|Hillside Avenue RR Spur (1951 to 1984)|
ALCO and the War Effort
It is hard to imagine now but this empty off-the-beaten path spot was once a bustling center of activity.
In November of 1940, ALCO was awarded a government contract to produce tanks for the war effort. In just five months, the first tank was successfully tested in front of government officials.
In 1951, this spur was built for the Korean War. Production had increased substantially and the spur was needed to transport the tanks up to testing grounds without destroying the city streets. The tanks were assembled in the huge plant in downtown Schenectady and brought by train up the spur to the test track located off Hillside Avenue. The test track is still visible in Google Aerials. When combat ended in 1953, production dropped to a trickle.
The spur was officially abandoned in 1984. It probably last saw service in the late 60s. It's last use was servicing the CONDEC (Consolidated Diesel Equipment Corp.) and later the Nova Bus Company that located to the former ALCO Tank site.
A Multitude of Tanks Parked by the Testing Grounds
|The tank testing track|
Hiking the Spur
|Using Bing Bird's Eye View, the ROW is visible|
It was an enjoyable few hours out in the fresh air, exploring railroad history. Gino had a blast as well and we will be planning more RR explorations together soon!
Further Info About ALCO and the Tanks
- ALCO AND WW II
- American Locomotive Company - Salute To Freedom
- Schenectady County - Contributions in World War II
- U.S. M47 Patton tanks being demonstrated at American Locomotive Company facility in Schenectady, New York. Video >