Who Owns Grand Central Terminal in NY City?


Some other great links:
From the WIKI

Argent Ventures is a privately held real estate company based in New York City that owns the land under Grand Central Terminal and the land around 156 miles of Metro-North Railroad railway tracks in the New York City metropolitan area.

Among other high profile buildings currently owned are:

The company was spun off in 1996 from by Andrew S. Penson from Amroc Investments which specializes in turning around distressed properties.[2]

Two of its earlier properties that have since been sold included:

Grand Central Deal

In the breakup of the Penn Central Railroad in 1976, the land under Grand Central and its associated tracks continued to be owned by Penn Central Corporation but leased to what became the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Penn Central as a holding company changed its name to American Premier Underwriters in March 1994. It in turn was absorbed by the American Financial Group.

On December 6, 2006, the United States Department of Transportation announced Midtown TDR Ventures LLC had purchased the rights from American Financial.[3]

As part of the transaction the lease with the MTA was renegotiated through February 28, 2274.

The New York Post on July 6, 2007, reported that Midtown TDR is controlled by Penson and Venture. The Post notes that the MTA which will pay $2.24 Million in rent in 2007 has an option to buy the station and tracks in 2017 although Argent could extend the date another 15 years to 2032.[4] The big attraction to Venture are the development air rights it controls above the tracks.


 In 2006, Midtown Trackage Ventures, which included two institutional investors that Andrew Penson would not identify, bought Grand Central and 75 miles of track to Poughkeepsie and 82 miles to Wassaic, in Dutchess County, from American Premier Underwriters; American Premier’s parent, American Financial Group (which had acquired the bankrupt Penn Central’s real estate)….The Metropolitan Transportation Authority…pays $2.24 million in annual rent on a lease that expires Feb. 28, 2274. The authority has an option to buy the terminal and the tracks in 2017, which it is expected to exercise, although the landlord can extend that date to 2032.
Buildings and Landmarks January 29, 2013, 3:16 pm
Grand Central’s Flesh-and-Blood Landlord
By SAM ROBERTSThere is some confusion over whether Andrew S. Penson had even been invited to the gala celebration of Grand Central Terminal’s centennial on Friday night. Regardless, Mr. Penson says characteristically, he will be the man who didn’t come to dinner.

Ordinarily, the balding 52-year-old Mr. Penson might barely be noticed at such a star-studded event, much less missed. But his absence from the terminal’s birthday dinner, at the Oyster Bar, will strike New Yorkers in the know as a particularly glaring omission.

After all, Mr. Penson owns Grand Central.

http://cityroom. blogs.nytimes. com/2013/ 01/29/grand- centrals- flesh-and- blood-landlord/ ?ref=nyregion
Thanks to
Gary R. Kazin
DL&W Milepost R35.7
Rockaway, New Jersey

Mr. Penson is the President and Founder of Argent.  He has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding.  Prior to Argent, Mr. Penson led the real estate investment division of Amroc Investments Inc., a leading investment firm and the predecessor to Avenue Capital, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund.  Previously, Mr. Penson practiced law with Jones Day.  He is a member of New York Law School’s Board of Trustees.Mr. Penson earned a B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. from New York Law School.



Historic Electric Locomotives in Glenmont, NY


S Motor and T Motor at Glenmont, near Albany NY
These historic electric locomotives are stored at an electrical plant in Glenmont near Albany. They belong to the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter of the NRHS.


The original S-1 of 1904. It started off as #6000 and went through several renumberings, the last of which was 100.

This picture was taken in Colonie, New York while the Motor was headed for the American Museum of Electricity

This locomotive was displayed for several years by the M&H Chapter NRHS at the Altamont Fair. It looked the same then.


#278, a T3a built by GE at Erie in 1926 and was the last T-motor to operate. It is the only one left in existence. It was acquired by the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter NRHS in 1980 and restored by members.

It was a star in a movie made in Grand Central in the mid to late 80’s. The movie was called “The House on Sullivan Street”. (Later renamed “The House on Carroll Street”) The House on Carroll Street“) It has a Hitchcock like finale in the movie The House on Carrol Street (1985), director Peter Yates. The action is supposed to take place in the mid 1950s. Kelly Mc Gillis and Jeff Daniels star.

