Chasing railroads for my birthday

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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:52 pm

dj_paige wrote:Congratulations on what sounds like a great weekend.

May I ask what parts of the Rochester, Nunda and Pennsylvania you saw? And did you find any parts that have previously been unreported here in this forum?

Thanks, yes, it was huge fun. I saw the crossing of Stottle Road and Bowen Road. Looked for it at Union Street, but didn't see anything other than the treeline to the northeast. I saw the cut out behind some private property on Fowlerville Road. Got permission from Jeanine to go looking. They know it's an unfinished railroad. Her husband is the railfan. Also saw a bit of grade on the south side of Fowlerville Road. Saw some really well-defined railbed on the south side of Mount Pleasant Road. There's railbed on the north side as well, but it's harder to see. East of Short Street you can clearly see it on the aerials, but not on the ground. Might be worthwhile to ask the property owner if there is any grading on the north side of York Road East. I didn't, though. Saw nothing at the east end of Dow Road even though it ought to be crossing there. Drove to the end of Spring Street, but there wasn't anything obvious there.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:57 pm

Matt Langworthy wrote:Caledonia also had the G&W. Aerial views on Bing maps show the location where the Erie/EL crossed the G&W on a diamond, and the ROW for a couple of connecting tracks. Fascinating place!

P.S. Happy belated b'day!

Thanks! Yeah, the Livingston County Fair is in Caledonia just south of the Erie's ROW. There's a little creek that goes underneath it, either through a culvert or a short bridge. Tried to get back there to get a photo of it, but the property owners weren't home on a Friday morning, and the county fairground were all fenced and gated. Even if I could get in, it's likely that the fence goes all the way around, so I couldn't get to the railbed that way.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby dj_paige » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:00 am

RussNelson wrote:Thanks, yes, it was huge fun. I saw the crossing of Stottle Road and Bowen Road. Looked for it at Union Street, but didn't see anything other than the treeline to the northeast. I saw the cut out behind some private property on Fowlerville Road. Got permission from Jeanine to go looking. They know it's an unfinished railroad. Her husband is the railfan. Also saw a bit of grade on the south side of Fowlerville Road. Saw some really well-defined railbed on the south side of Mount Pleasant Road. There's railbed on the north side as well, but it's harder to see. East of Short Street you can clearly see it on the aerials, but not on the ground. Might be worthwhile to ask the property owner if there is any grading on the north side of York Road East. I didn't, though. Saw nothing at the east end of Dow Road even though it ought to be crossing there. Drove to the end of Spring Street, but there wasn't anything obvious there.


The only thing I ever saw at Stottle Road was a line of trees, I didn't see anything else that could be railroad related (but there was snow on the ground the day I was there, as I recall). What did you see at Stottle Rd? Got pictures?

Yes, the earthworks on the south side of Fowlerville Road are very well defined. I could never find anything on the North side of Fowlerville Road.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Sun May 01, 2016 12:36 pm

I don't see that I wrote up this explore anywhere. I went down to New York City March 18-19, 2011 and rode a couple of rail-trails there. Went for a short ride on the west shore of Manhattan. Saw the Erie-Lackawanna terminal, the NYC Alco 8625 stuffed and mounted, and the nearby ruins of a carfloat loader. Saturday I went for two rides:

http://blog.russnelson.com/bicycling/1300539659.html : Rode the Joseph B Clarke rail-trail (& friends) last Saturday. It's one of those trails which are maintained by the towns through which it runs, so it changes name every few miles. The Clarke portion is at the lower end. On the way up to Nyack, it changes name to Hadder Park, and then the Raymond G. Esposito Trail. Only the curving portion on the left is paved. The rest, including both legs of the wye, are dirt.

There is no signage, nor did I find it, but there seems to be another section that I missed on the north end of the Clarke legs. The trail runs into a missing bridge over the CSX tracks, but picks up again north of that. Like I say, no signs, so it's kinda lame if that's true. [ it's being officially opened up to the library. ]

http://blog.russnelson.com/bicycling/1300552892.html The second of two rides that Saturday, I rode the South County Trailway, or at least the southern portion of it. It runs from the Bronx through Van Cortlandt track on the Old Put (Putnam Branch of the New York Central). Through the park, it's an undeveloped trail. People have made a herd path off to one side of the ties, which are still there.

