A view of the Starrett-Lehigh Building, looking east from the site of the former B&O float bridge. New York Harbor Railroads in Color, Volume 1 tells us that "The huge Starret-Lehigh Building was built in 1930 over the Lehigh Valley Railroad's similar yard in the next block."
Several railroad companies had similar float bridge and yard operations
that lined both the New York and New Jersey sides of the Hudson River.
Carfloats would take locomotives and boxcars from one side of the river
to the other. In the Manhattan, trains from the United States mainland
would be offloaded on to the float bridges, and then moved in to the train
yards. In the yards, the freight would be prepared to be sent to
its final destination.
12th Avenue, looking north. The former elevated West Side Highway once stood at this location. Freight trains crossed underneath the former West Side Highway to points east. One of the reasons why the West Side Highway was elevated was to allow freight trains to cross under it in order to avoid at grade train right-of-ways along the route of the former highway. By the time a section of the West Side Highway collapsed in the early 1970's, freight railroad traffic from the float bridges ceased to exist. Planners would no longer have to build an elevated highway in order to avoid railroad right-of-ways, as it was no longer a concern.
12th Avenue, looking south. The actual West 26th Street railroad yard resided where the white and black building now resides (the building to the left of the picture). Old map pictures of the yard trackage indicates that the yard took up a good eighty percent of the property. The property's borders were West 26th Street, 11th Avenue, West 24th Street, and 12th Avenue. The yards took up two city blocks of property.
Construction of the "new" West Side Highway surface arterial street continues.
OldNYC.com contributor John Cocklin provides us with this information:
"I was watching the movie
An Affair to Remember the other night,
and there is a scene where Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are leaning on the
railing of their ship as it passes by the New York piers. Behind
them can be clearly seen a blue pier/warehouse with B&O prominently
painted in big yellow letters. The ship is moving slowly (well, the
film of the New York piers behind the actors is moving slowly) so you get
a good look at the pier/warehouse and some of the boxcars and trackage
nearby. Could this be the West 26th street yard? Like any history
buff, I enjoy seeing railroads in contemporary photographs and films.
This was a bit of a bonus -- imagine all the famous ships that passed by
the B&O pier."
12th Avenue, looking north, traffic going south.
Freight trains once crossed West Street at-grade in order to travel
to the yards. West Street used to reside below the former West Side
-->> Click Here to Continue Exploring the West 26th Street Yards!
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