Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

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Re: The Beacon Line

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:00 pm

We need to remember that at least during the New Haven days which is before I ever ran trains on that line no train had locomotives with dynamic brake at least in service. You always had to drag them down the hill and the trick was to use as little air as possible to accomplish that. I didn't have that section down to a science as I ran many more WB trains than EB trains. Much of my work was one way out of Oak Point as a pilot to Beacon and then deadhead back to New York on the next local on the Hudson Division, generally an RDC to Croton-Harmon and MU beyond to NYC. Approaching Stevenson as best I can recall was 20 or so MPH down to a 10 MPH section and pulling them down the grade it was relatively simple to just shut off at the right spot to get down to 10 MPH for the section where that was the top speed. I tried to use as little air as possible for that operation and that gave me some air still available for a later slow down if it became necessary.
It was a very scenic stretch but it was also a challenge at least EB.
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Re: The Beacon Line

Postby Fishrrman » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:59 pm

For me the toughest part of the Maybrook coming east was in the Towners area, where you're coming off the grade, but then have to go up a little to cross over the Harlem line, then down again by the ice pond to Dykemans.

Going west, it was from Holmes to the point past the lake where you started down again.

By the time I came around (end of the 70's), CR had enough engines with reliable dynamic brakes. I preferred that to "the air", when possible.
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Re: The Beacon Line

Postby Steamboat Willie » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:42 pm

Noel - was it regular practice to have crew swaps done at Danbury for SENH? I saw a video on YouTube of a westbound being re-crewed on the fly (literally.) I would imagine one crew would not run the entire trip from Beacon to Derby.
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Re: The Beacon Line

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:48 am

SENH and NHSE were crewed from Danbury, one crew would take train from Danbury to Selkirk and back, other crew would take train from Danbury to Cedar Hill and back to Danbury etc etc.
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Re: The Beacon Line

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:21 pm

Back in my time working the Maybrook territory the crews between Cedar Hill and Selkirk ran through with home terminal for both sides in Cedar Hill. I suppose occasionally they would have trouble and not make it but overall most of the time the crews were able to make the run within 12 hours. It was harder and farther from Oak Point to Selkirk but even then they made it through most of the time.
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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:17 pm

Dusting off some threads; this will be the pie-in-the-sky one for possible service resurrection.

For current status, history etc.: Beacon Line Maintenance / Current Status / Background

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Re: etc

Postby fredmcain » Wed May 10, 2017 7:19 am

Noel Weaver wrote:In my opinion, New York State errored badly when the Harlem beyond
Wassaic was abandoned and torn up. There is a huge potential in the
area of Dutchess/Columbia north of Wassaic and it would be very
difficult and expensive to extend the Harlem north of Wassaic.
<cut>


Noel,

What is the current status of the roadbed north of Wassaic? Is the abandoned right-of-way mostly intact or has it had stuff built over it? Would it be possible to relay rails on the roadbed? It would be nice if service could at least be extended north to Millerton.

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Re: etc

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed May 10, 2017 7:48 am

Landbanked, state-owned (but by the state parks dept., not NYSDOT or the MTA), and protected from encroachment the whole way. However, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail occupies the whole of the Wassaic-Millerton segment so would have to be accommodated rail-with-trail...adding cost and complexity to an extension in terms of what the county will negotiate. While certainly feasible to do, and eventually congestion may make the county warm(er) to the idea...that has to be considered the very last-priority extension on the MTA's plate because of the extra hurdles. Way, way behind Penn Station Access, Poughkeepsie-Rhinecliff, and all manner of capacity enhancement in the existing MNRR-NY service area before Millerton gets another crack. But demand would be good enough to Millerton from both sides of the state line that you can never call it 100.00% impossible; interest will flare up from time to time keeping it a perpetual study candidate.

