NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:39 am

Mohansic Branch track was built. The trestle over Crom Pond was built. The Hospital and State School were planned and some material started moving to the site. Then it was determined the new complex was too close to the new Croton Reservoir, so the project was scrapped and so were the tracks. It could be that these were temporary tracks built to serve construction, and then a realigned spur would have served any freight and passenger business. So, I'm not quite sure where the mystery is? It sounds like we have it pretty well pieced together.
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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby fredmcain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:01 am

Forum,

Here is another one of my “doctored up” maps in which I have tried to visualize how the spurs on the aborted Mohansic State Hospital grounds might have looked. By interpolating the historic information at our disposal then using a liberal amount of my own imagination, I have produced a crude track diagram showing how the spurs may have looked at their pinnacle immediately prior to abandonment.

Although I recognize this in pure speculation on my part, the fact is that something similar to this *MIGHT* have actually existed.

If it didn’t exist quite like this, perhaps it can be made somewhat “real” nonetheless if someone were to build an HO model of this!

Fred M. Cain

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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby fredmcain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:03 am

Otto Vondrak wrote:Mohansic Branch track was built. The trestle over Crom Pond was built. The Hospital and State School were planned and some material started moving to the site. Then it was determined the new complex was too close to the new Croton Reservoir, so the project was scrapped and so were the tracks. It could be that these were temporary tracks built to serve construction, and then a realigned spur would have served any freight and passenger business. So, I'm not quite sure where the mystery is? It sounds like we have it pretty well pieced together.



Otto,

Someelse suggested that perhaps no track was laid and the roadbeds were only graded. However, I suspect you probably know far more about this so I'm taking your word for it.

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:16 am

If anyone knows it, Otto knows it. I did post earlier that it may not have been built, but that was only a vague recollection of something I had read. The first thing to go is memory. The second thing to go is....I forgot!
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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby CarterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:11 pm

A bit more factual history I found:

Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, Volume 21 1916
http://books.google.com/books?id=YxdLAA ... le&f=false

States that there was a survey " Mohansic State Hospital - Repair of trestle across Crom Pond"
and "State Training School for Boys, Yorktown Heights ---Extension of spur track to serve new boiler house"
So at least parts of the line certainly were not only in use but expanded.
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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby fredmcain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:14 pm

Carter,

Excellent detective work! Nice going, thanks!

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Re: Put Mohansic Branch(was Mystery Along US202 in YrktownHg

Postby RussNelson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:42 pm

I've been entering NY lakes and ponds into http://openstreetmap.org and I'm now up to Crom Pond! While I was there, I noticed that I had misrouted both of the Mohansic Branch lines. The location where the trestle crossed Crom Pond was really quite obvious, as are the berms that carried the railroad from Yorktown Heights. So, I moved them over, but that raised a few questions in my mind.

  • The older of the three maps Otto linked to showed two branches off the Mohansic Branch, one of which crossed the tail of Crom Pond, and the other of which skirted the pond to the north. The route crossing the tail is quite obvious on aerial photos, and likely ran on the west side of the ridge and east side of the wetland, which is what Fred saw. But I see no sign of the northern branch. Given the hill on the northeast corner of Crom Pond, it MUST have had to skirt the pond quite closely, but I see nothing there. Does anybody know if it was actually built?
  • Also, how far past the Crom Pond branch did the Mohansic Branch go? It looks like it went down Mohansic Avenue East as it passes the tail of Mohansic Lake. But where was it going after that?? In spite of what the map says, it seems like it would more likely have skirted the south edge of Mohansic Lake.
  • Looking at the 1941 USGS map (http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=NY), I can see the embankment where the Mohansic Branch came from Yorktown Heights. It shows four modifications to the brown lines which indicate a linear structure of fills.
  • saving the best for last, I found an embankment across the southern end of the wetland, which could have branched off from the Crom Pond branch (or actually BEEN the Crom Pond Branch). If it did, it would have run along the west side of the wetland. It's not AT ALL visible on the Google satellite photos, but is very visible on the Bing satellite photos: http://binged.it/137C8vT . In addition to that, the 1941 map shows a fill about halfway up the east side of the wetland where it says "STATE". See the topo lines with the dashes? They indicate that the land falls inward there -- implying that there's a fill to the right. If that fill still exists, it's damn close to the service road and parking lot there.
It's already on my list for spring field work.
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Re: Mystery Along U.S. 202

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:41 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:Okay, here you go. See if this jives with your discovery...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350717386

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350104489

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/5350104391

I really wanted to include some more detail about this in the book, but we just ran out of room...

