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Hello Jim P

Well, heh Hayes was in DA South Broncks -- 650 Grand Concourse (is it still in operation?) and that area was getting rough by the 1970's...worse after that thru the 1990's.. 

Regardless,  the "Mount" where I attended in the early-mid 1950's  (Grammar school there at that time)  was in a bucolic semi-rural very suburban setting,  with the Mount's "back yard' right  along the Mount Vernon Border line and the visible "changes in road paving" along the physical surveyor  border line running along in Mundy Lane there. Mount Vernon side of the "line" was smooth concrete,  and the Bronx side of the "line" was broken up, pothole and gravel littered black macadam paving !  

Plenty of grass everywhere, loads of trees, and surrounded with beautiful (back then) private homes with beautiful yards and lawns, bushes, -- and a very very quiet bucolic area.  We had the remains of the once 4 track NYW&B Railway a few blocks away on E.6th Street  (aka Sanford Blvd) with the ex-NYW&B East 6th St. Local Station still alive as a private store. The NYW&B RR private r-o-w open cut was still pretty much visibly intact back then  up to E.3rd St former Station (became a Litton Industries building)- but more important,  the E. 239th St yards, of the IRT White Plains Road Line EL,  whose southern yard-entry came at the dead end of a side street off Nereid Ave that ended two blocks north at that south entrance gates to the yard.  I used to visit that gate entry and south edge of that yard and see 3rd Ave EL MUDC EL Cars, Q-Type EL Cars, Low-V's and some work cars (flats, etc.) at the bumpers at the very visibly thru the  south cyclone-fence of the yard.  And of course, the venerable IRT White Plains Rd Line EL - still operated solely by IRT Low-V trains - and the  E .238th Street (Nereid Ave) Local station which I used to get to the Mount.  And the NY Central RR Line down the hill at E.238th Street "in the valley" there -


I use to go, walk down with my Mountie schoolmate pal Bobby Mayer - to the E.233rd  St. restaurant owned by the parents of Bobby Mayer,  "Mayer's Parkway Restaurant"  where Bobby and I ate lunch in a dining room a number of times - sometimes with his Dad, Bob Sr.!  Great times then, simple and safe and happy times !  You can always "go back",  but you can never go "home" to the way it was !  Here below is a map of the area with my overlaid notes and markers of the things I speak of, and their locations to the Mount.



Map of Mt. St Michael School and RR & EL Lines


The "Mount" is still a beautiful school still with bucolic grounds there when I visited  it over 2 years ago during August -- even if all the back in the early-mid 1950's predominately  Italians, Germans and Irish residents, homeowners, have all moved away as the neighborhood changed as did gradually almost all of the Bronx over the past 40 years !  I could almost go back in time on the "Mount" grounds --- until I saw myself reflected in the glass windows of one of the buildings (the huge students dining room by  football field ) !!   A 60 year span Reality and Era time check hit me there !!   I am sure TOM understands all these memories I am relating. 

And yes, I remember the Mount vs Hayes and other Games - heh  - way back then !

regards - Joe F


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  • Map of Mt. St Michael School and RR & EL Lines
Last edited by Joseph Frank

in the late 80s and 90s. The Sunrise trail NRHS chapter ran some fan trips off Long Island with LIRR equipment using the Hellgate Bridge . One of the trips ran up to Poughkeepsie . The train crossed the Bridge and ran up to New Rochelle. A reverse move through Woodlawn brought the train down to Mott Haven. It ran through the wye to reach the Hudson Division. You can see the wye in the first two of Silver Lakes photos posted above. The reverse trip from Poughkeepsie brought us back through that wye to return to LIRR home rails after crossing over the HG bridge. Some fantastic views on that trip

Hello Tom ---

RE-READ and See the MAP with location point details I just now added - now just attached to my edited post -- likely done / edited AFTER you already just read it all -- and I had corrected the earlier stated wrong  location of Mayer's restaurant in that "edited with map added"  edited post.  Yeah, I remember that water fountain --- i used it a number of times -- WHY detention for your using it ??  Who did they want to use it for drinking ?? !!!  Marist brothers, heh  

Yes, I visited the MOUNT many times in the 1970's thru 1990's when I visited NY City and my (now long gone) parents. Last visit was August 2014 -- I stayed there a few hours going 'back in time" as best i could !  Remembering people, Marist Brother (religious) staff,  and kids I knew there back then -- and the way it was .....

