Forgotten Railroads Through Westchester County covers some very interesting railroads—all now relegated to history—and does it in a way that brings them to life. Whether powered by steam, diesel or electric, these railroads all shared one common trait: they were conceived with the idea of serving the lucrative New York...
The second chapter covers the NYC’s Getty Square branch, which ran from Van Cortland Park in the Bronx to downtown Yonkers. While only three miles long, this branch had some good looking, suburban-style stations.
The New Haven’s electrification of its mainline into Grand Central Terminal, which began in 1905, is the subject of the third chapter. Loaded with construction photos as well as track diagrams and drawings of the New Haven’s catenary system, this is a particularly interesting chapter.
Perhaps the highlight of the book, though, is chapter four, which covers the New York, Westchester & Boston. Here was a state of the art, high-speed, interurban railroad with a multi-track mainline and substantial concrete stations and towers. Opened in 1912, the railroad lasted just 25 years. After sitting dormant for a couple of years, the southern portion of the line from Dyre Ave. to 180th Street in the Bronx was purchased by the City of New York for inclusion in its subway system in 1940, while the rest was scrapped as part of the war effort.
The book ends with a look at Westchester’s lesser known railroads, some of which never got beyond the planning stage, and others that operated trolleys in the early part of the last century.