• 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 fordhamroad
 
All the shots I have seen, old journals and photographs by railfans, are in b&w. The stations are mostly covered by concrete stucco, which was probably grey to start, and yellowed a bit as it weathered. Presumably red tile roofs and trim on the stations and towers etc. But what color were the doors and windows painted?
Signs were in green and white letters. Did doors match? Or was a servicable neutral grey used? Some of the wooden structures were light colored with dark doors and window frames? Is this white with green trim?
Presumably most of the old photos were done on ortho film, which would have made green appear darker?
Grateful for any light shed on this, for a W&B model building I am working on. Best wishes,
Roger

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Every colorized postcard I have ever seen suggests dark pullman green doors and windows and trim. Building appeared to have dark orange spanish tile roofs, and the stucco ranged in color as the materials aged.

-otto-
  by fordhamroad
 
-Thanks, Otto, for looking at the postcards. Green is most probable, although those artists who colorized aren't always reliable.
- Bill, the intial opening day runs of the Westchester on May 29, 1912 were from Adams street to North Ave., New Rochelle. Adams street is the small street one block north of 180th st. It runs east-west and ends at Morris Park Ave. Most probably the speculation on this thread of a temporary terminal just north of the present 180th st. terminal while that was under construction are correct.
-Roger

  by MickD
 
Once it came off of the Hutch viaduct, how did it get to Fifth Ave??
Was the station just to south of where the firehouse is Pelham??
Before they moved to 2nd Ave,my grandparents lived at the southern end of 7th Ave(135).Was the right of way at the end of that street?

  by MickD
 
Another question.Is there anything left of the right of way between
Wykagyl&Chester Heights south of North Ave.?

  by Stillwell
 
MickD wrote:Another question.Is there anything left of the right of way between
Wykagyl&Chester Heights south of North Ave.?
Yes and no. My father and I walked that that part of the line a couple of years ago(spring 2003). We went north from Chester Heights. There really nothing left from Chester Heights going north for about a half mile. Then you'll come upon the two very large bridge abutments that can be seen from the Hutchison River Parkway. The south abutment has no remnants of the roadbed leading up to it. The elevated roadbed is completely gone and the area has been flattened out. On the north side, there's some isn't much roadbed material left behind the abutment. The concrete foundations for the cantenary towers have been unearthed and are lying on their sides. You get a real good idea of just how big those things really are. You only see a small piece of them sticking out of the ground. They actually go down about 10-15 feet into the ground. Past this location the roadbed is heavily obscured. Alot of tree growth.

Parts of it have been dug away to make room for houses and such. Heading north parts of the roadbed are still somewhat intact. Most of the intact sections reside in people's backyards. This area has a walking/horse trail that runs parallel to the roadbed. It helps make it easier to follow. Just be careful of the horses and watch where you step...

Heading a little farther north, you'll come upon Bonair Road. This street is a dead end. You'll find two smaller bridge abutments here. There are two houses built on both the north and south sides of the roadbed on top of the abutments. Continuing north from here the road bed becomes a bit obscured again. You'll have to veer off the trail and walk through the woods to follow it. Be aware it runs through people's backyards in this area (read that as "Private Property"). You can get pretty close to get a decent view, but please don't trespass. One interesting thing I saw was in one backyard the homeowner blacktopped over the roadbed to make a small basketball court for the kids. The northern edge of the court has two concrete cantenary footings still standing on both sides of it. I doubt the homeowner has any idea what they are. The roadbed continues though backyards for another few hundred feet from this point and then it becomes totally obscured and almost impossible to follow on foot. You then reach Stratford Road(?) and here you'll see, on both sides of the road, what appear to be the remains of the tops two bridge abutments in front of two houses.

That was as far as we walked. Anyone else with anymore info feel free to speak up and add to my description. Hope this helps a little.

  by MickD
 
Thanks for the info Stilwell.I'm gonna try&serach out some of the remains next time I'm down in Westchester.The horse trail you mentioned ,does that run over by Twin Lake over by the parkway??

  by Stillwell
 
MickD wrote:Thanks for the info Stilwell.I'm gonna try&serach out some of the remains next time I'm down in Westchester.The horse trail you mentioned ,does that run over by Twin Lake over by the parkway??
The horse trail runs north and south alongside the eastern side of Twin Lake. The roadbed is on the opposite side of the trail. They kinda run parallel to each other.

