Category Archives: Railroad History

Check out our new “MAYBROOK YARD” WebPage

We have worked today on trying to clear up the “mystery’s” of the Central New England/New Haven Railroad MAYBROOK YARD.

Take a look at it: https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/maybrook-yard/

We are trying to show how the Maybrook Yard tied into the Great Bridge at Pougheepsie and the “Maybrook Line” from Hopewell Junction across the mountains to Danbury and on to Cedar Hill. We also found a great article from EXPERT Jack Swanberg on the same subject.

We are still finding out more about the current “players”. We know that few railroads no longer serve the Maybrook Yard. We know the railroad leaving Maybrook towards the North is owned by CONRAIL Shared Assets/NorfolkSouthern but is operated by the Middletown & New Jersey Railroad.

Still trying to find out about the old NY Central Wallkill Valley branch and railroads in New Paltz, NY

WOW: A Busy Day. But A Good Day!

Hottest Day of the Year today. And BUSY too.

We are in the middle of “updating” our WebSites so that “nasty” GOOGLE/ALPHABET cannot keep telling us that we are a “piece of S..T”

But we have other projects too.

Spent first part of day researching stuff on the Ontario & Western (Yes, you will see blogs and WebSites soon)

But we realized one of our best WebSites is NOT on KINGLYHEIRS or OMINOUSWEATHER but instead on BARRYSBEST.

Our aim for today was to get back to converting WebSites.

Decided we needed to do firstBut instead we will finish up soon. Even if we work on a WINTER project in the middle of SUMMER.

Looking for the Ontario & Western….Found Salisbury Mills

Got a request from a viewer about NY Ontario & Western tracks from Cornwall-on-Hudson to Salisbury Mills. The old (at least 1957) O&W tracks appear everywhere across New York State from Cornwall to Utica to Oswego.

Consulted Emily from “I RideThe Harlem Line” and seem to have found an answer.

Salisbury Mills – Cornwall Station. Is on the Graham Line (named after Chief Engineer Joseph M. Graham), which was created to better accomodate freight. Really, the most noteworthy part of the then-Graham Line, today’s Port Jervis Line, is the Moodna Viaduct.

A few of the stations on the Port Jervis line feature a little historical sketch on the canopy. Unfortunately, the one at Salisbury Mills – Cornwall is left blank… which is really too bad.

The original Salisbury Mills station was on the Erie’s Newburgh Branch.
Chester was Always Erie too.

The 20th Century Limited Over The Years

More from Mark Tomlonson on June 15 in NYC History

June 15, 1902 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad’s “20th Century Limited”, “a train a century ahead of its time” according to contemporary accounts, begins operation. The average speed is 49 mph between New York and Chicago resulting in a 20-hour journey.

June 15, 1938 The “20th Century Limited” is equipped with new streamlined equipment and a new schedule that averages 60 mph.

The 1938 picture again.

Wonder how many times these updates happened?

Most of my knowledge is on this WebSite
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/20th-century-limited/

Here is about George H. Daniels who started the famous train
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/railroader-biographies-george-h-daniels/

History: Robert Young Takes Over The New York Central

Going back to follow my practice of commenting on Mark Tomlonson’s “DAY In NY Central History”

One item stood out in my mind:
“June 14, 1954 Robert R. Young officially gains control of the New York Central. Harold S. Vanderbilt is forced out, the last Vanderbilt to serve the New York Central.”

My boss (who was around in 1954) commented that June 14 was too late for the ANNUAL MEETING. “ALPHABET IT”

Well! I found a great source of information:

A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ITS PREDECESSORS AND SUCCESSORS ANDITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT
By Christopher T. Baer
1954
April 2015 Edition
All data subject to correction and change
http://www.prrths.com/newprr_files/Hagley/PRR1954.pdf

Thank you Mr. Baer!!! As well as Pennsylvania RR, he covers much other railroad-related material.

1954 was BUSY with the “takeover”. Sale of NY Central Stock, etc, etc.
Al Perlman “not knowing” Mr. Young, etc.

Then I found it!

May 26, 1954
NYC holds annual meeting at Washington Avenue Armory in Albany after
Court of Appeals refuses to block Alleghany Corporation from voting its
800,000 Murchison shares at the last minute; 2,200 attend, most traveling on two special trains from Grand Central Terminal; both Robert R. Young and Pres. William White work the crowds on the trains hoping to influence votes at the last minute.

My boss thanked me but added, there was a third train to Albany from the West (Cleveland?)

