CSX Transportation remains the only freight carrier with a direct route to New York City, via the well-known Hell Gate Bridge crossing. Train Y101-03 crosses "The Inverts" on Hell Gate Bridge across Randall's Island with the Chrysler Building standing proud in the background. The train is returning from interchange with the New York & Atlantic Railway on Long Island on Friday, June 3, 2011.
Exploring the CSX New York District
by Michael Foley/photos by the author
Welcome to Photo Line!People don't often associate freight trains with the five boros of New York City, but they are indeed alive and well. CSX Transporation remains the dominant carrier, with traffic destined for the New York area switched out at Oak Point Yard in The Bronx. From here, interchange traffic is run over the famous Hell Gate Bridge to Fresh Pond Yard on Long Island to connect with the New York & Atlantic. Urban railroading runs through a gritty environment that most photographers tend to ignore, yet those who know their subject are often rewarded with dramatic views of railroading in and around The Big Apple. Join photographer Michael Foley for a tour of the CSX New York District!
Over and under
CSX train B749-19 combined with Q431-18 passes under Metro-North Railroad's Harlem River Lift Bridge while cruising along The Oak Point Link on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 1031 am. The 1.9 mile Oak Point Link was built on the Bronx shores of the Harlem River by New York State DOT to bypass busy Mott Haven Junction, the confluence of three Metro-North commuter lines. The new link also allows for the use of six-axle locomotives and better clearances for tall cars, something the old route could not.
Waiting for the ferry
Waiting patiently for baseball fans to safely cross the tracks, CSX train Q430-07 sits on the Oak Point Link as passengers board the NY Waterway ferry Henry Hudson on August 6, 2010. It was a subdued crowd as the Yankees suffered a loss at home to an old rival.
Extra symbol B949-07 heads south on a rare Saturday daylight run on February 7, 2009 passing The New Yankee Stadium with a Q431-06 that died earlier that morning due to mechanical problems. The old Yankee Stadium (at right) was torn down to make way for a new public park.
Widecab over Hell Gate
This was the first trip in August of 2009 of an SD60M (and first CSX widecab) on Hell Gate Bridge. The train is exiting The West Portal onto Randall's Island, returning from the interchange with New York & Atlantic Railway on Long Island. The Hell Gate Bridge opened in 1917, and was built to connect the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road with New England via the New Haven Railroad. Photo taken with permission.
A late Q431-09 arrives at the west end of Oak Point Yard in The Bronx, passing the former New Haven tower on a beautiful Saturday morning on June 10, 2006. The tower, long abandoned, is typical of the cast concrete structures placed by the New Haven in the early 20th century.
Descending into The Bronx
CSX train Y101-03 descends downgrade through "Little Hell Gate" into The Bronx with the Empire State Building standing proud in the background. The train is returning from the Long Island interchange with the New York & Atlantic Railway on Friday, June 3, 2011. Photo taken with permission.
Rare transformer move over Hell Gate
Y102-12 is en route to New York & Atlantic Railway on Long Island with a depressed center flatcar carrying a heavy transformer on Saturday, November 12, 2011.
Grand Central Parkway
Y101-18 crosses over the busy Grand Central Parkway on the Hell Gate Bridge in Queens on Monday June 18, 2007, bound for the New York & Atlantic Railway's Fresh Pond Yard. The Grand Central Parkway connects the Triboro Bridge with suburban Nassau County, and contrary to popular belief, was not named after Grand Central Terminal.
Crossing the B-Q-E
Train Y-102-08 crosses over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on the CSXT Fremont Secondary on April 8, 2006, bound for the New York & Atlantic Railway Fresh Pond Yard. The Fremont Secondary is part of the former New Haven route that connects to the Long Island Rail Road and New York & Atlantic. The track is under the control of the CSX yardmaster in Oak Point.