"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Friday, December 23, 2016

FJ&G Remnants West of Scotia NY

The Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad (FJ&G) was formerly a 132-mile steam engine and electric interurban railroad that connected Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville to Schenectady, New York. It had a successful and profitable transportation business from 1870 until the 1980s.

I spent some time this afternoon documenting the remnants of this system between Scotia and Amsterdam NY.  The FJ&G ran along the north side of the Mohawk River and--although much of it has been obliterated by the widening of Rt 5--there were still a surprisingly good amount of places to see vestiges of the ROW.


These 1931 USGS topo maps indicate the precise ROW (highlighted in brown). It was a double track all the way between Schenectady and Amsterdam.

The FJ&G crossed under the New York Central mainline at Washout Road and turned westward.
Washout Road Underpass
Google Street View
On Google Maps, this is labeled as Simmons Road
Google Street View

Documenting the Right of Way (ROW)

At the foot of Washout Road, the abutment over the creek was much easier to see in the winter than last April when I scrambled thru the briars to snap photos.  see April Post >
Washout Creek

The widening of Rt 5 over the years obscured some sections but in other spots the roadway was easy to discern just to the north.

The three photos above are (1) view from the road; (2) a small culvert; and
(3) a climb up to view the ROW looking eastward
Certain sections of the ROW were visible in the distance
A turn up a side road permitted close ups

Verf Kill

Remnants of the bridge over the Verf Kill.
View from Rt 5
Up hill on a side street - I walked eastward on the rail bed cut 
View down from the edge
Looking upstream
Looking westward on the same side road

Traveling further west

Visible in Bing Bird's Eye views
Another side road view

Further west, where the ROW ran closer to Rt 5, only a skinny width remains...


In 1938 the Gloversville to Schenectady line was abandoned.

Further Info

The Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad (Wikipedia)
Gino's Rail Museum (in depth details: photos, history, etc.)
The Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad (American Rails)
Washout Creek Bridge (Bridgehunter)
FJ&G Map


  1. I realize this is an older post. I grew up in Broadalbin when this line was still running we used to put pennies on the tracks as they coasted down a slight grade and thought it was great how they flattened. Last I knew the station was still there operating as an antique shop. My grandmother used to tell us how she road the train from Gloversville to the village where she was a teacher, that would have been in the late 20s. Also had the pleasure of riding from Gloversville with my Cub Scout pack when I was about 10 as they shuttled cars around.

    1. William - that's a couple of wonderful memories!

  2. these pics portray the electrified interurban trolley line of the FJ&G , and as the author posted, was abandoned in the 1930's