Aboard!

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Postby South Ferry » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:40 pm

Thanx 4 the welcome!

I happened upon the platform by mere chance (always READ about it but NEVER seen it)
but once I spotted the overhang, I knew exactly what stood there!

I had been visiting Van Cortlandt House Museum and after the tour, walked the pathway
EAST of the house, and wound up on Tibbet's Greenway (?) and spotted the platform
overhang from there.... and went over to see the goodness!!

Thanx again & glad to share!
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Postby Dieter » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:16 pm

I don't know if it's still there, but the platform was intact at WOODLANDS for years. It was something seeing the real thing after so many years.

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Postby Dieter » Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:38 am

Thanks to IKOROTZER for this link, showing where the tracks are and where they aren't, near Stella D'oro in Da Bronks;

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/SUBWAYS/Put ... utnam.html

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Postby Stillwell » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:50 am

Dieter wrote:I don't know if it's still there, but the platform was intact at WOODLANDS for years. It was something seeing the real thing after so many years.

Dieter/


The platform at Woodlands is definately gone. There is however a 100 foot or so section of track that still exists. It seems that when Westchester county was building the rail-trail through the park, they decided to connect a section of the trail with the existing walking path that runs next to the lake instead of following the path of the ROW. The walking path is about 20-30 feet west of the roadbed. The path and the rail-trail meet up again once your walk past the lake. The rails start at about where Woodlands station was located and proceed north. There's a heavy covering of dirt and leaves so they may not be visible at first. The best viewing is in the wintertime.

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Postby Stillwell » Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:13 pm

BTW, while we're on the subject of the Put... Did anyone notice besides me that they're finally turning the section from the Westchester/Bronx line up to the existing South County Trailway into a rail-trail?

They've done a serious job clearing a path north of the Grey Oaks station sight. That area had become seriously overgrown trees and vines and alot of the ROW had been encroached upon by the industries along that section. It's almost a straight shot through to Nepera Park now. They've also done clearing north of Lincoln station through Tibbetts Brook park and past Dunwoodie and Yonkers Ave. and north through the section between Dunwoodie golf course and Redmond Field.

I thinks it's gonna be a while before they actually pave it.

Jon
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Postby South Ferry » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:54 am

Photos of Van Cortlandt on the Putnam-- http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y56/ri ... utnam_VCP/

along with a short SILENT video-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS_PDw0VCTk
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Postby Dieter » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:14 am

CSX is still choking on NY State taxes, and is a major reason why they're reluctant to expand the West Shore.

I wish I could remember my father's entire story about the demise of the Putnam. The Central wanted to kill that line for so long it wasn't funny. I have a shareholder's report from 1906 where even then one can see that it was losing money. The Putnam Division hauled more milk from the farms than people, and as the farms disappeared, so did justification for keeping that Division alive.

My father was disgusted that the trains were never switched over to Hudson Division rails for the trip to Grand Central. He said that the Central wouldn't permit it, as management was intent on killing the line. If you think about it, it's a similar strategy and time frame as when they killed service to Weehawken. "Make it a HASSLE, and they will LEAVE."

Mr. Weaver, I too recall hearing contemporaries of that time talking about there being some Union issue, but that may have been smoke blown by the railroad to take the heat off of themselves.

As far as the Putnam Division ROW being intact, that's not entirely true despite a vigorous project to preserve it for joggers.

Rehabilitating the Putnam is not as easy as one might think. It may be possible to double track it in some spots, depending on how wide the row is, but there are places where structures have been built over the row. In particular, the bus company in Ardsley, and a sizeable sewage treatment plant tucked in the swamp in Millwood. Briarcliff Manor and Millwood are also locations of realignments of Routes 9-A, 100 and The Taconic which would be a major headache to remedy.

To say that the Putnam was close to both divisions is true for certain areas, however, north of Millwood, it's another issue entirely. Yorktown was and still is in the middle of nowhere. Yorktown has grown, and is still growing. Anyone who lives there can tell you what a pain it is to commute into Manhattan from there, especially in the winter. It's a loooong drive to get to any railhead from Yorktown.