The area is going to be heavily overgrown this time of year. You'll still be able to see some things. The best time to explore is late winter into very early spring.

  by MickD
 
My family lived in Interlaken Gardens on California Rd.in Eastchester
when I was a kid and Twin Lakes was a familar place.It's been a while
since I've been over there so I'll try& swing by in the fall.I remember
the right of way still being visible to some degree at Wykagyl back in the early 60's.My grandfather used the NYW&B from Pelham quite a bit so I
got a kick out of the 5th Ave.photos from what I can tell it must of
been just to south of the firehouse.Anyone posting here from Pelham??
  by fordhamroad
 
Hi,
Yes, the Westchester crossed Fifth Ave in Pelham with that enormous arched station, which was just south of the present firehouse. It ran on an embankment, now mostly removed , east toward New Rochelle, The concrete Highbrook Ave. bridge, still there is one of the most impressive remains of the railway, though crumbling with age and weathering today. The next stop was at Storer Ave, all filled in.
There are some good recent photos of the right of way in Pelham by David Sommer on his site:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiv ... spxid=1135
The Pelham Town Historian also has a site which includes a NYW&B postcard of the viaduct across the Hutchinson Parkway. Google up Pelham History. I live in Pelham and enjoy walking under the bridge frequently. Best wishes,
Roger

  by MickD
 
Thanks Roger.
I'm gonna check out the bridges next time I'm in town.A lot of interesting photos on that Historic Pelham site.When my grandmother died in 1986
she'd lived in Pelham for about 50 years.Most of that time was a
few doors over from St.Catherines.I appreciate the info.

Mick

  by MickD
 
Roger,
Is the top of Highbrook Ave. bridge accessible without tresspassing
on private property?

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Check out this latest gallery of images we just added:

http://www.nywbry.com/gallery.htm

There's still a few books left at the warehouse if you'd still like your copy.

http://railroad.net/articles/columns/re ... /index.php

-otto-
  by Noel Weaver
 
I, too, have enjoyed reading and re-reading and re-reading this fine book.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in there about the long gone "Boston
Westchester".
I remember in my days working on the NHRR out of New York that many
of the old timers referred to the Westchester by the above name.
I was still an infant when the thing was abandoned and torn up but I did
manage to ride up the track from the old NHRR connection at West Farms
to the 180th Street Station. The most recent time was during my early
days as an engineer when one evening I was called to report at Penn
Station to pilot a Sperry Rail Car from Penn Station to 174th Street.
Naturally, there was no way out of 174 th Street and the track department
was there to take care of the switch so I stayed on the car and went right
up to the north end of the platform at 180th Street where an IRT
motorman was waiting to relieve me. Might have been the only time that
an engineer got relieved by a subway motorman. Crossed one track and
got on the next southbound IRT train to head out of there.
About the book, I have only found a couple of small items which I will
briefly cover here. One is the needless duplication of photographs, while
they are all very well reproduced and very interesting, I do not see the
need to publish the same photo more than one time in the same
publication. A good number of photos appear twice.
The other item is from a "purist" point and I have already mentioned this
to Otto and that is that his excellent diagram should have stated at
Columbus Avenue and at West Farms "to New Rochelle Junction, NHRR" or
to "SS-22, NHRR".
One thing that has surprised me as I have researched this line from the
materials that I have is that the line was not as high speed as some had
originally thought. The top speed was 55 MPH and there were a lot of
places where the speed was reduced for one reason or another. I guess
it wasn't really an interurban line but a big city commuter line.
Could the line have survived, maybe with proper local government
support. Should it have survived, of course it should have. The crowded
conditions on Metro-North ought to be enough indication for that. The
White Plains Branch could have taken some of the load off the lower
Harlem trains while the line to New Rochelle could have taken some of the
load off the New Haven Line. There are loads of commuters whose trips
to and from New York do not end at Grand Central but continue downtown
on the Lexington Avenue Subway and with decent express service to and
from 180th Street, such service could be operating today. The connection
at Columbus Avenue could have continued today had the MTA seen fit to
keep the Columbus Avenue Station in operation. Yes, I know it is on a
curve but there were and are ways to take care of that problem.
One last thing, I don't know how many other readers noticed this but in a
good number of the station photos from the street, an individual appears
in a dark coat either outside the building, in the area or in the csee of East
Third Street inside the building. I wonder what the significance of that is
supposed to be?, lost to history, I suppose.
I highly recommend this book to anybody reading this, it is WELL worth
the price.
Noel Weaver

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Interesting story piloting a Sperry car up to East 180th Station!

I think the only photos we duplicated were in the before-and-after section. The duplication was intentional. As for the man spotted in many of the photos, it's quite possible he is the photographer's assistant, standing in the shot to provide a sense of scale.

-otto-
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