Location of this scene -- Bronx, N.Y.


MDelvec952
 

This location is the Jersey Central's Bronx Terminal operation; Lackawanna's Harlem Transfer was behind the photographer. This scene is the northeastern edge of Manhattan Island (to the right) and the South Bronx (to the left), six or seven miles north of Mid-town. This is the Harlem River; the photo looks south and the first railroad bridge south of the CNJ's round freight house is the mighty New York Central's main line onto the Park Avenue Viaduct that carries the elevated four tracks into Grand Central Terminal.

That Ruppert's Brewery is on the Bronx side of the Harlem River (left in the photo) and its owner "Colonel" Ruppert is the majority partner who, when turned down numerous times by the New York baseball Giants was encouraged by Giants manager John McGraw to buy the fledgeling New York Highlanders in the American League, purchased the Highlanders and turned them into the New York Yankees. Ruppert wanted a winning baseball team to help promote his beer; he hired Red Sox business manager Ed Barrow who began purchasing a series of Red Sox players to turn the Yankees into a winning team. Babe Ruth was but one of nine Red Sox sold to the Yankees -- I'm of the opinion that Barrow is a missing plaque in Monument Park.

Little satellite operations like the one in the photo dotted the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers around Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn. Railroads simply pulled the cars off of car floats and spotted them at odd-shaped freight houses and numerous little team tracks, returning the empties to the carfloats. A few of the railroaders at these little operations never drifted onto any other rosters, spending their entire careers there. Most saw one trip per day by the car float, and some two -- most railroads' tugboat crews were limited to eight hours on duty. Most of the time railroads would prefer to run two eight-hour tricks on the tugs than pay one crew any overtime.

What's never written about these little operations is what they must have sounded like. It must have been a constant drone of squealing flanges, when quieted then the sounds of either air hoses parting or the deep boom of hitching to empty cars, not to mention the steady parade of trucks - usually four required for each boxcar spotted - making round trips between the team tracks and the factory who hired them.

That neighborhood during the busy years may not have been pretty, but it was actually pretty safe. It's all industrial; even today this Bronx neighborhood isn't bad. So much has changed, and if you google up the satellite photo off this area -- north and south of the 145th Street Bridge just south of Yankee Stadium -- it's difficult to even tell where these little operations were tucked as new construction has covered the sites. The new Oak Point Connection built an elevated freight railroad just off the Bronx shoreline. Between the 145th Street Bridge and the New York Central tracks are the CNJ and DL&W operations; the Lehigh Valley was just south of 145th Street, the Erie's Bronx Terminal Market was just north (I park on the Erie site when going to Yankee Stadium for quick access to 145th Street to avoid the Major Deegan traffic after the game).

One Lackawanna carfloat survives, docked about 28th Street in Manhattan on the Hudson River with a caboose on it that sells picnic food, almost directly across the street from Erie's 28th Street freight yard -- once a full city block with a dozen team tracks in both directions, a runaround, and a freight house (the freight houses survive, tracks are built over). Out here modelers are increasingly reproducing carfloat railroading as a lot of switching can occur on a little bit of space, like the prototype.

Mike Del Vecchio

In a message dated 07/28/08 11:29:15 Eastern Daylight Time, timboconnor@comcast.net writes:
Don

I was informed offline this is the Harlem River in the Bronx. So
Andy was right. It's a great, gritty scene in any case... I'm not sure
I'd want to be on foot in such a location.

Tim

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@yahoo.com>
Jeez, Andy, did any part of the Bronx ever look that bad? But I
cannot tell for certain whether the skyscraper showing is the Crysler
Building or the Empire State, though it looks more like the latter.
Which of the two is further north? You would know that better than I
and that might give us the direction in which we are looking. If it
is the Empire State or the Crysler building taken from the Bronx why
is it that more skyscrapers do not who to the left (south) of it?
Note, too, the Borden milk processing plant to the front and right
of the uncertain skyscraper. The fuel dealer, the bridge, the Borden
plant and the nearly empty skyline to the left of the primary
skyscraper lead me to the same conclusion Tim has drawn but to
specify a photo taken from Jersey City or Hoboken looking
northeasterly. Otherwise I would have to suggest from Brooklyn
looking across the southern tip of Manhattan but that bridge really
troubles me with that possible conclusion. Regrettably, I do not have
a list of where all the Borden milk processing plants were located in
the mountain of milk train material here and either location is a
strong possible for such a plant.

