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NYC (New York Central/New York Central System)

Facts About the New York Central RR:

The NYC's lines

MAP Of The NYC:(coming soon)

The Beginning (1853):

The New York Central Railroad was formed in July of 1853 (discussed in 1851) after many mergers of 10 small New York state rail lines before and after that date. The Mohawk & Hudson being the earliest RR of the 10, founded in 1826 by George Featherstonaugh, and opened in 1831. NYC ran from Schenectady to Niagara Falls & Buffalo, with 600 miles of track at that time and Erastus Corning became president of the NYC. The 1st superintendent was Chauncey Vibbard. the NYC extended to Chicago by the purchase of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern in 1878. At 1 point the NYC wanted to merge with the NKP, but the PRR prevented that by extending into NYC territory and cutting rates. In the 1880's, the PRR and NYC became major competitors. In the late 19th century, William Vanderbilt sought out to expand the NYC by acquiring more lines West. At this time the NYC was called the New York Central and Hudson RR. By 1913, it became the New York Central RR after absorbing the LS&MS and Hudson river RR.

Most Prosperous Times-The 1800's-early 1900's.

Troubled Times, But Help Arrives:

By the mid 1910's, financial troubles started, as with most American RR's, because the ICC would not allow RR's to raise rates. In the 1920's, the NYC (& PRR) spent a lot on electrification of the railroad, which caused the NYC to be more in debt by the time of the Great Depression, but the NYC did not go bankrupt. During WWII, the NYC was able to get out of most of it's debt. By the later 1940s financial troubles were increase evermore, like most other American RR's, from the rise in popularity of cars, planes, buses, and trucks, and by poor management.

A Dark Future Ahead, But A Major Change Approaching (1950s-60s):

When Robert Young took control of the NYC in 1954, he helped bring the NYC into better shape, but mainly by the US's economic recovery. Then Alfred Perlman (from the Rio Grande & Western RR) became chief exec. officer of the NYC, appointed by Young. Perlman, an efficient RR manager for the NYC, helped the NYC (as he did previously for the D&RGW), concentrating more on modernizing freight operations, and cutting costs. Perlman tried to get the gov. to help because he knew in the long run the NYC was doomed. When the gov. refused help, he turned to merger possibilities during the late 1950's and early 60s (as with most of the RR's at this time). When both the PRR and NYC were turned down by other RR's for possible mergers, the 2 RR's started merger talks in the mid 1950s. Actual agreement of the NYC-PRR merger was in 1961, but was delayed until 1968 by ICC approvals and planning’s (such as the ICC's plan to have the New Haven also merged w/ the NYC and PRR).

A New Final Change, With A New Name (late 1960's-on into PC):

The formation of the newly merged railroad, first known as the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company, and later called Penn Central, was mainly an absorption of the NYC by the PRR, not a true merger, as felt by Perlman. Transportation was mainly run by ex-NYC execs, from NY, while other business interests involved with the PRR previously were run by the Phili offices & ex-PRR execs. During PC, Perlman wanted to restore freight cars of the PC, but was turned down by Saunders of the PRR. Perlman then quit the PC. the years ahead PC sees more problems, and goes bankrupt in 1970, but continues operations until 1976, when it was formed into the new Consolidated rail (Conrail), by merging of other Eastern US railroads.

Final Thoughts About The NYC:

The NYC 1st started out as a consolidation of smaller lines thru NY state, became a railroad empire by merging of more railroads, extending it's operations from the East to the Midwest United States. Even though it's existence was absorbed with the PRR in 1968, it lasted for many years even after Conrail's take-over by NS & CSX in the 1990's, where one could still see many NYC-painted equipment still running on USA rails, although not as common as during the Conrail years.


(added later)

FA1/Alco .

(More to add later on this roster)

More Info About PC's Predecessor/Parent (NYC, NH, PRR)And Subsidiary RR's (DT&I, P&E, P&LE, IHB, CASO, etc.)

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(PC pics taken (by the website owner or other submitters)will be posted. Thanks for looking and click on the other links to find further interesting and useful info about the PC Railroad. This site is updated on an irregular basis and whenever possible.)

©2001-2009pcrrusa; All Rights Reserved. This site has no affiliation to the real Penn Central Company (now has a different name), but is intended to help preserve the history of the PC (mainly the railroad). All info was gathered from webmaster's own extensive research and time.

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