The Lifeline of New York

The Lifeline of New York, New York, New York (B)

The West Side line of the New York Central Railroad was long known as the lifeline of New York since much of the city depended on the transportation of milk, poultry, meat, and other express merchandise along this, the only all-rail freight line on Manhattan Island. The street-level tracks authorized in 1847 were, however, a terrible liability. Over the next 80 years, so many accidents occurred that men known as the West Side Cowboys rode on horseback ahead of the trains, waving red flags. Ironically, essential parts of the ‘lifeline’ became deadly: 10th Avenue, for instance, was nicknamed ‘Death Avenue’.

In 1929, the city, the railroad company, and the State of New York agreed to a plan that would ultimately cost over $150 million dollars, the equivalent of approximately 2 billion today. The West Side Improvement Project, incorporating the High Line, an elevated structure with at least 14-foot clearance, eliminated 105 ground-level railroad crossings. The 13-mile-long line, running from 34th Street to the newly constructed St. John’s Park Freight Terminal, connected directly to factories and warehouses built specifically for sidetrack service, allowing trains to roll right into them. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Sights Map

Guide Name: The Lifeline of New York
Guide Location: USA » New York
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Valerie Paterson
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Freight Terminal
  • 34th Street
  • Riverside Park
  • the High Line

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Bar Tour of Lower East Side, New York City

Bar Tour of Lower East Side, New York City

The Lower East Side has been described the most livable neighborhood in NYC. Unique and dynamic, LES has boutique shops, cafes and restaurants alongside great bars and museums.In this historic neighborhood, residents strive to preserve its roots. Here, you can find young professionals who challenge...
NYC Souvenir Guide: 15 Authentic New York City Products to Take Home

NYC Souvenir Guide: 15 Authentic New York City Products to Take Home

In keeping with the song, one might think that, if they can make it in New York City, they can make it anywhere. Well, not always... Some of the things made in New York City aren't made anywhere else, and you'll definitely want to try or keep at least some of them to prolong your NYC...
9 Best Drinking Places in Upper West Side, NY

9 Best Drinking Places in Upper West Side, NY

With “Bar Tour of the Upper West Side” sample a cross section from NYC’s great gamut of drinking establishments, including a Belgian Brasserie, a wine bar, Irish pubs, and one dive — just for fun! These spots offer something a little extra, like craft beers, inspirational artwork, a chance...
NYC Beer Tour

NYC Beer Tour

There are many great places to drink in New York City. Still, discerning connoisseurs are likely to find themselves awash in a sea of mediocre beer without first gaining a proper lay of the beer land. For those whose curiosity and taste buds urge them to venture beyond ubiquitious draft staples like...
NY Villages Best Tea and Coffee

NY Villages Best Tea and Coffee

This is a guide to the best tea and coffee shops and houses in the East, West, Washington Square and Greenwich Villages of Manhattan. None of these are chains, so tourists looking to avoid Starbucks can find sanctuary in this app. All of these run the gamut between W and E 14th Streets, and down 1st...