Now I could not resist to find more cool stories from 1954:

Jan. 3, 1954 Last run of a Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad steam locomotive, 4-8-4 No. 622 Carter Braxton, out of Washington Union Station on a holiday mail or passenger extra.

Jan. 4, 1954 New Haven asks ICC for 33% increase in interstate and New York commuter fares.

Jan. 15, 1954 Robert R. Young calls on Harold S. Vanderbilt at Palm Beach and tells him that he and Allan P. Kirby are “getting out of C&O” and buying heavily into NYC.

Jan. 16, 1954 Robert R. Young informs Harold S. Vanderbilt (1884-1970) that he has bought into NYC and implies he will run for Chairman.

Jan. 19, 1954 Alleghany Corporation sells its entire holding of 104,854 shares of Chesapeake & Ohio Railway stock to Cleveland financier Cyrus Stephen Eaton (1883-1979), who becomes Chairman in place of Robert R. Young; Young and other Alleghany Corporation directors announce they have
resigned as directors of C&O.

Jan. 20, 1954 Robert R. Young and Allan P. Kirby of Alleghany Corporation announce they have become “substantial” stockholders of NYC.

Jan. 20, 1954 Lehigh Valley Railroad resumes dividend payments for the first time since 1932.

Jan. 21, 1954 NYC Pres. William White announces his plan for developing piggyback service with Rail-Trailer Company of Chicago.

Feb. 2, 1954 Robert R. Young meets with NYC Pres. William White and VP-Finance Willard F. Place at the Cloud Club in the Chrysler Building; offers to retain both if he wins control, providing that he is made Chairman and CEO; White is non-committal.

Feb. 4, 1954 Federal Judge Harold R. Medina (1888- ) files his ruling in U.S. v. Henry S. Morgan, et al., dismissing the Justice Department’s antitrust case against 17 investment banking firms for lack of evidence; the evidence shows no case of combination or conspiracy, and in fact shows active competition among all investment bankers; Medina dismisses the case “with prejudice,” preventing the government from retrying the case short of bringing a whole new set of charges; Robert R. Young continues to charge that Medina is biased in favor of the banks.

Feb. 9, 1954 Robert R. Young and Allan P. Kirby publicly ask for seats on the NYC Board and for Young to be elected to the vacant post of Chairman.

Feb. 10, 1954 NYC Board turns down Young’s request for seats; Young announces a proxy fight for the next annual meeting; denounces Morgan control of NYC.

Feb. 15, 1954 Robert R. Young arrives at Penn Station from Palm Beach and before a group of reporters launches his campaign to capture the NYC.

Feb. 16, 1954 Robert R. Young places ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal asking for nominations to serve on his projected NYC “Ownership Board of Directors”; the NYC counters by hiring the best advertising agencies and proxy solicitors, as well as deploying its own legal staff; Young relies on Thomas J. Deegan, who resigns as the Chesapeake & Ohio’s VP of Public Relations & Advertising to manage the campaign, and the law firm of Lord, Day & Lord

Feb. 18, 1954 SEC holds hearings on its proposed relaxation of Rule U-50 covering competitive bidding for securities issues; the move is supported by the major Wall Street investment banks and opposed by Robert R. Young, Otis & Co. (Cyrus S. Eaton’s firm), Halsey, Stuart & Co. and the CIO; the SEC eventually backs down and declines to adopt the proposed amendment on
July 2, 1956.

Feb. 19, 1954 Young announces he will appoint a woman to NYC Board.

Feb. 23, 1954 Chesapeake & Ohio Railway sells its 800,000 shares of NYC which are held in a voting trust by Chase National Bank, and thus could be voted by them against Robert R. Young, to Clint W. Murchison (1895-1969) of Dallas and Sid W. Richardson (1891-1959) of Fort Worth, two very wealthy Texas oilman friends of Young’s, for $20 million; Alleghany Corporation loans the Texans $7.5 million of purchase price, money which it has to borrow; Kirby loans $5 million; Cleveland banks loan another $7.5 million under a contractthat protects the Texans against loss; Alleghany Corporation receives a “put” option to purchase at least 400,000 shares at $25 between July 15 and Sep.15, the same price paid by the Texans.

Feb. 24, 1954 NYC Pres. William White issues the first public notice of the Chesapeake & Ohio’s sale of its NYC stock and tries to show that Robert R. Young still controls the policy of the C&O.

Feb. 25, 1954 Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Board approves the sale of its NYC stock to Clint W. Murchison and Sid W. Richardson.

Mar. 2, 1954 Robert R. Young announces his slate of directors for the NYC election.

