Bryn Mawr Park Station-Old PUT Line

Much has been written, researched and explained about the Old PUT line that used to rumble its trains through now quiet, densely forested areas of Putnam, Westchester, the Bronx and eventually hooking up with the New York Central line at High Bridge where passengers could transfer onto Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.

There were a few stops in Yonkers. First, a western spur that ran toward Caryl Ave, then Lowerre, Park Hill and finally terminating in Getty Square.

The main line however, ran through the Van Cortland park area of the Bronx and into Yonkers, stopping at Lincoln, Dunwoodie, Nepperhan, Gray Oaks and of course, Bryn Mawr Park, the subject of our article today.

Now don’t be fooled, the structure that is there now is a replica of the old train depot that sat on this very spot.

History though is sometimes made very obvious in the present and for the poor Putnam Line, lack of commuter parking and the necessity of transferring to reach Grand Central Terminal, doomed passenger service on the line.

The last passenger train ran on the division on May 29, 1958 and even though it was still used by freight cars up until the early 80′s, the line was forever buried and or torn up in 1982.

Bryn Mawr is a Welsh term meaning “Great Hill” and rightfully so as this portion of the line had one of the steepest grades as it rumbled beneath Palmer Ave, en route to Nepperhan heading northbound.

The trail now is still intact and is part of the South County and North County Trail System where you can run, walk and bike your way through the same trail that great locomotives once clancked through.

To get to this spot, simply go to the intersection of Palmer Ave and just before Mile Sq Rd, turning onto a small dead-end street that doesn’t seem to have a name when you put it into Google maps.

In any event, you will see the “replica” station house and something rather odd…

Why there is a red train car sitting on what apparently is its own set of tracks I will never know…perhaps to remind visitors of the glory the rails once commanded on this spot.

My favorite section of the Old PUT line has to be in the Bronx however, in Van Cortland Park, where you can STILL stand at an actual Train Station that is over 100 Years Old!!

This is also a must see for those who have not seen it, despite it being outside of the Yonkers boundaries…we make exceptions all the time here at MyYonkers!!

All that is left are the Steel Beams from the station, but notice how small the station is!!  Remember, Same train line, same train, about a 15 minute stop away from Bryn Mawr where we last left off. If you can’t get excited about history seeing this kind of stuff than check your pulse!

So if you’re needing to kill some time, wanting some exercise or a history geek…although I have to imagine all history geeks would have known about this Yonkers hidden treasure, then head on down to the PUT!  And reminisce as I did about the imperial days of rail and the trains that used to pass by the trees of Yonkers each and every day.

——–Joshman

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Posted on June 17, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. That brought back some really old memories. I remember riding with my aunt to this station in Bryn Mawr Park when the train actually ran in the 1950s. My uncle would take this train from his job at Met Life in NYC. A am so surprised to see there are still remnants of this station. I lived and grew up on Palmer Road, and also remember sledding down “murder hill” on the Dunwoodie Golf course when we were kids. The tracks were at the bottom of this hill.

  2. The remnants are actually replicas. Nothing remains unfortunately of the old station. Still though, you can clearly see what once was and of course reminisce

  3. I remember a little, beautiful stone station kind of tucked back at the end of a dead-end stub of a road…wish we had had digital cameras way back then!

  4. About 20 years ago a friend and I started on the tracks by Railroad Ave in Yonkers, and headed to Ardsley. We were walking along the Saw Mill Parkway, and hidden in the woods, was still the Ardsley Train Station.

    • Hey thanks for reading! Yea even 10 years ago many areas were still like that. Even my photos show the very beginnings of the progress and completion of the Put bike trail that is now just beautiful…when you can use it and there is no snow and ice!!

      • Hi, I enjoyed reading about the RR line which was still running freight along Railroad Ave in the 1960s when I was a kid. I used to flatten pennies by putting them on the tracks.I lived in the hills then by the notorious Austin Avenue dump in Yonkers. I have been trying to find out more info on the early stages of Austin Avenue. The woods along Austin Avenue back then had stone walls, cement floors, one with an old chimney and I suppose a root cellar, and some other old foundations. My particular interest is this old 2 story abandoned house at the crest of Austin Avenue. It was dilapidated, but had vestiges of past glories. A concrete driveway with designs, columns topped with artwork at the driveway entrance, and I seem to remember lanterns by the front door. No one in my family remembers but me. It was gone in the 1970s. Someone even removed the old stone chimney and foundation from an older house up in the hills by then. Researching old newspaper records, I found the Ausin (Osten) family from Holland bought the area around Austin Avenue in 1780. From looking at maps from the 1800s, I can see multiple Austin family member homes in the area. It even looks like there was a Lawrence Avenue back then which ran through the area which became the Austin Avenue dump. I sure would like info on the old, stately home to the right of the dump entrance, and a picture of it. I was too afraid, as a child to enter it when tresspassors broke down the locked doors and boarded windows. It always held a sense of mystery for me.

      • Wow that’s a great story! Obviously the building was long gone once I came around. I will try and dig some stuff up for you as well. Also, have you seen this site: http://soyosunset.yuku.com/forums/64/SoYo-Snaps/SoYo-Snaps#.UyhWoF6QHnY

        Those guys are the best hands down for a forum site about Yonkers, covering the city from head to toe. If you put a few different search keywords into the search box, like “Austin Ave” and stuff like that, you might or probably will find a forum in which the road and its history has been discussed. I’ll look too though and get back to you. Thanks for reading!

      • Hi Josh, I tried the site you gave me. It was interesting but no clues. I was able to get some information from this site. http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html. My hypothesis is that this fellow Frank Rich owned 13 acres off Austin Avenue which he started charging Yonkers to dump on in the 1920s. As this area included Hogan’s Field, it must have been his house between the field and the main dump entrance. In the 1940s Yonkers bought this property and the mess began. The house was boarded up. I wish I could go back to 1960, when we moved to the area, and get into the house. It must have been a time capsule. Years later, when it had been broken into, I could see the odd, deeply hued paint used on the walls, perhaps a style of many years ago. There was a wide sink in the back of the house. One with a faucet for cold and a faucet for hot. There are still remnants of stone walls along Austin Avenue. The foundations and chimneys in the surrounding woods are long gone. As is the Jewish cemetery behind the dump. There were markers of children at the edges of this cemetery who had died in the 1960s. It was surrounded by a large iron fence, and had many tall headstones which were hundreds of years old. I don’t understand how this cemetery could have been just bulldozed away for progress. I wish something had been done like the cemetery in SUNY Purchase, where they built around it. There is a general from the Revolutionary War buried there Thomas Thomas. Nice to talk with you, Ted

      • Wow Ted! Excellent digging up of info. Yonkers is certainly a city of many many secrets. Which makes it fun for guys like us!

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