Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

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Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby ekho-viktor » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:44 am

Hey! I was browsing the (current) Metro North Beacon Line on Google and I came across a small branch midway between Brinckerhoff, NY and Hopewell Junction, just south of the power substation:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!da ... !1e3&fid=7

When I followed the old path, I noticed that it passed right through the power line corridor and south 1½ miles all the way down to the Hudson Valley Research Park.

It also features this bridge over Fishkill Creek:
https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!da ... !1e3&fid=7

This clearly was there to serve the Research Park at some point, but does anyone know anything else about it? Even when it was used? I assume it was operated by Conrail at some point before the line was sold to Metro North (hence my placing it in the Conrail category, my best guess really) I'm a bit perplexed though because I can't find any real information about it. Any info at all would be helpful, thanks! :wink:
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby glennk419 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:05 pm

I lived in the Fishkill area in 1983-84 and remember this spur still being in place at that time. It did serve the Technology Park which was the IBM East Fishkill plant at that time. I can't remember if there was active grade crossing protection at Rt 52, believe it may have just been crossbucks . I do not recall how far it ran into the plant nor what type of commodities were shipped on the line but it could very well have been chemicals for the water treatment facility and possibly used to deliver transformers to the substation. The IBM Poughkeepsie plant was also served by rail with a steep siding coming off of the Hudson Line at the rear of the plant. I do remember the Poughkeepsie spur still being in service during that timeframe and seeing boxcars on the siding.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:34 am

The Beacon Branch was "back door" type interchange with the NYC when the NH's Maybrook line was still in service across
the Hudson River via the Poughkeepsie Bridge,after the fire that ruined the bridge in the PC era,the Branch was used to access
the Maybrook line at Hopewell Jct to Derby Jct-Devon Jct(NH Mainline) There was an other "back door" at Poughkeepsie with the NYC
as well.
The Maybrook branch west of the Hudson is gone,as is the Poughkeepsie-Hopewell Jct segment(a rail trail),
the remaing sections are split between MNR (as a fiber optic ROW) and the HRRC at the NY/CT border.
The HRRC side is rotting/rusting away :(
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby ekho-viktor » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:16 pm

glennk419 wrote:I lived in the Fishkill area in 1983-84 and remember this spur still being in place at that time. It did serve the Technology Park which was the IBM East Fishkill plant at that time. I can't remember if there was active grade crossing protection at Rt 52, believe it may have just been crossbucks . I do not recall how far it ran into the plant nor what type of commodities were shipped on the line but it could very well have been chemicals for the water treatment facility and possibly used to deliver transformers to the substation. The IBM Poughkeepsie plant was also served by rail with a steep siding coming off of the Hudson Line at the rear of the plant. I do remember the Poughkeepsie spur still being in service during that timeframe and seeing boxcars on the siding.

Excellent, thanks! I'm familiar with the old Poughkeepsie IBM spur from aerial photography, I just wasn't aware of the one I had pointed out until very recently.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby RussNelson » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:44 am

Here's the spur: http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3457918 (there are a couple of road crossings that still seem to have rails buried in them).
The IBM spur: http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/116403305 (still has some rails buried in the road going down to the water treatment / water supply plant.)
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby JoeBas » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:46 am

I used to cross this spur on SR-52 quite a bit when I lived in Beacon and worked in East Fishkill, though usually I took 84 unless it was really snowy.

IIRC, it did have flashers but no gates in the late 90s, but was well out of service at that point. The plant stopped manufacturing semiconductors sometime around then, again IIRC, but the rail service stopped even before that point.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:27 am

The track in question was known as the IBM track and when I worked that territory in the early 70's on the LI jobs i don't think it got much use but it was still in service at that time. All of the crossings between Hopewell Junction and Beacon during that period that amounted to much had at least flashers on them. When Conrail stopped using this route and sold the property to the Housatonic outfit they kept a signal maintainer on hand there to disconnect all of the crossing protection enroute which took a period of weeks. Eventually all of the protection was removed and it might well have been put into use someplace else, this happened, I think, after Metro-North ended up with the property.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Fishrrman » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:11 am

I actually worked freight down that now-removed spur that ran from the Beacon branch down to IBM.

This was back around 1984-85, may even have been a few years afterwards.

But it wasn't much in the way of "freight", just a single boxcar. And if I recall the story told to me by the conductor and brakeman on the job, it was pretty much the same box car and would get moved periodically between IBM's complex in Kingston (NY) on the River Line, over to their buildings adjacent to Rt. 52 in the Fishkill area.

I recall the comment that the movement now and then was made primarily to justify keeping the track in place and maintained (by Conrail, I presume).

I'll guess that at some point IBM decided it wasn't worth keeping the track serviceable any longer, the car movements stopped, and the track got pulled up.

There doesn't seem to be much of IBM -left- at the Rt. 52 park any more. Same for the Kingston facility as well -- was just over there a few weeks back, looks pretty much all closed up.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Jim Kaufman » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:08 am

I remember switching the IBM plant from the Hudson side, near the water treatment plant, off TK1. We usually would shove up a very steep grade...mostly an empty gon and/or boxcar. We worked this off the old "HB-2/BH-1" (Hudson-Beacon-Hudson).
As for the switch off the Beacon Branch, I remember putting a "cripple" in there a few times (eastbound only)...it was a long spur off the southside.
I worked the Beacon Branch on the LI job; the CH jobs...really great country to go through. The old NH "pilots" (Engr and Cdr) always called this "Marlboro Country" (I guess from the old cig commercials).
I think we had Noel for an engr pilot a few times. I know I had "Lenny" as a Cdr pilot more than a few times out of Danbury.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Maybrook fan » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:43 am

Years ago (I was a young kid so this was either PC or very tail end of NH days) I remember traffic lights hanging over the Rt. 52 crossing. - Also I remember reading after Housatonic took over they went into IBM once or twice for loads of recycled paper.
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Re: Beacon Branch, New York: A Spur?

Postby Mike Horton » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:14 pm

Just found this site, the "IBM" spur was put in around fall of '64, and ballasted spring '65 by the NH, it was a dead end spur with a run around. I don't know if it saw service in NH years but recall seeing it switched by PC in '70. My high school was right next to it,I saw oxygen tank cars, and gondolas with equipment in them.I've walked those tracks many times.
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