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Re: PC: Smoke In New York and GCT

Well, as far as Grand Central Terminal goes, I think the history has been lost
in the refurbishment.  Had not the New York Central System constructed GCT,
there would be no great railroad terminal for the Metro-North Railroad to have
cleaned up.

What few people realize is that, Grand Central Terminal was a part of the
1906-1913 electrification and improvement project that the New York Central
undertook, which ended up not only electrifying the southernmost parts of the
lines into New York City, but also ended up leaving behind relics we can
treasure today, besides GCT.

The Hudson Division was the first and the last line out of New York City to
see new third rail until 1982 when 30 miles of the Harlem Division was
electrified by the MTA between North White Plains, NY and Brewster, NY.  In
1906 electric service opened between Grand Central Terminal, and High Bridge,
a station in the Bronx (along the shore of the Harlem River) that was shut
down as a station in 1972 when the high level platform project on the MTA's
electrified lines was undertaken during that time.  

In 1907 third rail was laid and electric service opened on the NYC Harlem
Division as far as Wakefield, just north of Woodlawn, and the last stop in the
Bronx on the Harlem Division.  Wakefield was included in the 1972 high level
platform project and has in fact, recently seen improved service by Metro-
North Railroad trains.  In 1910 third rail was extended to the New York
Central yard in North White Plains, New York, on the Harlem Division.  While
trains stopped in the bustling City of White Plains, they continued on to the
rural northern edge of the City of White Plains to "White Plains - North
Station", just north of which a yard was and still is located.  This was also
chosen as the stop at which the "motive power change" would take place, and
remained the spot until the 1970s when FL-9s took over.  "White Plains - North
Station" (today known as North White Plains) is where the electric MU trains
terminated, and is also where the electric and steam/diesels were switched, to
keep White Plains free of this activity

The electric service on the Hudson Division was extended to Croton-on-Hudson,
NY, just north of Harmon (where the famous yard and shops of the same name
are), in 1913, the same year Grand Central Terminal opened, and marking the
end of the electrification process.  In the early 1920s, the southernmost part
of the Putnam Division in the Bronx, and the Putnam Divisions Yonker's Getty
Square Branch was electrified, but it was abandoned totally in 1943. 

The electrification left behind many other attractive and elegantly designed
stations, other than Grand Central Terminal.  Although these stations are
predominantly local suburban stations, their grandeur shows, and the station
for the City of White Plains, which was opened in 1914 and demolished in 1983,
was the grandest.  It was built as part of the electrification/grade crossing
elimination project during the 1906 to 1916 project.  It was built of brick,
and its design (with its arch windows on both sides of the at least 4 story
station) was similar to GCT.  Sadly, this station was demolished in 1983.

As far as diesels being part of the steam rule in New York City, it is
impossible that they would be excluded from the city under this restriction,
due to the fact that the New York Central, Penn Central, as well as Conrail,
and till this day Amtrak, have all used/still use diesels on the old NYC West
Side Freight Line ever since the New York Central de-electrified it in the
late 1950s.  The line is now used as Amtrak's West Side Connection into
Pennsylvania Station, and runs down the west side of Manhattan on private ROW
and through a cut and tunnel.

So lets all remember that the construction of Grand Central Terminal was just
one part of the massive improvement project undertaken by the New York Central
on the southernmost parts of the Hudson and Harlem Divisions, which included:

1) the construction of Grand Central Terminal

2) the electrification of the Hudson Division as far as Croton-on-Hudson, NY,
and the electrification of the Harlem Division as far as North White Plains,

3) the elimination of all grade crossings in the newly electried zones a few
years after lines are electrified.

4) as part of the the grade crossing elimination, and ultimately, the
electrification, many new stations of elegant designs fitting in with each
community, are constructed, many made with heavy duty material and quality

5) the order of brand new electric MU cars and T-motor electric engines, which
became S-motors around 1913 when the other T-motors were built, appearing to
be smaller versions of the Cleveland Union Terminal electric P-motors, which
were moved to these New York area lines in the early 1950s.

John W. 

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