In the neighborhood

With my tools still in transit, I have little to report about ongoing projects. Instead, I will share a little bit about what is going in the neighborhood…

Even though I didn’t grow up near the tracks, I vividly remember the comforting sounds of train whistles coming from the little secondary line going through my hometown in Germany. Subsequently, my wife and I have lived next to train stations or railroad tracks – namely the New Haven – Springfield Line in Hartford, CT and the Baden Mainline (Badische Hauptbahn) in Karlsruhe, Germany – and have enjoyed the sights and sounds of trains as a backdrop to our busy lives.

It turns out that our new home in Manhattan is also located close to the rails and a piece of New York City railroad history – it is literally a stone’s throw away from the former 60th Street Rail Yard. There is nothing left of the yard except two mainline tracks of the West Side Line (NYCRR) going south to Penn Station, which are still frequented by Amtrak and briefly emerge from the ground right near our building.

Amtrak Empire Service 242 and 239 near 59th Street.

Amtrak Empire Service 242 and 239 near 59th Street.

Other remnants of the yard include the skeleton of a former pier in the Hudson River that is left behind as a sort of memorial and a New York Central shunter, which is now on display in the Riverside Park South.  Trains were loaded onto barges at the piers and ferried across the river, saving a 140-mile trip north to the next bridge crossing.

Remnants of the 60th Street rail yard rotting away in the Hudson River.

Remnants of the 60th Street Rail Yard in the Hudson River become a sort of public artscape.

New York Central shunter in Riverside Park South.

New York Central #8625 in Riverside Park South.

To get a better look at my photos, click any one to expand – once in the expanded view, you can shuffle through all the photos. For more detailed information on the 60th Street Rail Yard, see Michael Minn’s website.

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