2009 Calendar Update

The Society’s 2009 Calendar is now available. Our calendar is priced at $11.00 per copy, postpaid. Ohio residents must include 77 cents sales tax. Front cover image is the "Hoodlum" employee shuttle train powered by L-2c #2821 near Beech Grove Shops, 1954. Rear cover is the westbound James Whitcomb Riley with J-3a #5415 in the lead at Addyston, OH in 1955.

Calendar photographs include: Chicago Junction Railway Class B-61c 0-6-0 #201 in 1949; Class DEs-A diesel electric switching locomotive #1505 (previously battery powered) in New York City in 1935; Class S-1b 4-8-4 #6017 in Bellefontaine, OH in 1953: Cleveland Union Terminal Class P-1a electric unit #219 in 1947; Lima Class LRS-12as road-switcher diesel at Framingham, MA in 1951; Big Four Class Ij 4-4-2 #6949 at Cincinnati, OH in 1919; A westbound mail and express train passes through Ann Arbor, MI in 1948; Class K-14e 4-6-2 #4395 at Schenectady, NY in 1936; Class J-2a 4-6-4 #5457 at N. White Plains, NY in 1951; FM Class CPA-24-4 #4506 with an EMD F-3 B-unit leads the westbound Mercury through Battle Creek, MI in 1956; Class J-1d 4-6-4 #5372 on a westbound freight train at Welland, Ontario in 1951; Class NE-2g 2-6-6-2 #1947 and Class L-2d 4-8-2 #2988 in Bellefontaine, OH ca. 1936; NYC wood automobile boxcar S-234607.

Address all orders for the 2009 calendar to:

Dept. E
17038 Roosevelt Ave.
Lockport, IL 60441-4734

Download the order form here (Free Adobe Acrobat Reader required). BACK ISSUES: Although our 2007 and 2008 calendars are sold out, calendars for many other previous years are still available; please inquire.

2006 Calendar :: 2005 Calendar :: 2004 Calendar :: 2003 Calendar

2002 Calendar :: 2001 Calendar :: 2000 Calendar :: 1999 Calendar

1998 Calendar :: 1990 Calendar :: 1989 Calendar

2010 NYCSHS Convention - Dearborn, Michigan

The 2010 NYCSHS Annual Meeting will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, April 29 - May 2, 2010. Mark your calendar now, and stay tuned for hotel and program information!

—John D. Martin
2010 NYCSHS Annual Meeting Committee Chair
Assistant Editor, Central Headlight

2009 Convention Hotel Update

A reminder to convention attendees that in order to get the Convention Rate advertised, reservations need to be made directly with the Geneva Lakefront Ramada. The phone number is (800) 990-0907 and you must mention the NYCSHS Convention. There is a wedding booked for the same weekend, so make your reservations early!

1946: Sleep Secrets of the Water Level Route

Let's begin with you!

"Before retiring, you've had a delicious, leisurely meal in the dining car... enjoyed refreshments and a quiet game or chat in the club lounge... then read yourself to sleep by your handy bed light."

A bed to dream of (and on)

"In this roomy, six-foot plus bed, you float off to sleep on a deep rubber-foam mattress that puts Grandma's "feather puff" to shame!"

Click on the image to see a larger version of the advertisement.

1946: Passenger's Choice for the Coach of Tomorrow

How New York Central's wartime travelers made post-war news!

"Fighters, service wives, business men... these were some of the wartime passengers New York Central asked to become its post-war plans committee. And how they responded! Thousands answered questionnaires telling what they wanted in future trains... choosing from newly developed ideas and from features no on latest Central coaches. The car visualized here reflects the choice of those passenger-planners. And now this wartime guidance is helping New York Central's designers and engineers plan new trains that will mean more jobs and finer travel in the years of peace ahead."

Click on the image to see a larger version of the advertisement.

2007 Annual Convention Photos

The 2007 NYCSHS Annual Convention was held in Niagara Falls, New York, and featured an excursion on the Falls Road Railroad (former NYC Falls Road) as one of its activities. Here are some photos and artifacts provided by Bill Strassner.

