Cherry Valley Branch questions

Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.

Moderator: MEC407

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:31 am

brward wrote:Russ,

There is one other bridge still intact. I refer to it as the Engleville bridge. It is nestled between Sharon Springs and Hanson Cross Road through a desolate stretch of farmland. It is of concrete. This was put into place in 1929 after the low lying timber trestle that was there washed away due to the flooding of the West Creek.


Found it! http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/173011322 Thanks so much, Brian.
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3786
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby ChiefTroll » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:07 am

Cactus Jack wrote:
I was wondering from the last train photo posted what commodities were received. Looks like feed cars and coal may have been staples ? Any milk traffic still on the line back in the '50's ?
Also, where did the crews work out of ? Did these guys regular bid the job or work off the pusher crew list as an extra ? Just curious.

Milk traffic was gone by 1950. The local freight that served the Cherry Valley Branch was SU-10, a two-sided turn out of Kenwood via Altamont with an overnight layover at Cherry Valley. After the Branch was abandoned, SU-10 became a daily turn Kenwood to Cobleskill and return. By 1970 SU-10 was operating out of Mohawk, serving the Albany Main from the south as needed.

- Gordon Davids
ChiefTroll
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:51 pm
Location: Severna Park, MD

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:06 pm

"I'm curious about that Route 20 bridge in Cherry Valley, which I've seen only once, during a visit out that way about ten years ago. I know it's become sort of a landmark among us railfans, and I wouldn't want to see it removed --- but how has it managed to stay standing after all these years? As it serves no real purpose (or so I gather), I would have thought the State would have removed it years ago.

trainsinmaine

Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:23 pm"

I would venture to say it would cost the state more money than they'd get back in scrap metal $$

just a guess

- Mark
Mem160
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:59 am

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:14 pm

The bridge over US-20 was built by the State of New York in the early 1950's at the time they built the by-pass around Cherry Valley. At that time the state planned to rebuild the entire Route 20 as a four lane divided highway across New York State. This section was probably the very last section to be done before the decision was made to build the New York Thruway to the north which made any further rebuilding of US-20 un-necessary. I have travelled US-20 many, many times especially east of Richfield Springs and one thing against this great highway is the winter conditions and grades. The snows really can build up along this road and it is up one hill and down another all the way as you go west especially east of the Finger Lake Region. Even in my retirement years I have made it a point every year that I have gone to Upstate New York in the summer to drive US-20 from Albany to Springfield Four Corners and down NY-80 to Cooperstown, great memories of this part of New York State from my very early years.
I have a copy of the abandonment notice for this branch somewhere here in my collection but I am unable to put my hands on it right now.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9334
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:33 pm

I know that there are only like 2 bridges left on this old line. Are there any highway bridges left where the tracks went below the roadways?

- Mark
Mem160
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:59 am

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby deano12056 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:47 am

Now you can even own a piece of the Branch Real Cheap......Seward Depot (1870)

http://www.directhomes.com/Property/156 ... l_Ny_12043

If I had the extra dough I would even pick this up.....

Deano
deano12056
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:09 pm

If I had the money..... But you gotta think it's gonna need work, starts to add up

Brian How's the book coming along?

- Mark
Mem160
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:59 am

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:21 pm

Okay, this is really obscure! South of Janesville, the line went through several farmer's fields and is largely erased. But not *completely* erased. Look here: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=42.69799,-74.57692&z=17&t=S
That is, I think, the tail track of a wye on the Cherry Valley Branch. To the north it crossed over West Creek and there's a little bit of the railbed poking into the field. To the south the railbed is now a barm road. You can *clearly* see a curve to the north and a curve to the south, the ends of which line up with the CVB (Hey, did you ever notice that you can spell Cherry Valley Branch using three consecutive keystrokes left to right??).

I looked on the USGS historic topo maps, but nothing special there. Is it possibly the top of a grade coming out of Cobleskill where the helper would turn? BTW, Sharon Springs gets full billing with Cherry Valley on the old topo map at the north end (Sharon Springs and Cherry Valley Branch), but once you get past Hyndsville, it's just the Cherry Valley Branch
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3786
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions - Wye at Janesville?

Postby ChiefTroll » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:47 pm

Russ -

I think I see the feature you mentioned. Is it at 42.703185,-74.582247, just north of Bush Street Crossing and east of Cross Road?

I doubt that it was a wye. It looks like a gulley there, because the farmer has built a small bridge at the east end of it. The D&H, to the best of my knowledge, never had to run helpers on the Cherry Valley Branch because it didn't have enough traffic to justify an additional engine crew. If they had a heavy train, they could easily double the hill, and if a second engine was used on the train they could turn it on the turntable at Cherry Valley. The curves would also have been pretty sharp, even for small engines.

Of course, anything I say about the Cherry Valley Branch is conjecture or second hand, because it was gone long before my D&H days. But not that long, compared to how long it's been since . . .

