Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

NYC Bridge Removed for Repair

June 23, 2018

The Spuyten Duyvil Bridge in New York City has been removed and towed away so that it can be repaired.

The bridge, which spans the Harlem River, lies on the route of the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Empire Corridor service.

Removal of the bridge prompted Amtrak to suspend the New York section of the Lake Shore Limited for the summer.

Once mechanical and electrical work on the bridge is completed, it will be put back into place and reopened by Sept. 3.

The bridge rehabilitation is part of a rebuilding of the Empire Connection, which also included lowering 645 feet of the Empire Tunnel on the route.

During a meeting with reporters, Amtrak’s chief operating office, Scot Naparstek, and its chief commercial officer, Stephen Gardner, gave an update on the work, which is part of a larger project to rebuild infrastructure at New York’s Penn Station.

The two Amtrak executives said the passenger carrier is seeking replacement equipment for the 500-car Amfleet I fleet, most of which is 40 years old.

They did not give a timetable for that replacement, but indicated that it is not imminent.

Amtrak has been refurbishing the interiors of its Amfleet I cars to give them a more modern look. Those cars are used largely on eastern corridor trains with a few assigned to Midwest corridor trains.

Amtrak Reportedly Will Suspend LSL New York Section During Penn Station Construction This Summer

March 1, 2018

An online report said that Amtrak plans to return FL9 locomotives to service this summer and temporarily drop the New York section of the Lake Shore Limited due to construction at New York Penn Station.

The report, which did not provide sources, said the FL9s are owned by the State of Connecticut and will be used as cab cars when some Empire Service trains begin using Grand Central Terminal.

The former New Haven locomotives are needed because for emergencies there must be an exit from a train in the Park Avenue Tunnel. Side doors cannot be used on outside tracks so passengers would need to be evacuated through the rear door

However, Amtrak’s P32AC-DMs locomotives lack a nose door. Therefore, the FL9s will be used to lead trains into Grand Central.  The trains will be turned there so that the FL9s will lead at all times.

The report said the FL9s will need to be rebuilt at the Amtrak shops in Rensselaer, New York, for cab car use.

Metro-North P32AC-DM engines are able to use the Park Avenue tunnel because they were built with nose doors.

The planned consists of Amtrak trains using Grand Central will be a cab car or non-powered F-9 leading; an unoccupied Amtrak P32AC-DM to provide traction and head-end power, and the train’s passenger cars.

During this period the Lake Shore Limited will continue to operate between Chicago and Boston.

Christmas on the New York Subway

December 16, 2017

‘tis Christmas time again and New York City puts its full size train set under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for all New Yorkers and tourists to enjoy.

The New York City Transit Museum maintains complete sets of vintage subway cars and periodically operates them during the year for public excursions.

The city, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the transit museum rolls out this set of 1930s subway cars every Sunday in December and the trains operate on a regular schedule during the day.

Tourists and regular New Yorkers waiting for a train are suddenly faced with these beautiful old cars. The reactions can be priceless.

To add to the fun, museum volunteers and local actors/actresses dress in period costumes. One can ride the train all day for $2.75, the price of a normal subway ride.

Riding these trains has become a tradition for me over the years. The ultimate train set for under the ultimate Christmas Tree.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Survivors of 9-11

September 11, 2017

Sept. 11, 2001, changed this country and the world forever. The World Trade Center in New York was destroyed. When the towers collapsed, the PATH train station in the basement was destroyed. Miraculously, two cars of a PATH train survived. They were hauled out and put in storage with the other debris. The two cars were eventually released. One of them ended up in the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston, New York. Let’s all remember the victims of 9/11.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

Ultimate Ends Burke-NYC Flights

March 4, 2017

Ultimate Air Shuttle cited low traffic for suspending its flights between Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and New York City six weeks after they began.

Ultimate air shuttleThe carrier based in North Canton said it would instead launch service from Burke to Atlanta on March 20. Those flights will have an intermediate stop in Cincinnati.