A section of the NYC 1944 Public Timetable - covering the Falls Road.
Collection of Bill Strassner

Medina, New York on the Falls Road back when. Collection of Bill Strassner

A postcard view of the once gorgeous Lockport, NY station on the Falls Road. After some years of private commercial use, it suffered a fire that destroyed it. Current owners are pushing for rebuilding and restoration. Collection of Bill Strassner

A postcard view of Medina, NY station on the Falls Road, note train order semaphore type signals. Collection of Bill Strassner

The crowd in front of the Buffalo Central Terminal listening to the history and ongoing restoration work. Photo by Bill Strassner

Convention Guest Speaker and noted railroad author Rush Loving (The Men Who Loved Trains) adjusts his camera as we tour the Falls. After reading his book, I invited Rush to our convention where he hosted a fascinating round table discussion about Al Perlman and the NYC into PC into CR and beyond. Photo by Bill Strassner

Former NYC employee and well know character Larry Baggerly inspects a VERY large scale NYC caboose model in the Vendors Room. Photo by Bill Strassner

From the vendor room at the 2007 NYCSHS Convention, long time Members Allen Hilborn and Larry Baggerly bracket the NYC maps that Allen sells to benefit our Society. On the table is a true and rare collectors item, a cast NYC BREWSTER (NY?) station sign. Photo by Bill Strassner

Exceptional and informative Hickory Creek Steward John Sanders uses and explains the J C Deagan Chime, as used onboard railroad dining cars back when. Photo by Bill Strassner

2009 Convention: Finger Lakes Railway Excursion

Please be prepared for all day trip. This ride will cover the former NYC Auburn Road, or as the railroad men called it, “The Old Road,” since it was the orginal NYC mainline. Trip will depart from Geneva at 8:00am, where we will travel by motorcoach to Canandaigua. We will board the train at Canandaigua and ride through to just outside Syacuse. Finger Lakes Railway will provide a snack car that will be stocked with light refreshments. The train will terminate opposite the New York Stat Fairgrounds, where you’ll have an opportunity to disembark and inspect the railroad equipment on display (maintained by Central New York Chapter NRHS). From the Fairgrounds, we will board buses for the return trip to Geneva, arriving in time for the Banquet.

2009 Convention and Hotel Activities

Convention Registration at Hotel

Friday Evening 7:00-10:00pm
- Model Clinics (TBA)
- Speakers/Photo Presentations (TBA)

- FGLK trip 8:00am-5:00pm
- Evening Banquet – 6:00-7:30pm
- Keynote Speaker (TBA) – 7:30pm
- Additional Presentations – follows keynote
- Annual Meeting of NYCSHS (open to membership or registered Convention attendees) – follows speaker

- Model Train Show at Hotel - 9:00-1:00
- Speaker Presentations (TBA) – 10:00-2:00
- Model Contest Judging

Registration Fee: NYCSHS Members (including family members and spouses) $95.00 for all activities, including Finger Lakes Railway excursion, Evening Banquet, and Train Show Admission. Non-members can register at $95.00 plus $35.00 extra. The extra fee covers membership in the Society for one year, including all rights and benefits, including a year of the Central Headlight. Late registration for NYCSHS members after March 1 is $110.00. Rooms are at the Ramada Lakefront in Geneva, NY. Rooms can be reserved at the special NYCSHS rate of $89.00, you must mention the NYCSHS Convention to get the rate. Early reservations are essential, only 70 rooms are reserved for us on a first come, first served basis. You are responsible for making your own reservations.

Alternate Lodging: Individuals interested in alternate lodging will have to make their own arrangements. Other hotels are available in Geneva, Canandaigua, Penn Yan, Waterloo, as well as Rochester and Syracuse.

Please make your hotel reservations as early as possible to ensure your space! More information posted as it becomes available.

2009 Convention Schedule Update

We are currently forming the tentative Convention Schedule for our 2009 Annual Meeting in Geneva, New York. As more details become available, such as confirmed speakers and presentations, we will post the information here. The Annual Meeting will be April 17-18-19. Schedule subject to change, please check back often.

Friday Afternoon: On-Your-Own Activities
Some admissions fees and preliminary permissions may apply.

1. Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society and Depot Museum
Shortsville NY

2. Central New York Chapter-NRHS: Martisco Depot Museum
Martisco NY

3. New York Museum of Transportation and the...

4. Rochester Chapter-NRHS: Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
Industry, NY

5. Central New York Model Railroad Club and Historical Society
Elbridge/Skaneateles Junction, NY

6. Finger Lakes Railway (permission pending)
Geneva NY

7. Livonia Avon & Lakeville Railroad (permission pending)
Lakeville NY

8. Lake City Hobby
Geneva, NY

9. Despatch Junction Hobbies
East Rochester, NY

10. Central Hobby Supply
Syracuse, NY

Central Headlight Mailed

Editor Rich Stoving reports that the 2nd Quarter edition of the Central Headlight has been mailed. Since the untimely passing of former Editor Charles M. Smith, Rich Stoving has been working dilligently to return the Central Headlight to its normal production schedule.

2009 Convention Update


The 2009 Annual Meeting Committee (Mssrs. Stoving, Fine and Guillaume) want you to know that the 2009 Annual Meeting will be held at the Ramada Lakefront Hotel in Geneva, New York, on 16/17/18/19 April 2009. A block of seventy rooms is being held on behalf of the NYCSHS. We recommend that you make your reservations soon. Call the Ramada at 315-789-0400.

The registration fee for the event will be $95 which will include your ticket for the trip on the Finger Lakes Railway (bus fare and box lunch also included) and your ticket to the Saturday evening buffet dinner. The room rate is $89/night plus tax. There will be only this $95 fee for the bundled event - no separate fees for each event.

The committee has also reserved the board room at the Ramada for our own board meetings on Thu, Fri and Sat plus two breakout rooms and one third of the ballroom on Sunday for the vendors' room, for special programs and workshops and for a model contest. The annual meeting and keynote convention program will be held on Saturday evening after the buffet dinner. The FGLK trip will run on Saturday.

Thank you for your support.


2009 Annual Convention - Geneva, New York

Our original plan for an Upstate New York convention to be situated in Utica met with multiple obstacles regarding pricing, dates, and excursions. Board members Howard Fine and Hugh Guillaume have gratefully and quickly come up with a superb alternate plan to hold our convention in Geneva, NY, on the weekend of April 16 through 19, 2009. See our Convention page for more informaiton.

Charles M. Smith

It is with great sadness that we must report the untimely death, on October 4, 2008, of one of the Founding Fathers of the New York Central System Historical Society, Charles M. Smith. As its long-time president, Charlie was a pillar of the Society, and the loss of his friendship, counsel, and guidance will be felt by all. We express our sincere condolences to his wife and many friends. Contributions in Charlie’s memory may be sent to the Morris Animal Refuge, 1242 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147. A full obituary will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Central Headlight.

The Adirondack Division

The history of the Adirondack Division began before New York Central's presence in the area. The narrow gauge Herkimer, Newport & Poland line had been built in 1882. William Seward Webb acquired this line, standard gauged it in 1891 and extended it to Remsen. He then set out to build a line northward through the Adirondack Mountains from Remsen to Malone. Construction was completed in record time and he began service in the fall of 1892 with through trains from Herkimer to Montreal. He included branch service from Lake Clear Junction to Saranac Lake.

In May, 1893, The New York Central took over Webb's line, then known as the Mohawk & Malone, operated it as their Adirondack Division, and changed the southern terminus from Herkimer to Utica. Mileposts, however, always tied to Herkimer, hence the "H" prefix on milepost references. The NYC soon extended its Saranac Lake branch though town to join the earlier built narrow gauge Delaware & Hudson and these two lines shared a new union station in Saranac Lake. From there, the dual-gauge Saranac and Lake Placid Railway soon opened so that NYC connecting trains from Lake Clear Junction ran through Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. The D&H standard-gauged their line in 1903 and dual gauge tracks were removed.

Several branch lines were added to the Adirondack Division over the years including one from Fulton Chain (now Thendara) to Old Forge, another from Clearwater (now Carter) to Raquette Lake, and several lines operated by forest products companies and loggers. Many of the latter were short lived. And the Adirondack Division interchanged with the New York & Ottawa at Faust (later Tupper Lake Junction). This line later became the NYC’s Ottawa Division.

