visit New York's High Line NOW

8766 views
67 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
visit New York's High Line NOW
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, November 02, 2015 8:56 AM

New York's EX-NYCentral High Line Linear Park gives a wonderful view of the LIRR West Side Storage Yard, with its mix of mu's and push-pulls with dual-mode locos, but this will be covered over soon as construction for the real estate development of air-rights starts.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,682 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, November 02, 2015 9:41 AM

Hi, Dave!

 

As a Southern Californian far removed from your area by 3000 miles plus or minus, I found your post not clear.  Is it the view that will be done away with or the thing(s) viewed?

 

Thanks,

 

K.P.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is believed that the overpowering stench of photobucket.com is what killed me! Coming to you from the afterlife … On the other hand, PostImage.io is cool!
  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 290 posts
Posted by CJtrainguy on Monday, November 02, 2015 11:41 AM

The High Line park will still be there and the yard will still be there, but a whole new city block or two are being built on a deck constructed over the existing yard.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Monday, November 02, 2015 12:16 PM

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,292 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, November 02, 2015 7:31 PM

Looked at the second video, saw lots of construction cranes around the yard and heard the construction noises.  I had seen photos of the High Line Park, but the video really shows how busy it is.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Monday, November 02, 2015 9:50 PM
This was along W. 30th St., where the first video begins and the second video ends.
 
  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 1,031 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 1:31 PM

Great photos- is that a 3rd rail? If so I wonder what electrics ran on it? Those NYC ones from GCT?

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 9:04 PM

K. P.:   Not 3000 miles away, actually 12000.   I get frequent emails from the city where I lived 1932 (birth) - 1949 (off to MIT and Army) and 1970 - 1996, 43 years in total.   Cambridge, MA, 1949-1954, 1956-1967, 26 years.  Westmont, IL, 1967-1970, 3.   Ft. Bragg, NC, 1954 - 1956, 2 years.  1996 - ?, Jerusalem, 19+

Still vote in New York State

54:   The West Side electrification did not extend south of 30th Street originally.  As far as I recall the High Line was only partially electrified, and the freight was moved by the three-power distilate-electric-battery locomotives, replaced by regular diesel road-switchers after WWII.  I think some time after WWII, the whole West Side electrification was disused south of Spuyten Dyvel and diesels run the whole way from Harmon.  The T-motors, S-motors, and P-motors used into GCT were generally not used on freight on the West Side.  While the elextrification was in place, a T-motor did handle the mail trains in and out of the 32nd Street Post Office siding, the remenant of the old surface line, later adapted for Amtrak's Penn Station connection.  Diesels replaced them, as well, before the mail trains were discontinued.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,292 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 10:01 PM

According to Kalmbach's book New York Central in he Hudson Valley the West Side line was electrified to 23rd St, which would have included the northern part of the High Line.  They state that the electricity was turned off in 1959.  Middleton's book When the Steam Railroads Electrified shows a photo of a couple or R-2 (C+C) electrics hauling the mail train off of the West Side line in 1954.

The photo above of the deisel on the High Line with the 3rd rails visible, appears to be by 30th St, in the area of the post office.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 2:17 AM
Pages 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 6 and 7 (in that order) of Trains, June 1944
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 7:13 AM

The original electrification was done before the High Line was built and ended at 30th Street.  I noted that the High Line was only partially electrified.  Thank you for naming the street at its south end, which I had forgotten.

T's were also occqasionally used on the mail trains.  Also, remind me what was the class designation for the Oil-Electrics, the three-power units I referred to in the my previoius possting.   But,.again, with the exception of the occasional T onl the mail, passenger power was not used on the West Side Line.

The R-1?

The above was posted before I saw the TRAINS excerpts posted above.  They do not contradict any of my memories as I wrote them.  But, I think the Trains artical is wrong on one point.  I believe until 1931 there were two morning local West Side passenger trains down to 32nd Street and two evening return runs.  They may have been mu equipment or cars shared with the  Putnam Division frolm High Bridge yard and pulled by oil-electrics, depending on the state of the electrification at the time.

  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 1,031 posts
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 9:56 AM

Interesting stuff! I walked the length of the High Line 2 years ago and it's fantastic. One thing I noticed is that the entrance stairs rise over the original railings of the structure so as not to disturb the orignality I suppose. I loved the wooden chaise lounges mounted on flanged wheels that sit on the exposed bits of track. Well worth seeing and I wish the same thing could be done here in Toronto with the elevated Gardiner expressway that runs through downtown.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 10:08 AM
Excerpt from Railway Age, March 5, 1932
From the time the class DES-3 locomotives went into service in August, 1930, until June, 1931, they handled 2000-ton trains in regular service from 72nd street to Spuyten Duyvil on internal power and from thence on external power.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 11:55 AM
The north end (or north beginning) of the High Line in the block 11th to 12th and 34th to 35th, nowadays occupied by the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
 
  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,292 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 10:41 PM

DaveK,  the Trains article seems to indicate the electrification ended at 30th St, which differs from Kalmbach's later book that I cited.  I will try to see if Middleton's book settles the question, when I get the chance.

