• East of Hudson

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by ElTrain
What kind of service does CSX have east of the Hudson River in NY? Do they run to Long Island? Any metro NYC customers? I know they haul some trash. What about up the Hudson? What did they haul for GM before it closed?
  by Noel Weaver
At the risk of being incorrect, I will try to give you an idea of what is left
for freight on the east side:
On the Hudson Line between Selkirk and Oak Point (NYC)
Hudson has cement and by products and maybe something else, served
a few times a week by a job out of Selkirk.
Poughkeepsie may have a lumber facility, I am not sure.
Croton West Yard - handles local stuff between Poughkeepsie and New
York of which there is not too much. Some work between Poughkeepsie
and Croton especially around Peekskill, the sugar house at Yonkers, a
siding or two around Ludlow and one or two sidings between Spuyten
Duyvil and Mott Haven.
Last I knew, a local out of the Croton West Yard served the two
remaining customers west of Bridgeport on the New Haven Line at night
these being at Mamaroneck and at Darien.
Don't know if there is anything left on the Harlem around the Mount
Vernon area or not.
At Oak Point there is still a fair amount of local business, sidings here and
there plus the Hunts Point Market which receives mechanical refers of
food etc and there is the garbage and related stuff that is loaded out of
Harlem River.
The interchange with the New York and Atlantic is still active and takes
place at Fremont (Fresh Pond area), a yard job out of Oak Point makes
that move.
The Canadian Pacific also handles freight to the area, mostly stuff for the
New York and Atlantic and I believe they run a train three nights a week
on a down one night and back the next night basis between Saratoga
Springs and Fremont with the power laying over at Fremont.
CSX runs a night train every night between Selkirk and Oak Point and they might run a garbage train too as required.
Moral of the story, enough for one good size train but not much left if you
compare it with years ago with many through freight trains on both the
New Haven and New York Central.
There is no regular through freight service on the former New Haven
Railroad into New York but in season, a stone train operated by the
Providence and Worcester under a trackage rights agreement does run
from Cedar Hill (New Haven) to Fremont, often on a weekend.
That is about all I can help you with.
Noel Weaver

  by shlustig

IIRC, the big customer at Hudson is the ADM grain facility which is located at the end of the old Claverack Branch (ex-B&A) in the cement plant.

The other cement plant at the end of the NYC branch is long gone.

The ADM service used to be handled into Hudson on GRU-series unit trains, usually 67 covered hoppers (about 330,000 bushels per train).
The train was called out of Selkirk as a WVSE-99.

Don't know how CSX handles it today.
  by Noel Weaver
Thanks for that about Hudson, I could not recall, I never worked the
Hudson job and hadn't worked anything on the Hudson since the early to
mid 1970's when I worked the LI jobs out of Oak Point via Danbury, I am
sure you remember them.
Danbury Dan and all that stuff.
It was on that job that I suffered an appendicitis attack and was good and
sick in the hospital at Beacon for two weeks. I will never forget how kind
the people on the railroad were to me when I was laid up there.
It is a shame that the largest city in the United States has no more rail
freight operation than what little is left in Westchester County, the five
boroughs and Long Island.
I think if anything ever surprised me over the years, it would have to be
the great loss of freight operations into and out of New York.
The nearly complete loss of heavy industries that made railroads the
backbone of the economy not that many years ago. All that remains of
all of this are our paper collections and our memories.
Noel Weaver

  by ElTrain
I grew up along the Hudson line in the 70s and 80s and saw the frieght movements decline, too. I used to love to run and see the evening freight roll by and count the cars - I think 111 was the record. There used to be a few locals during the day, too.

The decline of industry certainly aided the death of freight in NYC. Due to NIMBYs, environmentalists and expensive union labor, I seriously doubt we'll see much more in terms of new industry (light/heavy manufacturing).

I do think that there is opportunity to enhance and promote rail deliveries to and through NYC, though. It would be a big help to the roads/tunnels/bridges.

  by shlustig

IIRC, when I had the manpower job at GCT in the 1970's, IIRC there were the following runs:

SK / DO (W. 72sd St.): NY-2, NY-4, VN-4

DO / SK: SLX-1, LS-1

SK / OP: HP-2, HP-4

OP/SK: NV-1, NG-3

SK / OP via Devon: LI-2 OP / SK via Devon: LI-1

SK / CH via Devon: CH-4 CH-3

SK/OW Turn 5 nights / week as required

SV-1 & 2 (High Bridge) were gone.

POK Trv. SW.

4 Jobs at Croton WEst for the GM traffic

KD- 1 & 2 (Yonkers Yard)

BN-BO Swr for the Putnam Div. traffic

7 Yard Jobs at the West Side (W. 72nd St. & W. 33rd St.)

DO-1/2 Transfer Frt. to Oak Point

1 Equity job / Trick at Oak Point / Hunts Point under the Manhattan East
Consolidated Terminal Agreement. NH had the 8 or so jobs including the Transfer Run over the Bridge to the LIRR and the Local that worked the Bay Ridge Branch.

Hard to believe that even then we were taking over 100 cars a night out of W. 72nd St. to SK.