With the explosive growth of Adirondack tourism, traffic grew rapidly on the Adirondack Division and by the 1920s there were ten passenger trains a day (five up and five down), and on Friday afternoons during the summer months a sleeper left Grand Central with through service to Lake Placid, often running in as many as five sections.

In 1940 a connection was created from a point about five miles north of Loon Lake to the adjacent D&H line. This enable D&H trains to run over NYC tracks to Lake Clear Junction and then on to Lake Placid. The D&H then abandoned their right of way from this new connection into Saranac Lake. When the D&H finally pulled out of the area in 1946 they sold their 10-mile right of way between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to the New York Central.

Through passenger service from Utica to Montreal had ceased in 1953, however commuter runs from Malone to Montreal ran until 1958. The line from Utica to Adirondack Junction was largely intact until 1960, when the line was cut from Gabriels to Malone. In 1962 tracks were removed from Lake Clear Junction to Gabriels, and in 1983 from Malone to Canadian border. The NYC right of way from Lake Clear Junction north to Malone was closed and sold to Niagara Mohawk who uses it for power lines. Service on the Adirondack Division had begun to decline during the depression and by 1966 when passenger service ceased there was only one daily train each way.

The Adirondack Division passed to Penn Central control in 1968. The last regular freight service was in 1972. After a brief resurrection during the 1980 Olympics, the line lay in disrepair. A group of investors reopened the line in time for the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid and hoped to keep it running indefinitely after that but their efforts were not successful and operations lasted less than two years. In 1992 the Adirondack Scenic Railroad was organized and began operating summer tourist excursions trains between Thendara and Minnehaha. This operation became extremely popular and has expanded to several trains running out of Thendara, some north to Carter and some south as far as Otter Lake. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad hopes to eventually operate trains on the surviving portions of Adirondack Division track, from Remsen to Lake Placid.

The Harlem Division

The Harlem Division can trace its roots all the way back to the original New York & Harlem Rail Road. The line was chartered by the state legislation in 1831, to build a street railway on New York's Manhattan island from 14th Street to the village of Harlem at 129th Street, seven miles to the north. Construction began in 1832, with the blasting of a rock ridge at Murray Hill. By 1832, the NY&H ran from Astor House to 14th Street. By 1837, rails reached the village of Harlem.

An act of the New York State Legislature gave the railroad the power to expand into the Bronx, Westchester, and beyond. In 1842, the line jumped across the Harlem River to reach Williams Bridge, and into Westchester County to reach White Plains by 1844. Next, the railroad reached the top of Westchester County at Croton Falls in 1847, then on to Dover Plains in 1848, and finally the village of Chatham in 1852. At Chatham, connections were made with the Western Railroad (later the Boston & Albany) and the Rutland Railway.
On Septmeber 1, 1966, P-motor #226 and an RS-3 hang out at North White Plains, New York, then the northern limit of third rail electrification on the Harlem Division.

In 1854, Cornelius Vanderbilt took control of the NY&H through a stock purchase. He then purchased stock control of the Hudson River Rail Road in 1863, and merged the two together to make the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad in 1869 (shortened to New York Central in 1914). Of note, the NY&H company still exists today, and remains the owner of considerable Manhattan real estate properties.

More and more people were living in the country and working in the city. As a result, a brisk commuter service developed on the lower portion of the Harlem early on. Third-rail electrification began in 1910 between New York and White Plains, as a result of the Grand Central Terminal Project. A engine terminal and transfer point was created at White Plains North to facilitate the changeover from electric to steam (and later diesel) locomotives. Beyond suburban service to Golden's Bridge and Brewster, through passenger service was available all the way to Chatham. Extended through services were operated over the Boston & Albany to Pittsfield and North Adams, Massachusetts. On occasion, the Harlem was used as a back-up route when the Hudson Division mainline was blocked. Today, only the section from Grand Central to Wassaic survives, operated by MTA Metro-North Railroad.

The Lake Mahopac Branch

The New York & Mahopac, which ran from a connection with the New York & Harlem at Golden's Bridge to Lake Mahopac opened in June 1872. It was leased on the same date, and became part of the New York & Harlem Railroad in 1880. There was only one other station on the line at Lincolndale. The branch crossed the Putnam Division at grade at XC Cabin. The Lake Mahopac terminal was adjacent to the Putnam Division station at the same point. Operation of the Lake Mahopac Branch continued through 1959, when all passenger service was ended. Since there were no freight to justify leaving the branch in place, it was promptly abandoned and removed by the early 1960s.
Penn Central's Upper Harlem Line Sunday afternoon train for New York awaits a rider or two at the ex-New York Central station at Chatham, New York in May 1971.

