Putnam Division Abandonments


Yorktown Heights Railroad Station (photo by the author)

The New York & Northern was part of a Bronx to Boston route with the New York & New England Railroad via Danbury and Hartford. Financial failure forced the line to be leased to the New York Central in 1895. It became the Putnam Division.


Stories on Abandoning “The Put”

See Penney’s blog on John Ruth’s visit to the The NY Central Putnam Division Freight House At Lake Mahopac


By 1961, use of the line was rare, it being used mainly for ConEd apparatus that had clearance problems. It was not related to any other line, being one of many simple cases of costs exceeding revenues.

There were two switchers, the BN-BO brought up A&P arrivals plus other cars. At A&P the grocery and meat cars were dropped on lead to grocery/meat and the produce went to Eastview for inspection. Eastbound JN-FO came down and switched the grocery, then moved to FO and waited to give A&P their second produce switch around 600pm and then left for JN with emptys for the Rut Milk to pick up Westbound. The last Eastbound move of any significance was the steel for I-287. These cars moved in sets of 3 with a gon in middle and a flat on each end wired as idlers. High and wide cars historically moved via HK-JN BN. In 1983 the stella Doro cars were still active but with deregulation disappeared as did Otto Brehm and it was still used in 1986 for Stella Doro. In 1958 the passenger trains were gone following the transportation act of 1958 and A&P was working well…Stauffer at Chauncey was active, Hardwood flooring at Elmsford with Fox Head Beer on the team track once a month and the Nepperhan business was then Georgia Pacific and the others incl the daily Phelps Dodge outbounds

There was a “forgotten” boxcar was at Carmel, NY, overloooking Lake Gleneida. IIRC, it was at Lloyd Lumber, near Sam Hickman’s feed sheds. The car stood at Lloyd’s for months, maybe years. The last authorized movement on the upper Put before the rail was torn up between Brewster and Mahopac was to retrieve this car.

A second “forgotten” boxcar was truly forgotten. It stood on a siding at Eastview near where the Put crossed over the Saw Mill River Parkway. I believe this siding was once the “house track” of a long- demolished station. (This siding had a pipe-connected derail, but whether this was connected to the switch stand, or if the derail had its own stand, I do not remember.) This boxcar was scrapped where it stood when the rails were taken up.



New York Central Tower Operator at Grand Central



Here’s what’s left of the Putnam Division

Putnam Junction, where the former New York Central Putnam Division connected with the Hudson Division at this point. A section of track remains with some railroad cars spotted on it.


Putnam Line Stations (great descriptions of what stations are on the Putnam Trail.
Great pictures of the Putnam Division
Remembering the “Old” Putnam Railroad
–> by Charlie Mooney
“We saw the Putnam as well as the Harlem River and the main line of the New York Central from our kitchen window. As a consequence of this great view, I became an expert on steam railroad operations while still a toddler. Every day I saw engines being turned on the turntable, the engine maintainers dumping the coal ashes, and filling the tenders with fresh loads of coal and water. I also watched the yardmen manually washing the exteriors of the Putnam passenger coaches every day, weather permitting.”


NYC_864 Eastview NY 1942

NY Central 861 at Eastview in 1942

(From Wayne Koch)