• Harlem Division Abandoned Crossing of Taconic State Parkway

  • 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 jfloehr
Using the “Open Railway Map”, the NYC Harlem Division is shown to have formerly crossed the Taconic State Parkway in the immediate vicinity of County Route 11 and NY State Route 23 in Craryville, NY. Evidence of the rail ROW at the immediate TSP location is barely visible on Google Maps, presumably because of regrading following rail removal. Did the Harlem ROW originally cross the TSP via a bridge or an underpass, and about what year were the structures removed? Thanks!
  by charlie6017
Looking at the area on Google street-view it appears Rte. 23 was elevated so I would assume it crossed over the Harlem Division on an overpass. I can't speak as to when the area was filled in so I'll leave that to others who would know better.

  by NaugyRR
I have the book "From Gotham to The Berkshires" at home which has tons of photos, I'll paw through tonight after I get home and see if there's anything in it.

One of my customers is also an ex-Conrail/PC MoW supervisor who worked the territory, I'll pick his brain next time I see him.

I did look through historical aerials online, and it looks like the railroad traveled under the Taconic via an underpass from what I can see with the fuzzy pictures from the mid-80's. That would make sense, the Parkway is banked up pretty good through there and crests a hill traveling north past the exit for 23.
  by jfloehr
Thank you Naugy for the book refence. I just ordered a copy as I was not aware of its publication. I travel Route 22 and the Taconic Parkway often. And as a consequence I have developed a special interest in the abandoned northern ROW of the Harlem Division, the maze of former ROW's in the Boston Corner, NY area, the former Chatham, NY railyard, and of course the abandoned Rutland Corkscrew Division ROW.
  by NaugyRR
Not a problem jfloehr. I think you'll be happy with the book, I grabbed a copy from the train show at the State Plaza in Albany last year and have zero regrets. I did paw through it last night and didn't see any photos with the line intersecting the Parkway, but am almost 100% certain it was a bridge that crossed over the line. Here's the screenshot from Historic Aerials...
That aerial shot is from '86. The next available one is from '94 and it shows the ROW filled in, so somewhere in that 8 year gap they filled it.

I have a similar fascination with the upper Harlem. I've lived in the area my entire life and was a kid when Wassaic Station was built, so seeing the ROW go from overgrown to used has sort of sparked curiosity into what the rest of the route looked like.
  by jfloehr
Agree - the 1986 aerial shows a structural bridge taking the TSP over the ROW and it has been removed as of the 1994 aerial. So the crossing was removed sometime in the interim years. I traveled the TSP occasionally during that timeframe, but missed the construction activity.
  by NaugyRR
Probably for the better. They finally finished paving the upper section between Chatham and 90, and that has been less than stellar travel while they had the lanes uneven/singled. I'm sure having that bridge out while the ROW was filled was not a fun detour.

I was up through that section of the Parkway on Sunday and you'd have no idea it was fill.
  by jfloehr
"....and you'd have no idea it was fill."

Right on Naugy - that is why I originally posted my question - anyone interested in the abandoned upper Harlem Division driving the TSP must wonder, because the history is invisible today. Thanks again.