After 60 years passed now -- still almost like yesterday a bit ... and what a great safe area of the Bronx back then !!

Regards - Joe

Last edited by Joseph Frank

Hi Joe,

I didn't realize that you went to the Mount, too! But, I won't hold that against you. Although now I am outnumbered around here. Maybe Chuck (Alentown) another Hayesman will stop by. 

Back then, the big game was played at Baker Field on the northern tip of Manhattan with a view of Spuyten Duyvil.  To tell the truth, all that we south Bronx kids knew was that Mount St. Michael was somewhere up in the north Bronx. Years later, I learned just how beautiful it was up there - a whole different world (but no P motors gliding by )

...and yes, Hayes, is still going strong and actually winning more often than we did back in the early 60s  (graduated in '64)! 


Last edited by Jim Policastro


Yes, that's the Harlem River with what we called the 138th St RR bridge in the background and the Willis Ave (or maybe the 3rd Ave?) vehicular bridge in front of it. I think the official name of the lift bridge was the Madison Ave Bridge. It carried trains from the Mott Haven area to Manhattan and toward Grand Central.

The low white building just beyond the traveling crane was the famous circular CNJ freight terminal with its intricate track work encircling the building. I think there are more photos of it somewhere on a previous page of this thread. It's an area I wish I had explored back in the day while it was still in operation.


Last edited by Jim Policastro

New Yorks Elevated lines had a route on 6th avenue in New York City . It was closed in 1938. At That time trains ran from south Ferry through downtown Manhattan and over to 6th Avenue , north to 53rd st where the line turned West to reach the Ninth avenue El to continue the journey north . The original line when built had a section that that ran north on 6th avenue from 53rd st up to 59th street and Central Park West . The terminal station was at 58th street. This section of the El was closed in 1924 and cut back to 53rd st. 

North of 53rdf st, this section of El had three tracks , one North and one south with a center track for layup. Here we are looking up towards 58th street terminal in 1924.


Here is the station at 58th street in 1924. There was two side platforms and the tracks ran further to 59th street for layup.


There was a tower to control operations at the junction at 53rd street. The junction at this point was two tracks and north of here, the third track was established. This view looks west on 53rd st and you can see the connector to 9th ave. Its 1924. 


Under the El connector on 53rd st looking east.


Here is an aerial view at 53rd st showing the junction and the tower


We move ahead in time to 1938 shortly before the El was closed. The connector carries the trains west on 53rd st and the tower and the line north to 59th st. are long gone. The Queens IND subway follows the same route here but of course underground. 


One the final day of operation in December of 1938 we see the last train to run uptown , a set of MUDC's . The End of service notices are in  the windows of the cars.


We will leave with a 6th avenue train heading downtown. Its a set of MUDCs 



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0831-SW to 133St STA demolition-MAY 19580812b-SE to 3 AV El Bridge @ B&O RR Bronx Term-1936

Hello Tom !


Per my long reply post to you ---these two photos will go with the story line text of my paragraphs below;

Here above is a (the TOP PHOTO)  photo of the E. 133rd St Alley station being demolished in May of 1958.  I have photos of the line being demolished at E.145th and 146th streets on Third Ave., in 1958.

 Also attached, (LOWER PHOTO)  an aerial photo of the CNJ's Freight "roundhouse" and surrounding freight yards and float bridges area - and the 3rd Ave El Bridge in background. The Bronx approach to the Third Avenue Auto bridge is at bottom right.