The Port Morris Branch

The industrial track that ran from the Harlem Division at Melrose over to a connection with the New Haven on the East River at Port Morris was built as the Spuyten Duyvil & Port Morris in 1842. It split from the Harlem near 162nd Street (near Melrose), and ran to a point on the East River known as Port Morris. In 1853, the NY&H purchased the railroad and it was designated as the Port Morris Branch. In later years, the line was electrified with third rail, and was operated as a freight connection to the New Haven's Oak Point Yard.

Map of the Harlem Division

The Putnam Division

The history of the Putnam Division goes back to 1869, when the New York & Boston was chartered to build a new railroad from High Bridge in the Bronx to Brewster in Putnam County. The route would go through several name changes and reorganizations before actual construction began. At first, the New York & Boston was to be part of a plan to connect Boston with the Erie Railroad. Those plans collapsed and in 1873 the line was reorganized as the New York, Boston & Montreal. The New York & Boston was to be just one link in a new trunk line to Canada. The Panic of 1873 wiped out the grandiose plans, and the investors reorganized as the New York, Westchester & Putnam in 1877. The reorganized line was leased to the New York City & Northern, later becoming the New York & Northern in 1878, and construction finally began. The line was completed in 1880, and regular service began in 1881. A connection was made with the New York & Harlem at Brewster for service to the north, and with the New York & New England for Boston. The New York & Northern terminated at 155th Street in Manhattan, where direct connections were made with the Ninth Avenue Elevated. The Mahopac Falls Railroad was built from Baldwin Place north to the Mahopac iron mines in 1884. In 1888, the Yonkers Rapid Transit branch to Getty Square was built over the right of way of the West Side & Yonkers. By the 1890s, the NY&N had lost a lot of traffic and its outside connections once the NY&NE coming under the control of the New Haven. Afraid that a competing company would purchase the line and try to start a rate war with either the New York Central or the New Haven, financier J.P. Morgan purchased the failing NY&N at a bankruptcy auction in 1894 and reorganized it as the New York & Putnam. He then leased the NY&P to the New York Central, operating it as their Putnam Division. In 1913, the NY&P was formally merged into the New York Central.

During New York Central control, many changes took place. In 1902, the branch to Mahopac Mines was cut back to Mahopac Falls. That same year, a mile-long spur was built from Yorktown Hieghts to serve the proposed site of the Mohansic State Hospital. In 1915, New York City objected to the threat of water pollution to the Croton Reservoir from this project. The branch was abandoned in 1917. In 1916, NYC moved the Put's terminal from 155th Street to Sedgwick Avenue (just south of High Bridge). The swing bridge over the Harlem River was sold to the IRT subway, connecting with their new Jerome Avenue line. In 1926, the Putnam Division was electrified with third rail from Sedgwick Avenue up to Van Cortlandt Junction, and the entire Getty Square Branch.

John D. Rockefeller was annoyed by the railroad that ran through his family's estate in Pocantico Hills. Rockefeller approached the railroad with a plan to move the line off his property. On April 15, 1930, a construction crew of 500 men began work on the railroad relocation. Three stations were closed: Tarrytown Heights, Tower Hill, and Pocantico Hills. The new route opened in 1931. It served fewer people and generated no freight traffic. That same year the Mahopac Falls branch was abandoned. At the end of 1943, the New York Central filed for abandonment of the Getty Square branch. After a lengthy court battle, the Federal government ordered the line to be scrapped in December 1944.

In 1956, the New York Central announced its intention to end all commuter service on the Putnam Division, and increase fares on the nearby Harlem and Hudson Divisions. By 1957 the number of trains was cut in half. The reduced service led to even lower ridership and the railroad went back to the commission with another petition to end service later that year. In March 1958, the commission approved the railroad's petition, and the last Putnam Division passenger train ran on May 29. An interdivisional shuttled operated by Harlem Division crews continued until 1959.

