New York City Stations/ West Side line ?

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:29 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
so my memory of el structure of the west side freight line going north of 30th street is a real memory.
Well, sure-- it's still there today, as far north as 33rd St. The ramp down to street level originally was just north of 35th St; I assume it was removed to make room for the Javits Center. The street running on 11th Ave was north from there, until June 1937.
 daveklepper wrote:
it seems likely that the ''new'' cut was actually dug in part of the old r/o/w that may have been a surface alignment with grade crossings or an embankment with underpasses at critical streets.
You'll never find a trace of any such thing. A good place to look would be http://www.historicmapworks.com where you can search for "Manhattan" and get detailed 1920s maps.
 daveklepper wrote:
do check the running time in the timetables and that will settle the argument.
I doubt that. The 1934 timetable shows 1.66 miles 30th St to 60th St; schedule time for the "Local" was 15 minutes.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 26, 2007 2:36 AM

I would not know where to locate such a map locally, but go ahead and check and report.   If the running time is 15 minutes, than you are more correct about street running than I am.  Not being 20 minutes, which would be all street running, can be explained that part of the distance might have been on PRW within the confines of the 60th Street yard, whose northern end was around 71st Street and whose southern end was probably at one time pretty close to 42nd street, leaving a gap of only say 35th to 44th Street as street running.  Do by all means report on what the  NYC 1920's map shows, and you are correct that with 15 minute running time it could not have been only mu equipment  --- but, like the rush-hour Peekskill service out of Grand Central, which regularly ran rush hours as regular mu's GCT - Croton-Harmon (then just Harmon, with a Croton stop at the actual end of third rail a little farther north), and then were pulled by a 4-6-2 to Peekskill.   The Pacifics assigned to this service had oversized generators and the tenders had jumpers for heating and lighting the mu's.  This happened with at least two trains every evening rush hour, and I assume the reverse happened in the morning.  (The regular service to Poughkeepsie usually used coaches and a change of power at Harmon.)  I think this is a possibility, mu's running down to 60th Street, and then an oil-electric pulling mu cars down down to 30th Street.  There were never any locomotive servicing facilities at Spuyten Dyvil. so that would have been a very logical way to provide the service.  I emphases this because I am pretty sure Herman Rinke, who worked as Suyten Dyvil towerman for many years, told me it was mu equipment.  He would not have seen the add-on of the oil-electric engine at 60th Street or he may have forgotton to mention it to me.  A lot eaiser to provide an oil-electric with jumpers for coach heating and lighting in the mu's than putting in boilers for heating and forgetting lighting.  And don't forget the issue of speed north of 60th street, where mu's would have an advantage.  Did any oil-electric-electric's have heating boilers?

The operation of mu equipment on the NYC north of Harmon behind steam continued after WWII and may have even been extended to some Poughkeepsie trains during WWII.

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Posted by timz on Sunday, August 26, 2007 6:40 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
I would not know where to locate such a map locally, but go ahead and check and report.
No use my checking it--you're the one that needs to see that NY Central was on 11th Ave from 60th to 35th St. (The map may not show it in the street, but it sure won't show it anywhere else.) You can look at the map online at the link I gave.
 daveklepper wrote:
If the running time is 15 minutes, than you are more correct about street running than I am.  Not being 20 minutes, which would be all street running...

1.66 miles in 15 minutes is 6.64 mph.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, August 27, 2007 3:39 AM

I have to agree with your conclusion, and the speed and time check out.   I think the problem is solved and there isn't any issue between us now.   I guess I never did wander north of 34th Street on my footloose excursions around my dad's office and always assumed that ROW went north.   A wrong assumption.

But at the same time, as far as I know there were absolutely no "oil-electrics" with passenger train heating boilers, which would make use of mu eqiupment mandatory.   Non-streamlined pre-WWII New York Central coaches had the following four catagories:

1.  The oldest partially wood with steel underframe coaches still providing service on the West Shore, supplemented by some steel long distance coaches used primarily on Albany and Kingston trains.  Battery lighting and steam heating.

2.   The spartan arch-roof commuter cars used in Boston commuter service and on Putnam Division trains.   Head end lighting but steam heating.   Some had both battery and head end lighting.

