Photographs by Chuck Brandt and Bob McCulloch


THE RACE WAS ON TO BUILD AN ALL RAIL ROUTE to Albany in the early 1840s. While the Hudson River Railroad blasted through hard rock and built numerous bridges and causeways, the New York & Harlem Railroad encountered no such obstacles. In 1852, the NY&H completed a route to Chatham, N.Y., that connected with the Boston & Albany Railroad. While the Hudson River Railroad was built at tremendous cost, the same was not true for the Harlem. This allowed the road to pay continuous generous dividends until it was incorporated into the New York Central Lines.

...Although the Hudson Division grew to become a four track main line, the numerous tunnels and multiple tracks prohibited movement of cars that were either high or wide. This was not a problem on the Harlem Division. Soon it earned the nickname, "Route of the High and Wide." Oversized cars were sent down the Harlem Division to Brewster, where the double track began. At Brewster, cars would continue the route south on the Putnam Division through Yorktown Heights, East View, Yonkers. and down to Highbridge in the Bronx.

...The tracks on the Harlem Line were removed north of Wassaic, 80 miles from New York City, in the late 1970s. Chuck Brandt sent in these pictures from the days when he was a fireman on passenger and freight trains that ran through from White Plains to Chatham. Most of the pictures were taken by Bob McCulloch. Our gratitude is extended to both gentlemen, especially Bob for taking these great shots!

Click on the thumbnails to download the larger image.

Harlem1.jpg (66050 bytes)

Fairbanks Morse C-Liner 4504 with eastbound train at Boston Corners, circa 1959.

Harlem2.jpg (43793 bytes)

Chatham switcher 8217 west at Black Grocery Bridge over Route 22, just south of Hillsdale.
Photo by Bob McCulloch 8/20/56

Harlem3.jpg (46734 bytes)

The local freight from Put Junction to Chatham with Alco RS-3 units 8335 and 8334.
Photo by Bob McCulloch 7/10/58

Flatbot.jpg (53007 bytes)

New Haven flatbottom electric motor at Melrose, N.Y.

Thanks again to 
Bob McCullough 
and Chuck Brandt 
for their fine work!

Mp104.jpg (58123 bytes)

Harlem Division train from Chatham to Grand Central at MP 104, south of Copake Falls, N.Y.
Photo by Chuck Brandt

| Home | Photo Index |

Please mail your comments to:

Last updated November 10, 2010