Turntables

An open forum to discuss all aspects of the New Haven Railroad.

Turntables

Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

May 27th, 2018, 6:41 pm #1

I have a copy of an extract of New York Division Time-Table No. 68,effective Sunday, June 11, 1916, specifically that portion pertaining to the Harlem River Branch, plus similar with Time-Table No. 77, effective Sunday, June 8, 1919.

The following turntables are listed (Rule 2503) for the New York Division in 1916:
Harlem River - 60' & 75'
New Rochelle - 55'
Port Chester - 60'
Stamford - 75'
S. Norwalk (Dock Yd.) - 66'6"
Bridgeport (West Yd.) - 75'

Pop forward three years to 1919 and it now shows:
Harlem River - 75' & 81'
Port Chester - 60'
Stamford - 75'
S. Norwalk (Dock Yd.) - 66'6"
Bridgeport (West Yd.) - 75'

The disappearance of the New Rochelle turntable I can understand.  Passenger service on the Harlem River Branch was now fully electrified with A.C.-only MUTs.

Harlem River, however, shows a 60-foot turntable disappearing, replaced with an 81-foot turntable.

Oh, the turntable at Port Chester was equipped to handle electric locomotives.  They had MUTs, but apparently not enough to handle all trains, thus locomotive-hauled trains originating at Port Chester.

In this instance, the turntable was merely a means of allowing the EP-1 to be set aside on a pocket track radiating off of the turntable.
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nhhe52
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Joined: March 26th, 2004, 12:19 am

May 28th, 2018, 6:43 pm #2

MSgt:

Thank you for your service.
There is this map labelled Larchmont Jct that we have discussed in the past that shows a turntable.  Was this the NH New Rochelle turntable you noted above, a NYW&B turntable, or something else? 

Thanks,

Ed 

5BCA79BE-9891-4075-83FF-B1814E74B488.jpeg 6CA3E395-F5A3-450A-AB7A-89A0CDD6743D.jpeg
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

May 28th, 2018, 9:09 pm #3

First, it probably would have helped if the map was flipped upside-down so that East was to the right and West was to the left, but it is was it is, or was.

The turntable shown is the New Haven turntable for New Rochelle's yard.

Here's the ICC valuation map of the yard:  http://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org ... A860073752

The valuation map shows dashed lines showing where the NYW&B would show up when it did, but it wasn't there yet when the valuation map was finalized.

Taking a closer look at the NYW&B maps, it looks like Cedar Street was widened, eliminating the turntable's roundhouse.
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nhhe52
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Joined: March 26th, 2004, 12:19 am

May 28th, 2018, 10:30 pm #4

Thanks,

Ed
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

May 29th, 2018, 7:46 am #5

One more thing to take from the NYW&B maps:

You'll note that they NYW&B feeds directly onto the New Haven, with no separate right-of-way of its own going east to Port Chester.  Perhaps they were thinking "trackage rights?"
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rsullivan
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Joined: December 14th, 2016, 3:36 pm

May 29th, 2018, 9:04 am #6

Mr. Statkowski. Regarding the turntables at the Harlem River Yard. The ICC valuation map at http://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org ... A860072040 is from 1915. It shows both turntables, one of which has a roundhouse structure next to it. These are probably the 60' and the 75' turntables listed in (Rule 2503) for the New York Division in 1916. The smaller one is next to the roundhouse. So, I believe the 60' turntable served the roundhouse at Harlem River Yard. This valuation map does not show the tracks for the New Haven Railroad, but does include the elevated street railway/subway tracks. Without the tracks, it is hard to determine where the water and coal facilities were located and if there were two or more such facilities to service locomotives for the return trips and the roundhouse.
      Here is another map showing on turntable. I have had this one for quite a while and don't know its source. The coloring and road identification lends me to believe it may have been a Sanborn Fire Insurance map. I believe this predates the 1915 ICC valuation map since it has a complete circular roundhouse with the turntable in the center. I believe this is the 60' turntable listed in (Rule 2503) for the New York Division in 1916. The roundhouse was later remodeled into one a smaller number of stalls since Oak Point Yard no longer used steam locomotives for switching duties as the catenary was already or being installed by the time the ICC valuation map was made. The New York Connecting Railroad was already completed, but the freight service to Bay Ridge Yard continued with steam locomotives, hense the continuation of the roundhouse and turntables to support the freight moves between Oak Point, Harlem River and Bay Ridge yards.
NH RR Harlem River Yard map pic 17.jpg
New Haven Railroad Harlem River Yard map

