Upper Dutchess County Railroad History

Timeline and Map

Driving through upper Dutchess and lower Columbia County today on the Taconic Parkway is a bucolic experience. Surrounded by small towns, rolling hills and widespread forests; it’s hard to believe that at one time this region was criss crossed with an abundance of railroads.

Once you uncover the convoluted history of the seemingly endless amount of railroad charters, defaults, foreclosures, acquisitions. consolidations and abandonments... it gets confusing! Nevertheless, its a fascinating saga. This page is an attempt to organize the gist of all that confusing info in a more "easy to understand" visual form.

The animated map below is chronologically arranged to show the history of "what once was but now is all but disappeared." The frequent transfer of ownership is not noted on the map except for the absorption by CNE.

Railroad Growth and Decline

Static   Animated

Rail Company Ownership

In the 1800s, the growth of railroads in this region included frequent defaults, acquisitions and consolidations.
NOTE: In 1904, the NY&NH purchased the CNE although the CNE was operated separately until 1927.

Rhinecliff Branch

Rhinebeck & Connecticut
Hartford and Connecticut Western
Central New England and Western
Philadelphia, Reading and New England
Central New England Railway
New York, New Haven and Hartford
Passenger service ended in 1933
The Line was abandoned in 1938

Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railroad

Poughkeepsie and Eastern (Poughkeepsie to Stissing)
Poughkeepsie, Hartford and Boston Railroad
New York & Massachusetts
Poughkeepsie and Eastern
Absorbed by the CNE

Newburg, Dutchess & Connecticut

Dutchess and Columbia Railroad
Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut
Merged into CNE system

Further Info

Wikipedia   Various

Rhinecliff Branch (CNE) | P&E between Pleasant Valley and Upton Lake | Timeline and Map Animation
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