Today’s collection of historical Harlem Division photos features the Upper Harlem… including several crashes that occurred on the line. A huge thanks goes to Ron Vincent, who shared these photos from his family’s collection. Ron’s grandfather worked as an RPO clerk on the Harlem for 36 years. Many of the photos feature the long gone station of Hillsdale, where Ron grew up.

The photos capture an intriguing “slice of life” on the Harlem Division – we see Hillsdale’s station agent, Elliott Hunter, and his wife Marion. We see the occasional crash and derailment that brought gawkers from all around. And we see the softer side of the Harlem, as it hosted the “Plug the Dike Train,” collecting donations for victims of the 1953 North Sea flood. In all, this is a great little set of photos… thanks again for sharing these with us, Ron!


1 Response

  1. Ron Vincent says:

    The NYC station in Hillsdale was both freight and passenger in capacity.It was later purchased by the adjacent Ed Herrington Lumber Co and was used by them for many years.I worked there in the early 1970’s and we stored moldings,doors and other wooden millwork in the station.An addition on the west end stored windows.
    We would spot boxcars in front on a siding using an old Ford tractor and I would ride the car and tie down the hand brake to stop the car,not always exactly where we wanted it.One of my first jobs was unloading a car of oak flooring in 2′-3′-4′-5′-6′ long bundles,walk them to the center door and slide them down a roller to the warehouseman inside.We also took delivery here of boxcasr of plywood,2×4 dimensional lumber plus carloads of windows.
    In late 1980’s I believe the station fell victim to an arson fire and was destroyed.When they were removing the debris,the workers remarked on how thick the floor was,enough to store freight and survive the many years of service here.
    Adjacent sidings also saw delivery of coal in hopper cars for local delivery but that was before my work time here.Across the tracks was a metal casting foundry,and large milk co-op plant that was originally used to load milk from local farms onto NYC bound trains.A series of sidings connected all these industries from the single track main line.
    A bridge at the east end of the Hillsdale area was removed and filled in when the tracks were taken up as the abandonment of the line took place.

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