Now that I've muddied the waters further I'll leave you both to
draw your own conclusions.

Don Valentine

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Miller" <aslmmiller@...> wrote:

I think this may be the Bronx. We are looking over the Harlem
River. There appear to be skyscrapers (Emp State bldg and Chrysler
bldg?) in the distance.

Andy Miller
----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Location of this scene?


I'm guessing New Jersey somewhere... that Blue Ridge
coal and oil dealer may be a clue.

http://www.first-out.com/ebay/0726104.jpg

Tim O'Connor


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I doubt that the airbrake hoses on the cars were connected other than
to load or unload them from/to the car floats. And the sound of
squealing flanges must have been unbearable at times. Not a sound
effect that is offered by QSI or Soundtraxx? But I'll mention it to
Tim Warris for his CNJ Bronx Terminal layout when I see him next.
And I'll wear earplugs for the time when he does incorporate it.
BTW, you should check out his HO layout online--it's a very nice
piece of work in an area smaller than 10' x 6'. Mandatory STMFC
content--lots of STMFC's on this layout!

Modelling an operation like this provides an oppurtunity to use all
those STMFC's that we've been building. ;)

Steve Lucas.



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, MDelvec952 <MDelvec952@...> wrote:


This location is the Jersey Central's Bronx Terminal operation;
Lackawanna's Harlem Transfer was behind the photographer. This scene
is the northeastern edge of Manhattan Island (to the right) and the
South Bronx (to the left), six or seven miles north of Mid-town. This
is the Harlem River; the photo looks south and the first railroad
bridge south of the CNJ's round freight house is the mighty New York
Central's main line onto the Park Avenue Viaduct that carries the
elevated four tracks into Grand Central Terminal.

That Ruppert's Brewery is on the Bronx side of the Harlem River
(left in the photo) and its owner "Colonel" Ruppert is the majority
partner who, when turned down numerous times by the New York baseball
Giants was encouraged by Giants manager John McGraw to buy the
fledgeling New York Highlanders in the American League, purchased the
Highlanders and turned them into the New York Yankees. Ruppert wanted
a winning baseball team to help promote his beer; he hired Red Sox
business manager Ed Barrow who began purchasing a series of Red Sox
players to turn the Yankees into a winning team. Babe Ruth was but
one of nine Red Sox sold to the Yankees -- I'm of the opinion that
Barrow is a missing plaque in Monument Park.

Little satellite operations like the one in the photo dotted the
Hudson, East and Harlem rivers around Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn.
Railroads simply pulled the cars off of car floats and spotted them
at odd-shaped freight houses and numerous little team tracks,
returning the empties to the carfloats. A few of the railroaders at
these little operations never drifted onto any other rosters,
spending their entire careers there. Most saw one trip per day by the
car float, and some two -- most railroads' tugboat crews were limited
to eight hours on duty. Most of the time railroads would prefer to
run two eight-hour tricks on the tugs than pay one crew any overtime.

What's never written about these little operations is what they
must have sounded like. It must have been a constant drone of
squealing flanges, when quieted then the sounds of either air hoses
parting or the deep boom of hitching to empty cars, not to mention
the steady parade of trucks - usually four required for each boxcar
spotted - making round trips between the team tracks and the factory
who hired them.

That neighborhood during the busy years may not have been pretty,
but it was actually pretty safe. It's all industrial; even today
this Bronx neighborhood isn't bad. So much has changed, and if you
google up the satellite photo off this area -- north and south of the
145th Street Bridge just south of Yankee Stadium -- it's difficult to
even tell where these little operations were tucked as new
construction has covered the sites. The new Oak Point Connection
built an elevated freight railroad just off the Bronx shoreline.
Between the 145th Street Bridge and the New York Central tracks are
the CNJ and DL&W operations; the Lehigh Valley was just south of
145th Street, the Erie's Bronx Terminal Market was just north (I park
on the Erie site when going to Yankee Stadium for quick access to
145th Street to avoid the Major Deegan traffic after the game).

One Lackawanna carfloat survives, docked about 28th Street in
Manhattan on the Hudson River with a caboose on it that sells picnic
food, almost directly across the street from Erie's 28th Street
freight yard -- once a full city block with a dozen team tracks in
both directions, a runaround, and a freight house (the freight houses
survive, tracks are built over). Out here modelers are increasingly
reproducing carfloat railroading as a lot of switching can occur on a
little bit of space, like the prototype.