The first R engines (they seemed to be referred to as just R rather than R-1) were straight electric boxcabs with B-B wheel arrangements, and came as semi-permanently coupled pairs.

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 05, 2015 3:15 AM

wanswheel, from 1931 on electric power was used, and the DES-3's continued to handle the trains to St. Johns Park, which would include the non-electrified tracks?   I assume they used third rail power, down to 30th (or 23rd) street, and then used diesel, as long as the electrification was maintained.

Do you have any information on the three-power "oil-electrics" (which I presume had prime movers with spark plugs, differentiating them from diesels) that were used before the DES-3s?  They replaced steam on 11th Avenue, I think before WWI, long before the High Line was built.   But the "11th Avenue Cowboys"  preceding each train remained.

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,163 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, November 05, 2015 8:11 AM

Oil-electric and diesel-electric are basically the same compression-ignition design.  If my memory serves me correctly, I once read in an old issue of TRAINS that the difference in terminology was based on the method of fuel injection.

The tri-powers were GE designs with Ingersoll-Rand engines.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 05, 2015 8:17 AM

CSS:   Any other details you know and can supply?

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • 2,852 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, November 05, 2015 9:10 AM

If I remember correctly, oil-electric was used during WWI and the years after when the German 'diesel' was unpopular.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,949 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, November 05, 2015 12:30 PM
N.Y. Public Library photos of steam engines on 11th and 10th avenues in the 1920s
Morgan Parcel Post Office replaced the milk depot, which was the old pre-Vanderbilt Hudson River passenger station Abraham Lincoln arrived at in 1861, and from which his funeral train departed.
  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: Louisiana
  • 1,398 posts
Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, November 05, 2015 3:27 PM

   We discussed third rail and electrification, but in this picture there appears to be a third rail on the ties that looks like it was set up for dual gauge.   Was there any narrow gauge operation on this line?

_____________

   My mind's made up.   Don't confuse me with the facts.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • 964 posts
Posted by gardendance on Thursday, November 05, 2015 4:33 PM

That looks to me like good old guard rail to keep trains from falling off the elevated structure.

Patrick Boylan

Free yacht rides, 27' sailboat, zip code 19114 Delaware River, get great Delair bridge photos from the river. Send me a private message

  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: Louisiana
  • 1,398 posts
Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, November 05, 2015 5:10 PM

   Gardendance, that occurred to me, but it seemed too far away from the main rail.   I guess that's the case, but it's only on one side.   I suppose they knew what they were doing.

_____________

   My mind's made up.   Don't confuse me with the facts.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • 2,852 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, November 05, 2015 5:39 PM

Great photos, wanswheel. Thank you! More are welcome...

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Friday, November 06, 2015 5:04 AM

The NYCentral was always all-standard guage in the New York area.   Judging by the photo, yes, electrification did extend down to 23rd Street on the High Line, even though previously it only went south to 30th.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • 964 posts
Posted by gardendance on Friday, November 06, 2015 6:56 AM

Paul, I don't know what the correct distance from the running rail is supposed to be for guard rail, but it doesn't look too far to me. Anyway they only need it on one side on a double tracked structure. A guard rail on the other side would only help keep the train from fouling the opposite track, which is not as serious an accident as falling off the structure.

Patrick Boylan

Free yacht rides, 27' sailboat, zip code 19114 Delaware River, get great Delair bridge photos from the river. Send me a private message

  • Member since
    October, 2014
  • 1,644 posts
Posted by Wizlish on Sunday, November 08, 2015 9:45 AM

gardendance
Paul, I don't know what the correct distance from the running rail is supposed to be for guard rail, but it doesn't look too far to me. Anyway they only need it on one side on a double tracked structure. A guard rail on the other side would only help keep the train from fouling the opposite track, which is not as serious an accident as falling off the structure.

I think Patrick is substantially correct.  Remember this is an extended viaduct, not just a bridge where you have more closely-spaced guardrails with an aligning 'point' to force flanges into some semblance of guiding, so the wider spacing (looks just about right to keep cars from going into the handrails if derailed) would be sensible. 

Seems to me there were some sections of the High Line elevated structure that were single track, and it would be interesting to see how the guardrail arrangements were made there.  I also suspect that NYCSES has detailed NYC MOW information on all these track structures, if anyone needs more specific detail...

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,105 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 08, 2015 9:58 AM

I do not remember any portion of the high line being single track, but I may be miestaken.

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 3,088 posts
Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, November 08, 2015 4:04 PM

EMC/Pullman used a distillate engine with spark plugs in UP's M-10000.  It basically was a gasoline type engine that ran on something like paint thinner.  The term oil-electric was interchangeable with diesel-electric.

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 3,292 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, November 08, 2015 9:30 PM

NYC photos of 1934 (the year the highline opened) show normal paired guard rails.  Apparently by the time of the diesel photo in 1957, the guardrail adjacent to the outside rail was considered superfluous.

I also rechecked the Middleton book.  In the text he said electrification extended to 30th street, but in the maps at the back of the book he shows the electrification extending to 23rd street.  It would be nice to have a photo of the track between 23rd and 30th streets to settle the question.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community