Because the line had no tunnels and good clearances, "high and wide" freight loads kept the Putnam Division busy until the West Shore was upgraded to accept oversize freight traffic in the early 1960s. In 1962, trackage abandonment began in earnest. First to go was the 23 miles between East View and Lake Mahopac. More tracks were removed and service declined through the Penn Central and Conrail eras. Today, the entire line has been lifted, and much of the right-of-way has been converted to recreational trail use.

Map of the Putnam Division

The Hudson Division

The Hudson River Railroad Company was incorporated May 12, 1846 to build and operate a railroad from New York City to East Albany which is now Rensselaer. The road was opened for traffic in sections as completed, the entire length being put into operation by October 1, 1851. The railroad was built along the west side of Manhattan Island beginning at 32nd Street north to Spuyten Duyvil and then following closely along the Hudson River through Yonkers, Tarrytown, Peekskill, Cold spring, Fishkill (now Beacon), Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck (now Rhinecliff), Hudson, Castleton and finally to east Albany.

The railroad was initially opened for business to Peekskill on Sept. 30th and to Poughkeepsie Dec. 31st. 1849. The track had been laid during the summer and autumn of the year 1849 with rail weighting 70 lbs. to the yard. The road continued to be built in sections with the section between East Albany and Hudson opened on June 16th of 1851 and finally on October 1st of 1851, the entire road was opened between New York and East Albany. By 1850 a station had been located at Chambers Street in New York City and horses were used to draw the cars to 32nd Street.

The Hudson River Railroad became the Hudson River Division after the consolidation of the Hudson River Railroad and the New York Central Railroad in 1869, forming the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. By the late 1880’s the Hudson River Division was shortened to the Hudson Division. When the Spuyten Duyvil & Port Morris Railroad was opened between Spuyten Duyvil and Mott Haven on April 1, 1872 that railroad was incorporated into the Hudson River Division as it had been previously leased to the Hudson River Railroad on November 1, 1871.

Once the electrification was begun in the early 1900’s from Grand Central Terminal to Croton-on-Hudson and North White Plains, the Hudson Division territory between Mott Haven and Croton-on-Hudson was gradually absorbed into the Electric Division and that was completed by early 1910. The 30th Street Branch which operated down the west side of Manhattan Island continued as a part of the Hudson Division until control was transferred to the Electric Division in late 1929 or early 1930. This branch had been the original main line of the Hudson River Railroad until the Spuyten Duyvil & Port Morris Railroad was completed allowing access to Grand Central Station.

Four-tracking of the entire Hudson Division between Croton-on-Hudson and Rensselaer was never completed and significant gaps remained between Peekskill and Garrison, Barrytown and Tivoli and Germantown and Castleton. The short section of four tracks between Tivoli and Germantown and Castleton and Rensselaer were reduced to two tracks early in the 1930’s as a result of the depression. Additional reductions of trackage occurred during the 1950’s and by the end of 1962 there were no four-track sections remaining.

In the early 1930’s, as a result of the depression, the management of the Hudson Division was transferred from New York City to Albany. Control continued in Albany under a Superintendent responsible for both the Mohawk and Hudson Divisions until the late 1950’s when operational control was returned to New York City as a result of organizational and related changes. The bulk of the former Hudson Division is now operated by CSX Transportation as far as Poughkeepsie, and by MTA Metro-North Railroad south to Grand Central.

Map of the Hudson Division

2009 NYCHS Calendar

The Society’s 2009 Calendar is now available. Our calendar is priced at $11.00 per copy, postpaid. Ohio residents must include 77 cents sales tax.

Please address all orders for the 2009 calendar to:

Dept. E
17038 Roosevelt Ave.
Lockport, IL 60441-4734

Although our 2007 and 2008 calendars are sold out, calendars for many other previous years are still available; please inquire.