Mike Del Vecchio





In a message dated 07/28/08 11:29:15 Eastern Daylight Time,
timboconnor@... writes:
Don

I was informed offline this is the Harlem River in the Bronx. So
Andy was right. It's a great, gritty scene in any case... I'm not
sure
I'd want to be on foot in such a location.

Tim

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@...>
Jeez, Andy, did any part of the Bronx ever look that bad? But I
cannot tell for certain whether the skyscraper showing is the
Crysler
Building or the Empire State, though it looks more like the
latter.
Which of the two is further north? You would know that better
than I
and that might give us the direction in which we are looking. If
it
is the Empire State or the Crysler building taken from the Bronx
why
is it that more skyscrapers do not who to the left (south) of it?
Note, too, the Borden milk processing plant to the front and
right
of the uncertain skyscraper. The fuel dealer, the bridge, the
Borden
plant and the nearly empty skyline to the left of the primary
skyscraper lead me to the same conclusion Tim has drawn but to
specify a photo taken from Jersey City or Hoboken looking
northeasterly. Otherwise I would have to suggest from Brooklyn
looking across the southern tip of Manhattan but that bridge
really
troubles me with that possible conclusion. Regrettably, I do not
have
a list of where all the Borden milk processing plants were
located in
the mountain of milk train material here and either location is a
strong possible for such a plant.

Now that I've muddied the waters further I'll leave you both to
draw your own conclusions.

Don Valentine

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Miller" <aslmmiller@> wrote:

I think this may be the Bronx. We are looking over the Harlem
River. There appear to be skyscrapers (Emp State bldg and
Chrysler
bldg?) in the distance.

Andy Miller
----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Location of this scene?


I'm guessing New Jersey somewhere... that Blue Ridge
coal and oil dealer may be a clue.

http://www.first-out.com/ebay/0726104.jpg

Tim O'Connor





Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>
 

This is right on. For those interested in this type of operation with heavy 1950s LCL and team track ops, the November and December 1989 issues of Railpace Magazine ran a two-part article by David Pearce complete with track diagrams and photos of the era's freight equipment.
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: MDelvec952
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 12:12 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Location of this scene -- Bronx, N.Y.



This location is the Jersey Central's Bronx Terminal operation; Lackawanna's Harlem Transfer was behind the photographer. This scene is the northeastern edge of Manhattan Island (to the right) and the South Bronx (to the left), six or seven miles north of Mid-town. This is the Harlem River; the photo looks south and the first railroad bridge south of the CNJ's round freight house is the mighty New York Central's main line onto the Park Avenue Viaduct that carries the elevated four tracks into Grand Central Terminal.

That Ruppert's Brewery is on the Bronx side of the Harlem River (left in the photo) and its owner "Colonel" Ruppert is the majority partner who, when turned down numerous times by the New York baseball Giants was encouraged by Giants manager John McGraw to buy the fledgeling New York Highlanders in the American League, purchased the Highlanders and turned them into the New York Yankees. Ruppert wanted a winning baseball team to help promote his beer; he hired Red Sox business manager Ed Barrow who began purchasing a series of Red Sox players to turn the Yankees into a winning team. Babe Ruth was but one of nine Red Sox sold to the Yankees -- I'm of the opinion that Barrow is a missing plaque in Monument Park.

Little satellite operations like the one in the photo dotted the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers around Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn. Railroads simply pulled the cars off of car floats and spotted them at odd-shaped freight houses and numerous little team tracks, returning the empties to the carfloats. A few of the railroaders at these little operations never drifted onto any other rosters, spending their entire careers there. Most saw one trip per day by the car float, and some two -- most railroads' tugboat crews were limited to eight hours on duty. Most of the time railroads would prefer to run two eight-hour tricks on the tugs than pay one crew any overtime.

What's never written about these little operations is what they must have sounded like. It must have been a constant drone of squealing flanges, when quieted then the sounds of either air hoses parting or the deep boom of hitching to empty cars, not to mention the steady parade of trucks - usually four required for each boxcar spotted - making round trips between the team tracks and the factory who hired them.

