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16.09.2013
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The New York & Harlem was the first railroad to cross into Westchester County, reaching White Plains in 1844.
The project lay dormant for twenty five years until a group of investors formed the New York City & Westchester in 1900. Under New Haven control, the new New York, Westchester & Boston Railroad went through many changes from its original plan. The next two years saw the most magnificent railroad property ever constructed suddenly appear on the landscape of Westchester County. Architect Alfred Fellheimer (also involved in the Grand Central Terminal project) argued that railroads don't just spring up fully grown, they usually take years to develop and improve their facilities.
Looking to expand beyond their initial 20-mile route, a northward extension from White Plains was considered. The Port Chester Branch was designed to siphon off more of the New Haven's local commuter traffic, and bring increased revenue to the Westchester. As the years went by, traffic on the NYW&B increased positively from 2,874,484 in 1913 to 6,283,325 in 1920.
A bill authorizing purchase of the railroad through a new public authority made it all the way to the legislature, only to be vetoed by Governor Herbert H. The property was auctioned by the government in March 1942, and fetched only $423,000 for the remainder of the once proud railroad.
Only a handful of stations remain in Westchester today, including Quaker Ridge, Heathcote, Wykagyl, East Third Street, Larchmont Gardens and Port Chester. Dyre Avenue was the end of the line for the old NYW&B after 1941, after integration with the New York City Subway.
The Bronx portion of the line would fare a little better than the rest of the system.
Stations along the Harlem River Branch closed with the end of NYW&B service in 1937, and have been left to crumble in the elements. The Westchester Northern project was supposed to extend the NYW&B from White Plains through to Brewster and Danbury. The Westchester & Northern Railroad is to run from White Plains to Brewsters, with a branch track at Pound Ridge running to Danbury, Conn.
The completion of this new road will give the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, which is the chief backer of the line, a through passenger and freight system from the coal fields by the way of the Poughkeepsie Bridge through Dutchess County, Connecticut, and Westchester County to tidewater. The New Haven company also expects to run fast Pittsfield expresses over this route, as well as freight trains from Boston.
In the meantime, much of the remaining undeveloped property to the south and east of White Plains has come into the market, and the growth to the north undoubtedly now will increase. You refer to present-day values of land in this section and the very large increase that would result in values if transit facilities were furnished. As you say, the property owners would be well repaid if they were to underwrite the cost of such an extension, but as you also remark, they won't; they will expect the transit lines to carry the bag.
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In 1848, the New York & New Haven opened their line along Long Island Sound. Morgan took control of the New Haven and installed Charles Mellen as president. Because the original NYW&B had already spent a considerable amount on real estate and construction, they chose to use its franchise, though somewhat modified.
Banking that the city would continue to grow northward, and that large populations would be moving to the suburbs, the NYW&B stood ready to serve them. The Westchester's president Leverett Miller explained that he was under instructions from J.P. Even though construction crews rushed to finish the work, not all the facilities were completed in time for opening day. The New Haven was looking for ways to reduce the number of trains into Grand Central Terminal, for which they paid a rental fee to the New York Central (which was figured into the cost of a ticket). This seemed to be the thoughts in the minds of New Haven's top brass. The war effort encouraged the rapid salvage of the NYW&B's catenary supports, bridges, and viaducts. The ruins of Columbus Avenue station can be seen from passing Metro-North trains on the New Haven Line. In 1940, the City of New York purchased the segment from East 180th Street to Dyre Avenue and incorporated it into the subway system, adding a much needed service to the East Bronx. After some false starts, the project was officially cancelled in 1925 and the funds diverted to construction of the Port Chester extension.
8 a€” The Westchester Northern Railroad Company of White Plains was incorporated today with a captial of $1 million to operate a steam or electric railroad forty-five miles long, of which thirty-five miles is to be in New York and ten miles in Connecticut. While the two companies are now distinct and run separately in every particular, they are working together and in perfect accord. Before the late financial disturbance President Miller was ready to award contracts calling for an expenditure of between $6 and $7 million.
Above White Plains it passes through the towns of Harrison and the northwestern part of Greenwich, cutting through a corner of Connecticut; then through New Castle, Bedford, Pound Ridge, Bontonville, South Salem, and North Salem, to the terminal at Brewsters. The remainder of the road will coast $5 million and bonds will be disposed of when the money is needed.
