Another Tuesday, and another visit to a Harlem Line station… this time I’ve got photos from Harlem Valley-Wingdale. Remember how I said Mount Pleasant was a bit of a creepy station? It is, after all, in the middle of a bunch of cemeteries. Lots of buried dead people. Harlem Valley-Wingdale is a little creepy too… the platform is shadowed a large building, part of the former Harlem Valley State Hospital. According to my coworker (yep, the one that says crazy stuff I always tweet about), the building closest to the platform handled all the laundry for the hospital. This delightful psychiatric hospital was open from 1924 until 1994. Although much of the complex is abandoned, apparently portions are still in use as a juvenile detention center, with housing available for employees. I don’t live in the area, but my assumption would be that the local teens find the former hospital grounds an amusing spot to visit on late nights.
Originally there were two stops here for the New York Central: State Hospital and Wingdale, a half mile north. The two stops were later combined to form the current Harlem Valley-Wingdale. The station is situated in diesel territory of the upper Harlem Line, in between Appalachian Trail and Dover Plains, 69 miles from Grand Central.
The Large building on the left was actually the power house where steam was generated to heat the hospital, the laundry may have been on the right side (facing west). If you were to wander over to the left of the power house you will still see the tracks leading to the coal trestle used to run the coal cars up on and then dumped making piles of coal behind the building. A few years ago the switch was still installed leading to the power plant. (Of course, this discovery was followed by a brief counseling from the Metro North Police)
The juvenile facility was closed several years ago, and the majority of the hospital site is now privately owned. If you were to drive going west bound on the same road you turned off from NY22 into the parking lot, and pass the power house, you would be on the golf course of the hospital, which you can still play at. Along with it’s own power station, the hospital also contained it’s own water reservoir and treatment plant.
Going north on 22, and turning left at the traffic light at pleasant ridge road will bring you the site where the Wingdale stop was, you can still make out the platform outlines. A passing siding was installed south of here when the line was re-opened to Wassic. If you were further inclined, you could continue west on Pleasant ridge road, and turn left onto of Blueberry hill, or east mountain (depends on who’s talking) and head down to NY55, turn left, and then right, and before you get to NY292, you cross the Appalachian trail, where you find a little metro north station sign on the Maybrook line.