T-3a #278 was last used in PC service in Sunnyside Yard, Long Island, NY for service in the wire train on the ex PRR east river & Hudson river tunnels,as they could operate on the 650 volt third rail while the 11,000 overhead AC catenary was turned off,as diesels were not allowed at this time.

There is a great story about the current state of these locomotives


Circus Trains: The Second Greatest Show on Earth


The Circus Comes to Town! This early 1950’s photo came through the courtesy of The Cabell Record in Huntington, WV
Here’s a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Our feature article is on the history of circus trains .

We have great sections on circus trains today , trains run by the Strates Carnival: In 2008 approximately 4,900 feet, and the train had 9 coaches (1 being a generator/shop) and 44 TTX-style 89-foot flatcars, + 1 70-foot Warren flatcar bringing up the rear. , and on circus train accidents .

Ringling Brothers Circus has been two shows that cross the country in an alternating fashion. Now, in 2006, we see that there is a third show .

Don’t miss our sections on circus museums , and circus trains reference page .


Ringling Brothers Advertising Car from an old postcard.
The advertising car went a couple of weeks ahead of the circus. It carried at least a dozen men and hung posters all over.


See some great old-time circus train pictures at Buckles Web Log
Including some 1949 pictures of Clyde Beatty circus train.

Supply Chain Management Trends


Everyone is suggesting what the trends in Supply Chain Management (SCM) are for 2013. Most of the writers agree on a “core” of important trends (sort of like the  “motherhood and apple pie” thing. Then there are even some new ones that pop up too. I am going to bring out as many as I find. Where they are not as common, I will provide a link to more information. Read on and tell me if you agree or disagree.

Grand Central Terminal is 100 Years Old


The centennial celebration of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal will kick off Feb. 1.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and MTA Metro-North Railroad will open the terminal to the public for a full day of celebration activities, including a morning rededication ceremony and musical performances “that will keep visitors entertained into the evening,” said Metro-North officials said in a prepared statement.

The day’s events will include the opening of “Grand by Design,” a six-week exhibit that will chronicle the train terminal’s history.

To commemorate the terminal’s past, present and future, the Feb. 1 events and others planned for the next year will be guided by four themes: “Happy Birthday to Grand Central,” marking its historic debut; “Preserving a Landmark; Creating a Legacy,” which focuses on renovation of the terminal’s 42nd Street entrance and other improvements; “Grand Centennial Parade of Trains,” anchored by a rare public display of historic train cars; and “Grand Central: The Next 100 Years.”

The celebration’s opening ceremony will include many public officials and celebrities, including Caroline Kennedy, the centennial committee’s honorary co-chairwoman. Kennedy’s mother, the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is widely credited with saving Grand Central Terminal from destruction in the 1970s, MTA and Metro-North officials said.

See what else is in Grand Central
The photo was posted on the NYC Transit Museum’s Facebook page. It has alot of other cool historical photos from all the other agencies too.A description of the above photo from the Facebook page:

New York Transit Museum Facebook page wrote:Although February 2nd, 2013 marks the centennial of the opening of the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal, the lower level, which was dedicated to suburban lines, opened a couple of months earlier. Both the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad and the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad each had 10 ticket offices on the suburban level. There was also a baggage room, telegraph office, parcel room, newsstand, and information booth.

Yes! Grand Central Terminal will be 100 years old!




Sandy’s Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard


A news item posted on the MTA’s website says that there are still roughly 50 switches that have not been repaired following Sandy! And to make Coney Island Yard work, they have to hand crank the switches the old fashioned way. Kinda interesting, hunh?Read more here:

MTA wrote:Sandy’s Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard

It takes a lot to turn a modern railroad back into a 19th century operation—but, about four feet of salt water, mounds of storm-driven sand, sustained high winds and the absence of electrical controls did just that.

Those are the conditions out at MTA New York City Transit’s massive Coney Island Rail Yard after Superstorm Sandy blasted through the City last year. The storm left the track-switching operation at the world’s largest rapid transit maintenance and storage facility unable to be controlled remotely. The yard has track capacity for 1,800 subway cars, but all were moved to higher ground in anticipation of a weather event of truly historic proportions.