Ultimate had flown to Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The Atlanta service is slated to use DeKalb-Peachtree Airport rather than Hartsfield International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.

Rick Pawlak, Ultimate Air’s managing director, said the carrier expects to resume Burke-New York service but did not give a timeline for that to happen.

Some Varnish on the Water Level Route

January 6, 2017


My girlfriend and I took a New Year’s Day drive into the Hudson River Valley by Bear Mountain.

Here at Fort Montgomery, New York, the Hudson River is about one-third of a mile wide. We were by the old NYWS&B (now CSX River Sub) hoping to catch a freight.

Of course, Murphy’s law had different ideas. Red signals and the only thing going through the tunnel was a hiker.

However, we did catch some passenger action across the river on the old Water Level Route, once home to the New York Central’s 20th Century Limited and other famous NYC trains as they sped to and from Grand Central.

Here we see a Metro-North commuter train out of Grand Central heading toward Poughkeepsie, New York, the end of the line for Metro North.

The other train we caught was Amtrak’s Ethan Allen heading to Penn Station after its journey from Rutland, Vermont.

Both trains are headed by GE P32ACDM, dual-mode locomotives that run as diesel-electric or third rail straight electric for entering New York City.

In a few months life will return to the mountains and the hills will be back to a nice, lush green, but for now the only colors in the area are the passing trains. Happy New Year, everyone.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris






Tis The Season Even on the Railroad

December 24, 2016




Railroad rolling stock tends to look the same all year, but in some instances there is a look of Christmas “on the property.”

Jack Norris sends along these images of Christmas-like scenes from in and near New York City, including Grand Central Terminal, a New York subway train and a tourist railroad.

All have taken on a look of the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas and have a happy new year from the Akron Railroad Club.

Once the HQ of the Mighty Oval

December 11, 2016




The pictures of the AC&Y Building [in Akron] reminded me that a couple years ago I took pictures of the old New York Central headquarters building adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. The two buildings obviously have common family traits, such as a large external clock with Roman gods and goddesses surrounding it. Although it has been named the Helmsley Building for many years, if one looks carefully you’re find these interwoven NYC initials. At 31 stories, it is a midget among its contemporary neighbors, but the elegance is undeniable.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

How B&O Passengers Reached New York City

August 23, 2016


At one time you could take trains of nine different railroads to reach New York City.

Most stopped at the shores of the Hudson River, while four actually went into Manhattan itself.

The New York Central had Grand Central Terminal, which was also used by the New Haven Railroad, and the Pennsylvania had Penn Station, also used (eventually) by the Lehigh Valley.

All of the rest terminated on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River and access to Manhattan was by ferry or the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (subway).

So which railroad offered more direct service to New York tourist points than any other railroad?  The Baltimore & Ohio of course.

But didn’t the B&O terminate at the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Jersey City? The answer is yes. So was the B&O lying? No. The B&O had very creative marketing.

When its trains reached Jersey City, passengers would step off the train and onto B&O buses. The buses would drive onto a CNJ ferry and sail over to Manhattan. Upon reaching Manhattan the buses would disperse to all the major tourist points.

Attached are photos of the CNJ Terminal as it stands today.

You will notice that where tracks 2 & 3 would be is a concrete slab. The slab was the driveway for the B&O buses. They would meet B&O trains, which used tracks 1 & 4.

Now a popular question is how could buses maneuver in such a tight area?

The answer would have been right where I am standing at the end of the canopy. Where I am standing once contained a turntable for buses.

The buses would unload, drive onto the turntable and a worker would push the turntable around, just like a railroad Armstrong turntable.

The buses would then load up and drive across the concourse and through a passageway directly onto the waiting ferry.

The CNJ Terminal today is now a visitors center in Liberty State Park. All the tracks and trains are gone. But the terminal stands as a memorial of railroading’s glory days.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris