SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

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SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby shlustig » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:43 am

When both the Cedar Hill trains (CH-3/CH-4) and Oak Point trains (LI-1 / LI-2) were routed Hudson Line to CP-58 Beacon / Danbury / Devon / Destination,
there was a mileage equity between the former NYC Hundson Div. Seniority District and the NH side.

Question: was there also a mileage equity between the former NH's Maybrook Seniority District and the Shore Line (New York Div.?) District?
Presumably, this would have involved prior-prior- and possibly prior seniority rights going into CR days.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:08 pm

This was an interesting operation in many ways. I loved covering this job out of Oak Point and qualified as quickly as I possibly could between Devon and Beacon so I could continue to get my share of the work over there after the Hudson Division got the work back. The way this operation was first set up when they started running these jobs was: (This applied to the engine crews, I think the train crews worked differently.
One side of CH-4 and CH-3 between Cedar Hill and Selkirk went to the Western Division and the other side of this job went to the CNE. The Oak Point - Selkirk jobs had three sides and the New Haven Shore Line engine crews had the job for maybe three or so months a year and the Central Hudson Division had them the other nine or so months. I tried to get the Oak Point job set up for two sides to the Hudson Division and one side to the New Haven, Shore Line Division but Dan Riley (I am sure you remember him) would have nothing to do with that, he said all or nothing. The one concession they made to the Shore Line that helped me was they made an agreement that the pilot out of Oak Point (before the crews were all fully qualified they were provided pilots) would work to Bridgeport and remain on the train to Beacon in order to get qualified to Beacon. I think I was the only one ever called for the pilot job on that train who would remain to Beacon, the rest of the engineers in New York wanted no part of any freight jobs and especially the Maybrook Line and Beacon. When I felt more or less comfortable running the Maybrook and Beacon end I qualified on that part of the run but I never bothered to qualify on the Hudson between Beacon and Selkirk. By being the only spare engineer in Oak Point I stood first out for the pilot work to Beacon at all times although I also had to fight for that too. The end result was that I got paid for a ride in the country and had many a decent trip on those trains. The pilot would be called from Oak Point to Beacon and deadhead home. Usually we got to Beacon in time for the last Budd Car out of PO but if we missed it they would call a taxi to take me to Oak Point. Oh what memories!!
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby brokenrail » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:09 pm

I was right in the heart of this operation growing up in Hopewell Jct. in the early seventies. I noticed that the Selkirk train always had 4 axle units (usually 5) and the Maybrook trains had 2 or 3 PC and EL units. Did you know of the reason for this? Was the Beacon branch restricted? Also why did NY boys not want anything to do with freight? Having been a freight engineer out west most of my career I'm curious.

Thanks.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:16 am

PC never let 6 axle power into 3rd rail territory,due to clearance issues,and Selkirk was turned into a"GE"shop
base,Freight power was always 4 axle. U23/28B's with RS-3's and Dewitt "geeps"(repowered RS-3's with EMD prime movers)
were the Normal freight power,in "Black Dip"
When PC created the "Metro Region",all the passenger/commuter trains and crews were put in that region,
all the Road freights/locals and their crews were considered part of the NE Region.
Port Morris yard(ex-NYC) was shut down,everything moved to Oak Point(ex-NH)yard.
Over time,the branch from MO to Port Morris yard remains became clearance restricted.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Jim Kaufman » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:01 pm