At the Westchester County line, it starts being a paved trail. Both have their charms. It continues for a few miles north of Tibbett's Creek Park, then runs into a section that they're working on right now. Beyond that it may be walkable (I saw people walking on it), but it's not rideable. [ it's been paved and is open now. ]

Further to the north, it looks like the South County Trailway becomes paved again, all the way up to the North County Trailway.

Also checked out the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. They're not using that aqueduct anymore, but the property is still owned by NYC, and they allow people to walk and bicycle along its length. There are still all the aeration towers, one every mile.

On the way home, I went through Fort Edward, took a picture of the trolley bridge abutments there, and stopped by an Old Champlain Canal lock.

Pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/russnelso ... 325354032/
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby Fireman43 » Fri May 06, 2016 11:01 am

Russ

Noted on your post a page back or so- checking out Sodus, you mention the Rochester and Sodus Bay " tunnel" under the Hojack. I was not aware of this. Where exactly was it?

i lived in Sodus and worked at Genesse Brewery Malthouse at Sodus Point from '83 til it closed in 87. Unfortunately ( my loss) i didn't have an interest in RR at that time and didn't even pay much attention to the history of the Elmira Branch and the coal trestle although OMID delivered hoppers of barley to us!

On a side note, looking at the sat view of the Wallington area where the Elmira branch crossed the Hojack, just south of the abandoned diamond there appears to be two old tankers on a spur, half hidden in the trees.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Wed May 11, 2016 11:29 pm

Fireman43 wrote:Noted on your post a page back or so- checking out Sodus, you mention the Rochester and Sodus Bay " tunnel" under the Hojack. I was not aware of this. Where exactly was it?

About 200' east of Barclay Road. They've been filling it in for a few decades, so there isn't much to be seen. You can see the two wing walls on the north, and a pile of debris on the south. The fill is settling down into the tunnel.

On a side note, looking at the sat view of the Wallington area where the Elmira branch crossed the Hojack, just south of the abandoned diamond there appears to be two old tankers on a spur, half hidden in the trees.

Oh, yes, definitely. They use the stub of the PRR line for storing cars or MOW or whatever.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby tcrist » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:52 am

The ex-U&D caboose in the woods above Kaaterskill Falls

http://i39.tinypic.com/2qvuq3b.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/2n71hte.jpg



Hi Mark! I saw you picture of the caboose in the woods and would like to know its location. I am trying to locate the site of the Mountain Crest hotel which was next to the railroad tracks in Haines Falls and near that old caboose. I tried to figure out the geotag info but had no luck. Any clues that you could provide would be a big help!

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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:34 pm

dj_paige wrote:The only thing I ever saw at Stottle Road was a line of trees, I didn't see anything else that could be railroad related (but there was snow on the ground the day I was there, as I recall). What did you see at Stottle Rd? Got pictures?

Yes, the earthworks on the south side of Fowlerville Road are very well defined. I could never find anything on the North side of Fowlerville Road.


Well, ya gotta squint a bit at Stottle, but there seems to be a raised embankment, maybe 6" higher than the fields, with drainage ditches 6" below.

On the north side of Fowlerville Road, there is NOTHING in the field. I went down the driveway to the east and knocked on the door (being nice to the enthusiastic but harmless doggies), and was given permission to look at the cut which is the approach to the bridge. I thought at first on the topo and aerials that it was a raised bridge approach like so many, but no, it's a cut.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:04 am

Still not my birthday, but there have been new rail-trails discovered and created since last year.

