B&M "split" near Petersburg Junction

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B&M "split" near Petersburg Junction

Postby trainsinmaine » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:49 am

I'm curious about the point where the [roughly] parallel lines of the B&M's former Troy & Boston and Boston, Hoosac Tunnel & Western diverged, just southeast of Petersburg Junction, New York (where both lines crossed the Rutland's Chatham "Corkscrew" Division). It's obvious, looking around the area by car, where the old BHT&W roadbed is, except at the point where NY Routes 95 and 96 converge. There's a big dairy farm there on the north side of the Hoosac River; the old roadbed apparently went through what is now the farm property and then crossed 96 a bit to the east. (At least that's what Google Images seems to indicate).

Was there originally an overpass near this road junction? I presume that was the case, but it's awfully hard to tell. If so, when were the BHT&W rails removed, and when was the bridge torn down? The highway configuration at that point looks pretty new.
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Re: B&M "split" near Petersburg Junction

Postby jaymac » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:31 am

If you check the 1946 North Pownal VT/NY northwest quadrant on the UNH or other topo archive site, there's no apparent overhead bridge shown in or immediately around Petersburg Junction, near current MP-438. Because of field-reporting and/or detail-scaling issues, that could be an omission. The DVD track chart available from Scott Whitney on the "older" Fitchburg section -- showing a 1956 resurfacing -- details no OHB near Petersburg Junction, the closest being the Rte. 7 OHB just a bit TT west of MP-440. Ten or so years ago, the B&MRRHS Bulletin had a photo series on the area, and no bridge was shown at Petersburg Junction, possibly an issue of camera position. There was a photo, however, taken from the Rte. 7 OHB at Hoosick station.
Given the low population density and low amount of slow vehicular traffic around Petersburg Junction when it was initiated, there probably was no grade separation. As road vehicles and their speed increased, train frequency decreased, the Corkscrew even being torn up, so -- as a guess -- whatever roadway realignments have taken place, there probably was/were no OHB/s to remove, if for no other reason than economics. Removing the approaches to a bridge after providing a detour and crossing protection for the detour would be more expensive than maintaining the bridge unless it was at the point of failure.
To get into esoterica, the mountain/mountain range in Massachusetts is spelled Hoosac, the river that starts in Cheshire, Mass., and drains into the Hudson is the Hoosic, and the New York locations in the valley of the Hoosic are spelled Hoosick, as in Hoosick, Hoosick Falls, and Hoosick Junction. Why? I don't know. The answer is buried in antiquity older than I am.
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Re: B&M "split" near Petersburg Junction

Postby B&M 1227 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:35 pm

t'was indeed a bridge near the northeast corner of the farm. I believe this trackage lasted until the 70s or 80s.
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Re: B&M "split" near Petersburg Junction

Postby jaymac » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:09 am

B&M 1227-
Thanks -- I got more than a bit too focused on Petersburg Junction itself instead of paying attention to the post and looking at the area just north of Green's Crossing. The 1946 topo does show a bridge, and Historical Aerials will be bookmarked, and I will put a stickie on the computer with the words "ZOOM OUT!"
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