When Selkirk-Cedar Hill were running (SK-Beacon-Danbury-Devon-NH (Cedar Hill Yd), until "qualified", we had a variety of "NH Pilots", who would run freights like they were running 2 car Budds! I remember Noel, he was a good frt "runner", who understood the "up and down" profile of the Maybrook Branch (such as it was) from CP 58 on the Hudson Div, up the Beacon Secondary to CP Hopewell (Jct), then on to the Maybrook Br "proper". The "pull" out of CP 58 thru the city of Beacon, was tough...tight curve over the 'jump over" bridge across the Hud Div, then another tight curve, then a reverse curve...well you get the idea, it was not easy running (and if we had a "Budd Car" hogger, we'd be in the "hole" with either a pulled air hose, knuckle or worse, a drawbar)...
Anywhew...on crews, Hudson Div trainmen got the work, as Noel says, the engineers split between the Hud and NH. When we ran SK-Oak Point, very high seniority (T and E Hud Div) were on those jobs...you have to remember, we were paid milage, and SK-Devon-Oak Pt, it was
183 miles (almost 2 days, based on 100 mile day)...now let explain, you never really made it Oak Pt under the 12 hout law, so you were paid "continous time" to from where you "outlawed" to your destination (either SK/Oak Pt). Also, this was one of the last jobs on the Hud Div (NY State?), where we had 6 man crews:Conductor-Engineer-Fireman-Head Brakie-Rear Brakie and Flagman---the extra Brkmn was put on by the Company under the "Luna Agreement", so instead of a protected trainman staying home and collecting "rocking chair" money, they put him to work.
Always liked working the "CH" jobs, good people, good money, good times...the accommodations in New Haven, now that is another story!
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:47 pm

Jim Kaufman wrote:When Selkirk-Cedar Hill were running (SK-Beacon-Danbury-Devon-NH (Cedar Hill Yd), until "qualified", we had a variety of "NH Pilots", who would run freights like they were running 2 car Budds! I remember Noel, he was a good frt "runner", who understood the "up and down" profile of the Maybrook Branch (such as it was) from CP 58 on the Hudson Div, up the Beacon Secondary to CP Hopewell (Jct), then on to the Maybrook Br "proper". The "pull" out of CP 58 thru the city of Beacon, was tough...tight curve over the 'jump over" bridge across the Hud Div, then another tight curve, then a reverse curve...well you get the idea, it was not easy running (and if we had a "Budd Car" hogger, we'd be in the "hole" with either a pulled air hose, knuckle or worse, a drawbar)...
Anywhew...on crews, Hudson Div trainmen got the work, as Noel says, the engineers split between the Hud and NH. When we ran SK-Oak Point, very high seniority (T and E Hud Div) were on those jobs...you have to remember, we were paid milage, and SK-Devon-Oak Pt, it was
183 miles (almost 2 days, based on 100 mile day)...now let explain, you never really made it Oak Pt under the 12 hout law, so you were paid "continous time" to from where you "outlawed" to your destination (either SK/Oak Pt). Also, this was one of the last jobs on the Hud Div (NY State?), where we had 6 man crews:Conductor-Engineer-Fireman-Head Brakie-Rear Brakie and Flagman---the extra Brkmn was put on by the Company under the "Luna Agreement", so instead of a protected trainman staying home and collecting "rocking chair" money, they put him to work.
Always liked working the "CH" jobs, good people, good money, good times...the accommodations in New Haven, now that is another story!


Thank you for your kind and gracious comments above. Yes running Hopewell - Beacon was quite an adventure especially when we had junk GE's and all 10 MPH. Hopewell - Beacon was mostly empties but usually a very long train. Beacon - Hopewell was much shorter but very heavy with practically all loads. During the period that the New Haven engineers had the job the Selkirk - Oak Point train was a solid LIRR train and when we got to Oak Point we often had to take the entire train through to Fremont and return with the engines to Oak Point. It just added more time to the job and some more miles as well. Most of the time we could make it through either way unless we got plugged someplace for time. I never did like to outlaw on the road but some of the folks didn't care whether they made it or not. Some of the Central folks did not like the job but they bid it in for the money. Most of the extra engineers had little or no freight experience because on that end we didn't have a lot of freight work by this time and some of the work was with home terminal of Cedar Hill as well. I always liked running freight trains and covered a lot of them even during the 70's. Of course after I started working on the River Line in 1974 I covered nothing but freight and that was an adventure too. As for 6 motor power, I don't think it was ever officially restricted between Hopewell and Beacon but they tried to keep them off this job because of relatively light rail and overall track conditions in this territory. Later on with Conrail after they had done a lot of work on the line they regularly ran 6 motor power between Selkirk and Cedar Hill.
Again, more memories!!
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby brokenrail » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:40 pm

A couple of questions regarding this line:

Did Maybrook trains always go to Cedar Hill or were there ever Maybrook--Oak Point trains on PC or even NH?

