Timeline of Putnam Division History
May 21, 1869 - New York & Boston (NY&B) Railroad is incorporated, with the goal of establishing an inland route between New York and Boston. The charter calls for a 58-mile rail line from Harlem River at High Bridge to Brewster, in Putnam County.
February, 1870 - Grading of the NY&B rail line begins in Putnam County at Carmel. Eighteen miles of roadbed are graded by the middle of the year.
1871 - Apparently due to lack of funds, construction on the NY&B proceeds slowly.
1872 - NY&B links a spur of track from the Tilly Foster mines to Brewster.
November 18, 1872 - The NY&B is purchased, with several other railroads, by the New York, Boston, & Northern (NYB&N) Railroad Company in an attempt to create a New York to Montreal rail line.
January 21, 1873 - The Harlem Extension is merged with the NYB&N. The NYB&N becomes the New York, Boston, & Montreal (NYB&M).
July 3, 1877 - After the Panic of 1873, bondholders of the NY&M organize the New York, Westchester, & Putnam (NYW&P) Railroad Company.
March 21, 1878 - New York City & Northern (NYC&N) Railroad Company is formed to carry out the NY&B's original goal of an inland route to Boston. Lewis Roberts of Tarrytown is contracted to build the line. He is given $3,750,000 in securities to buy land, pay taxes, purchase labor, materials, and equipment.
1879 - Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania purchases the Tilly Foster mine.
March 18, 1879 - The Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway is incorporated. The three-mile branch of the NYC&N would serve the Park Hill, Lowerre, and Caryl sections of Yonkers.
May 27, 1879 - Lewis Roberts sells $1.5 million in 7% bonds and $700,000 in stock to a syndicate of New York City bankers to get the necessary funds to construct the NYC&N line. The NYC&N leases the graded right of way from the NYW&P for a term of fifty years.
1879 - Fifteen miles of iron rail are laid, and a 480-foot bridge is built across Croton Lake.
1880 - The last portion of the line, a perilous 80-foot high trestle at Eastview, is completed.
December 3, 1880 - An inspection trip is made along the entire line.
April 1881 - Passenger service is instituted on the NYC&N from High Bridge to Brewster.
November 26, 1881 - Due to speed and weight restrictions on the trestle at Eastview, the rail line is relocated along a loop which includes new stations at Tower Hill and Pocantico Hills.
March 1882 - Tarrytown Heights station is completed.
May 1, 1882 - Due to the inability to earn enough to pay off its bonded debt, the NYC&N defaults on its interest payments and goes into receivership.
May 28, 1882 - The 1869 plan of an inland route from New York to Boston materializes with service from 155th Street, Manhattan to Hartford, Connecticut. Passengers transfer to a connecting train at Hartford to continue to Boston.
May 1883 - The abandoned trestle at Eastview is dismantled.
1884 - The Mahopac Iron Ore Company builds a four-mile line from the NYC&N at Baldwin Place to Mahopac Mines.
1887 - Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company converts the Tilly Foster mine to an open-pit mine.
July 22, 1887 - The NYC&N goes into foreclosure, due to the inability to make interest payments to Central Trust Company of New York City.
August 17, 1887 - The entire NYC&N is sold to a bondholders' committee.
October 11, 1887 - The NYC&N is revived as a new corporate entity, the New York & Northern (NY&N).
November 11, 1887 - The Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway is merged into the NY&N.
March 1888 - Service on the Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway begins.
December 5, 1892 - The NYC&N begins overnight service from New York to Boston.
1893 - Construction begins on the Croton Falls Dam. The dam will create the Croton Reservoir, part of the New York City watershed.
May 1, 1893 - The unprofitable overnight service from New York to Boston is cancelled.
January 2, 1894 - J. P. Morgan and some associates organize the New York & Putnam (NY&P) Railroad Company.
January 15, 1894 - All NY&N property is conveyed to the NY&P.
February 1, 1894 - The NY&P is leased to the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad.
November 29, 1895 - 13 lives are lost when a wall of the Tilly Foster mine caves in.
1897 - Tilly Foster mine is officially closed, although the station is still used to service the area.
1902 - A two-mile section of track from Mahopac Falls to the defunct Mahopac Mines is abandoned.
1907 - Croton Falls Dam is completed.
1908 - John D. Rockefeller's Kykuit mansion is completed in Pocantico Hills.
1909 - Walter Law donates a lavish new station to Briarcliff Manor. The interior is furnished with oriental rugs, wood pannelling on the walls, and mission-style tables and chairs. The old Briarcliff Manor station is moved up the line to Millwood.
1911 - A branch line is built from Yorktown Heights to Mohansic Lake to serve Mohansic State Hospital, a proposed insane asylum. New York Central builds a large wooden trestle across Crom Pond to reach the area.
January 6, 1916 - New York Central ends its Putnam Division runs at Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx, where passengers could transfer to IRT elevated trains.
May 1, 1917 - New York State cancels plans to build the Mohansic State Hospital after New York City objects, citing concerns about pollution to the Croton Reservoir. The branch line is abandoned.
1926 - The Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway is electrified.
1929 - John D. Rockefeller, Jr., annoyed with coal smoke and cinders generated by the Putnam Division, gets approval New York Central's board of directors to relocate the rail line. The relocation project is paid for by the Rockefellers. Forty-six families in Eastview and one hundred-fifty families in Pocantico Hills are forced to relocate.
April 15, 1930 - Work begins on relocating the Putnam Division's route between Eastview and Briarcliff Manor. The new route runs along what was Eastview's main street and along the Saw Mill River. The Rockefellers purchase the Christian Brothers winery property for a million dollars.
March 15, 1931 - Last day of operation for the route through Tarrytown Heights, Tower Hill, and Pocantico Hills.
May 1943 - New York Central abandons the Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway.
December 21, 1944 - Scrapping of the Yonkers Rapid Transit Railway begins.
July 2, 1951 - The Putnam Division begins converting to diesel-powered engines.
September 10, 1956 - New York Central, citing declining ridership and a $400,000 annual loss, considers abandoning passenger service on the Putnam Division.
1957 - The A&P Warehouse in Elmsford opens.
May 16, 1957 - The Public Service Commission refuses to allow abandonment of passenger service. New York Central reduces its number trains operating on the Putnam Division by half.
June 29, 1957 - New York Central petitions the Public Service Commission for a 34.5% fare increase for trains serving Westchester and Putnam Counties.
March 8, 1958 - The Public Service Commission decides the Putnam Division passenger service could be discontinued after June 1.
May 29, 1958 - Last passenger service on the Putnam Division.
September 17, 1962 - Last freight run to Yorktown Heights.
1963 - Twenty-three miles of track between Eastview and Lake Mahopac is abandoned and removed.
1968 - New York Central merges with Penn Central.
1969 - Three miles of track between Lake Mahopac and Carmel is abandoned and removed.
March 14, 1970 - Last freight run to Carmel.
September 1, 1972 - A teenager steals a diesel switcher from the Brewster railroad yards and takes a joyride along the abandoned tracks to Carmel. The engine stops when it crashes into trees that had fallen across the tracks.
October 1975 - The A&P Warehouse in Elmsford closes.
December 2, 1977 - Approval of abandonment of the segment of track from Chauncey to Eastview is applied for.
1980s–present-day: The majority of the railroad is part of the South County Trailway, North County Trailway, and Putnam County Trailway.