2009 Metro-North Harmon Open House

2009 METRO NORTH CROTON-HARMON OPEN HOUSE: Visit this hundred-year-old former New York Central shop facility for what could be the last time. Metro-North is curerntly constructing a new shop facility to replace the original shop complex. MTA Metro-North Railroad welcomes you to join us for our most festive occasion of the year. On Saturday, October 11th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., bring family and friends to Metro-North Railroad's Annual Harmon Open House in Croton, New York. Metro-North's friendly and knowledgeable staff will be on hand to answer questions as you tour the railroad's largest maintenance facility, take a fall foliage train ride, and watch Metro-North workers show off their mechanical and technical abilities during an ongoing series of informative demonstrations. It's all fun, all free, and never fails to impress! Maps will be given to visitors to help guide them through the various exhibits in the 275,000-square-foot shop. Get up close to a wide variety of passenger coaches, locomotives and specialized track equipment. Operate a track switch with the click of a computer mouse and watch the rails move into position, then get onboard a diesel train for a 50-minute fall foliage train trip through the majestic Hudson Highlands right at the peak of leaf season.

DIRECTIONS: The best way to get to Harmon Shop is to take a Hudson Line train to Croton-Harmon Station, where free shuttle buses will be running all day long to take you to the shop. Or, if you are driving from New York City, take the New York State Thruway to Exit 9, Tarrytown. Go left onto Route 119 for 2/10ths of a mile. Make a right onto Route 9, and continue north for 14 miles. After crossing the Croton River Bridge, take the first exit to Croton Point Avenue and look for directional signs to the free parking. If you're driving from Stamford or White Plains, take I-287 to the New York State Thruway entrance at Elmsford, and follow the directions above. Mark your calendar because it is a great way to spend a fall day with the family. For Hudson Line train schedule information, call Metro-North in NYC at (212) 532-4900, outside of NYC at 800-METRO-INFO. The hearing impaired can (via teleprinter) call 800-724-3322. Or you can visit Metro-North on the web at www.mta.info. In addition, train schedules are posted at all Metro-North stations.

2009 NYCSHS Convention - Geneva, New York

Save the dates - April 17-18-19, 2009 - for the next NYCSHS convention. Host city will be Geneva, New York. Details will be forthcoming as more definite plans materialize. Watch for more info here!

NYC models showcased at Ohio gathering

"Last Stop Willoughby: Remembering the CP&E Interurban Railroad" took place in Willoughby, Ohio on August 9 and 10, 2008. Visitors came to the Willoughby Historic District to recall the days of steam engines and electric trolleys. Meany learned about the Cleveland, Painesville & Eastern Railroad (CP&E), Willoughby’s own beloved electric trolley line that ran from 1895 to 1926. The CP&E car barn and power station remain; both seeing new life as a microbrewery and Italian restaurant. Models were on display as part of the event, including many examples of New York Central trains, as seen below. In the first photo, why yes, that is our very own Dick Croy, who was a super help with the recent Cleveland convention.

Vice President's Report

Vice President's Report
Posted following the Annual Directors’ Meeting, September 25-27, 2008

Your Board met on September 25-27, 2008, and made an amazing amount of progress! The Society is facing many challenges at this point, but the Board passed several resolutions to manage and resolve our difficulties and to move ahead. Any minor differences of opinion and methods to be utilized were discussed in a friendly and positive manner, and a consensus was reached on all points. All votes were unanimous.

Major challenges include:

The delayed Central Headlight issues. Due to the illness of our editor Charles Smith, Rich Stoving has stepped up and will immediately serve as editor. He will work to create and provide the issues needed to get back on schedule.

Our original plan for an Upstate New York convention to be situated in Utica met with multiple obstacles regarding pricing, dates, and including an Adirondack Scenic Railroad excursion. Utica is therefore not an option anymore Board members Howard Fine and Hugh Guillaume have gratefully and quickly come up with a superb alternate plan to hold our convention in Geneva, NY, on the weekend of April 16 through 19, 2009. It is planned to include some excursions on the Finger Lakes Railway and several more interesting attractions. Full confirmation of the dates and of the convention hotel will be presented forthwith. I may be able to arrange another Hickory Creek charter.

Our plans for the 2010 convention in Michigan have progressed exceptionally well, due to the comprehensive groundwork of members Dick Croy and John Martin. More details about this will follow.

The NYC drawing digitization is complete with nearly 14,000 drawings digitized. Grateful thanks go to directors emeriti Charlie Smith and John Reehling. Our immediate project is to provide all members with an index that will depict exactly what each drawing relates to. Director Tom Gerbracht has spent many hours creating and composing this index for our benefit, and it should be available shortly.