Mar. 3, 1954 NYC asks ICC to investigate Young’s tactics, particularly the Murchison sale and whether Young still controls the C&O through Cyrus S. Eaton.

Mar. 3, 1954 Alleghany Corporation and Robert R. Young place full page ads in the New York Times and other papers reminding how they had forced competitive bidding for railroad securities and broke the monopoly of J.P. Morgan and Kuhn, Loeb & Co.

Mar. 4, 1954 Young sues to block NYC directors from spending company money to oppose his election.

Mar. 18, 1954 Sen. William Langer (1886-1959), Republican of North Dakota and,Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, writes to ICC in support of Robert R. Young’s bid to capture NYC and asks for investigation of interlocking relationships between PRR, NYC and B&O and (shades of 1913) J.P. Morgan & Co., the First National Bank of New York, the Chase National Bank and the Mellon National Bank.

Mar. 21, 1954 Robert R. Young announces he will appoint Mrs. Lila Bell Acheson Wallace, co-owner with her husband of Reader’s Digest and the NYC’s first woman,director; other nominees are William H. Landers, a retired NYC engineer; Young chooses persons who will appeal to all ethnic and occupational groups among the many small NYC stockholders.

Mar. 29, 1954 At a luncheon conference, Robert R. Young speaks favorably of Alfred E. Perlman (1902-1983), who has rehabilitated the Denver & Rio Grande Western, as the type of progressive railroad he would like as the NYC Pres.; he is misquoted as saying he intends to make Perlman Pres.

Mar. 30, 1954 Alfred E. Perlman denies having an offer from Young or even knowing him.

Mar. 31, 1954 Last run of passenger service on NYC’s Catskill Mountain Branch between Oneonta and Kingston, N.Y., once served by through cars from Philadelphia over the PRR and West Shore Railroad.

Apr. 6, 1954 ICC refuses the NYC’s petition to investigate the C&O’s sale of NYC shares, to Murchison and Richardson.

Apr. 7, 1954 Sadie Zenn, who owns 500 shares of Alleghany Corporation, sues the management and Murchison and Richardson on the grounds that the sale was detrimental to Alleghany’s interest and calling for Murchison and Richardson to repay the loans in cash.

Apr. 1954 May issue of Fortune carries an anti-Young editorial, “The Sound and Fury of Robert R. Young”; NYC directors distribute copies in violation of copyright law, feeling that publicity is worth the fine.

May 4, 1954 Time Inc. sues NYC, charging it reprinted the Fortune editorial against Robert R. Young without its consent

May 18, 1954 N.Y. Appellate Court orders Chase National Bank issue a proxy to Murchison and Richardson for the NYC shares purchased from the C&O.

May 19, 1954 ICC refuses the plea of NYC and Harold S. Vanderbilt to order Robert R. Young to file a takeover application with it.

May 25, 1954 Robert R. Young first meets with Alfred E. Perlman, his candidate for chief operating officer; Perlman is currently vice president of Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, which he had rehabilitated.

ENOUGH FOR NOW
See https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/robert-r-young/

New/Improved Dates About NY Central History

For a long time, Mark Tomlinson has commented about Important Dates In NY Central History. For a while we followed him and commented/added material on his stories. Then we got tied up with HYPERLOOP, 2nd Avenue Subway, Florida East Coast BRIGHTLINERS, etc. WELL, Mark picked up the ball and added new dates and added descriptions.

Did not have 1938 Century picture for display, so our Featured Image is the 1938 20th Century floating past Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana. Probably just after June 13, 1938.

June 13, 1845 The Troy & Greenbush Railroad (later NYC) opens between its namesake New York towns. It is the last link in an all-rail line between Boston and Buffalo. We just created a new WebPage on the Troy & Greenbush Railroad. https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/troy-greenbush-railroad/

June 9, 2009 A half-mile segment of the former New York Central’s elevated line on the west side of Manhattan is opened as a park. The rails remain in place in a rail bank, even though no train has used the line since 1980.


See more on the West Side Rail Line
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/west-side-freight-line/

June 11, 1872 The first American railroad YMCA is established at Cleveland Union Depot under the patronage of James H. Devereaux of the Vanderbilt Lines. Train dispatcher Henry W. Stager is the founder of the railroad YMCA movement, which aims to provide safe and clean housing for railroad crews laying over at distant terminals. Below is a “meal ticket” from the Selkirk YMCA

My Railroad Stock!

I am sure some of our readers think I own all kinds of railroad stock.

They are wrong! I own one share of railroad stock! It is from the “Warwick Valley Rail Road Company”. In 1882 in joined in a merger that saw the Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad emerge.

