"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Retracing Abandoned Railroads in Dutchess County

Intrigued by an abandoned railroad cut off the Taconic (photos on this page), I drove thru a few small towns east of the Taconic on a sunny Sunday to research the abandoned railroads in the vicinity.

My trip started at Mt Ross, then Pine Plains, then south on Rt 82 to Stanfordville. I then turned on Salt Point Turnpike and went on to Clinton Corners, Hibernia and finished at Salt Point. Highlights of the trip were the Mt. Ross and Hibernia bridges.

There is an abundance of railroad history in the area - be sure to visit this small site as well for further info and more photos.

-NOTE: Enlarge any photo by clicking on it-

-Part 1-

Mt. Ross ROW and Bridge Abutments

Unfortunately, the ROWs were clearly posted as no trespassing. Fishing Access was allowed all along the river so I trekked in on a path close to the river. Near the rock cut, access to the ROW was no longer posted as "no trespassing" so from there, I walked on the ROW to the Bridge Abutments.
Looking West - No Trespassing
Bummer because this would be a nice mountain bike ride
Looking East - No Trespassing
Fortunately the Fishing Entrance by the River allowed access
Fishing Access was allowed all along the river 
Looking back along the ROW
Looking back on the ROW
Here is where the No Trespassing signs were posted
Found a small rock cut
At the bridge there were a couple of buildings - not sure if they were part of the railroad or not (I have a hunch they were...)
Railroad Buildings? 
Looking east
Looking east (different viewpoint)
Returning back, I snapped this photo of an
old deteriorated bench right along the riverbank

Pine Plains

Pine Plains had a few railroads in its heyday. See the ITO Map >  - it shows all the railroads that once ran thru Pine Plains.

At the corner of Birch Lane and Stissing Ave, for a short bit north, Birch Lane follows the ROW while the embankment is clearly visible going south. This was the connector between the Central New England Railway and the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut.
Birch Lane 
Looking South
The Embankment
At the intersection of Factory Lane and Church St (Rt 199), the Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railway ROW continues on northeasterly. 

Enroute to Stanfordville

Paralleling Rt 82 on the east was what appeared to be an abandoned railroad. I stopped and shot a few photos. I believe it was the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad. Although the historic maps don't indicate it exactly... ITO Map >

as you near Standfordville, the old ROW makes its appearance quite often.

-Part 2-


 On Depot Road in Stanfordville the CNE ROW is visible (red lines added for illustrative purposes)
Looking back at Stanfordville
Turning off Rt 82 onto the Salt Point Turnpike, you encounter the CNE crossing.
 North of Clinton Corners is farm and horse country. The ROW is visible at the edge of the field.


In Clinton Corners, Shephard's Way is built on the old Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad ROW.
On Shephard's Way looking southwest
 .. and the old Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad bridge is clearly visible right next to Friends Park.


Right off the road in Hibernia, you can check out the remnants of the Central New England Railway bridge over the Wappinger Creek. There are even makeshift wooden steps by the power line base that you can use to ascend to the top of the embankment.

A path lined with tree branches is provided :-) 


At Salt Point, my final destination for this trip, the Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad ROW runs right thru the town...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Jim Tedisco Rail Trail - Ballston Spa, NY

The Jim Tedisco Fitness Trail

After my insane morning hike (posted here) and preliminary afternoon treks (posted here), I next drove up to Ballston Spa (picking up a Mountain Brew at the Stewart's near Curtis Lumber) and parked at the Public Parking near the Factory. What a magnificent building (once a former Chocolate Factory). 
A short hike up the hill brought me to the northern end of the Rail Trail.  I made note of the old railroad abutment to the north to check out on my return.

I popped the beer opened and made my way south...
You pass by the ruins of an old factory and a massive chimney that is somewhat obscured by the tall trees.

-Short Video-
FYI - The forest is growing on a roof!

It appears there might have been a old road crossing where indicated.
The south end of the trail end where the Front Street Bridge was removed...
... and looking easterly, you can spot the old spring (see Further Info below)

The Abutment

It was a short jaunt to return to the north end. Being a railroad "archeologist" - I was curious about the abutment I spotted and took a few photos. 

Although the abutment on the other side of the river looks much smaller, I believe it was the same size and broke apart. There are large chunks of concrete and stone scattered about to indicate that...

1902 Topo Map marked up to indicate the trail and abutments

Historical Photos

From across the creek looking back to the chocolate factory
Further upstream looking downstream at the railroad bridge
(chocolate factory tower visible)

Further Info

More Pics of Iron Spring and further info on the abandoned railroad found here >