Light Rail may be the answer from Eastview (with a PARK AND RIDE) down, but is a poor investment when you see the pressing need for congestion relief in the middle of Northern Westchester. A good point brought up is the folks from Connecticut coming over to the Harlem, seeking better service than they get on the Danbury Branch. Have you seen the parking nightmare at Golden's Bridge?? Yorktowners and Nutmeggers adding to a growing number of newbies in the communities with existing railheads, and expanding "Beeline" bus service isn't going to relieve the pressure.

Oh, and let's not forget an insane plan to bring people from Rockland County over to the Hudson Division, while tacking a new Tappan Zee Bridge to the ticket! That seems to be an easier way to deal with West of Hudson Commuters than cutting a deal with CSX for closer-to-home-service. Obviously the people pushing that plan don't use a train to get around.

This isn't a Railfan's whimsical thought. The need and time has come to seriously reevaluate reconstruction of the Putnam Division.

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Historic USGS Topographic Maps with most of Putnam Division

Postby exploreabandonedrr » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:40 am

Dear all-

I'm new here and know very little about trains (what does MU stand for?), but I was obsessed with trains when I was younger. Unfortunately, I never had any opportunity to even SEE a train run the Putnam Division in Westchester, since I was born in 1977.

Anyway, I noticed some previous discussions (though I am not certain it was on this bulletin board) of people wondering where the Putnam Line traveled, since most recent Topographic maps don't show abandoned or old railroad grades. I discovered this website which shows MOST of Putnam Division. So I thought I would share this website with you. CAUTION- If you have a DIAL UP connection, DOWNLOADING these digitized MAPS will take FOREVER!

http://docs.unh.edu/nhtopos/nhtopos.htm

Charles
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MU

Postby Tom Curtin » Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:29 am

"MU" is the standard abbreviation for "multiple unit." This is the standard catch-all abbreviation used in the industry to denote various kinds of control systems that permit lash-ups of diesel locomotives or electric locotmotives or MU Cars to be operated from a single operating cab (generally the forward-most one!!)
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Thank you for defining MU & dictionary for RR terms?

Postby exploreabandonedrr » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:40 pm

Tom-

Just wanted to thank you for defining MU. Is there an online dictionary which defines railroad terms (especially for uneducated RR people like me)?

Chaz.
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URLs to Web-Pages dedicated to the "Putnam Division&

Postby exploreabandonedrr » Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:02 pm

Dear all-

After going through most of the URLs posted by members on this bulletin board and on other webpages, I decided I would list the best pages I found to be good on the Putnam Division, that were NOT posted on Railroad.net. I apologize if I post some URLs were posted before, but there may be a few you may not be aware of (such as the Wikipedia's map and history):

1. Contemplated to Amalgamate: www.columbia.edu/~brennan/beach/chapter20.html

2. Back on Track: Suburban New York's Lost Railroad:
http://www.bjwrr.com/ontrack/put.htm

3. Putnam Line 2 Everything (similar to WikiPedia): http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1236383

4. Stations Along the Trail on the Putnam Division Right of Way:
http://zisfein.com/5bbc/wct/putnamstations.htm

5. Xydexx's Exploring & Modern Ruins- New York Central & Putnam Division: www.xydexx.com/modernruins/putnam.htm

6. New York Central's Putnam Division (with dates of Abandonment): www.lakemirabel.com/Railroad/Putnam1.html

7. Hyde Park Station Homepage (Hudson Valley RailRoad Society):
www.hydeparkstation.com/hps.html

8. Photo Gallery- rails & ruins of Putnam Line (as part of the new Trail):
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/gallery. ... d416c059bd

9. End of Track- The Putnam Division- High Bridge to Brewster:
http://piercehaviland.com/rail/putnam.html

10. Remembering the Old Putnam Railroad:
http://bobbalogh.com/oldputnamrr.html

11. RR Picture Archives- Putnam Division South:
http://chorne2k.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... px?id=4458

12. RR Picture Archives- S. County Trailway - NYC Putnam Division:
http://chorne2k.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... x?id=13376

13. Wikipedia's New York & Putnam Railroad:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_a ... m_Railroad

14. Abandoned Stations (Scroll down to Putnam Line):
Stations

15. Existing Stations (at the bottom of the screen click the menu to select the counties Putnam and Westchester: http://ny.existingstations.com/

That's about it.

Charles
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