That freight barge photo (I have had a copy of one for years in my collection)  is looking West from the pedestrian walkway on the west side of the 3rd Avenue Elevated IRT EL  Harlem River Swing Bridge near the Manhattan shoreline side -- with the Bronx approach bridge for the 3rd Avenue Auto Roadway Bridge seen crossing behind the barge --- with the CNJ's Round Freight House at right immediately east of the Bronx roadway approach to the 3rd Ave. Bridge.  Following that is the original (actually, 2nd generation) NY Central Railroad Swing bridge from 1898-1900 approx. -- and immediately behind and close parallel to it is the raised completed side one half span of the two span (2 tracks on each span-half)  brand new NY Central Railroad LIFT BRIDGE.  This view has to be in late 1954 up to thru mid 1955 and prior to the closing of the IRT 3rd Ave "Manhattan" EL and its swing Bridge by Friday May-13-1955  12:01 AM .  Shortly thereafter,  the EL's swing bridge was left fixed in OPEN position  for any river traffic, until the bridge was taken apart and removed by Feb 1956.


I remember this area very well from my many rides over the 3rd Ave EL Bridge on trains back and forth, as well as even more trips in my fathers' 1950 big Mercury car over the 3rd Avenue auto Bridge to and from the Bronx.   Around 1959 and years after,  I walked thru those rail yards and took photos -- by that time the 3 years abandoned but intact  (since May-12-1955)  EL structure  from the Harlem River Bronx waterline edge north to E.148th street on Third Avenue,  was finally torn down between May 1958 and August 1958.  It was kept up from that point - up thru the famed "alleyway" between E.133rd St and its double-decked alleyway EL Station there,  thru E.143rd St "alleyway" Station - and to the E. 149th St Station,  as a turn back for Bronx Line only SB EL trains into E. 149th St "terminal" station.  SB trains on the local track  discharged passengers,  then went empty, southward to the alleyway portion starting at E.144th Street, and used it via a " Y " switching arrangement via a single track  two-way center  ramp at North end of E.143rd Street lower "locals" level station,  to the upper level... 2 track express level,  to turn trains around to get back to the north local track at E. 149th Street "terminal" station.  Of course, in those daily 'non revenue move" 3 years,  the 3 EL stations (143rd, 138th and 133rd Streets)  in the alleyway were permanently closed and barricaded.

That switchback operation even lasted after 12-16-1956 when the wood EL cars (MUDC's and Q Types) were replaced by 6 car trains of IRT Steel original body Low-V Steinway Subway Cars  - the first time Steinway Cars (or Low-V's) ran regularly on the 3rd Avenue EL line below E.149th Street towards the river  (but without passengers as reverse-move-deadhead's).  That structure, unlike the Manhattan portion,  was built to handle steel cars.


Once the new Terminal Switch Tower was erected and completed over the former center express trackbed at the north end of E. 149th St Station, and all the new reverse moves signaling and wiring was installed along with the new  X  Crossover and 4 switches installed outside the north end of the E.149th St Station, by February 1958,  allowing trains to enter and exit either of the 2 tracks at the E.149th St "terminal" station, and depart to the proper n/b local track,  the EL cut off at E.148th Street and from that point south, to Harlem River Edge,  was removed. 

I saw an article (maybe saved it, have to check) with photos  -about a guy who built a full HO Scale replicated version  of the entire CNJ Roundhouse freight house and float bridges,  including replicating that unique switch and crossover trackwork unique to that terminal complex !


PS:  Jim P,  we saw PLENTY of NYCRR electric boxcab loco and MU action at Woodlawn JCT and New Haven electric boxcab Locos and MU's in that area back in the 50's and even 60's !


regards - Joe F


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  • 0812b-SE to 3 AV El Bridge @ B&O RR Bronx Term-1936
Last edited by Joseph Frank

Hello Tom

I wonder how many times he (Jim P) got hit in the head by rapid fire "chalk"  missals or chalk-dust-packed blackboard erasers slamming warp-speed into his head in a cloud of white dust as he gazed at trains out the window -- heh  !  Remember any of those incidents with the "Bro's at the Mount ?  Or with the "nuns"' in other schools elsewhere ?

i use to walk to E. 97th Street and Park Avenue where the NYCRR Park Ave Tunnel ended, and watch all the NYCRR & NHRR old ancient MU's and Box Cab loco of each road come and go there.  Was always constant action on those 4 tracks.  And then I had the IRT 3rd Ave EL and the IRT Lex Subway right by me for joy riding for 10 or 15 cent fare - later 25 cents.  THOSE were the days - and lots of old equipment and variety of rolling stock classes.



