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Nostalgia & History > New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937


Date: 02/14/20 08:47
New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: restricted_speed

There is some incredible color footage on youtube of NY City which was shot mostly in 1937 I believe.

Attached is a short clip taken from the West Side Highway which includes a southbound (eastbound) New York Central train.

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Date: 02/15/20 10:27
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: californiarails

Looks right around 125th St. with the Riverside Viaduct just behind the billboards. What type of motor is up front?

Jonathan



Date: 02/15/20 10:31
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: restricted_speed

I'm not sure what kind of motor that is.  Didn't they use some unique power for freight?

I'm curious about the train - are those express reefers?  Is this possibly a mail train?



Date: 02/15/20 18:27
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: californiarails

It appears to be a milk or mail train to 30th St Station. I wasn't sure if the west side line ever used a third rail until Amtrak took over the empire connection. The motor up front sure looks like one of the NYCRR third rail pickup R-2. Could also be an oil-electric DES-3.



Date: 02/16/20 07:02
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: restricted_speed

Ok milk and mail.  That makes sense and the cars also would be right.

Was this where the Rutland Milk was routed off of the Harlem?



Date: 02/21/20 10:49
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: cr7998

Wow, very rare to see good color coverage of something that old.  Thanks for posting.  The West Side was electrified with third rail.  I'm not sure when electric operations stopped, but believe it was in the mid 1950's, when diesel road switchers became available.  This appears to be an eastbound (southbound by compass) mail train.  Some NYC passenger trains dropped and picked up mail cars at Harmon, and those cars were moved over the West Side Line, to and from the Post Office's Morgan General Mail Facility on West 29th and West 30th Streets.  I was told by a former NYC employee there were once regular runs of mail over the West Side Line, timed to meet specific connections at Harmon.  There were a couple of elevated sidetracks from the NYC's Hi-Line into the Morgan building, the main processing and distribution center for mail in the city.  



Date: 02/21/20 10:59
Re: New York Central West Side Line NY City 1937
Author: restricted_speed

This is just a short clip from a 40-minute film.  It appears to have been shot on 16mm.

To see the rest of it, go to youtube and search for "New York in the mid 1930's in Color".



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