“It’s like the old days of railroading with individual switches had to be hand thrown because the capability of operating from the tower was completely wiped out,” said Senior Vice President, Department of Subways Carmen Bianco. “Coney Island Yard is vital to New York City Transit’s subway operations. This facility supports a very large car maintenance, inspection and overhaul program, as well as being the largest car storage facility in the system.”

Coney Island Yard is a huge and complicated operation generating hundreds of train movements each day. Changing switch positions is necessary on the maintenance side of the house in order send trains in and out of the barn. Switches also guide train movement on outside storage tracks where trains are threaded through a labyrinth of tracks and switches as they approach and leave their lay-up positions for morning and evening rush hour service out on the main line.

Normal operation is a wonder of automation, requiring the tower operator to use the interlocking machine to position switches to move a train to where it needs to be. Depending on where the train is headed, several switching moves will have to be performed to give the train the proper line-up. Not too difficult when the switches are remotely controlled by pressing buttons.

But, how do you accomplish the same task when there is no electricity to the track switches? “Signal Department personnel are sent to the field to crank switches by hand,” said Paul Camera, General Superintendent, Electrical, who went on to explain that some moves may require the hand cranking of ten to 15 switches to guide the train to its proper path.

Through the entire move, someone is walking in front of the train, and with no signals, the train operator is also following hand flagging directions as he makes his moves.

The yard sits in a major flood zone vulnerable to the water flowing in from nearby bodies of water, including Coney Island Creek. Areas from the Rockaways to the Battery were swamped with raging floodwaters and the Coney Island section of Brooklyn was also hit hard, especially with the storm surge driven by the full moon. Coinciding with the high tide, the storm washed in water and debris which quickly inundated the tracks, switches, motors and signal equipment.

In Sandy’s wake, the yard more closely resembled a lake than a storage area for subway trains. It took several days for the yard to drain and that process was aided by pumping in strategic areas. The removal of water from some of the flooded equipment was done with small hand pumps or vacuums.

Throughout the 75-acre complex, more than 190 individual switches were flooded in the wake of the storm, which also damaged signals and wiring. A combined workforce of in-house personnel and contractors washed salt water and sand from the switches and replaced switch motors where required and that work is ongoing.

In fact, more than two full months after the storm, 50 track switches still cannot be moved remotely and must be hand thrown by workers. The manual operation is labor intensive and complicated.

Of course, like just about everything else in the subway system, necessary jobs must proceed simultaneously. “We don’t have the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time,” said Wynton Habersham, Chief Electrical Officer. “For the past several weeks, it has been necessary to balance the restoration of the system and the hand switching with our ‘day job’ of maintenance and testing of the remaining signals and switches.”

Compounding the problem is the scarcity of replacement parts. Many of the switch motors are currently back ordered and won’t be delivered until the end of January.

Have we come a long way since the storm? Yes, NYC Transit has made tremendous strides forward in recovering from the most devastating storm to hit the region but as in the Coney Island Rail Yard, the system is still not whole as we move forward with repairs to the Rockaway Line and the South Ferry station.

So a bit longer we will wait until we can “return to normalcy” completely following Sandy. You can read more on MTA’s website and even see some photos here: Sandy’s Effects Still Evident at Coney Island Rail Yard.


Todd Gould’s Anti-Trust Court Case


Todd Gould has penned an important status update regarding Loren Data Corp v. GXS, Inc. The case has ramifications that cut to the heart of the Interconnected VAN industry. The progress of the  case from district court to the 4th Circuit (Court of Appeals), affords us a profound opportunity to re-examine the Antitrust laws, and how the modern Jurist strives to comprehend the many  subtle issues impinging upon an (unregulated) interconnected market, i.e., VAN messaging.

Please note that within Todd’s blog post, is a link to the Petition for Rehearing.  Read the post and click through to the petition –  be connected to the truth and the facts.

This case is a “David & Goliath” story. Let’s hope history repeats itself.

Railroad Tunnels and Bridges




Pictured above are the Central New England bridge at Poughkeepsie, the Livingston Avenue bridge in Albany, and the Maiden Lane bridge in Albany.

