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Re: PC: Putnam Div. & NYW&B //MBTA Old Colony

This is all very interesting about the commuter train over overcrowding
situations.  I'm sure this is something the Penn Central never had to worry
about!  They would have loved it!

New York is really suffering from commuter train overcrowding.  We once had 4
NYC commuter lines alone, two of which that don't exist as commuter lines
today, that COULD have taken care of the overcrowding on the other two
existing commuter lines.  The River Division from Weehawken, NJ (it had ferry
service across the Hudson River to Manhattan) to Newburgh, NY on what is
todays Conrail River Line, had commuter service dropped on December 10, 1959.
The Hudson Division commuter service from Grand Central Terminal to Peekskill,
NY is still run by Metro-North RR, but trains are crowded.  They also go all
the way to Poughkeepsie, NY altough some rush hour runs may tie up at
Peekskill.  The Putnam Division commuter service was dropped on May 29, 1958,
probably in the same cost cutting move as the River Division commuter service
over 1 year later.  Then there's the Harlem Division which is HORRIBLY
overcrowded.  The Metro-North RR wants to make the line 3 tracks between
Fleetwood, NY and Crestwood, NY but rich yuppie residents of Bronxville, NY
(the first stop north of Fleetwood) are protesting it, however the third track
WAS there years ago.  The MNRR just needs it back.  A small abandoned part at
the northern end of the Harlem Line is being rebuilt between the terminus in
rural Dover Plains, NY north to Wassaic, NY because parking lot over crowding
has gotten ridiculous at Dover Plains.  New parking lots have accompanied the
new high level platforms on the Brewster North to Dover Plains portion of the
Harlem Line.  

Obviously there are problems with the Boston commuter situation.  The Putnam
Division, just to let railfans near Boston and outside the NY area know, was a
single tracked, rural New York Central commuter line which ran between High
Bridge-Bronx, NY and Brewster, NY where it met the Harlem Division.  It ran
north between the Hudson and Harlem Divisions through the Saw Mill River
Valley for its southern half, and then through wooded and farming territory
for the northern half.  At Carmel, NY, just west of Brewster, the line swung
east, to meet the Harlem Division at Brewster.  NYC had third rail electrified
its Hudson Division commuter trains between NY City and Croton-on-Hudson, NY
in a 1906-1913 time period (two stages), and the Harlem Division's between NY
City and North White Plains in a 1907-1910 time period (again a two stage
project).  Above each location, commuter runs were usually powered by 4-6-2
Pacific's, and later RS-3 diesels.  At each of these locations, the
southbound, to Grand Central Terminal steam/diesel loco powered trains were
given electric loco's to finish runs into GCT.  MU's also originated at these
locations and ran to Grand Central. So steam/diesel passengers got a one seat
ride.  On the Put however, passengers had to get off the 4-6-0 ten wheeler, or
RS-3 powered train at the Hudson Division/Putnam Division commuter station at
High Bridge-Bronx, NY, and change for Hudson Division MU's to finish the ride
to Grand Central Terminal.  This is why ridership dropped on the Put in the
1950s.  This of course, is why the Putnam Div. is not there today for those
who don't know about it and were wondering what the Putnam Division was.

John Weyhausen 

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