• Harlem Steam Era Freight

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

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by John P.
 
Noel Weaver wrote: I went through timetables from both 1955 and 1958 and all I could find
for restrictions was cars weighing over 210,000 lbs without permission
from the superintendent. I would think this could also apply to engines
until it occurs to me that RS-3's among others which were in common
use on the Put weighed more than 210,000 lbs. There was no
restriction pertaining to multiple use of diesels either.
During the period of the two above timetables, the Croton Lake Bridg had
a 15 MPH restriction for all engines and maybe that covered it.
I am not a bridge expert but I know there were a lot of cases when
steam was replaced on some railroads bridges that had a major
restriction on steam engines had no restrictions on diesels. Likewise, in
a few cases, some railroads had rather small steam engines that remained
in operation for a longer time than one would think because it was
difficult to get a decent diesel unit small enough to replace them.
In some cases a railroad could also have an unofficial restriction, it did
not appear in the timetable but they still had one and they would not
exceed it.
I recall in the Penn Central days of the early 1970's, they did not operate
six motor engines on the Beacon Branch between Hopewell Junction and
Beacon after a few trips with them, they simply decided that they were
too heavy for the line. They also had a restriction on the River Line
from at least 1973 for a period when there were no six motor engines on
that line either. Eventually both restrictions were lifted but nothing ever
appeared in the timetable about either one of them.
Noel Weaver
Do you think the hammering of the steam locomotives could have been a factor in weight restrictions?

  by John P.
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:I don't think the Lake Mahopac Branch had any customers on-line... unless you count the customers at Golden's Bridge, the possibility of coal deliveries to Lincoln Hall in Lincolndale, and the one or two customers at the end of the branch at Lake Mahopac station. I know there was a Harlem freight house at Lake Mahopac. Remember that the New York & Mahopac (leased by the Harlem) got to Lake Mahopac in 1872- a good eight years before the New York & Northern (later the Putnam Division) was built. So any customers immediately around Lake Mahopac would have been scooped up by the Harlem...
I had read in one of the books on the Harlem that there had been two milk plants on the branch in addition to the coal you mentioned. What I seem to remember in Mahopac besides the freight shed was a lumberyard on each side of route 6 and the Mobil oil tanks. I know there were more but I just can't remember what they were.

  by Noel Weaver
 
John P. wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote: I went through timetables from both 1955 and 1958 and all I could find
for restrictions was cars weighing over 210,000 lbs without permission
from the superintendent. I would think this could also apply to engines
until it occurs to me that RS-3's among others which were in common
use on the Put weighed more than 210,000 lbs. There was no
restriction pertaining to multiple use of diesels either.
During the period of the two above timetables, the Croton Lake Bridg had
a 15 MPH restriction for all engines and maybe that covered it.
I am not a bridge expert but I know there were a lot of cases when
steam was replaced on some railroads bridges that had a major
restriction on steam engines had no restrictions on diesels. Likewise, in
a few cases, some railroads had rather small steam engines that remained
in operation for a longer time than one would think because it was
difficult to get a decent diesel unit small enough to replace them.
In some cases a railroad could also have an unofficial restriction, it did
not appear in the timetable but they still had one and they would not
exceed it.
I recall in the Penn Central days of the early 1970's, they did not operate
six motor engines on the Beacon Branch between Hopewell Junction and
Beacon after a few trips with them, they simply decided that they were
too heavy for the line. They also had a restriction on the River Line
from at least 1973 for a period when there were no six motor engines on
that line either. Eventually both restrictions were lifted but nothing ever
appeared in the timetable about either one of them.
Noel Weaver
Do you think the hammering of the steam locomotives could have been a factor in weight restrictions?
It might be the weight distribution for steam locomotives.
Noel Weaver

  by John P.
 
Noel Weaver wrote: It might be the weight distribution for steam locomotives.
Noel Weaver
You might have hit upon it Noel. The Steamers did carry their weight centered under their boilers, where a diesel splits it between its trucks.
  by ChiefTroll
 
Noel has it right. Diesel locomotives are purposely designed so their wheel spacing (both truck wheelbases and truck center spacing) will spread their load on bridges and they will develop low forces in the bridge components. Load concentration is a major factor in calculating bridge stresses.

Another factor was the increment in maximum gross weights of freight cars. In the 1950's a car with 6 X 11 inch journals was limited to 210,000 lbs, which was later raised to 220,000 lbs. A car with 6-1/2 X 12 journals was limited to 263,000 lbs, now raised on most newer cars to 286,000 lbs. So if the bridges on a line were not rated for 263,000 lbs, they would drop it to the next lower weight classification, or 210,00 or 220,000 lbs depending on the year, except under special conditions specified by the Bridge Office.

Still another factor was the higher impact effect from steam locomotives, so a heavier diesel might still rate lower than a similar-weight steam locomotive in motion.

Bridges were rated for individual locomotive classes, and four-axle locomotives of various horsepower were generally fairly close in weights. So it was typical for a bridge to be limited to 210,000 or 220,000 lb cars but with none of the home road power, like RS-3's and F-7's, restricted even though they might weigh more than the individual cars.

In 1960 there were no restrictions on NYC locomotives between BN, Put Jct and Chatham, but cars were limited to 210,000 lbs without permission of the Transportation Superintendent. He got the heavy car clearances that originated in the Engineering Department Bridge Office.

In steam days, the upper Put and the Mahopac Branch were limited to F-12's with older Class C tenders because of several bridges on both lines.

