Product Details

NY Westchester & Boston Rwy
Herbert H. Harwood, Jr
Indiana U Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2008-07-10 16:50:06
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The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway
J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake

by Herbert H. Harwood, Jr.

Cloth with dust jacket, 176 pages, 89 b&w photos, 4 maps, 7 x 10.

"J. P. Morgan's enigmatic enterprise, the Westchester Railway.

"This book is an absolute gem. A wonderful, not to say definitive, account of a strange and unusual chapter in the overall story of electric railways in America." - Brian J. Cudahy, author of A Century of Subways

"In well-researched and organized text, Harwood tells the story of the NYW&B from beginning to end. This was an unusual railroad that went from start-up to abandonment in little more than a quarter century." - William D. Middleton, co-editor of Encyclopedia of North American Railroads

"When the New York, Westchester & Boston Railway opened in 1912, it was one of the engineering wonders of the American railroad world. Built to the highest level of engineering standards and operated with strict punctuality, the "Westchester" was a high-speed, high-capacity electric line designed to develop and serve upper-income communities in one of New York City's most rapidly growing suburban areas. Unbeknownst to most, reigning financial power J. Pierpont Morgan was behind the funding of the line.

"Unrecorded millions, paid out for unknown reasons, raised the Westchester's construction total to a breathtaking $2 million a mile, almost $40 million a mile in 2005 dollars. Yet this railroad, designed to carry more than 100,000 people a day efficiently and comfortably, ran through virtually undeveloped territory and duplicated the line of the parent company that built it. Due to woeful financial performances and failure to show a profit, the Westchester trains stopped running within 25 years of their christening.

"Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., spent 30 years in various management positions at the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Baltimore & Ohio as well as their successor, CSX Transportation. He has written 12 books on railroad and electric railway history, including Impossible Challenge II, Baltimore Streetcars: The Postwar Years, Invisible Giants: The Empires of Cleveland's Van Sweringen Brothers, The Lake Shore Electric Railway Story, and Royal Blue Line: The Classic B&O Train between Washington and New York. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland."