Westchester ( Bronx ) Freight Yards

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Westchester ( Bronx ) Freight Yards

pattbaa
Member
Joined: 30 Oct 2003, 02:46

09 Sep 2017, 20:36 #1

What  was  the use and purpose  of the Westchester Yards  , first yards South  of the Pelham Bay Drawbridge ?

Were  these yards ever electrified , and what were  the switching operations?

Any photo images  of these yards ?

I have culled an article  on the Van Nest  shops  which I will E- Mail  to all interested -   albreck@Yahoo.com
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rsullivan
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2016, 20:36

09 Sep 2017, 21:21 #2

Mr. Pattbaa. While Mr. Edward Weinstein's article "West End Freight: The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad in the Port of New York" in Shoreliner vol. 33, iss. 2 & 3, doesn't address Westchester Yard in the text. It does provide an official track diagram of the NHRR dated December 12, 1921 on page 9 of issue 2. There are three transfer platforms similar in design to the ones at Cedar Hill Yard. So, one function was the less-than-carload (l-c-l) freight transfered between cars to have all l-c-l freight going to a single designation on a single car rather than a number of cars that arrived at the Westchester Yard originally. The layout suggests the same alignment of box cars with doors in line to allow cargo handlers to walk straight through the cars from platform to platform to get to the correct car for consolidation of the l-c-l loads the same way it was done at Cedar Hill Yard. The main yard area is on a curve and there looks like four separate yards in that section. Off of that on the southside of the yard are three transfer platform and ten separate tracks, another yard of what looks like 28 straight tracks, then a third section with five, space, two, space, two, space and four tracks. The yard office is located there, however, there is a separate transfer office at the end of the transfer platforms. There are no apparent locomotive facilities, so maybe the locomotives came in with the trains each day, or if a 24 hour operation, remained in the yard until maintenace required a replacement. One of the real railroaders who worked the line can explain which, both, or something different. I didn't find any other articles on the Westchester Yard in Shoreliner or any of the books I have. I hope this helps some.
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.  member #3967
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Statkowski
Member
Joined: 05 Mar 2003, 09:39

09 Sep 2017, 22:25 #3

From south to north, there were Harlem River, Hell Gate, Oak Point, Van Nest and Westchester Yards.  Westchester Yard was electrified, had switchers assigned to it, and was used for both less-than-carload operations and as a holding yard when Harlem River and Oak Point got clogged up.  All locomotive maintenance would have been done at Oak Point (electric) or Harlem River (steam).  The only interlocking tower serving the yard was at the east end, S.S. 12, essentially indicating that this was where the L.C.L. trains originated and terminated there.  By the time the Second World War came out, Westchester Yard was essentially a memory.

Although adjacent to the Interborough Rapid Transit's Westchester Yard, built a number of years later, there was no physical connection between the two.

Here's the valuation map:  http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora ... A860073835
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pattbaa
Member
Joined: 30 Oct 2003, 02:46

10 Sep 2017, 17:35 #4

As best I know the NHRR     erected    shops at  Van Nest    designed  for  the specific purpose of   the  R & M of the electric locomotive  fleet.

Thanks for   the  information  on the Westchester Yards:  apparently  such info  is very scarce, in particular , photographs  of the yards and the associated Tower.
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pattbaa
Member
Joined: 30 Oct 2003, 02:46

11 Sep 2017, 23:01 #5

Just received , via E-Mail , a photo  of the Westchester Yards culled from a vintage Westinghouse publication which I will "forward"  to those interested---  albreck@Yahoo.com  ----  also ,   I can  provide a detailed  track-chart , including the yards , from Bungay St.  to  Bay Ridge .
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NHRHTA1
Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2003, 09:17

12 Sep 2017, 17:43 #6

The yard at Westchester was built as an overflow and distribution location for locals serving the Harlem River Branch part of the 6 Tracking and electrification.  All was in place by 1914 and WWI was a very busy time. The yard was under wire and a number of EY types were there for flat switching and local work (here was quite a bit back then). After the Cedar Hill complex was finished the location rapidly lost its use and was severely down graded until it was just used for some local shippers and locals. by the 1950s even that was gone it it was reduced to a long siding serving 3-4 customers. Most of the real estate has now been covered by the NYS mental health hospital a college and the NYC emergency disaster center. Almost nothing remains.
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