That neighborhood during the busy years may not have been pretty, but it was actually pretty safe. It's all industrial; even today this Bronx neighborhood isn't bad. So much has changed, and if you google up the satellite photo off this area -- north and south of the 145th Street Bridge just south of Yankee Stadium -- it's difficult to even tell where these little operations were tucked as new construction has covered the sites. The new Oak Point Connection built an elevated freight railroad just off the Bronx shoreline. Between the 145th Street Bridge and the New York Central tracks are the CNJ and DL&W operations; the Lehigh Valley was just south of 145th Street, the Erie's Bronx Terminal Market was just north (I park on the Erie site when going to Yankee Stadium for quick access to 145th Street to avoid the Major Deegan traffic after the game).

One Lackawanna carfloat survives, docked about 28th Street in Manhattan on the Hudson River with a caboose on it that sells picnic food, almost directly across the street from Erie's 28th Street freight yard -- once a full city block with a dozen team tracks in both directions, a runaround, and a freight house (the freight houses survive, tracks are built over). Out here modelers are increasingly reproducing carfloat railroading as a lot of switching can occur on a little bit of space, like the prototype.

Mike Del Vecchio

In a message dated 07/28/08 11:29:15 Eastern Daylight Time, timboconnor@comcast.net writes:
Don

I was informed offline this is the Harlem River in the Bronx. So
Andy was right. It's a great, gritty scene in any case... I'm not sure
I'd want to be on foot in such a location.

Tim

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@yahoo.com>
> Jeez, Andy, did any part of the Bronx ever look that bad? But I
> cannot tell for certain whether the skyscraper showing is the Crysler
> Building or the Empire State, though it looks more like the latter.
> Which of the two is further north? You would know that better than I
> and that might give us the direction in which we are looking. If it
> is the Empire State or the Crysler building taken from the Bronx why
> is it that more skyscrapers do not who to the left (south) of it?
> Note, too, the Borden milk processing plant to the front and right
> of the uncertain skyscraper. The fuel dealer, the bridge, the Borden
> plant and the nearly empty skyline to the left of the primary
> skyscraper lead me to the same conclusion Tim has drawn but to
> specify a photo taken from Jersey City or Hoboken looking
> northeasterly. Otherwise I would have to suggest from Brooklyn
> looking across the southern tip of Manhattan but that bridge really
> troubles me with that possible conclusion. Regrettably, I do not have
> a list of where all the Borden milk processing plants were located in
> the mountain of milk train material here and either location is a
> strong possible for such a plant.
>
> Now that I've muddied the waters further I'll leave you both to
> draw your own conclusions.
>
> Don Valentine
>
> --- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Miller" <aslmmiller@...> wrote:
> >
> > I think this may be the Bronx. We are looking over the Harlem
> River. There appear to be skyscrapers (Emp State bldg and Chrysler
> bldg?) in the distance.
> >
> > Andy Miller
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Tim O'Connor
> > To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
> > Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:20 PM
> > Subject: [STMFC] Location of this scene?
> >
> >
> > I'm guessing New Jersey somewhere... that Blue Ridge
> > coal and oil dealer may be a clue.
> >
> > http://www.first-out.com/ebay/0726104.jpg
> >
> > Tim O'Connor


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

After some study, I'm certain of what that view is. It is looking down Third Avenue from the Bronx. The bridge to the left is the Willis Avenue Bridge. This is the same bridge that is behind the Third Avenue elevated tracks in the Bronx Terminal photo.

The bridge from which the photo was taken is the Third Avenue Bridge. That bridge lands in Manhattan about halfway between Third and Lexington Avenues. Another clue that we are looking down Third Avenue is that the Chrysler Building is to the right. I know it is on the east side of Lexington at 42nd street.I was at first a bit concerned about the angle of the bridge. The walkway railing in the poto points too far to the west. But on scrutinizng the model phoi, I see that the walkway is at an angle to the bridge.

The skyscraper far down Third Avenue is the Cities Service Building aka 60 Wall Tower, the third tallest building in the city. The building to its right is the Bank of Manhattan Building. They were the only tall buildings in the Wall Street area until the 60's. They are seven miles from the camea and the Chrysler Building is four miles.

I know those building well because my father had an office on the south side of the 55th floor of 60 Wall Tower. I could look down on the Third Avenue el trains snaking through the streets to South Ferry. I could also see the cars rolling off the CNJ car dumper and reversing to roll down into the yard. But we couldn't see the Statue of Liberty because the Bank of MAnhattan Building was in the way.

