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NYW&B train near Quaker Ridge

NYW&B Equipment Roster

PASSENGER CARS

CAR
TYPE
BUILDER
DATE
LENGTH
SEATS
REMARKS
101-128
MU coach
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1912
70’-4”
78
129-138
MU coach
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1915
70’-4”
80
139-140
MU coach
NYW&B
1922
70’-4”
80
Note 1, 4
141-150
MU coach
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1924
70’-4”
80
Note 2
151-170
MU coach
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1926
70’-4”
80
Note 2
171-180
MU coach
Osgood-Bradley
1927
70’-4”
80
Note 2
181-190
MU coach
Osgood-Bradley
1927
70’-4”
80
Note 2
191-195
MU coach
NYW&B
1928
70’-4”
80
Note 3, 5
201-202
MU combine
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1912
70’-4”
54
Note 1, 4
501-505
MU trailer
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1915
70’-4”
80
Note 3, 5

FREIGHT/WORK CARS

CAR
TYPE
BUILDER DATE
LENGTH
REMARKS
1-4
Flat
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1912
40’-0
Note 6
4
Caboose
NYW&B
1915
40’-0
Note 6
5
Boxcar
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1911
40’-0
Note 7

LOCOMOTIVES AND POWERED CARS

NO.
TYPE
BUILDER
DATE
LENGTH
REMARKS
01
B-B Loco
Baldwin-Westinghouse
1911
37’-0
Note 8
X-1
Line Car
Pressed Steel Car Co.
1911
59’-1”
Note 9

NOTES:

Note 1 - Rebuilt in-house to MU coaches from combines 201-202.

Note 2 - Cars 141-190 were leased from the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad and were returned to them at the end of service. Car #149 was named the “Robert M. Shaw” in 1924 in honor of the road’s oldest commuter.

Note 3 - Rebuilt in-house from MU trailer cars 501-505.

Note 4 - All combines were rebuilt in-house to MU coaches 139-140 in 1922.

Note 5 - All trailers were rebuilt in-house to MU coaches 191-195 in 1928.

Note 6 - Flatcar #4 was rebuilt in-house in 1915 to become caboose #4.

Note 7 - Boxcar #5 was equipped with a pantograph to draw power off the overhead wire that was then routed to a transformer to power the onboard machine tools. While the only view available to us shows a "blind" wall, it is assumed the opposite side had a standard freight door.

Note 8 - NYW&B's sole locomotive was built in August 1911, delivered as 01, then renumbered 301, and finally 701. Upon the end of service, the unit was transferred to the New Haven and became NH #0224 until it was scrapped (date unknown).

Note 9 - Combination line car and wrecking car with revolving jib crane and detachable linemans platform on boom. Built by General Electric in April 1911. Renumbered 401 in 1914, the car was used by the contractor to dismantle the line in 1942, and then itself was scrapped on site.

— Source: ERA Electric Railroads #31, April 1962
and George E. Votava notes

NYW&B Stillwell Coach

NYW&B 173 is an example of the later Stillwell-design coaches built by Osgood-Bradley of Worcester, Mass. Initial orders were constructed by Pressed Steel Car Co. of Pittsburgh.
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos

NYW&B 401

Self-propelled line car and wrecker, seen here stored at 177th Street in 1940.
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos

NYW&B 701

The Westchester's sole locomotive, used on freight and work assignments.
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos

NYW&B Work Flat 2, stored at 177th Street, 1940.

NYW&B Work Flatcar 2 - Stored at 177th Street, September 1940
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos

NYW&B Workshop Boxcar 5, stored at 177th Street, 1940.

NYW&B Workshop Boxcar 5 - Stored at 177th Street, September 1940
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos

NYW&B Work Caboose 4 at Mount Vernon, NY, 1933.

NYW&B Work Caboose 4 - Mount Vernon, NY, 1933
Photo by George Votava - Courtesy Bob's Photos


ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NOTES:

The first order of cars came from Pressed Steel Car Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., and consisted of 28 coaches and two combines. These cars had full vestibuled ends, and power-operated center doors. Theses were among the first center-door cars ordered for a common-carrier railroad in America. Center-door equipped cars would later become popular with rapid transit operations. All of the Westchester stations were constructed with high-level platforms, except for the stations on the Harlem River branch. For this reason, the cars were also equipped with steps and trap-doors on the vestibule ends.

Stillwell
Stillwell Coach Illustration by Otto M. Vondrak

As built, the MU coaches were 70 feet, four inches long, with 35 seats arranged in 2-2 fashion, with four longitudinal seats flanking the center doors. Total seating capacity in the initial order of cars was 78. As built, the combines could seat a total of 54. The combines were rebuilt in-house in 1922 as 80-seat coaches. Pantographs collected 11,000 volts from the overhead and transformers stepped it down to 350 volts, which supplied the two 175 hp AC traction motors on each car. The NYW&B purchased their power from parent New Haven’s generating station at Cos Cob. Looking to trim costs, motormen were instructed to coast whenever possible in an effort to conserve energy. Automatic overspeed controls limited the top speed of trains to 56 mph.

The Westchester was one of the first roads to use a pressurized spray to apply paint finishes, versus the brush painting that was common in those days. The cars were delivered with dark green interiors and ivory ceilings, with blue plush seats. They were finished in the same exterior dark green color as parent New Haven, with the NYW&B name and car number above the last window in the arch. The New Haven purchased the last group of MU’s, and stencilled “N.Y.N.H.&H.R.R.Co.” on the car sides near the end doors to signify ownership. The tops of the cars were originally dark gray, but steel dust raining down from the catenary wire quickly turned the gray to brown steel oxide. The oxidation would collect on the top of the cars and wash down the sides, making it very difficult to keep them looking clean. In the interest of easier catenary maintenance and cleaner looking cars, the steel contact wire was replaced with copper in 1923.

Service began on the NYW&B with 30 cars, but as the routes were expanded, additional cars were needed. Between 1924 and 1929, an additional 65 cars were added to the roster. After the end of service, NH acquired 50 of the coaches and locomotive 701. The coaches were taken to NH’s Van Nest shops in the Bronx where they had their electrical equipment and pantographs removed. Then, they were brought to NH’s Readville, Massachusetts shop where they were rebuilt into commuter coaches for their Boston suburban service. The U.S. Maritime Commission acquired some cars for use in transporting war workers to ship yards and oil fields in Texas and California, and then were subsequently scrapped.

One sole example of the venerable Westchester electric M.U. fleet exists to this day in Peru. Attempts to repatriate this car have not yet been able to overcome the obstacle of funding, or a plan for preservation.

 

frtw

"Forgotten Railroads Through Westchester County"
$35.00

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