Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS

Free Rangering

Allegheny Portage Railroad is a result of Pennsylvania’s desire to stay relevant in trade and an ingenious way to cross the Allegheny mountains before steam engines were powerful enough to make it through.  With the rise of Canal trade after the completion of the Erie Canal, Pennsylvania scrambled to compete and shorten the 23 day wagon trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.  The Portage is a series of 10 inclines that that carry canal boats up and over the mountains, porting them all the way down to the to the other side so they could float their way to Pittsburgh shortening the trip from Philly to 4 days.  Here is a diagram from the exhibit:map APRR

The visit begins with a movie, and a pretty good one.  It is told in the first person and has great canal footage of boats actually utilizing a canal including the use of tow mulefurs Allegheny RRs. …

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NYC beefs up transit security after London bombing

Trains, stations, and bridges will be teeming with cops on Friday after both Gov. Cuomo and NTPD Commissioner James O’Neill ordered extra security in the wake of a terrorist attack in the London subway.

Multiple injured after ‘terrorist’ attack in London subway

“Out of an abundance of caution, I am directing state law enforcement to increase security at vital assets across New York, including airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems,” Cuomo said in a statement early Friday.

O’Neill said cops are “closely monitoring” the situation.

The rush hour blast shook the London Underground, injuring nearly two dozen riders.

Photos from the scene show a scorched white bucket with wires coming out of it sitting on the subway floor.

NYPost.com

The NY Central Putnam Division Freight House At Lake Mahopac

Thank you to New York Central fan John Ruth for a great bit of Putnam Division history.

The Lake Mahopac Freight House, which was served by the Putnam Division and the Lake Mahopac Branch, has been repurposed as a Café. They’ve named it “The Freight House Café

The building has been relocated about 100 feet and possibly rotated. A kitchen structure was added to one side. The original roll-aside door is still in place between the main floor and the kitchen addition. (Modelers could enjoy studying this door and its hardware, which resembles barn door hardware.)

The interior is more-or-less intact. There are a few RR-related décor items and, very appropriately, an ice saw hanging on the wall. This commemorates that there was once a nearby RR-served Ice House to store and distribute the ice harvested on Lake Mahopac. (Knickerbocker Ice, IIRC.)

NYCRR fans should stop in for a look-see and a coffee. The proprietor recognizes the NYCS history of the building.

Old Station from Google

On the same trip, I observed that the Baldwin Place Freight House is still extant. These two structures appear to have been built from the same plan.

When was L.C.L. freight discontinued on the Putnam Division? That would have marked the last RR use of these freight houses, no?

May 29, 1958 – Last passenger service on the Putnam Division.

September 17, 1962 – Last freight run to Yorktown Heights.

1963 – Twenty-three miles of track between Eastview and Lake Mahopac is abandoned and removed.

1969 – Three miles of track between Lake Mahopac and Carmel is abandoned and removed.

March 14, 1970 – Last freight run to Carmel.

From “Putnam Division of the New York Central

and “Putnam Division Abandonments

Question of the day:

Who lived near the end of the long-gone Mahopac Falls Branch for many years.

Mark Tomlonson’s New York Central Dates In History

September 16, 1956 The New York Central replaces the male secretaries on the “20th Century Limited” with “Girls of the Century” – stewardesses patterned after those on airliners.

Girl Of The Century
The Century Girl, or, if you prefer…The Girl of the CenturyJoan Jennings Scalfani

Getting ready to reprise her role as a “Century Girl” for the 20th Century Limited express passenger train brought back these memories and more for Joan Jennings Scalfani.

“It was a fabulous job because I love to talk and I love to listen,” said Scalfani, 80, recalling her days in the early 1960s as a hostess aboard the historic line. “Those were happy days.”

One Century Girl was assigned to each trip.

See a YouTube presentation featuring Joan Jennings Scalfani in Grand Central Terminal

“The train was beautiful,” she said. “In the center lounge car there were love seats. … It was a very classy-looking interior. It wasn’t trainlike; it was like a living room,” Scalfani said.

It was the sort of car where Harry and Bess Truman might have stayed when she asked them during their breakfast whether they had rested well.

“The president said, ‘Won’t you join us?’ And I certainly couldn’t say no,” she said. “They were very pleasant and very down-to-earth.”