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Nostalgia & History > Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side


Date: 06/28/20 17:00
Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

Although right in New York City, freight operations on the west side of Manhattan were not well photo-documented, especially from the 60's through to the end in the early 80's.  Of course it was in the time of decline & decay in NYC, so it wasn't very photogenic.  In the first photo (not mine), we are already near the end of freight ops in 1981 at West 72nd Street.  Only newsprint for the New York Times and a handful of reefers for the produce distributors at 30th Street remain.  No Conrail jobs sign-up at 72nd Street anymore, a local comes "as needed" from Oak Point yard in the Bronx a handful of times per week.  In the second photo, it is now 1985 and the yard tracks are gone except for one, which remained in place all the way down to the 30th Street yards and up unto the high line.  Residents of the west side of Manhattan are arguing with the new developer of the site, a young local real estate man named Donald Trump, on what would be developed on the site.  (No matter how you feel about Trump, he didn't kill the rail business here.  Penn Central actually sold him the development rights/option on the yards at 72nd & 30th Street back in 1974, so it was doomed from way back then).  In 1991, trains would return in the form of Amtrak, which used to ROW to the left to access Penn Station.  In the third photo, an exact angle picture can no longer be taken as the west side highway and 72nd st roadways/ramps have been rebuilt.  It is now Riverside Park South, with new highrises & development to the left, and a concession to the city of a waterfront park for the residents on the remainder of the site.  Amtrak is still there, but it now runs under those highrises in an underground box structure tunnel.  



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/20 21:47 by jatlmv.








Date: 06/28/20 17:18
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: RuleG

Wow, the first two images are very rare.  I've seen a number of photos of New York Central trains on the "High Line," but until now, never saw any photos of Conrail in Manhattan.  The contemporary view is also appreciated for comparison.

Thanks for sharing.



Date: 06/28/20 17:31
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

These are the only photos of blue Conrail locomotives in manhattan (freight that is) that I have ever seen (but of course in B&W) .  Credit to the photgrapher as indicated in the first two photos.  There must more pics somewhere - help!  This was New York City for crying out loud.  First two are same day, different angles from the 80's, with an SW-1500 layed up in the yard.  Third photo is near the abandoned YMCA building under the highway from 1977, with a RS-3M.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/20 06:21 by jatlmv.








Date: 06/28/20 17:45
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: RuleG

Even better!  Wow!!



Date: 06/28/20 18:00
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: refarkas

Fascinating photos.
Bob



Date: 06/28/20 18:06
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

Then and Now at 30th Street Yard, further south in Manhattan.  First pic is from 1973, I scannned it from an article (not my pic).  Second pic shows trains still rule the site today, althought they are now passenger.






Date: 06/28/20 18:36
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: cabsignaldrop

Amazing watching the evolution of the rail scene and the city skyline.  Thanks for posting!



Date: 06/28/20 19:52
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

There were three daily road trains throughout the PC days (LS-1, SLX-1 and VN-4), reducing to two under Conrail (NYSE and SENY) sporadically, and then of course soon thereafter, none.  Here were the schedules in late PC days:



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/20 20:03 by jatlmv.








Date: 06/29/20 10:30
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: ironmtn

Great thread, and fascinating and rare images -- wow. I've wondered about this trackage for some time, after my acquaintance with the High Line further south, and after reading an article in Classic Trains magazine concerning a circle trip (including cab rides) made in New York City, in part using this trackage. Lots to look over and study here. Thanks very much, everyone!

MC
Muskegon, Michigan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/20 16:52 by ironmtn.



Date: 06/29/20 12:57
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: ShoreLineRoute

What is the imposing building in the background of 1 and 2?



Date: 06/29/20 13:44
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv




Date: 06/29/20 14:23
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

And what the heck was the reason for this special instruction in the PC Eastern Region Timetable?  Reason probably lost to history.




Date: 06/29/20 17:51
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: rcape

The 1973 view of the 30th Street Yard shows the former Railway Express Agency West Side Terminal building.  It has the low-sloping roof just left of mid-picture, mostly obscured by the street overpass.  

 



Date: 06/29/20 18:22
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: jatlmv

Yes, it is outind in red on the valuation map below




Date: 06/29/20 19:58
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: rcape

Excellent, thanks!



Date: 06/29/20 20:49
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: WAF

jatlmv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And what the heck was the reason for this special
> instruction in the PC Eastern Region Timetable? 
> Reason probably lost to history.

Maybe they messed up microwaves operating



Date: 06/30/20 07:31
Re: Then, Then & Now - New York's West Side
Author: Lackawanna484

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jatlmv Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > And what the heck was the reason for this
> special
> > instruction in the PC Eastern Region
> Timetable? 
> > Reason probably lost to history.
>
> Maybe they messed up microwaves operating

That's possible. The WNET television station facility is at 34th and 11th Avenue.

The 72nd street real estate project was part of a major rail sell-off.  The New York Central's Weehawken NJ yard was also sold off, with the piers and train sheds torn out. Just the track out of the tunnel and south to Hoboken, etc remained.  That's now part of the light rail.

Developer Arthur Imperatore established the NY Waterway ferry, and built out his side of the Hudson River with luxury housing. It's a huge project.



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