      The next map is from Trainsarefun.com and shows two turntables. I think this predates the ICC valuation map of 1915 since it still has a complete circlular roundhouse. The second and smaller turntable is between the roundhouse and Port Morris passenger station. The turntable inside the roundhouse is larger than the other one, and has what looks like the numbers 75/232 in the circle of the turntable. The other appears to have 58/103 in the circle representing the turntable. According to Mr. J.W. Swanberg's New Haven Power 1836 - 1968 (1988) the J-2 Mikados began moving the freight between Oak Point and Bay Ridge yards starting in 1918 with all "in Oak Point-Bay Ridge transfer service by 1919, and there they remained until the branch was electrified in 1927." (page 262) According to Standing Data NHRTI 3.3100 (1974) the total wheel base for the J-2's was 82'4". As the existing turntables could not support the servicing and turning of the J-2s, the longer turntables were installed prior to your 1919 Time-Table. Judging by the ICC valuation map, the separate turntable between the roundhouse and Port Morris station must have been enlarged or was being enlarged prior to 1915. If this is the case, my observation on the size of the turntable at the roundhouse in the first paragraph is incorrect, and it was the 75' turntable listed in the (Rule 2503) for the New York Division in 1916.
Harlem River Branch map.gif
New Haven Railroad Harlem River Branch including the Harlem River Yard.
New Haven Railroad Harlem River Branch including the Harlem River Yard.

     While this might not really help answer your question regarding the change in turntable sizes at the Harlem River Yard, I believe that the difference in the turntable sizes was to accommodate the J-2s in Oak Point-Bay Ridge transfer service. It must have been a real balancing act to place a locomotive with a 82'4" wheelbase on an 81' turntable.  (I believe this might be 3-cents US worth of opinion.)
Richard #3967
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bogman102
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Joined: October 10th, 2007, 5:40 am

May 29th, 2018, 9:13 am #7

I spent a lot of time at the Dock Yard in South Norwalk in the early sixties and don't remember seeing a turntable there. I wonder when it was removed and where they may have moved it?

I have many fond memories of talking with Dave Squires at the freight house there. He was a fine gentleman and tolerated  talking trains with a kid on a bicycle.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

May 29th, 2018, 9:33 am #8

The turntable increase in size wasn't so much for the freight engines, which didn't get turned (they ran backwards on their eastbound runs so the crews wouldn't get gassed at the East New York tunnels), but for the passenger engines going to and from Penn. Station.  With not enough EP-1s to handle everything, it was steam to Harold for a hand-off to PRR DD-1s until the EP-2s came on board.

Busy times on the New York Connecting.  Westbound train to Harold, steam engine pinned ahead, reversed, and deadheaded backwards back to S.S. 4, Oak Point.  It then ran forward down into Harlem River, got serviced, got turned around on the larger turntable (needed to accommodate up to I-4 Pacifics), ran forward back to Oak Point, and then ran backwards to Harold to await the next eastbound passenger job.

Once the LIRR and PRR got their catenary up, and the New Haven got its EP-3s, the turntables, and steam engines, were no longer needed.

And here's the map for Norwalk Yard.  The turntable was at the north end.  http://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org ... :860068868
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bogman102
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Joined: October 10th, 2007, 5:40 am

May 29th, 2018, 1:05 pm #9

Thanks for the map Henry. When I was on a bicycle there were only a few stub tracks at that location.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

May 29th, 2018, 3:15 pm #10

If the area is still accessible, perhaps you can find the remains of the turntable.  You now know where it was.
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