"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

East Hampton, CT Railroad Station

I was traveling through East Hampton, CT and discovered the old railroad station.  The weather was a bit cloudy and gray so the pictures aren't optimal. Nevertheless it was cool finding it!

This photo is from a Google Street View
I rode the Airline Trail a couple of years ago and started the ride from East Hampton. The photo below came from the kiosk in town.

Railroad History

The first railroad through the town was the New Haven, Middletown and Willimantic Railroad. It ran from New Haven to Willimantic, forming part of a more or less direct route between Boston and New York City and was was completed in 1873. The Panic of 1873 and the high expenses of construction bankrupted the line and forced its reorganization as the Boston and New York Air-Line Railroad in 1875. After a few years of attempted competition, it was leased by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1879. 

Passenger service was discontinued in 1927 and the rails were abandoned entirely in 1965. East Hampton to Willimantic was opened as a trail in 1986.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Noroton Heights Train Station

What a surprise right nearby but never seen yet!  

The former Noroton Heights railroad station was looking mighty fine despite the cloudy weather. It's now a youth center and the ugly  (pitiful!) Metro North replacement is just a bit further west. Love the caboose!


Historical Details

When high-level platforms were being constructed along the line in the early 70s, the Noroton Heights station was repurposed to became the home of Darien EMS Post 53, and served as their headquarters for 16 years. After Post 53 relocated to a new building across the tracks, the old depot was set to be demolished. Fortunately, it was saved from that fate when a youth center acquired it in 1989. The Depot is a drug-free gathering spot for young people. The Depot >


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Schenectady Train Station

While briefly upstate on family business, I grabbed the opportunity to visit the new Schenectady Train Station. Nice job Amtrak!
Some great history tidbits in the back
Stairwell to the train tracks

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Trolley Bridge - Dionondahowa Falls

The Hudson Valley Railway was an extensive interurban electric railway system that was in existence from 1901 to 1925. (see map). There was a branch from Schuylerville to Greenwich that has been often overlooked. A few scattered remnants remain and old maps and postcards help reveal its history.

Especially impressive was the high spindly bridge that passed over the Dionondahowa Falls near Middle Falls, NY. Dionondahowa is a Native American Algonquin word meaning "She opens the door for them".  Source: Aboriginal place names of New York

Hudson Valley Railway Trolley Map

1 - Piers of the Trolley Bridge across the Battenkill at Clarks Mills are still standing 

2 - Any remnants of the trolley bridge further upriver at Dionondahowa Falls have long disappeared
Dionondahowa Falls - Yesteryear and Today

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

Hyde Park to Cambridge Junction

I rode 24 miles (12 miles each way) on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. It was pretty flat and a bit boring as there was hardly any railroad remnants to see except for the converted Cambridge Junction station. Still, it was a beautiful day (although a bit chilly) and my curiosity needed satisfying!
Interestingly, it's downhill from Hyde Park to Cambridge Jct.

Since I did the stretch from Morrisville before, I started at Hyde Park this time.
It's an easy ride - primarily farm country.

Dog's Head Falls

Before the town of Johnson, there's a very scenic falls right off the rail trail. Google Map Location >

Cambridge Junction

Once I arrived at Cambridge Junction, there was a lovely train themed playground at the old railroad station!
I had my apple here :-)
There's a great write up of the history...
In addition, there's a covered bridge over the river

End of the Trail

Once at the playground, it's just a short ride over the former railroad bridge to the end of the trail.
This old junked double decker bus seemed out of place in northernVermont!
The railroad continued on but the trail officially ends here for now

On the Return Trip

I snapped a photo going back over the bridge - note mountain in the background
river side scenic shot
For some strange reason, this sand pit /gravel quarry intrigued me
Big Turtle lounging by the side of the rail trail

Short One-Handed Video

Further Info

Railroad History:

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Glenville/Alplaus Visit

A short visit to upstate NY to visit my family is never complete without checking out railroad remnants :-)

Old Stone Railroad Bridge

This lovely stone railroad bridge can be found off Glenridge Road in East Glenville, NY.

Historical Details
In 1881, the Boston, Hoosac Tunnel and Western Railway opened an extension west from Mechanicville to Rotterdam Junction. This was later to be incorporated into the Fitchburg Railroad which by 1919 became part of the Boston & Maine RailroadMore info >
1930 USGS Topo Map

Trolley Bridge Ruins - Alplaus, NY

I have been here numerous times... This view of the Mohawk River old trolley bridge piers is looking south. It was part of the Schenectady Railway. Historical Details >
Note kayakers
Note Birds