-otto-


Just wanted to share the links that show the ROW of the Mohansic Branch.

-otto-
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Re: NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

Postby RussNelson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:51 pm

Visited it on Monday. Had some work to do in the area, so I stayed in the beautiful Budget Inn in Mahopac. An experience not to be missed. On the plus side, the Put runs right behind it, so if you're planning to ride the rail-trail, it's actually a reasonable place to stay.

I found the railbed heading out of Yorktown Heights. It's now a fiber-optic cable right-of-way. Probably still owned by the park commission. It's quite walkable as far as I could see, but is overgrown at Baldwin Road on both sides. Goes through a cut and a fill -- it's quite obvious. On the west side of Baldwin it goes through a low cut, then fill, then a deep cut, then levels off as it comes to Mohansic Avenue East. It *sure* looks like it continues SW along Mohansic Avenue East, but clearly stops at Baldwin Road where there is a sharp incline. Don't know where they were going with that, and it's not on the property map Otto found.

The three maps that Otto linked to above disagree with each other. The 1910 map shows two branches, neither of them crossing the tail of Crom Pond. I can only find one on the aerial photos, and saw no evidence of a second branch (but neither did I go traipsing through the woods where it might have gone). The 1930 plat map seems much more accurately surveyed and reflects the physical evidence available to us.

On the north side of Crom Pond, in FDR park, the road that curves around between the lake and the pond is *certain* to be the railbed. At the bottom of its curvature, if you continue to walk as if it didn't curve, well, it doesn't. It continues out towards the pond until it got to wet for me to continue. Definitely a railbed, with drainage ditches and everything.

This service road continues to a T intersection. Continuing past this intersection with the loop road around the park is another obvious railroad embankment being used as a foot path. It got too muddy for me to continue, but I saw no reason for it to stop where I stopped. Snow was still melting. The USGS Topo map shows the rout north to 202 \as practically level. My speculation, which will require further examination when it ain't so fricking muddy, is that the center road inside the park is built on the right-of-way. It possibly continued to the north and could be where Fred saw it crossing.

It's unlikely that the eastern side of the loop road was the railbed, because it has a bit of a hill to it, and is too high up on the hill to have connected with a trestle over Crom Pond.
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Re: Tinypics; was Put Mohansic Branch

Postby fredmcain » Wed May 10, 2017 1:34 pm

fredmcain wrote:Forum,

Here is another one of my “doctored up” maps in which I have tried to visualize how the spurs on the aborted Mohansic State Hospital grounds might have looked. By interpolating the historic information at our disposal then using a liberal amount of my own imagination, I have produced a crude track diagram showing how the spurs may have looked at their pinnacle immediately prior to abandonment.

Although I recognize this in pure speculation on my part, the fact is that something similar to this *MIGHT* have actually existed.

If it didn’t exist quite like this, perhaps it can be made somewhat “real” nonetheless if someone were to build an HO model of this!

Fred M. Cain


I was reviewing this post that I'd done a few years ago and it aggravates me somewhat that "tinypics" don't seem to be permanent. Is there anything you can do to prevent tinypics from getting removed or expireing?

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Re: Tinypics; was Put Mohansic Branch

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed May 10, 2017 4:55 pm

fredmcain wrote:Is there anything you can do to prevent tinypics from getting removed or expiring?


Use a public sharing site like Flickr.

-otto-
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Re: NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

Postby mkm4 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:23 pm

This is an old topic, but since it was recently resurrected....

I found a map that shows the rails going all the way through the park to RT 202

http://collections.westchestergov.com/c ... 449/rec/46
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Re: NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

Postby RussNelson » Fri May 12, 2017 11:15 pm

Yeah, I've stared at that routing quite a bit, and decided that it was likely to have gone that far. Haven't been back to do the fieldwork to verify the possibility.
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Re: NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun May 14, 2017 3:51 pm

Nice find with the map. We knew about the trestle constructed at Crom Pond, but the rest of the "Extensions" seem like flights of fancy to me.

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Re: NYC Putnam Division Mohansic Branch - Yorktown Heights

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 pm

I did an overlay of the topo map and a modern Google map. See attached.

-otto-
Attachments
mohansic-map-2.jpg
Mohansic Map
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