Thru service to Chatham outside of the MTA district...that almost certainly will never happen. Too many miles at not nearly enough critical mass, too much that can be done first via the Empire to improve upstate access, and the out-of-district question keeps it out-of-sight/out-of-mind for the MTA whereas Millerton will always be lurking around the fringes giving off a lukewarm-or-better heat signature.
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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby NaugyRR » Wed May 10, 2017 10:15 am

I personally don't think Millerton could be feasible without taking up the Trail. The cuts and line-side homes get pretty cozy to the ROW, especially as you get closer and into Millerton. Plus there'd be no way to return to the former station site without doing some major redevelopment; you'd either have to have a new station built south or further north of the former site without completely throwing things into disarray.

I'm usually through Millerton two or three times a week at least, and regular weekday traffic from the locals certainly doesn't warrant rail service. Friday - Sunday can get pretty busy at times with the people who come up from the City, especially in the warmer weather and when there's an event in town, but again, nothing too extreme and usually pretty central to the section of 44 between the two traffic lights.

What Millerton would really benefit from would be a dedicated municipal parking area to get cars off the side of the street, which is really what gets annoying. There's no worse feeling than when someone's parallel parked three feet away from the curb and you meet a tractor-trailer coming the other way, haha. Plus I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen people just swing their doors open without looking at the road.

If the MTA were to invest in Millerton, I think the best option would be to create a municipal parking lot with a dedicated shuttle bus to/from Wassaic. That right there would alleviate a huge portion of the congestion in town and require far less resources than extending train service.



While we're on the Beacon Line thread, whatever became of that whole ordeal with the MTA seeking proposals for the line a while back?
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Re: etc

Postby CRail » Thu May 11, 2017 1:32 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:However, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail occupies the whole of the Wassaic-Millerton segment so would have to be accommodated rail-with-trail...adding cost and complexity to an extension in terms of what the county will negotiate.


Not true. A railroad right of way is a railroad right of way. Sure, there may be political hurdles due to opposition by trail advocates, but the presence of a bike trail on a right of way constitutes no legal claim to that property over rail use. No matter how "obsolete" elitists deem them, railroads are more important than recreational trails.

What on earth does this have to do with the Beacon line anyway?
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Re: etc

Postby fredmcain » Thu May 11, 2017 5:57 am

CRail wrote: What on earth does this have to do with the Beacon line anyway?


Well, on this forum, I'm not sure how you can change the subject title. On the Yahoo e-groups with which I'm far more familiar (and literate) all you have to do is change or modify the subject line and go on.

But how can you do it on here and save the last few responses that are relevant to the new subject line?

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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Thu May 11, 2017 6:54 am

Probably has to do with the fact that dear Admin probably merged 30 different threads together ;)

But anyway...yeah...upper Harlem...not Beacon...back on topic please....
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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu May 11, 2017 9:00 am

Nah, did no such thing on this topic. Beacon to me is sacrosanct! I think we just got off-topic. I'm sure if you search "Millerton", "Wassaic" or "Chatham" in here, you'd find something. To close out on the references to Millerton, my understanding is that whoever was in charge back then made the judgement that Millerton would have encountered too much opposition, and that the quickest way to get the extension built was to just choose Wassaic. They needed to get out of Dover Plains as the terminus. and the Wassaic location had plenty of room.

Actually, I did the search for you: here's the main topic: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=97496

Up to "Girl" if she wants to cut and splice posts.

One other topic of interest: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=5943&hilit=millerton&start=15

Now, we return you back to our current topic.
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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby eehiv » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:03 pm

Looks like the Beacon line is being converted to a trail for the "Empire State Trail" at least from Hopewell Junction to Brewster:

http://www.hudsongreenway.ny.gov/Librar ... .sflb.ashx

They refer to it as the "Beacon Rail Trail".

It is also referred to in the current MTA budget:

http://web.mta.info/news/pdf/MTA%202018 ... me%202.pdf

No mention of whether the rail will be kept or not, though there is plenty or room for both as this section of the Maybrook line was originally double tracked.

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Re: Beacon Line Service Proposals or Ideas

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:50 pm

it use to be two tracks, only one area were second track use to be is being converted to trail.
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