|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!