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.