Our feature articles are about New York City subway tunnels and railroad tunnels under water .

We cover some specific bridges and tunnels, such as New Haven Railroad bridges along the Shore Line , the the Great Railroad Bridge at Poughkeepsie , the historic Old Colony railroad tunnel, The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany was a part of the New York Central Railroad , and Montreal’s Mount Royal Tunnel .

Included are stories on Staten Island Bridge .

Delaware & Hudson Railroad bridge removals

abandoned tunnels in New York State , and the Hudson Tubes .

See our story on the New York State Thruway bridge collapse .

We have some interesting material on bridge tolls .

Lot’s of good pictures, like a wooden trestle near Millbrook, New York .

Be sure to see our bridge and tunnel reference section .

Livingston Avenue Bridge (picture at middle) (sometimes referred to as the freight bridge or North Bridge) was built by The New York Central Railroad to carry freight trains over the Hudson. Passenger trains came across to the station on the Maiden Lane Bridge (South Bridge) (picture at bottom) .
This bridge is gone and Amtrak uses the Livingston Avenue bridge now.

These two bridges were owned by a separate corporation:
The two railroad bridges crossing the Hudson River between Rensselaer and Albany were owned nominally by a separate organization called The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany, incorporated April 9, 1856. This ownership was vested in The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, three-fourths, and the Boston and Albany Railroad Company, one-fourth. Except for foot passengers, the bridges were used exclusively for railroad purposes. The north bridge was opened in 1866, and the south bridge in 1872.

Back in the early 1900s, the Central found that traffic was growing beyond the capacity of West Albany Yard (which was geographically constrained from expanding), and that West Albany Hill had a tremendous detrimental effect on freight movements. With trains growing in length and weight, many needed helpers or even doubling to get up the grade. The result was the Castleton Cutoff (and the newest of the Hudson River bridges in the Albany Area)

Construction of the Livingston Avenue Bridge over the Hudson River, which today connects Amtrak’s New York City trains with western New York,

began when Abraham Lincoln was president.

The Livingston Avenue Bridge stands as a working monument to steam-age rail thinking in the Empire State. The 144-year-old swing bridge is the sole link for Amtrak passenger trains crossing the Hudson River. Between trains, a 230-foot draw section still pivots open and closed on a turntable mechanism some 100 or more times each year so big boats can cruise through. As passenger rail advocates push for development of modern high-speed tracks and trains that would move at speeds of 110 mph or more, the daily reliance on this relic of 19th-century technology carries great irony. If the bridge were to be out of commission for an extended period, Amtrak’s alternate route across the Hudson for trains traveling out of New York City would be another CSX bridge across the Castleton viaduct. This route would miss stops at Rensselaer and Schenectady. Rensselaer Rail Station was Amtrak’s 10th-busiest in the country last year, with nearly 724,000 boardings and arrivals.


Certifications for EDI Professionals


Anyone involved in the EDI industry has probably questioned what certification is available. How do we know the qualifications of a potential hire? Recruiters are used to  “black and white” qualifications that make their role easier. Every once in a while this topic surfaces in discussions on, for example, LinkedIn. Let’s elaborate on what we mean by EDI certification and why there is no “black and “white” answer.

Now see the rest of the story about EDI Certifications

Is AGILE the “Buzz Word” for 2013?


Every year seems to have “buzzwords”.  Starting out a new year, I am predicting the buzzword for 2013 in the Supply Chain world will be “AGILE”. The only serious challenger is “LEAN”.
Hey wait a minuit. Aren’t they synonyms? DICTIONARY.MS says this about them:

AGILE: Speed of response and flexibility in meeting changing supply chain requirements.

LEAN: Eliminating Non-Value Adding (NVA) activities in the supply chain.

Now, how did these two words get into the Supply Chain vocabulary so quickly ? LEAN started out to describe flexible manufacturing while AGILE was associated with project management (usually in association with SCRUM teams).

One of the difficulties we have with promoting Supply Chain Management is explaining the terminology that has developed in the “silos” of Procurement, Logistics, Warehousing, Customer Relationship Management, et al.

Read the whole story in ec-bp