Thruway Berkshire Spur - Old ROW Crossings
Have you ever noticed the old railroad crossings on the Berkshire Spur of the NY Thruway? Once again, knowing the history behind those abandoned right-of-ways (ROWs) paints a wonderful picture of the life and times of yesteryear. Learning about the milk trains, the long forgotten amusements parks and the business strategies behind competing railroad lines provide a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era all too often ignored in today's fast-paced, techno-infatuated world.
NOTE: Although this is a bit out of the intended "local" focus of this site (BHBL and vicinity), frequent travel on the Berkshire Spur prompted this page as well.
Albany & Hudson Electric Railroad
Abandoned in 1929 - From 1899 to 1929 an electric railway ran from the city of Hudson to Albany, making stops every few miles at a total of fourteen villages and at an amusement park on Kinderhook Lake. The local took two hours, the express somewhat less, providing transportation for work, shopping and entertainment. Further Info:
- About the Albany & Hudson Electric Railroad
Check the April and May 2009 links as well - there is a lot of additional info on this RR line
- Electric Park at Kinderhook Lake Photos
Chatham Division of the Rutland Railroad
Abandoned in 1953 - This line connecting Bennington, VT to Chatham NY was known as the “Corkscrew” division due to its winding route through the hills. This was the Rutland Railroad's primary route for traffic to the south and east. The Rutland hauled a lot of milk from both northern New York State and the western part of Vermont for New York City. At Chatham, it would be transferred to the Harlem line so as to arrive in New York City the next day.
- Did you know?
Students from Chatham would go to school in New Lebanon via the train."The school train for some odd reason was called “the Scute.” Students also travelled to Berlin from Petersburgh and from Stephentown. Some would ride a horse to the station and stable it nearby. Coming back they would saddle up and ride home." cite
Passenger traffic on the Corkscrew Division was discontinued in 1925 although there were a few railfan excursion trains run by the Chatham Exchange Club out of Chatham, NY to Rutland, VT in the early 50s. Further Info:
- Corkscrew Rails And Tales: History Of The Rutland
- Stephentown and the Railroad
- Railroad Net Forum - Chatham Division Discussion