How many Selkirk trains went to Oak Point vs. Cedar Hill? In the early 70's I always assumed there were two (one each way) daily Maybrook trains and two daily Selkirk trains through Hopewell Jct. Was that about right or were there more? Perhaps sneaking by while I was sleeping or in school?
Was the Maybrook line CTC? I remember the spring switch at the east end of Hopewell Jct. siding but the west end and the junction were dual controlled switches. I don't recall seeing intermediate block signals. Was it a system of home and distant signals or fully block signaled?

I do miss the hundred car trains meeting at Hopewell and the consists of 5 black PC units. Hard to believe its all weeds and rust now.

Thanks in advance for any answers.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Statkowski » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:59 am

Posted previously:

Maybrook Line rode on the Naugy track between Devon and Derby Junction under double track ABS rules, TCS/CTC territory from Derby Junction to Berkshire Junction with a siding at Botsford assigned direction for the siding was eastbound with an interlocked switch on the west end and a spring switch on the east end. Berkshire Junction to Fair Grounds was double track ABS territory, Fair Grounds to Berea was single track TCS/CTC territory with sidings at Brewster, Holmes, Hopewell Junction again with assigned siding direction eastbound and interlocked switches on the west end and spring switches on the east end. Poughkeepsie and Highland sidings were fully interlocked at both ends and there was no assigned direction involved.

Berea was the west end of the TCS/CTC territory and there was an interlocked switch at that location. Trackage west of that point was yard trackage with yard rules in effect. This was the situation at the end of the New Haven and during the Penn Central years various changes were made and also under Conrail as well with what remained by then.

Noel Weaver


Technically, this was a TCS application rather than a CTC application since GRS did the installing and "CTC" was still a proprietary term owned by US&S. It was the next-to-least expensive version of CTC/TCS available (the least expensive was done on the B&O with hand-thrown turnouts governed by signal applications).

All Maybrook freight was routed either to Cedar Hill or Hartford, never Oak Point. All the tariffs and traffic flow was between east (New Haven territory) and west (western connections with the rest of the country). Both Cedar Hill and Oak Point were western gateways. Anything coming from Maybrook bound for the metro New York area would be dropped either at Turkey Brook or East Bridgeport for further movement to the New York City area - not enough traffic for a full trainload.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:53 pm

At one time there were two round trips between Danbury and New York (Oak Point or Harlem River) and some freight from the Maybrook area went via Danbury and Norwalk.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:14 pm

When did PC finally give up using the ex- NYC Port Morris yard and move everything to Oak Point?
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby brokenrail » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:54 pm

Thanks to the old head NH and PC guys for the answers. I probably waved to you a time or two along the track around Hopewell Jct. Those days inspired me to have a RR career out west (38+ years so far) shortly after leaving the east.

I have one more question. The siding at Beacon (on the ex-NYC) is east (TT north?) of the double mains. I would imagine it was used for trains to clear the mains while waiting to go east over the Beacon branch but ideally it would have been on the other side of the mains. Did this siding pre-date the PC use of the Beacon branch for Selkirk trains or was it built for that purpose after the merger? Or did the Beacon station configuration lead to it being on the "wrong" side of the tracks? Before I knew anything about railroads I'd often catch the train at Beacon and wonder why a third track existed that wasn't accessed by the platforms.
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Re: SELKIRK TO CEDAR HILL AND OAK POINT

Postby Statkowski » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:10 am

I believe the ex-NYC's Port Morris Branch went belly up when the Harlem River Connector was built.

As for the "wrong-side" siding, geography probably had a lot to do with its placement. Hmmm, let's see, river on one side, no river on the other side, where to build is such a difficult decision.
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