When the J-2's were taken off of the B&A and renumbered into NYC power, it appears that they were operated in the same service that had seen K-3 and K-11 class Pacifics. There are several published photos of J-2's in freight service on the River Division. I rode behind a J-2 in August 1951 from Millerton to North White Plains. Being nine years old and without pencil, paper or camera, I did not record the engine number. I would have noticed, though, if it had been lettered for the Boston and Albany, and it was not.

Gordon Davids
  by John P.
 
ChiefTroll wrote:Noel has it right. Diesel locomotives are purposely designed so their wheel spacing (both truck wheelbases and truck center spacing) will spread their load on bridges and they will develop low forces in the bridge components. Load concentration is a major factor in calculating bridge stresses.

Another factor was the increment in maximum gross weights of freight cars. In the 1950's a car with 6 X 11 inch journals was limited to 210,000 lbs, which was later raised to 220,000 lbs. A car with 6-1/2 X 12 journals was limited to 263,000 lbs, now raised on most newer cars to 286,000 lbs. So if the bridges on a line were not rated for 263,000 lbs, they would drop it to the next lower weight classification, or 210,00 or 220,000 lbs depending on the year, except under special conditions specified by the Bridge Office.

Still another factor was the higher impact effect from steam locomotives, so a heavier diesel might still rate lower than a similar-weight steam locomotive in motion.

Bridges were rated for individual locomotive classes, and four-axle locomotives of various horsepower were generally fairly close in weights. So it was typical for a bridge to be limited to 210,000 or 220,000 lb cars but with none of the home road power, like RS-3's and F-7's, restricted even though they might weigh more than the individual cars.

In 1960 there were no restrictions on NYC locomotives between BN, Put Jct and Chatham, but cars were limited to 210,000 lbs without permission of the Transportation Superintendent. He got the heavy car clearances that originated in the Engineering Department Bridge Office.

In steam days, the upper Put and the Mahopac Branch were limited to F-12's with older Class C tenders because of several bridges on both lines.

When the J-2's were taken off of the B&A and renumbered into NYC power, it appears that they were operated in the same service that had seen K-3 and K-11 class Pacifics. There are several published photos of J-2's in freight service on the River Division. I rode behind a J-2 in August 1951 from Millerton to North White Plains. Being nine years old and without pencil, paper or camera, I did not record the engine number. I would have noticed, though, if it had been lettered for the Boston and Albany, and it was not.

Gordon Davids
Thanks Gordon, that's a ton of of information there!

  by NYCFan
 
Class U 0-8-0's were able to navigate on the Put from the Bronx as far north as Ketchawan. Ketchawan had a watering facility just for the purpose of allowing heavy locomotives like the 0-8-0's to replenish for the return trip.
Image

  by John P.
 
NYCFan wrote:Class U 0-8-0's were able to navigate on the Put from the Bronx as far north as Ketchawan. Ketchawan had a watering facility just for the purpose of allowing heavy locomotives like the 0-8-0's to replenish for the return trip.
Now your Time Table is very specific. What year is it from?

  by NYCFan
 
The scan was from an Employees Timetable from 1949.

  by John P.
 
NYCFan wrote:The scan was from an Employees Timetable from 1949.
Thanks, I have a copy from (I think) 1944 that I will have to check once I get back home to the East Coast.
  by CartoonHead
 
I remember going to the lumber yards with my Dad and seeing the cars being switched. In fact my Uncle nearly ran into one train as it was crossing route 6 at night.
Here is some information from the Carmel/Mahopac Bicentennial booklet by Charles A . Raymond (which is LOADED with photos of buildings, maps of the railroads, and even some good engine and rolling stock photos from the late 1800's). I don't know if you can still get copies from the Carmel Historical society. The 72-page booklet was marked as published by the town of Carmel.

In Carmel circa 1890, the Old Put serviced a very large Carmel Milk Plant which was on the waterfront of Lake Gleneida. There was also Palmer Coal Bin near the same location. In their place (but on the opposite side of the road) went the original Lloyd's lumber company. Lloyd's had some storage spur tracks for lumber shipment dropoffs until the Put service came to an end on 3/14/1970.

Mahopac featured the Knickerboacker Ice Company, which was a MASSIVE building for the storage of 90,000 tons of ice harvested and sent by canal from Lake Mahopac. There was double-track from here to just past Croton Falls (which was where the Putnam Division railroad station was). A freight spur also served the old town center of Mahopac (which is where the town hall / police dept. is now located, at the bottom of the hill up to Lakeview Elementary). There was a another spur on the other side of Croton Falls, and there was an engine water tower there as well.

Refridgeration put Knickerbocker out of business in the 1920's.

Raymond also identifies that small work engines were used on the line to help construct the Croton Falls dam, so there was probably some traffic related to that. Photos also show box cars on tracks at Red Mills, on the Mahopac Falls branch, so presumably there were some spurs there too.

I grew up in Mahopac, but their ridiculous taxes sent our families running in the 1990's. So I remember those short freight trains running through Carmel as well, when that old barn / hardware store was in the center of town and had good old fashioned candies! (And I think they had a storage rail spur too, I vaguely remember seeing an old box car there once.)
  by TCurtin
 
ChiefTroll wrote: When the J-2's were taken off of the B&A and renumbered into NYC power, it appears that they were operated in the same service that had seen K-3 and K-11 class Pacifics. There are several published photos of J-2's in freight service on the River Division. I rode behind a J-2 in August 1951 from Millerton to North White Plains. Being nine years old and without pencil, paper or camera, I did not record the engine number.
Wow, you're incredibly fortunate to have done that! The only childhood contact I had with steam in regular daily service was on the Harlem, about the same time you had your cab ride. I'm about 3 yrs younger than you and grew up across the state line from Brewster in Danbury CT, where the New Haven had dieselized everything by the first of 1948, at which time I was still too young to have any memory of it