The construction of this new road has caused a boom in real estate in the eastern section of Westchester County through which it will pass. The NYW&B officially cancelled the WN project in 1925, diverting the funds to construct the remainder of the Port Chester extension from Larchmont.


The time did not seem propitious for the extension to Brewster and Danbury, but the extension from Larchmont through Mamaroneck, Harrison and Rye to Port Chester appeared warranted. But I do not believe that it is yet of sufficient extent to warrant a rail line such as was originally contemplated. The development through motor vehicle transportation would require far less investment, and consequently the underwriting by property owners in such an undertaking might be more favorably considered by them.
The Hudson River Railroad constructed their mainline south along the river shore and reached New York in 1851.
Around the same time, the New York & Portchester was incorporated in 1901 to construct a four-track electric rapid transit line from The Bronx to Port Chester. Morgan took an interest in the two competing Westchester projects. With recent success in electrifying its mainline, it was decided that the NYW&B would also be all-electric. It can be argued that the facilities were the most attractive built new for any railroad of the time.
The large East 180th Street station was not ready in time, so trains left from a temporary arrangement at Adams Street until the grand depot opened.
The new line to Port Chester was built along the west side of the New Haven's four-track mainline. Eventually Judge Knox signed the railroad's death sentence and ordered the railroad scrapped in order to pay off its creditors.
The New Haven reclaimed the Stillwell cars they leased to the Westchester, and converted them into locomotive-hauled coaches at their Readville shops. Motorists on the Hutchinson River Parkway might notice one of the abutments for the great steel viaduct that once spanned the valley.
The venerable Harlem River offices that were visible from the Willis Avenue Bridge for so many years finally succumbed to the wrecking ball in 2006.
The Danbury branch passes through Ridgefield, which will be the important station on that division. This new road will extend from the White Plains terminal of the Westchester road northward through Westchester County to Danbury, Conn.
The bonds just sold bring the total outstanding of the Westchester Company to $19,300,000 under an authorized mortgage of $600,000,000. The following is a 1927 letter from railroad president Leverett Miller in response to an inquiry from Westchester County realtors about why the project was cancelled.
After the end of the Civil War, proposals for new railroads reached a fever pitch. Their routes along the Sound Shore sometimes only varied by a few hundred feet, and were in direct competition with the New Haven. Two additional tracks for the Westchester were built along the Harlem River Branch from West Farms to the New Haven's existing Harlem River passenger terminal. Modern electric multiple-unit passenger coaches were ordered from Pressed Steel Car Company, based on an innovative design by electrical engineer L.B.
And so it went that the New Haven reported in 1912 that total construction costs (including acquiring rolling stock) amounted to $22 million (equal to approximately $475 million in 2007). The White Plains terminal was not ready either, so trains terminated at Mamaroneck Avenue until July.
The Westchester Northern Railroad was chartered in 1910, with the possible hope of offering a high-speed cut-off route for freight trains coming from Maybrook via the Poughkeepsie Bridge, and for freight and passenger trains coming from Pittsfield via the Berkshire Division.
Construction began in 1921, extending from North Avenue to Larchmont, then to Mamaroneck in 1926, Harrison in 1927, Rye in 1928 and Port Chester in 1929. 5 line continue to serve East 180th Street, Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Gun Hill Road, Baychester Avenue and Dyre Avenue.
There will be a branch line fourteen miles long from Pound Ridge, Westchester County to the New York, New Haven & Hartford line in Putnam County.
Work on the construction of thw Westchester Northern, it is understood, will be started on Monday. In essence, the concept of building new passenger rail lines had been abandoned completely.
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As New York City continued to expand northward, many proposals were made to link The Bronx with Westchester County, hoping to capitalize on increasing real estate values. While both projects were able to raise large amounts of money, most of the funds went towards fighting each other in court.
The true motivations for this extension have yet to be discovered. For $150,000 a year, the NYW&B rented the right of way from its parent, the New Haven. The Westchester owed back taxes to many of the municipalities along the line. The long viaduct that led to West Farms remained intact, maintaining a connection to the New Haven (and later Penn Central) for movement of rapid transit equipment on and off the subway system.
