Last week I brought you the top 13 items that we posted in 2013 on social media… now it is time to take a look at what was popular on the blog. Since 2013 was Grand Central’s centennial year, much of our coverage dealt with the history of the Terminal, and you’ll certainly notice it in our list. As mentioned last week, 2013 was also Metro-North’s 30th anniversary. Although the year was fraught with issues, Metro-North has come a long way in 30 years. Metro-North’s president, Howard Permut, who has been with the railroad for all of those years, has recently announced his retirement, making 2013 the final full year of being at the helm of Metro-North. Hopefully 2014 shall bring good things. Anyway, here is a peek at what you all loved (and in some cases hated) last year…
New York Central fans don’t really want to admit that the Pennsy actually had cool things… or at least a few of them. And yes, one of them was the beautiful Pennsylvania Station in New York. It felt appropriate to take a look at Penn Station during Grand Central’s centennial year, because if it were not for the destruction of that station in 1963 bringing people together for the cause of historic preservation, Grand Central would likely have fallen to the wrecking ball as well.
Abandoned buildings always hold a special place in my heart, and seem to be an interesting topic on the internet. The old New York Central power station in Glenwood was once an integral part of the rail system in New York – it helped power all the new electric trains that would be operating into the new Grand Central Terminal. But like many things, the station eventually became obsolete, abandoned, and for the most part forgotten… although there are some plans for redevelopment on the table.
The first of many posts on Alaska in 2013, we take a quick look at Alaska’s trains in the winter, and look back into the early history of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Before the pipeline was constructed, various studies were tasked with finding the best way to transport the oil from Prudhoe Bay in the north of Alaska down to the continental US. Two of the options were actually railroads, but alas they were never built and the pipeline was constructed instead.
Marking the end of my three year Metro-North Panorama Project, this post contains a system map that I designed, which contains links to all of the station tours featured on the site.
A fisheye view of the Alaska Railroad that most people don’t get to see – including the operations center, and locomotive shops. And yes, I got quite a few disgruntled readers whining about too much fish eye.
Sorry, some ancient fossils have been discovered and the project connecting Grand Central to Penn Station has been halted. It may be worth mentioning that the date on this post is April 1, 2013.
Some folks loved my look back at the abandoned stations of the Upper Harlem Division on the 41st anniversary of its demise (for passenger service, at least), detractors wondered why I bothered, considering that there’s a book that does the same. Nonetheless, I think the story is worth being told. Despite those many years of inactivity, it is surprising that old infrastructure like bridges still exist, telling the story of the past.
If only my old photography art history teacher saw me now… Various programs focused on economic recovery after the Great Depression were documented and photographed, providing an excellent look into life in the early ’40s. Even things that we find inane, like kissing your wife goodbye at the station, and reading the paper on the train, were photographed. It is a little slice of life of a commuter to Grand Central.
A look back at the Budd Rail Diesel Car, and the beautiful art used to advertise it by artist Leslie Ragan.
Capturing the life of a commuter after a deadly crash on Metro-North, my series of black and white photographs captures the emotions of that first week back to work. It was an atypical response to the crash, amid the constant sensationalism of the media, and the pandering of politicians.
A little trip to see the most amazing place in Grand Central Terminal. The fact that the clock on the front of Grand Central Terminal actually has a little window that opens so one can look down at Park Avenue is for the most part a well kept secret. It is, however, one of the coolest windows in all of New York City.
Checking out the opening of the Dutchess Rail Trail, and the new interpretive panels (designed by me) at the restored Hopewell Junction depot. The popularity of the post was largely due to my argument that the once laudable concept of rail trails in preserving history has now been perverted by folks that look to take down active railroads to replace them with trails… something that is going on in several places in New York as we speak.
Ah, yes. The most popular post of 2013 is also the most controversial thing I’ve ever posted on this site. After I discovered several photos, postcards, and even period newspaper articles showing the lower level of Grand Central with single digit track numbers (unlike the triple digits you’ll find today) I came up with a theory that would try and explain it. I hoped that someone out there might have more evidence to suggest why this change happened, but responses certainly ran the gamut – including accusations that I photoshopped the photos. The mystery still exists. Will we ever find the answer?