0901-Stub end at 148 St-12-731958 view of the demolition of the 3rd Ave El looking North from 146th St to the remaining structure being removed to the South end of the 149th St station.

The above two  of my photos -- the top one is a  view N.E. along the west curb of Third Ave., showing the near E.148th St south cut off end of the EL as cut back in summer of 1958, and the lower photo shows a view north from the s.w. corner of Third Ave. at E.146th Street, early summer 1958,  showing the demolition upward towards E. 148th Street

regards - Joe F





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  • 1958 view of the demolition of the 3rd Ave El  looking North from 146th St to the remaining structure being removed to the South end of the 149th St station.
  • 0901-Stub end at 148 St-12-73
Last edited by Joseph Frank


  Very nice photos and very interesting. The bottom one shows a couple of lonely, disconnected EL supports before they were cut down. I can tell by the cars (a Cutlass along with maybe also a Roadrunner or Charger), that your top photo is from the 1960's or 1970's. Thanks for sharing.

  Poor Jim, he must have suffered greatly being so distracted! 


Last edited by PRR8976

Thanks for the sympathy, guys! 

You had to be on your toes in class and know when to sneak a peak at the trains. I think the brothers and the priests who taught us all had unique talents in the eraser toss.

In hindsight though, after a 35 year career myself in teaching, I can see things from their viewpoint. Many were truly saints for putting up with us! 

Thanks for the photos and explanations. I was lucky enough to catch the final year or so of 3rd Ave El service to Manhattan. After that, we rode the Bronx portion frequently until its end in the early 1970s.

Joe, between the NH and the NYC, the assortment of big electric motive power was amazing back in those days, wasn't it? I was old enough to even catch some of the very early EP-1 New Haven boxcabs passing by as well as the later bigger engines.

There was hardly a moment when something interesting wasn't passing by. Train watching has never been the same for me since those days. Here in upstate New York now the wait between trains is in hours compared to the seconds we were used to back in the day.


Last edited by Jim Policastro

I also attended the Mount in the 50's. 1950-52 for the first 2 years of high school.  With the new wisdom I acquired��, I then transferred to St Peters Prep in Jersey City.  But I hsve fond memories of the sights described above.  Occasionally would take the 3rd Ave El to 42 St anf the the crosstown shuttle to PA bus terminal.

Hello Tom,  Jim P and RJR

RJR -- Good to see another Mountie here --- now its 3 to 1 (Mt. vs: Hayes) heh.  I came to the Mount a few years after you left the high school there in 1952 - so we both know well how the area and the Mount was in those 1950's years !

Jim P -- Glad you enjoyed the posting and photos, etc.  You were lucky if not always distracted looking out the classroom window...heh ! 

Yes,  between the NYCRR,  the LIRR and the NHRR, and the PRR at L.I.C. Sunnyside yards and at Penn Station,  we had a great variety of motive power and passenger and MU Train (and freight) rolling stock to enjoy and photograph when and where we did.  Great times -- and always a load of rail activity with so many then active and fully intact rail yards (and working car floats) all around the city then!!   Sad to see the massive South Bronx Harlem River yards reduced to near nothing now of what it was thru the 1930's-60's eras !.  Just about all of its tracks and structures, including the remaining (from May 1958 thru some time in 2005)  short low steel EL trestle from where it connected to the 3rd Ave EL's famous " S " curving double deck structure at its westerly end,  to its east end at the Stone Embankment Wall for the NHRR-NYW&B Willis Avenue Station and head house / offices.