Thanks to some generous friends and members, we now have the resources to move ahead with photograph and negative digitization, and arrangements are being finalized to begin this long-awaited project.


Bill Strassner,
Vice president, NYCSHS

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway

The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway (TH&B) existed from 1892 through 1987 as a separate railway serving the Hamilton, Ontario area. It joined the lines of its corporate parents, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the New York Central. It was established largely as an alternate route for the businesses in the Hamilton area to ship their products to Canadian customers in Toronto, Montreal, and the west and to American customers via the New York Central and its subsidiaries. The railway also owned a subsidiary company to operate a rail ferry between Ashtabula, Ohio and Port Maitland, Ontario. The TH&B Navigation Company was chartered in 1916 and operated the Maitland No. 1 until 1932.

The TH&B was jointly owned after July 1895 by the CPR and NYC (and its successor, Penn Central) until 1977, when CP Rail bought the remaining shares and became full owner of the railway. The TH&B was integrated into the operations of its parent in 1987, losing its distinct identity as a separate railway.

Source: The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway Historical Society

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad

The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad was chartered in 1875. The railroad linked the "steel centers" of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Youngstown, Ohio by 1879. The New York Central took an interest in the road early on, and by 1879 had a 15 percent interest. In 1881, the Pittsburgh, McKeesport & Youghiogheny was opened as a joint venture between the P&LE and the NYC. This line constituted the majority of trackage south of Pittsburgh. By 1889, NYC took full control of the P&LE.

The P&LE owned a one-third stake in the coal-hauling Monongahela Railroad. The P&LE also controlled stakes in the Montour Railroad and the Lake Erie & Eastern. In 1934, the Baltimore & Ohio negotiated trackage rights over the P&LE between McKeesport and New Castle. B&O's long-distance passenger trains were also moved to the P&LE's station in downtown Pittsburgh.

The P&LE remained a highly profitable part of the NYC system, through to the Penn Central years. After Penn Central declared bankruptcy in June 1970, the P&LE was able to emerge as an independent railroad years later. In 1993, as the steel industry was in decline, the entire P&LE was acquired by CSX Transportation.

Map of the P&LE

See also: Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Historical Society

Walther's announces 1948 Twentieth Century Limited in HO scale


Completely New from Diesels to Lookout Lounge!
  • Based on 1948 Train
  • 9 Completely New Cars
  • Authentic Paint & Lettering
  • Superbly Detailed Inside and Out
  • PROTO-Max(TM) Die Cast Metal Knuckle Couplers
  • Matching PROTO 2000(R) E7 Diesels

No other train fired the imagination of the American public like New York Central's 20th Century Limited. Its exclusive clientele and blistering schedule between New York and Chicago made it the stuff of legends for 65 years. A favorite with business and industry leaders, its luxurious accommodations - including a red carpet on the platform at New York - also attracted stars of stage and screen, further fueling the train's celebrity status and romantic image.

New equipment finally arrived from Pullman in 1948, supplemented by refurbished 4-4-2 sleepers and RPOs from the 1938 trains. Painted in a new version of the two-tone gray scheme, sleepers and observations were named for various bodies of water in salute to the "Water Level Route" slogan. Up front, matched sets of EMD E7s provided 4000 horsepower to meet the 16-hour westbound, 15-1/2 hour eastward schedule.

Like the prototype, Walthers 20th Century is "Completely New from Diesels to Lookout Lounge!" And best of all, you can build a complete and affordable Century fleet, from the Phase II EMD E7 diesels to the train's signature "...Creek" series observation-lounge.

In addition, these First Edition models include a special certificate of authenticity, and an in-depth history of each car and loco! Plus, we'll also be offering a one-of-a-kind figure and accessory set, based on the classic publicity photo that defined Century elegance at its finest, complete with eight hand-painted figures and accessories, plus a 12" long reproduction of the famed red carpet rolled out for passengers as they boarded this flagship train!

Scenes from Dr. Andrew W. Panko

These two photos were provided by Dr. Andrew W. Panko of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The scenes are roughly based on the Canada Southern (CASO) crossing of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo (TH&B) in Southern Ontario.