Started in Utica. Visited the DL&W turntable site, or at least I thought I did. Cactus Jack insists that it's still there, hidden in the weeds and trees. I must admit that I wasn't looking exactly where it was. Went on to bicycle the Philip Rayhill Memorial Trail. I had already ridden most of the railroad part of it. They extended it over Sauquoit Creek with a new bridge on the old railroad abutments, but quickly head north away from the tracks. No matter, I bicycled on the railbed east nearly to the existing tracks. Saw a stack of rotting ties and a whistle post.

On to Hecla Pond, to see the cut stone arch underneath the West Shore. It's looking a little sorry, with some stones being pushed out of position, and three stones knocked out of the southeast wing wall. Sounds like they may have back-filled it with poorly-draining soil, possibly with some clay in it.

Then it was Little Falls, and what I thought was a newly-built section of the Canalway Trail on the West Shore. Nope. For some reason the Cycle the Erie Canal folks didn't route us over it. Possibly the asphalt is too narrow for the trikes that some people ride? It looked to be less than 3' wide in spots. Very pretty, though, with views of the Barge Canal, and several quite deep cuts. At Fink Basin Road, the trail gets wider, and I can see the arrows that mark the bicycling route, so I turned back, as I had ridden it before.

The Dolgeville-Salisbury Greenway Trail is the Dolgeville & Little Falls Railroad. Even though this was a logging railroad at the north end, here it is quite a sturdily-built railroad, with tall fills.

Looked at the Central New England in Rhinebeck at the end of Long Dock Road. The north tip of the road is the CNE's railbed. It continues across somebody's front yard (historical marker claims "George Washington slept here"), and goes on for a ways. I though the aerial photos showed a bridge under the ROW, but it must have been shadows. I did see one cool thing, though. There was something that looked like an electrical substation, with incoming cables and tall insulators. No transformers, though. Instead, they connected to heavily-insulated cables which went into an conduit and headed in the direction of the Hudson. It was an underwater high-voltage cable! Pretty neat to see.

On to Pine Bush, to find the "Old Railroad Trail". No signage, no trail infrastructure, not any sign there was even a railroad there, much less a trail. Disappointment. Shame on you, Pine Bushians, for misleading me!

Overnighted at my son's place in Ossining. Started the next day riding the Tarrytown Lakes Extension of the Putnam Branch. This was the original routing that went through Rockefeller's estate, which he paid to have relocated to the east. I had ridden part of it already, but was stopped nearly at the current end by an unfinished bridge, now decked over. The trail continues to Country House, but the railbed continues north for a few miles before it gets back to the new routing.

Crossed back over the Hudson to Blauvelt and the Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail. It's finished from the library going south, but the trail is closed where they're working on the CR-20 bridge over the West Shore. They built a huge new bridge over the West Shore, mostly on the same abutments that the Erie used. They cut down on the length of the bridge by going kitty-corner across the two tracks that used to be there.

Went to Pomona to ride the Samuel Fisher Environmental Trail, but the VFW post there said "No Parking". Went up to the other end just off US-20. It's a nice railbed, but it's completely undeveloped.

Got a tour of the Middletown-Goshen Trolley right-of-way from Ray Kelly, a local railroad historian and expert on that trolley.

Found the Corkscrew Rail Trail. They have ambitious plans to make a rail-trail out of as much of the Rutland "Corkscrew" Lebanon Springs Branch as they can. What they've got now is fairly nice. Good signage at the road intersections, trifold brochures, a trail logbook, and a few park benches to sit on. Saw quite a few people using it, too, so the demand is there.

Finally, I went up to Hoosick Falls, and in the waning daylight, found a portion of the Hoosick Falls Greenway south of town that I didn't know existed the last time I rode it north of town.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby lvrr325 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:23 am

on the Utica turntable, it's hard to make out but it is there. It's lined for the lead and buried in brush and trees. You might check back in say late November after the leaves are down. But it's directly across the main track from the end of Lock St. and just north of the exsting access road off 5A. I think it was no more than 75 feet long, so not particularly large.

