• New York, Westchester & Boston NYW&B Main Thread

  • Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.

  by silmarg
Got my copy of the new NYW&B book by Mr. Bang and its great!

Does anyone have a bibliography for all the news clippings (dates and newspapers). They were really great!

  by Otto Vondrak
Most of the clippings came from the Daily Argus, which was the local paper for Mount Vernon. Sadly, none of the dates were attached to the originals.

  by fordhamroad

The Westchester's Stillwell cars, which look so attractive in all the books and still photos were an unusual and original design. With the exception of a few damaged in accidents, most survived not only the whole history of the NYW&B, but went on to life afterwards. The NYNH&H took back its 50 cars for Boston commuter service, and others were sold during wartime to the U.S. Maritime Administration. Some of the New Haven cars were sold to the Saudi Arabian Railways, and a few of the U.S. cars ended up in the Andes of Peru. I never rode a W&B car but similar Stillwells on the Erie were in use for half a century and I did get to ride one of these. Some are still on tourist lines.
So, my question is: How well-built were these cars? Was it easy or difficult to maintain them. Did they last well. Were they comfortable to ride?
If the Stillwells were so good, why didn't the NH try to buy the rest of the Westchester cars? They could have had them at bargain prices. Why didn't the NH order Stillwell cars of its own in the teens and twenties?
Was there, after all, something wrong with them?

  by Otto Vondrak
I'm more curious why the NYW&B bought cars of a different design than what parent New Haven was using... you would think in the interest of uniformity that New Haven would try to keep a fleet of similar cars throughout, even on the subsidiary NYW&B.

  by Hank
I just want to say I enjoyed the book emensely. It was a shame that they could not save the railroad. I believe today the railroad would have been a success. Since so many people have moved to Westchester county and beyond.
  by oakpoint
As Roger Arcara put it in his book "Westchester's Forgotten Railway,
What Westchester county once had and now needs more than ever"

When I look at Robert Bang's new book, I feel sad to see all the pictures of the abandoned railroad before the carnage took over. What a beautiful railroad in it's time. Shame on their short sightedness for tearing up a well planned railroad after all that work to build it. Makes me sick to my stomach!

Charles D :(
  by fordhamroad
In case you missed it, check out the NHRHTA site for a long illustrated discussion on the fate of the NYW&B cars which were reclaimed by the New Haven and went to Boston.
  by William Abbott
Both Bang's new book and Arcara agree that service started on May 29, 1912, with service from East 180th Street and Morris Park Ave.

According to my map this would mean the 180th Street station where the office building is located.

However, when you look at the construction photos on page 25 of Bang's new book and page 13 of his Million Dollar book you see two photos of the 180th Street station showing the viaduct had not yet arrived at the station building on May 23, 1912. This would mean that in six days the viaduct builders had to finish the viaduct from the point shown to wherever it ends north of the station, the concrete floor of the viaduct would have to be poured, ties and rails laid, platforms built, access to/from station built, catenary towers erected, power lines put in place and the whole thing tested. Also, they would need a station that was more than a steel skeleton. [NB. By looking at the trash in the foreground of these two pictures, they would indeed seem to have been taken on the same day.]

So something is wrong here and I down't know what. It would seem that the dates shown on both pictures is not correct.

In addition, another photo in Arcara, top of page 52 in 3rd edition, shows the 180th Street station about a month after the commencement of service with the facility and track in no way ready for service.

  by Otto Vondrak
180th Street Station is/was at the same location as the NYW&B headquarters office building. Either I mislabled the photo, the photographer mislabeled the photo, or perhaps it was a photo of the IRT 180th Street Station under construction... I'll look when I get home tonight.

  by Noel Weaver
I am wondering if it was possible that they had a temporary station just
north of the 180th Street Station?
Noel Weaver
  by fordhamroad
- Bill, interesting observation. I agree that 180th st. Station was probably not ready when service started May 29, 1912 between 180th st. and North Ave. New Rochelle. The Electric Railway Journal articles of May 25 and June 2, 1912 describing the line picture several station buildings but not 180th st. which was described as "being created" (May 25). The viaduct to the NYNH&H was completed and service to Willis Ave started on August 3, 1912. There probably was a temporary station.
A NY Times article of May 21, 1912 mentioned plans to extend the Bronx Park terminal " this summer." It expressed a hope to have over the platform transfers to the planned IRT line extension, in the 180th st. station. That never materialized, by the time the IRT had negotiated the Triborough proposals and the Dual Contracts, and settled land disputes with the Bronx Zoo, the eventual IRT station on the White Plains Road extension was built next to the W&B Station, with a connecting concourse underneath. That in turn may have affected a different plan of 1912 for the 180th st. Station.
It was described on May 21 as a three level structure: passenger platforms on top, a freight siding or tracks on the middel level, and a produce market on the ground level. Meat and produce freight cars were to be delivered on the middle level. Were there ever freight tracks on that level? How would they have fit into the massive viaduct construction?
It doesn't appear that the market or shops were built either?
Noel, I agree that a temporary stop was most probably north of the present terminal, but with the Unionport Yard and Shop under sonstruction, it would have been tight. The Electric Railway Journal of Dec. 14, 1912 shows the shop completed. It was certainly a construction site in May and early summer. Perhaps the W&B temporary station was
on the east side of Unionport Yard, where passenger storage tracks were laid, and with wooden platforms and steps down to the street?

Best wishes

Roger Wines
  by fordhamroad
- turned up one additional item on the opening date of 180th st. station.
Engineering News, June 5, 1913 has a photo which shows the station completed, including the little plaza in front and the flagpoles.
-this would be consistent with completion later in 1912. no evidence of construction or clearing up debris in this shot.
-the bottom level has small windows, but no indication of shops or market.

Roger Wines
  by fordhamroad
I have walked the ruins, at least in part and read the books, knew a few good folks who travelled on the NYW&B, but never had a chance to talk with anyone who worked the road. They would be pretty old by now.
Does anyone remember meeting former NYW&B employees, or getting their impressions and recollections of the railway?

  by MickD
Just got my copy of the book.Sensational.Had never seen a photo of Chester Heights Sta.I used to play ball behind the firehouse there.
Great stuff.

  by Otto Vondrak
I'm glad so many people are enjoying the book- thanks for the kind words!

I'm still trying to track down the story behind the construction and opening of 180th Street Station.

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