The line extended from Belvidere, NJ to Maybrook, NY where the New Haven Railroad provided a gateway to New England. The L&HR built a bridge between Phillipsburg, NJ and Easton, PA and ran via trackage rights on the Pennsylvania RR and the Jersey Central Railroad to Allentown, PA. The L&HR handled zinc traffic from the area around Franklin, NJ but mostly it was a bridge line carrying overhead freight. The mergers and abandonments of the 1960 did the L&HR harm, but the New York Central – PRR merger in 1968 caused much traffic to be diverted. The line went bankrupt in 1972 and inclusion in Conrail spelled the end in 1976. The line north of Sparta Jct. became part of the New York, Susquehanna & Western main line in 1982 and the line south of that point was abandoned by Conrail in 1986.

Read more about the Lehigh & Hudson River
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/the-warwick-valley-and-other-railroads-west-of-the-hudson/

CNE and Hopewell Junction Railfans

To all of Bernie Rudburg’s e-mail fans.

If you are not aware, and are wondering why you have not seen any e-mails from Bernie this year, we lost our Conductor and Historian emeritus last December. Bernie was the heart and soul of the Depot and he is sourly missed.

We have dedicated the station masters office to Bernie and plan to build a 20 foot by 40 foot picnic pavilion just south of the Interlocking Tower later this year and dedicate it to Bernie’s memory as well. If you are interested in supporting this project, please send your contributions to the Depot or donate at the “Give” page on our website (hopewelldepot.org).

We are now working on providing Depot update e-mails one or two times per month during the summer and fall seasons, so stay tuned.

Joe Sullivan
President, Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp.
PO Box 1044, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
www.hopewelldepot.org

Erie-Lackawanna Commuting in New Jersey

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad’s Hoboken Terminal is the only active surviving railroad terminal alongside the Hudson River and is a nationally recognized historical site.

Built in 1907, Hoboken Terminal still serves. It has six ferry slips (now unused) as DL&W operated ferries to 23rd Street, Christopher Street and Barkley Street. It also connects with PATH trains. 18 tracks served both commuter and long distance traffic.

Lackawanna’s New Jersey territory became a major commuter carrier. A lot of money was spent on grade crossing elimination, track elevation and new stations before electrification in 1930 to Dover, Gladstone and Montclair. Electrification was viewed as the best way to squeeze more trains onto existing tracks.

Erie Lackawanna handled about half of the New Jersey/New York commuter volume with over 35,000 daily passengers riding over 200 trains. Much of the ex-DL&W work was done with equipment that was already over thirty years old at the time of the merger. Ex-Erie diesel routes used World War I-vintage coaches. Erie Lackawanna’s brief life saw both the end of Hudson River ferry service (1967) and long distance passenger service (1970). It also saw the rise of government subsidy for commuter service and the introduction of new equipment with this help.

Read more about the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/lackawanna-railroad/

Troy & Greenbush Railroad

The Troy and Greenbush Railroad was chartered in 1845 and opened later that year, connecting Troy south to East Albany (now Rensselaer) on the east side of the Hudson River.

It was the last link in an all-rail line between Boston and Buffalo. Until bridges were built between Albany and Rensselaer, passengers crossed on ferries while the train went up to Troy, crossed the Hudson River, and came back down to Albany.

The Hudson River Railroad was chartered in 1846 to extend this line south to New York City; the full line opened in 1851. Prior to completion, the Hudson River leased the Troy and Greenbush.

The two railroad bridges crossing the Hudson River between Rensselaer and Albanywere owned nominally by a separate organization called The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany, incorporated in 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 (variously referred to as the Livingston Avenue Bridge or Freight Bridge) was opened in 1866, and the south bridge (variously referred to as the Maiden Lane Bridge or Passenger Bridge) in 1872.

The first railroad in New York State, and one of the first anywhere, was the Mohawk & Hudson, connecting Albany and Schenectady. The Rensselaer & Saratoga Rail Road followed in 1832, only a year later. Within twenty years, three more railroads came into Troy:
(1) Troy & Greenbush;
(2) Troy & Boston; and
(3)Troy & Schenectady.
The resulting congestion led to the formation of the Troy Union Railroad in 1851, owned jointly by the four roads. It opened in 1854. The tracks were moved from River Street to Sixth Avenue and a new station built. One of the lines was eventually bought by the D&H RR (Rensselaer & Saratoga RR), two were merged into the New York Central RR (Troy & Schenectady RR and the Troy & Greenbush RR), and the fourth became part of the Boston & Maine RR (Troy & Boston RR).

See our full WebSite
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/troy-greenbush-railroad/