• NYC Hudson Div. commuter schedules in the 60's

  • 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 TCurtin
Having recently moved to northern Westchester near the Hudson Div., we have gone into NY City often and for various reasons ---- easy to do, given Metro North's great schedules on this line. Anyway, I got to wondering what NYC's commute schedules were like here during NYC's last years in the 1960s. I suddenly remembered that I have a Hudson Div/New York Terminal Div. employee timetable from April 1967, so I went through my collection and dug it out and studied it.

I was rather shocked to find that (Unless I missed something) the weekday schedule had exactly one through round trip from Poughkeepsie to GCT (#836 inbound in the AM peak, #841 outbound in the PM peak). Aside from a once a week Sunday evening inbound, EVERYTHING ELSE operating past Croton-Harmon was by Budd RDC connection. Did I miss something, or had the convenience of the service really deteriorated that much by 1967?

(Note, I am not counting the service to Albany, Buffalo, and beyond)
  by Backshophoss
By the mid 60's believe NYC went to the RDC's fulltime north of Harmon, the RS-3's were in charge of the Harlem line north
of North White Plains, and the Put was split into 2 segments
  by Noel Weaver
As folks were leaving New York City in droves even in the 60's and in to the future passenger service on both the Harlem and the Hudson leaped both in size of trains and in thw number of trains on both routes. On the Hudson what one RDC could handle in the 60's would today need an engine and a bunch of coaches. I have all timetables for this period, maybe I will try a comparison sometime dpwn the road. It all happened thanks to state support without such support the trains would have been gone by now. Growth on the Harlem has been even been higher than the Hudson.
I remember in the first year or two in Waterbury on the NHRR I had better luck getting half rate prders on the NYC than trip passes on the NHRR, I used to drive to Brewster and take a train to NY, an RS-3 and two or three coaches was plenty in those days, today six or eight higher capacity MU cars are the rule and there are probably three times the number of trains today. Without the state support of today the tracks would not even exist here now.
Noel Weaver
  by TCurtin
So I get the idea from Noel's response that the Hudson Div. passenger loadings in Putnam and Dutchess counties in the 60's simply didn't --- with the exception of that single rush hour Poughkeepsie-GCT weekday round trip --- require any more than a Budd car or two. I never rode the Hudson in the 60's, and until we moved to Cortlandt last summer my only trips there were on Amtrak trains. Now that we're experiencing the Metro North passenger loadings on the Poughkeepsie trains first hand I can hardly believe the growth.
  by shlustig
When I worked on the -then-Metropolitan Region of the PC in the early 1970's, there were stations on the hudson Line that were being reviewed for permanent closure due to sparse passenger counts, specifically Greystone on the lower portion and New Hamburg on the upper portion.

Also, throughout the 1950's and early 1960's, several of the "liners" made regular "S" stops at Peekskill, Beacon, and POK.
  by PC1100
This post made me dig out my NYC Hudson Division timetables and reminded me of a service pattern I noticed a while back. Starting in April 1962 the NYC appears to have started a new service pattern for numerous GCT-Poughkeepsie runs. Where previous timetables show trains running through GCT-Poughkeepsie and vice-versa making most stops between Harmon and Poughkeepsie, starting in April 1962 most trains originated or terminated at Peekskill. These were in addition to the regular RDC shuttles originating/terminating at Peekskill that connected with Croton locals. For service to/from points north of Peekskill and transfer was then required at Harmon. An example is train #841 departing GCT at 5:06PM. The October 29, 1961 timetable shows the train running through GCT-Poughkeepsie and stopping at Ossining, Harmon, Croton-on-Hudson, Crugers, Peekskill, Manitou, Garrison, Cold Spring, Beacon, New Hamburg, and Poughkeepsie. Starting with the April 29, 1962 timetable #841 terminated at Peekskill. Passengers for points north of Peekskill had to connect at Harmon to a new train, #871, which departed Harmon at 5:59PM and ran express to Peekskill (stopping there only to receive passengers) then continuing onto Poughkeepsie. #841 would arrive at Harmon at 5:56PM and depart at 6:01PM, running behind #871 making the local stops at Croton-on-Hudson and Crugers, then terminating at Peekskill. This service pattern was still in effect in 1964, but in 1965 I notice most trains were changed to a connection at Croton-Harmon. Even with this the pattern of separate runs (one doing Harmon-Peekskill local service, the other running express from Harmon to Peekskill and then local to Poughkeepsie) seems to have continued. 1965 also appears to be the point when #836 and #841 became the only through trains (except for the expresses Mr. Lustig mentioned). Timetables from October 25, 1970 to July 2, 1973 show two through trains each way, and finally December 8, 1974 shows three through trains, which I believe remained the pattern into the mid-1980s (these were all rush hour trains).

Does anyone know the story behind that change that occurred in 1962? On a separate but related note, I believe this was the same time that RDC shuttle service between Brewster and Pawling/Dover Plains replaced the through trains that had previously run through GCT-Pawling/Dover Plains.
  by Otto Vondrak
In the 1960s and 1970s, there wasn't as much population density north of Croton and Peekskill to warrant the full trains. I remember as late as 1990 there were still some late night SPV shuttles that made the trip north of Croton (my parents used to attend an auction in Cold Spring, I spent a lot of nights hanging around the station and knew it was late when I saw the shuttles show up)...