Change the pose, the accessories or the base, wear your own outfits, etc, depending on what you have in mind, we may be able to use an existing bride or groom  figure above and just create one of the figures fully custom. The New York, Westchester & Boston Railroad was incorporated in March 1872 to construct a railroad from a terminal on the Harlem River in The Bronx to White Plains, along with a branch to Port Chester. Both companies also faced difficulty in acquiring the necessary franchises for construction.
The coaches featured an additional center door, to facilitate quicker passenger boarding.
Fifteen more cars were added to the roster in 1914 to accommodate growing business.
The Millbrook Company was actively engaged in purchasing real estate all along the route.
The Port Chester Branch swung sharply in and out at all of its stations, plus it had seven regular curves.


Villages balked when the railroad asked for tax reductions, fearing other industries would seek the same relief. The connection was severed in the late 1970s, and the viaduct was removed in parts through the 1990s. Stations were styled after Classical, simplified Mission, and Italianante architectural forms.
The board of directors approved construction in 1912, yet little was accomplished. Flange wear and squealling wheels were pretty much the rule along the of the right of way to Port Chester. The stock market crash of 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression, which prevented the rapid development expected for the wealthy suburbs. In June 1937, trusteeship ended and the railroad was placed in equity receivership.
As of this writing, one sole coach exists in Peru, though its current status is unknown. High-level platforms allowed passengers to quickly enter and exit the trains. Other characteristics were the wooden station platforms beginning at the Pine Brook stop in New Rochelle.
Big ideas for salvation appeared in the newspapers almost every other day, but they were never acted on.
The Westchester's Westinghouse electric freight locomotive went to the New Haven and became their 0224. Morgan died, and with him went the aggressive support for any expansion. The stations at Pine Brook and West Street were little phone booth sized ticket offices. The Port Chester Branch closed on October 31, 1937, and the rest of the railroad followed at the end of the year. Last minute proposals were advanced to operate the White Plains line as a separate railroad, with service running over the center express tracks from Kingsbridge Road to East 180th Street. Many of the stations along the right of way were given to the towns as payment for back taxes.
Morgan had already died, and former New Haven president Mellen could not shed any light on the matter either.
The WN was merged into the NYW&B in 1915, and the project was officially cancelled in 1925.
Independent ticket offices at Port Chester and Larchmont Gardens were a far cry from their cousins on the White Plains Branch.
In 1930, president Miller was removed and management was assumed by John Pelley, president of the New Haven. Catenary supports remained for the opening day of subway service on The Bronx portion while the proposal was prepared.
The towns had no use for them and they were left to decay, a sad reminder of what once was. In 1907, Perry and Thorne set up the Millbrook Company to manage and control both entities. The Harlem River terminal connected with the Second Avenue Elevated, and an improved connection and rebuilt station opened in 1924.
Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Harrison were joint facilities with the New Haven, yet the Westchester maintained a separate fare control area. On October 23, 1935, the New Haven petitioned the Federal Court for bankruptcy reorganization. A group of private investors wanted to take over the Westchester if it were possible to forgive the back taxes and rentals. Even the interlocking towers were finished in a manner that suggested an attention to detail never seen before. Inexpensive fares coaxed more riders onto the Westchester's efficient trains and business continued to improve, though the railroad had yet to show a profit. When the New Haven declared bankruptcy, they ceased interest payments on the Westchester's bonds.
There were no grade crossings on the Westchester, which necessitated the construction of many bridges and viaducts. This, in turn, forced the Westchester to declare bankruptcy nearly a month later on November 30.
Improvements were also made to the Harlem River Branch, which the Westchester shared with the New Haven from West Farms Junction to Harlem River. The NYW&B guaranteed its bonds through the Guaranty Trust Company of New York.
New and improved passenger stations were built along the branch from New Rochelle to the terminal at Harlem River. The 1911 First Mortgage document shows $60 million worth of bonds, which were payable January 1 and July 1, 1946. Both the NYW&B and the New Haven were preparing for a dramatic surge in passenger traffic. The only way to wipe out $60 million in debt was to get rid of the line before the bonds were due. Since no one was in a position to purchase the company from the New Haven, this meant ceasing operations and liquidating the railroad.



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