I've driven past there on and off for years and if it had been removed, the scars from cutting down the trees and brush would have been super obvious.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby dj_paige » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:07 am

A turntable pit still shows on Bing Maps aerial view
https://binged.it/2dwSPiP
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby lvrr325 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:50 pm

Table is pretty obvious in that view, too.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:20 am

Yeah, several people over on Facebook have told me that it's still there. Boy, if it is, it's hidden in a very small patch of woods. I walked from the railroad to the highway and didn't see any sign of it. But looking on the aerial, I was too far east.
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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby RussNelson » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:42 am

My April 2013 posting really was for my official railroad explore. However, I had to drop my daughter off at UCONN, so on the way back, I went exploring. This was in March 2013, starting the 23rd.

First stop was the New York & Portsmouth bridge. It's out behind the Rye Neck Middle/High School. No challenge to find, really. Just drive behind the school (go in front to get around to the back), and about halfway down the school, you'll see on your right the remains of a concrete bridge. That's the only thing that railroad ever built. It's possible that there was more grading, but the whole area is so built up now that you would never be able to tell.

Next up was walking the White Plains Greenway, which is a small portion of the New York, Westchester & Boston in Ridgeway, NY. The south half of it is definitely right on the railbed. You can see piers for the electric catenary poles every hundred and some feet. To the north, the trail goes off to the left of the railbed. The railbed has been incorporated into the county public works department and is fenced off. The bridge over the railroad at Gedney Way is still present, but not used by the trail. Same for Bolton Avenue and Bryant Avenue. North of there, it's completely built-over.

Spent the night at the Mahopac Budget Inn. Not because it's nice, but because it's budget. Not far from there was my next target: the Mohansic Branch. It came off the Putnam Branch in Yorktown Heights. Made its way through town to the site of the Mohansic State Hospital. Several cottages were built, presumably with materials carried in on the railroad. A combination of factors caused the hospital and neighboring Boy's School to be shut down, most likely a concern that the septic waste would pollute NYC's Croton Reservoir.

There's plenty to see. Opposite Downing Drive, which was the Mohansic's grade through the village, is an open path that heads past the high school. The property lines of the FDR State Park are a little convoluted here. That's because they are extended to include the railbed heading across Crom Pond, and west towards the site of the Training School for Boys. Inside the park, you can follow its embankment to a road, the road to another path, and the path to the location of a footbridge, but where there must have been a railroad bridge.

Heading up towards Kingston, I went up the Bear Mountain Highway. Stopped at the overlook there, took some closeups of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway (DSR). You can see the second loop run across the top of Dunderberg Mountain. Also took a panorama of the DSR, Iona Island, and the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Stopped by the Catskill Mountain Railway to volunteer for a while. Since it was a chance thing, I didn't bring my steel-toed boots. All I could do was stuff like clean up litter, not work on tracks.

Overnighted at the Comfort Inn south of Albany. From there I headed up to Watervliet Junction, which is, as of September 2016, no longer a junction. It used to be a junction with the D&H Green Island Branch. Then the branch was cut back to the west side of 2nd Avenue. The south leg of the wye was needed to get to the industrial's siding. But in September, the switch for the south leg was removed. Tracks for the wye are all still in place, as far as I know.

Next stop was Stillwater, and the Stillwater Multi-Use Trail. It's not even a mile long, so it's not a great bicycling trail (although it's paved). But since it starts on the southern end of The Village of Stillwater, it's a great trail for walkers and pushing prams and roller-blading. The railroad goes on another half-mile into the middle of Stillwater and stops.

I had seen bits and pieces of the Ballston Terminal Railroad before, but since buying a book about it, I wanted to see more. It was an electric railroad which concentrated on moving freight. It ran along the banks of the Kayaderosserass Creek nearly to Rock City Falls. A portion of the railbed seems to be an informal rail-trail. Looking at a few road crossings using Google Street View, I see no signs, so maybe not? There is an undecked bridge on Heisler Road which says "NO TRESPASSING", "STAY OFF BRIDGE", so I think that part of it is not a trail.

From there, it was straight home.

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Re: Chasing railroads for my birthday

Postby rhallock » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:11 pm

Actually that is the NY & Portchester RR bridge.
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