Industries in The Bronx

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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ALCOHaulic

Industries in The Bronx

Post by ALCOHaulic » Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:15 pm

Hello.

I am in the process of building an HO scale switching layout based on the operations of the NYC, PC and CR. What kind of industries were and are located there?

Thanks

Sir Ray
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Post by Sir Ray » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:26 pm

Well, Hunts Point Terminal Market is a big user of rail, with covered hoppers, insulated boxcars, and mech-refs. There is a road curving south west from the Terminal Market, which is parallel by a branch which once served several large modern (1960s or later) food distribution facilities (we have discussed this on this board before, along with much else that I will mention).
Heading West you come to Oak Point, west of the Bruckner, which usually has much interesting rolling stock - there are a few industries rail served in this area, including the NYCTA which (I think) takes covered hoppers off Barry Street (a block further south is a short section of Elevated used for training purposes).
Even further south is Port Morris, with both the existing M-N section of the Northeast Corridor, and rememants of a fairly extensive grade level branch system (also discussed in depth on this board a year or so back - you have to hunt but the rows are still visible here and there). Curving west into the former Harlem River Yards, there is an operational waste transfer operation there, and I think the NY Post (wonder if they are still receiving rail at their fairly new plant there). Don't forget the funky oval freight house the CNJ had on the Harlem river east of Third Avenue - served by car float.
Following the Harlem River up, past the Bronx Terminal Market (which once had a simple switch back track arrangement, currently serves as a ethnic wholesale food mart, and which the city plans to turn into yet another shopping strip mall, you arrive at two industries in Riverdale/Kingsbridge which I often observed in my time in the Bronx (mid-1980s) - Stella D'oro, on the old Put around 236th (I think) and Broadway - they recieved covered hoppers, and probably still would if ConRail wasn't run by a bunch of stiffs (as to Stella D'oro I still remember that great aroma in the mornings), and also around 230rd St and Corlear was a fairly large U-Haul storage place, usually had 2 - 3box cars at the loading docs (which you could look down on from 2 stories up from Corlear/W Terrace) - the spur snaked past Kennedy High School to the east of the access road. Now, I thought this was fairly interesting (from the perspective of a college student growing up during the black days of the '70s, on fairly freightless Long Island, it was), but about a year ago on the NY Central forum, I learned from some knowledgable old-schoolers that the area between Marble Hill, 230rd, and the winding Johnson Ave was a full-fledge NYC freight yard, complete with auto-unloading ramps (and even better, RMC had an article around that time detailing the AMC auto-loading facility in Wisconsin, complete with pictures of the flats and trilevels which shipped their automobiles East to NY - yep, to be unloaded in that very yard). Damn, when I got to visit all that was left was the U-Haul spur, Kennedy High School (built I guess in the early 1970s), and lots of empty ground (which I think a EMS/Fire house was eventually built in the 1990s). There of course was much, much more (for instance, by Oak Point yard, on the East side Barry St, there was a funky looking factory which had a 2 slot siding crossing Barry St and all enclosed by Chain link fence - when I first saw this in the 1990s it had a boxcar - when I finally got back to visit, I never saw a freight car again).
I recommend scanning the NYC, the PC, the New York State forums, going back as far as possible - you never know what you may find.

Dieter
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Post by Dieter » Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:37 am

Ten years ago, the spur by the High School was clearly visible, and the switch track is still there, though removed from the main. Today, it's overgrown with large trees.

You could take some liberty with the stub that once was the Putnam Division, and make a siding for the Stella D'Oro factory.

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Post by NYC-BKO » Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:16 pm

Now when the yard at Marble Hill was booming before radios, there is something interesting at the rock cut at Spuyten Duyvil. It's been 16 years since I worked there but there was a wire handrail that went up to the top of the riverside of the cut. I was told this was for the brakeman to get to the top of the cut to transfer hand signals to the engineer from the crew in the yard.

shlustig
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Post by shlustig » Mon May 02, 2005 4:46 pm

Brian,

That is correct.

IIRC, the handrail was removed shortly after the incident in which the high school / college kids had a party on top of the rock, got drunk, and we had to shut the Hudson Line service down while the railroad and city cops got them the heck out of there.

Spartan Phalanx

Post by Spartan Phalanx » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:54 pm

Didn't one of the college kids jump off the Spuyten Duyvil bridge during this incident to escape the police and drown?

uhaul

Post by uhaul » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:37 am

This is almost always a point of confusion. Marble Hill is not in the Bronx, but is actually part Manhattan.

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Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:08 am

uhaul wrote:This is almost always a point of confusion. Marble Hill is not in the Bronx, but is actually part Manhattan.
I think there's something on Forgotten NY which points that out. Apparently, some time after when the "canal" was built from the Hudson R to the Harlem, the old creek was filled in, leaving a portion of Manhattan separated and attached to the Bronx.
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Sir Ray
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Post by Sir Ray » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:26 pm

Well, Marble Hill is, well, the hilly portion - the part that was not the former river path - the 'low lands' where the U-Haul spur (and JFK School) were built were part of the long-ago former river path (or banks thereof) - there are maps around, but I'm not sure if the river went north of the eventual route of 230th St.
Hmm, this page doesn't help much, even with the inset map of Manhattan - was the border the center of the original Harlem River, or the banks? The border could have been north of 230th. Hmm, didn't realize that much of Marble hill was too the East of Broadway, kind of remember the hills & valleys (covered with Urban/Dense Suburban usage, of course) but didn't really place them in context at the time (2 decades ago..).
Ah, whatever, call it all the friggin' Bronx!

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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:57 pm

It would probably help if you settled into a specific era you were trying to model- that would narrow down the list considerably. There are railroad maps you can purchase that would show all the customers for a given period in time. A lot changed from the end of NYC to the start-up on Conrail!

-otto-
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pennstation
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Post by pennstation » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:07 am

Sarge wrote:
uhaul wrote:This is almost always a point of confusion. Marble Hill is not in the Bronx, but is actually part Manhattan.
I think there's something on Forgotten NY which points that out. Apparently, some time after when the "canal" was built from the Hudson R to the Harlem, the old creek was filled in, leaving a portion of Manhattan separated and attached to the Bronx.
Here's a fairly recent news story relating to Marble Hill's Manhattan staus:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12212007/ne ... 139334.htm

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