After the West Side closed, we had the 3 round trips into Oak Point. The Long Island traffic ran via Devon to allow for a facing point move over the Bridge. It only stopped at Market to put the helper on the rear end. IIRC, we had a 140-car limit going that way as opposed to 99 and the caboose via MO.

  by shlustig

Almost forgot the Harlem Div. service which had the JN-DO / DO/JN two sided job Put Jct. to W. 72nd St., the White Plains Trv. Swr. (Roche's Job), and the two JN Trv. Swrs. that worked out to the end of track as the line was cut back from Chatham and down to NWP.


  by Noel Weaver
Slightly off topic on here, I suppose but to keep this topic going, at Oak
Point and in the terminal in the NHRR days, we had three round the clock
yard jobs at Oak Point with an extra one called often on the 2nd or 3rd
shifts and three round the clock yard jobs at Harlem River too with one of
the Oak Point jobs sometimes going down there especially at night to help
out with the work.
For freight, we had three or four round trips seven days a week out of
Bay Ridge but this, I suppose was not really NYC business but through
freight to the PRR. We also had a shuttle between Oak Point and Bay
Ridge that made one and sometimes two round trips to either Fremont or
Bay Ridge as needed, this job also worked seven days a week.
Harlem River had one or some of the time two overnight trailer trains to
Boston. One of these ran four nights a week and the other one ran five
nights a week. There were also three or four round trips out of either
Oak Point or Harlem River to Cedar Hill as well.
There was a Danbury job too but that was taken off before my time at
Oak Point.
In addition to all of that, there were locals out of New Rochelle (2),
Stamford (1), South Norwalk (1) and East Bridgeport (1).
At Oak Point, One Yard was called the "Bullring", Four Yard was called
"Siberia" and in Harlem River the trailer terminal was called "Hell Gate"
along with the rest of the operations in that part of the terminal.
The yard office at Harlem River was called the east end of Harlem River.
The yard masters had nicknames too: "The Ace", Flat-top, Boom Boom"
and Dr. Strangelove. Maybe more too but I don't recall.
After the Penn Central takeover, some of the former New York Central
people also eventually ended up at Oak Point.
We also had yard jobs with New Haven engine crews and New York Central ground crews and also with New York Central engine crews and
New Haven ground crews.
OH, I almost forgot, near the end of the New Haven days, the terminal
market opened up at Hunts Point, adding more work to Oak Point although
by that time, there was much less yard work especially in Harlem River.
All good railroaders though.

Noel Weaver

  by ElTrain
SH & Noel,

Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it. Its amazing that so much of that has disappeared. Sh - you list all those movements - about what time was this?


  by Noel Weaver
Sorry I did not make myself really clear as to dates, most of what I
referrred to would apply to the early to mid 1960's. The Hunts Point
Market opened around 1967 or so, maybe even early 1968.
Noel Weaver

  by Jayjay1213
Mr Weaver, what was the speeds on the Bay RIdge branch back in the 60's? Was it single track the whole way down from Oak Point? Except for the yard tracks around Freemont and the such?

  by Noel Weaver
Going to/from Bay Ridge out of Oak Point the speeds were:
Oak Point - Fremont top speed 40 MPH
Fremont - Bay Ridge top speed 45 MPH
In the days of the Virginian electric motors, they were restricted to I
think 20 MPH between the west portal of the East New York Tunnel and
Bay Ridge.
It was 35 MPH through the East New York Tunnel for all trains.
So far as the rules in effect:
Between Pelham Bay and Fremont on tracks 5 and 6 it was automatic
block signal territory with current of traffic on track 5 west and track 6
On the Long Island between Fremont and NU which was the limit of the
yard territory it was a manual block system with permissive block rules
in effect with the current of traffic which was track 1 west and track 2 east.
There were signals to provide for an absolute block through the East New
York Tunnel, distant switch signals for the New Lots Crossovers and
distant and home signals at Fremont which was an interlocking and
interlocking station. The block between Fremont and NU was controlled by Fremont. Going to Bay Ridge we would go by signal indications at
Fremont and going east, it was necessary to call from Bay Ridge to get
the block from NU to Fremont. At Bay Ridge, the conductor would usually
call Fremont from either 2nd Avenue or 8th Avenue although there was
a telephone at NU, it would sometimes not be working.
Interlocking stations (towers) were also at SS-3 and SS-4 Oak Point as
well as Pelham Bay where the freight tracks (5 and 6) joined the main
line tracks.
There were a few changes made in this operation after 1964 and before
the end occurred in January of 1969:
NU was renamed BAY and one of the tracks was removed between Bay
and Bedford. This was done as a gas pipeline was put in next to the
remaining track. An interlocking signal along with a spring switch was put
in at Bedford and the signal was controlled from Fremont. In addition, a
signal was put in at Bay and we no longer had to call for the block, this
signal was also controlled from Fremont.
The biggest problem all over this line especially the LIRR portion was the
local population, kids and lots of them would not stay away and we
suffered vandalism, constant stonings of both the engines and caboose
and debries everywhere. Working on this line was like a wild adventure
and we never knew just what would happen next.
Of course, after the Penn Central takeover, everything went downhill fast.
Noel Weaver

  by JBlaisdell
Lumber co in Poughkeepsie gone. Hospital Branch abandoned, only freight in Pokip is scrap metal cars loaded on a siding.