I was rather puzzled this afternnon by that Bronx Terminal photo. This evening I realized that it is a photo of a model cleverly superimposed on a real background photo. If you study maps of the area, you will see that the round freight house was not adjacent to the bridge. It was actually to the left of the Blue Ridge coal tower.

As for date of the photo, my best guess is late 50's. It can't be ebfore 1955 when the Third Avenue el was dismantled. The car in the photo is late 40's. The truck isn't likely to have been around in the 60's. It has to be before 1961 when the Chase Manhattan Building, not in the photograph, was completed. It was next to 60 Wall Tower. So that makes the date between late '55 and early '61.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


tmolsen@...
 

List,

In addition to Mike's posting as to the location of the shot in the transparency, I can add some further information as regard to the tank engine in the photo also.

The engine is Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal #16, and as you can see it is a 0-6-0 wheel arrangement tank locomotive. It was one of 8 oil burning steam tank engines owned by this company.

The BEDT had their main terminal at South 3rd Street and yard between South 3rd Street and 11th Street and the East River in Brooklyn. They serviced the team tracks, private sidings and Freight Houses in Brooklyn from this terminal. They also serviced the Brooklyn Navy Yard the Pigeon Street Terminal at Long Island City.

To do this, the BEDT received and delivered all the freight cars to and from these locations entirely by car float. They floated cars to and from connections at the following terminals:

B&O, CNJ, Erie, and LV at Jersey City.

DL&W at the New York Lighterage Station, NJ and Brooklyn.

NYC at New York, NY and Weehawken, NJ.

NH at Oak Point, Harlem River NY.

NYO&W at Weehawken, NJ.

PRR at Greenville and Harsimus Cove, Jersey City, NJ.

As you can see the movement of freight cars for just this one small switching road was quite large. This does not count the much larger float operations of the trunk railroads.

I visited the Brooklyn Terminal in 1963 with a friend, Bob Naegle, who worked for a steamship line and lived in the Jamaica area. While there I was able to take a number of photographs of BEDT #16 and #13. Unfortunately, Bob was one of those who lost his life in the World Trade Center attack on 9-11-01.

The information above was taken from the October ORER listings. The transparency with #16 brought back the memories of having taking photos of the locomotives switching the floats in the Brooklyn Terminal.

The #13 and #16 have been preserved. I believe #16 is in the State Railroad Museum at Strasburg. The other may be the engine Strasburg Railroad uses for their Thomas, The Tank Engine Shows several times a year across the street from the museum.

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292
tmolsen@udel.edu


rwitt_2000
 

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:

<snip>


I was rather puzzled this afternnon by that Bronx Terminal photo.
This evening I realized that it is a photo of a model cleverly
superimposed on a real background photo. If you study maps of the area,
you will see that the round freight house was not adjacent to the
bridge. It was actually to the left of the Blue Ridge coal tower.

As for date of the photo, my best guess is late 50's. It can't be
ebfore 1955 when the Third Avenue el was dismantled. The car in the
photo is late 40's. The truck isn't likely to have been around in the
60's. It has to be before 1961 when the Chase Manhattan Building, not
in the photograph, was completed. It was next to 60 Wall Tower. So
that makes the date between late '55 and early '61.
Malcolm,

This is interesting as the website author, Tim Warris, states this about
the photo "" This is a very rare shot showing the entire terminal. This
image appeared in Michael Krieger's book "Where Rails Meet the
Sea", which I highly recommend to anyone with an interest in
railroad/water transportation.
Taken in 1944, this image shows the round freight house, yard, and car
float attached to the apron. In the background can be seen the Willis
Avenue and the Tribourough Bridges."

I don't have that book to verify the author's statement.

Yes, he apparently is building both an HO and N scale layout of the
terminal.

Bob Witt


Frank Pearsall
 

Good morning:

Good book. Photo is on page 37. Fair amount of freight car photos in book. Book still available at Amazon. Originally published by Friedman/ Fairfax Publishers.

Frank A. Pearsall
Brevard, N.C.
Narrow Trak 08 (October 10,11)

Malcolm,

This is interesting as the website author, Tim Warris, states this about the photo "" This is a very rare shot showing the entire terminal. This image appeared in Michael Krieger's book "Where Rails Meet the
Sea", which I highly recommend to anyone with an interest in railroad/water transportation.