Tom - Glad you also enjoyed these photos and memories -- well, now we have 3 MOUNTIES here -- heh

ALSO -- on the Mott Haven / Harlem yards topic - Here are a few videos I found -- hope they work and link open-up here the way I copy-pasted embedded them.  One --the short one below - was taken in March 1957 of 16mm film of the CNJ RR Bronx Terminal operation

regards - Joe F  

The other two videos are of that HO Scale Working model of the CNJ RR circular Freight house and with all the track work and special-work replicated and functioning, including car floats.  I had mentioned this unique HO Scale Freight Switching layout in one of  my previous posts above.
Last edited by Joseph Frank

Hello again guys

An HO Modeler and rail fan named Tim Warris is the fellow who built that operating CNJ Freight terminal layout - and here is a, his, webpage with history and photos of how this great layout came to be constructed. Most ALL of his track work is hand laid including all those special crossings and switch tracks.  Here is his website link URL --  very interesting --- a must see !

HO Scale working Model Railroad layout of the CNJ RR South Bronx Freight Terminal

Regards - Joe F





A few from around the city   One has my favorite beer truck in it.  I love how the El's were built so close to the buildings


Columbus circle


Williamsburg Bridge Under Construction


Grade crossing elimination on the West side by the viaducts


Third Ave El


Cooper Union


The 34 street Branch


Ninth ave El I believe ?


110 street ninth ave el


Queensboro bridge



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Just for the heck of it, I said Balentine, and was pleasantly surprised to see the name on the back of the truck. when I scrolled down! New York has to be the most fascinating city in the world; the architecture and the rail lines, the feeling one gets walking the streets, I just love it.


Went on a very long walk today in the Bronx from Wave Hill to Inwood. I took some nice shots from the Henry Hudson of the Spyten Dyvel area. 

It is kind of remarkable how much this area looks the same over many years while so much else has changed.  The former location of the Wye leg is harder to see after the wreck clean up from a few years ago.

 It is funny to me that the bridge tenders car still is parked there as close as possible on the Manhatten side. Circle line VS Amtrak.

I've always thought that this would be a classy scene on somebodies model railroad. imageimageimageimage


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How about some Peter Witts from the Brooklyn and Queens Transit 

The B&QT reached accross into Long Island City crossing Newtown Creek on the double Bascule Bridge on Manhattan Avenue. At Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Ave in Queens, the B&Qt had a turn around loop off the styreet. In this photo, we see a Peter Witt 8000 series making the turn back onto Vernon Blvd to head back to Brooklyn, This is likely a Graham Ave car in the Pre Board of Transportation colors .


 A bit later in time but near the end of Williamsburg Bridge service we have a Peter Witt making its way from Manhattan. The car has just left Bedford Avenue station which was on the Bridge, Prior to 1948, you could ride between Bedford Avenue and Delancy street in Manhattan for 2 cents. Still there were many walkers on the bridge. 


Farther out in Queens, The Grand Street Corona Avenue line had a connection to Laguardia Airport. It Ran on Junction Blvd, north to the airport. This Peter Witt is on its way back to Maspeth Depot passing under the LIRR Port Washington Line . The added attraction here is the LIRR Eastbound train on its way to Flushing and Port Washington. 


Most of the Peter Witts , ie the 8000 series were retired in the late `1940s , 1950 or so when many routes were converted to Busses . Most of these cars wore the Pre-Board of Transportation colors to the end as we see in the above photos. Some did make it to the Board of Transportation Green and Silver colors and soldiered on into the 1950's as reserve or extra rush hour service cars. Here's one working the McDonald Avenue Route coming into the Coney Island Area. PCCs were the mainstay of the McDonald Ave route until 1956 when they too were retired. 


The last photo for this post takes us out of Brooklyn and up to the Bronx, ie 242nd st and Broadway, just South of Manhattan College Parkway. I know there are a few Bronx guys that follow this thread. Maybe some of you went to Manhattan College as did I albeit a few years after this photo was made. You might remember the Pinewood on Broadway and the Greenleaf on Manhattan College Parkway. I think the Schaefer Beer sign is a nice touch.



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