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

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by exploreabandonedrr
Penn Central & all-

I greatly appreciate your recall and insight. Please post responses on this forum topic: www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=282772#282772


Penn Central wrote:This is not a new topic. The MTA did several ridership studies back in the 80s to determine where there was a need to restore service. While restoring the Put would put a station closer to many riders, it would not create enough new customers to justify the expense. I talked about this with Pter Stangel who used to ride home on my train. Everyone would like to have a station near there home, but for every person that would want a commuter train for transportation needs there are 100 people who will scream NIBY! The Put runs through some pretty affluent areas and I'm sure that it would be a tough push to get people agree to get trains running in their back yards again.
  by exploreabandonedrr

I have wondered if a new forum-topic should be created for "experts." Legal issues is just one of them, engineering is another issue. I wish there was a forum dedicated to the proposed re-building abandoned railways.

Tom Curtin wrote:Whatever future use is designated for that ROW must be legally adjudicated to be its "highest and best use."

That's one reason why "railbanking" has been pursued in certain places as an alternative to abandonment.

Somebody on this forum must be a lawyer who can comment more accurately and thoroughly on this principle.

  by Dieter
1980 was 26 years ago. Look at the changes in EVERYTHING in that period.

Legal issues? Imminent domain can resolve a lot of those problems, and there's also the chance of a light rail that could go elevated in problematic areas.

If you work from a negative, you will never achieve a positive goal.

  by Otto Vondrak

I have prepared a map of the Saw Mill River Branch for a book that will appear in print later this summer. The Branch ran from MP 11.17 on the Putnam Division southwesterly into the Nepperhan Valley to serve a variety of industrial customers, including the Alexander Smith Carpet Mills.


I have numbered each siding, some have data I was able to pull off an older NYC chart from the 1950s, can anyone else help fill in the blanks?


  by BR&P
Otto, I'm from the wrong end of the state and don't know putt about the "Put". But I got out a 1943 NYC list of stations etc and it does not show the branch. It shows Woodlands at MP 10.60, then Worthington at MP 11.69, nothing in between and the map does not show a branch that I can see - was it gone by 1943? And your link does not work either. Lastly, I checked a 1955 OPSL and it does not show anything either. Can you give a time frame and any other details?
  by Tom Curtin
If this is helpful, let me point out the Saw Mill industrial track diverged from the Put between Grey Oaks and Nepperhan, several miles south of Woodlands (Sorry, I don't know the mileposts of those stations).

  by Otto Vondrak
Nepperhan Branch also known as Saw Mill River Industrial Track. Saw service until Conrail abandoned the Putnam Industrial Track in 1977. Departed the main just south of Gray Oaks station, at MP 11.17 on the Putnam Division. About a one-mile spur into the Nepperhan Valley of Yonkers, many industrial customers located here including Alexander Smith Carpet. No passenger stations on this line, built as freight only.

I took the link down for the map, but I have a PDF I can email to anyone for inspection. Feel free to email me or PM me for a copy of the map.

Thanks in advance!

  by jimh721
The big one was the cable company, maybe Phellps Dodge.
It is now the County bus garage
  by ChiefTroll
There is some conflicting information on mile posts on the Putnam Division. The 1943 station list shows miles from Van Cortlandt Jct (JS), but those were not the mile posts. IIRC, the mileposts began at Sedgwick Ave and ran to both Getty Square and Putnam Jct (Brewster). JS was 4.72 miles from Sedgwick Ave, so you should be able to add 4.72 miles to the miles from JS to get mileposts west of there.

The later employee timetables for the Hudson Division, at least from 1960, show miles from BN Tower, but that did not correspond with the mileposts, either. BN was at 2.97 from Sedgwick Ave.

Gordon Davids

  by Dieter
I had a stack of waybills and other assorted paperwork from the Nepperhan station that I believe my father THREW OUT once I moved out of the house.

I will try and locate any of it if I can, it would have the customer info are looking for. Don't get your hopes up, I think he purged everything.


  by UpperHarlemLine4ever
The Put is owned almost exclusively by the counties of Westchester and Putnam, having been sold to them by either Penn Central or Conrail. Most other areas not owned by them were encroached on by property owners who had property adjacent to the right of way. If legal action were needed to be taken against them, they would loose so quickly. The only problem areas that I can think of are two parcels in Carmel, NY, one a nursery, the other a law office. Eminent domain could take care of both of them. BTW, Westchester County was originally considering building a light rail line on the right of way. but like everything else in Westchester County, if it's a rail line, it will never be built. When the New York Central asked the county for financial assistance in the form of operating subsidies in 1958, they turned the railroad down.

BTW, I just rode the Boonton Branch of NJT and to me it has many of the characteristics of the Put and here now in 2007 it has small, in fact in some cases no train station parking and yet it survives. The Put would have so many opportunities to build much larger parking facilities if it were to ever be rebuilt. The potential is great and the riders are there.

  by Noel Weaver
Here we go again with some more nonsense.
Incidentally, this is about the NEW YORK CENTRAL which is long gone.
Present day fantasies about the old New York Central Putnam Division/
Branch do not belong here in 2007.
Noel Weaver

  by Otto Vondrak
I will be deleting any further nonsense referring a revival of the Put. This is a historical discussion. Thank you.

  by Otto Vondrak
I was actually able to indentify many of the customer sidings... I'll be posting a revised map soon.


  by Dieter
Historical - fine.

The Putnam Division was abandoned. I remember that. I remember when they abandoned the Harlem Division north of Dover Plains. It seems to me when they abandoned that stretch of the Harlem, the authorities that be were a bit more concerned with possibly needing the ROW back in the future and were more stringent about encroachment.

The biggest permanent thing you won't get moved that sits on the Putnam Division now isn't a nursery in Putnam or a bus company in Ardsley, but a SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT that went into the swamp just north of the old tunnel site in Millwood. When that went in, there wasn't a whimper from anyone.

I do recall hearing that pieces of the abandoned Harlem ROW were sold to adjacent landowners, but then that was reversed as if someone had made a DREADFUL MISTAKE, and that was back in the late 1980's before anyone thought about service restoration.

We've all read and heard about how badly The Central wanted to kill the Putnam. Does anybody recall official thoughts, policy and or misgivings about land disposal on the Harlem, as compared to The Putnam? I had also heard that the Putnam ROW wouldn't be sold off.


PS, I find the old Lackawanna Gladstone branch more reminiscent of the Putnam than the Boonton Line.
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