OK. I know this this a rail-trail and I have been on it countless times. I have biked on the unofficial trail past Goshen as far as New Hampton which was a station way back in the day, I was told (pre-NJT).
My questions are:
Which station did NJT have in Middletown NY? I heard the old NJT station is right downtown. The current station is by a mall.
Also, where did the original line connect with this current line to PJ? I want to bike/hike the entire line. And:
Do you think NJT should have kept the original route through Monroe, Chester, Goshen, et cetera?
MODERATOR'S ADDITION: Anyone have any pics of trains along this routing before they abandoned it? (My only regret is not having ridden this original routing.)
East end of the connection to the Graham Line (the one in use) was at the junction at Harriman, just north (geographically) of the current station. The lines ran parallel at Howells, for a short stretch, diverging east of Otisville; they merged again at Guymard, west of Otisville.
NJ Transit never owned the line, so they did not abandon it—besides, it would have been highly unlikely for them to own a railroad line within New York state. The Erie Main was one of the many Conrail abandonments, IIRC. There were a number of NIMBYs in Middletown that wanted the main line gone through the middle of town, from anecdotes I remember hearing years back; although the Graham Line is over 6½ miles longer than the original main line, the grades are far less steep, so that offers advantages for the freights.
About halfway down the page, there is a pic of a Comet IA in Metro-North colors going through Chester Station in the spring of 1983. It said that Metro-North abandoned the line in favor of the "more efficient" Graham Line.
New York's MTA kicked in funds to help Erie Lackawanna operate the line since 1970 (transit maps of the day referred to the Hudson Line, Harlem Line, New Haven Line, and the Erie Lackawanna (Line)). When NJT and Metro-North were formed in 1983, the end of NJT's territory was declared Suffern, NY, and it was considered Metro-North's Port Jervis Line from there (and they began issuing their own timetables). Nice touch- MN's color code for the PJ is orange. Anyway, as mentioned elsewhere, it's always been MN's territory, even if operated with NJT crews and pool equipment.
Hmm, this is one of those topics that could be in either forum. Since NJT runs and operates the line for Metro North, it could also fall into this forum. I'll leave it up to you Otto. If you folks in the New York State are looking for a good discussion, you can have it. Besides, we're beating you all leaps and bound already in number of posts.
I was thinking of moving it to the Metro-North forum, so it would really appear in both forums at the same time, and the New Yorkers could participate as well (since we discussed this at length over there a couple of times)... but it looks like no one wants it to be moved, so. I just figured that since you were talking about a line in New York State...
Can there be dual forums? I think this would be of benefit as some readers might be devoted to a certain forum and the info provided might be different if it were limited to only one. Besides... I awaiting more pics and info of this original route!!! LOL