A view of the
south side of West 30th street. as the trestle goes over a factory.
It appears that the factory owner had some extra paint to spare, and they
used it to paint the stanchion.
A smokestack rises above the viaduct. Located on the north side of West 30th Street, the factory consists of a string of low-rise red brick buildings.
The High Line trestle crosses 11th Avenue. 11th Avenue must have been just as wide in the early 1930's as it is today, since this looks like this is the original trestle as it does not show signs of expansion in order to accommodate a widened roadway.
11th Avenue and 30th Street, looking northeast. 1 Penn Plaza and the Empire State Building stand tall in the background.
Notice the Pennsylvania Railroad style fence that lines the railroad ROW at the top of the viaduct.
OldNYC.com contributor Bernie Spinelli shares this story with us: "As a newly hired (1954), Hudson Division
locomotive fireman some of my first jobs were working out of the 30th Street yards.
I don't remember how many times I worked the High Line but it was a good place for a young fireman to
learn the job. There was plenty of switching all along the line especially refeers
loaded with sides of beef hanging on hooks and being off loaded by workers carrying the load on their shoulder.
I ran down to St. John's Park terminal a number of times to do switching indoors using the diesel-electrics box motor
as motive power. The one job I didn't look forward to was working the GPO.
Usually the motive power was an R motor which meant you were on third rail all of the time for propulsion.
Except for those times when you found yourself hung up on a third rail gap or a low spot in the track.
In both cases it was the fireman's job to either use the jumper cables to provide
third rail "juice" to the stranded motor or insert a "shinny stick" between the third rail
and the pickup shoe of the motor. Either way it just seemed to a young fireman a bit dangerous
especially when the engineer would open the throttle and the arcing would melt the metal end of the shinny stick.
The R motors were rated at 600vdc and 600 amps and could create a sound and light show that you
weren't likely to forget. The West Side at this time had an extensive stockyard/slaughterhouse complex
which was serviced by the NYC Railroad via the High Line. If I recall the all stock
train NY8 was the principle source of live animals slated for the NY
market. I worked a switching job one night just switching the underground sidings beneath the
slaughter houses. We handled any number of stock cars loaded with hogs and
waited while the handlers off loaded the cars using shock sticks to keep the hogs moving.
I don't remember how many jobs were called for the High Line during an eight hour
period but I do remember passing trains up on the viaduct. It wasn't
signaled and I don't remember having any clearance cards being issued for train movements."
A view of the ROW along West 31st Street. At this location, dump trucks and other construction vehicles are parked under the elevated viaduct.
Environmental proponents of the High Line say that during the spring and summer months, plants grow undisturbed along the ROW. Chrysanthemums, irises, wild roses and asters are just some of the plants that grow on the High Line. While environmentalists call this plant growth beautiful nature in action, others say the plants are just a bunch of weeds, and that some plants shouldn't stop anyone from razing the line.
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