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New York, Westchester and Boston Ry, a cab ride from 1937


bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

I wasn't aware of this railway until a few months ago. Just fantastic footage of the prewar New York, Westchester and Boston Interurban. Look at the remarkable infrastructure, reminiscent of heavy railroads (and current Japanese practice) rather than the more prevalent dirt ballast toonerville operations back then. We are thankful that the individual who filmed this way back in 1937 had the foresight to record this operation for posterity.

 

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enodenlover

Many thanks, bikkuri bahn, for posting this. I have a book about this railroad called "The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway: J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake" by Herbert Harwood Jr. that I recommend, it's a fascinating story. 

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bikkuri bahn

Thanks for the recommendation. I have a copy of another book on this railway, more of an enthusiasts take with lots of pictures, but I'll take a look at this one too.

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Thanks also for posting this. Roger Arcara was famous in NY for putting together showings of films like this and then narrating them. I remember well going with my father to some of these events somewhere in the Bronx. And speaking of that burning borough, the Westchester's former line there is alive and well at least from East 180th St ('The East') to Dyre Avenue. There are three tracks present now with the one middle track used as a test track. The photos I've attached were taken in 2012 when we were EMI testing the then new R156 locomotives in the area around the Baychester substation (Gun Hill Road station)..  

 

 

 

 

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The NYW&B was built by the New Haven in 1914.  It had three functions.  The most important, the reason the railroad was so seemingly overbuilt and the reason it died was to be bridge line from Danbury CT to the large food markets in the Bronx as well as potential interchange to points on Long island and across the harbor via the Hell Gate.  The bridge line to Danbury was never built north of White Plains NY.  The second reason was as a technology demonstrator for the shore line railway electrification. The third reason  was to be sort of a competitive commuter line to NYC  West of Port Chester so that the New Haven could abandon the Port Chester to GCT service or greatly reduce it as the right of way agreement with the New York Central was costing the New Haven more revenue than the fares from Port Chester West paid.  Unfortunately a series of bad events forced the New Haven to abandon the bridge line, the shore line electrification, and into the first bankruptcy in the 1930's meaning that the New Haven could not cover the Westchester's bonds. The towns in Westchester would give the railroad tax easements and there wasn't enough traffic to cover the fares with consequences as we see in the video.  I suspect that the towns are kicking themselves now.  

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This appeared in my YT suggestions, I thought you guys might be interested.  2nd Avenue El, 1942, in color.  30+ other old NYC transit videos by this uploader.

 

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