3.   The long distance steel coaches with battery lighting and steam heating.

4.    MU motor cars and trailers, with jumpers to minimize loss of power at gaps and to provide heating and lighting for trailers, as well behind steam in the Peekskill service

I suspect the west side local was a three car train with two motors and a trailer in the middle.  There were I believe some control trailers, so it could have been two cars.

Exposed third rail shoes on the street?  No problem.  The wood shoe beam on the truck was painted red with white lettering giving a powerful warning message.  The same situation existed at all New York Central station platforms in the electrified zone other than the only station with high level platforms, GCT. 

Maybe someday someone will surface with a picture of an oil-electric pulling passenger train in the street!

More thoughts:   While there were no engine servicing facilites at Spuyten Dyvil, there was a fully equipped yard at Morris Heights, and I suspect that is where the west side local may have originated and layed-up.  MU's for the Putnam Division's electrified Getty's Square Branch operated out of there, runnig south to Sedgewick and 162nd st. to pick up their passengers off the 9th Avenue el, the 4-6-0's of the Putnam Division were serviced their, later Alco road-switchers, and perhaps what Herman Rinke meant were mu trailers hauled by an oil-electric.  That is a possibility.  If the running time between 60th Street and Spuyten Dyvil is a half hour or more including three or four stops, then an oil-electric is a possibility.   If the runnig time is 20 minutes with three or four stops or 15 minutes non-stop, then mu operation is indicated.  Not only running time will be helpful in deciding the matter, but also, your employee's timetable should give maximum speed and other restrictions for various types of motive power.   Is mu equipment simply considered part of the general passenger equipment or is it singled out, and if it is singled out is its operatoin discussed on the west side line?   Note that freights generally used third rail power north of 60th, R-1 and T-1 motors, but occasionally an oil-electric did run north of 60th on frieght. 

 If my thoughts about operating out of Morris Heights are correct, then the train loaded and discharged on the south-east Y-track at Spuyten Dyvil, the track that brough Harlem Div frieghts to the west side line.

Morris Heights was also the origination and termination for the daily Putnam freight train.. 

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Posted by timz on Thursday, August 30, 2007 12:24 PM

 daveklepper wrote:
While there were no engine servicing facilites at Spuyten Dyvil, there was a fully equipped yard at Morris Heights, and I suspect that is where the west side local may have originated and layed-up.

A local was scheduled to leave 30th St in the morning; 20-40 minutes after it arrived Spuyten Duyvil a local was scheduled from there to 30th St. Ditto in the afternoon-- the equipment (whatever it was) was at 30th St overnight and midday, far as we can tell from the TT.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 31, 2007 3:39 AM
And running time and stops between 60th St. and Spuyten Dyvil?
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Posted by timz on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 12:51 PM

Daily except Sunday in 1934,

lv 30th St (0.00 miles) 0700

pass 60th St (1.66) 0715

depart 130th St (5.24) 0726

depart 152nd St (6.31) 0731

depart Fort Washington (7.48) 0737

depart Inwood (9.08) 0742

arrive Spuyten Duyvil (10.06) 0747

and the other three trains are similar.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 3:22 AM

About 20 mph, so an oil electric could have pulled mu trailers or mu equipment.  Or the possibiity still exists of mu operation north of 30th.   In any case,  I doubt that the three-power oil-electric stayed with the passenger equipment at 30th.   More probably it was used in freight service while the passenger equipment was safe with the mail cars used from through trains to and from the west and north and then special mail trains south of Harmon.  The 30 or 40 minutes layover at Spuyten Duyvil would have been long enough for a crew turn to Morris Heights to swap equipment, since one or more coach cleaner would be on duty at Morris Heights to handle Putnam steam main line trains and the short mu trains used on the Gettys Square Branch.  The layover also would permit catchup  time if the drawbridge were open delaying the northbound run,

Note the slow speed between Inwood and Spuyten Duyvil.   This was do to the slow order across the draw bridge.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 9, 2007 3:04 PM
Should add that construction of the Major Deagan Expressway wiped out much of the Putnam ROW and the Morris Heights Yard.

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