- Gordon Davids
ChiefTroll
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:51 pm
Location: Severna Park, MD

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:02 pm

I accept your railroading logic about the unlikeliness of needing a helper there. However .... the thing I'm looking at is not at the location you gave. If you follow this link:
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=42.69778,-74 ... 20of%20wye
you will see A, the tip of the wye, B, the north leg of the wye, and a crosshairs, the south leg of the wye.
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3786
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby ChiefTroll » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:00 am

OK, Russ. Now I can see the darker colored grass in the form of a wye. I never would have found it on my own.

It's possible that it could be a construction artifact, possibly for turning a train of dump cars when the railroad was under construction, if it had anything to do with the railroad. Or it might have been a temporary end of track until construction progressed to Cherry Valley if the Cherry Valley, Sharon and Albany Railroad Company had been delayed in completing its road to Cherry Valley. But construction of that railroad began after its incorporation on April 10, 1869, and it was opened for operation on June 15, 1870, so it does not appear to have been delayed at Janesville. The D&H had an agreement to operate the railroad from May 27, 1870, before the opening day, so it was always operated as part of The D&H. It was formally merged into The D&H on July 17, 1908.

I found a similar trace on an aerial photo south of Stamford, where the New York, Kingston and Syracuse graded toward Harpersfield around 1872 but never laid track past Stamford on that grade. The beginning of the grade away from what became the Hobart Branch Railroad of the Ulster and Delaware begins behind Stamford Greenhouses, and climbs toward the south south west to a knob behind Mud School House. You can barely see a discoloration of the ground where the graders had made a cut in the field.

The late Herb Darling, who owned that farm, told me that there had been a railroad cut there at one time, but the farmers had filled it back in well before 1900. The Ulster and Delaware later built from Stamford through Hobart and Bloomville, and then to Oneonta, bypassing the original proposed route through Harpersfield and Davenport.

- Gordon Davids
ChiefTroll
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:51 pm
Location: Severna Park, MD

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:56 am

ChiefTroll wrote:OK, Russ. Now I can see the darker colored grass in the form of a wye. I never would have found it on my own. It's possible ...

It's barely visible on the Google aerial photos, not at all visible on the USGS topo or ortho photos. I suspect that if you went there you wouldn't be able to see anything. As for what it was going there, there are probably twice as many possibile reasons as any of us could guess. I'm confident enough that it's a real feature to leave it in OpenStreetMap.

I found a similar trace on an aerial photo south of Stamford, where the New York, Kingston and Syracuse graded toward Harpersfield around 1872 but never laid track past Stamford on that grade. The beginning of the grade away from what became the Hobart Branch Railroad of the Ulster and Delaware begins behind Stamford Greenhouses, and climbs toward the south south west to a knob behind Mud School House. You can barely see a discoloration of the ground where the graders had made a cut in the field.

The late Herb Darling, who owned that farm, told me that there had been a railroad cut there at one time, but the farmers had filled it back in well before 1900. The Ulster and Delaware later built from Stamford through Hobart and Bloomville, and then to Oneonta, bypassing the original proposed route through Harpersfield and Davenport.


Gordon, that railroad was discussed here earlier. There are links to it from here: http://russnelson.com/unfinished-railro ... ndSyracuse where I have a few notes and photos, links to some New York Times articles, and links to more photos on Flickr. I visited that site in 2008 to see what could be seen, and if you squint at the best photo I could take, you can barely see it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/russnelson ... 4544209330

I've mapped as much of that railroad was I was able to find actually graded. I imagine there might have been more, but I have a good imagination! I'd love to see more than is mapped here: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/71687903 Y'see, here's the thing about unfinished railroads. VERY often they were started in multiple places by multiple contractors. So you'll find a bit here, a bit there, and none of it connected. Even the Brookfield Railroad, which was 2/3rds completed, was built starting from both ends, with a pronounced gap in the middle. So it's very very possible that there is more of the NYK&S graded, but I can't find it. The ONLY sensible routing is along Basset Brook, but there's no sign of it there. AND in order to get through that pass down to Harpersfield, they would have had to go down a 2.5% grade (1960 down to 1680 in 10825 feet). Not unreasonable on the Up & Down Railroad, but still a steep grade.
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3786
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby ChiefTroll » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:25 am

RussNelson wrote:
ChiefTroll wrote: AND in order to get through that pass down to Harpersfield, they would have had to go down a 2.5% grade (1960 down to 1680 in 10825 feet). Not unreasonable on the Up & Down Railroad, but still a steep grade.

Russ -

There are maps in the office of the County Clerk in Delhi showing the proposed route west of Stamford of the Rondout and Oswego, the NYK&S predecessor. I have seen the map that covers Stamford to west of Harpersfield, and I plotted the approximate route on Topo USA. It stayed up on the sidehill south of the hamlet of Harpersfield, and didn't reach the level of Center Brook until it reached West Harpersfield. The grade on that portion is less than 2%.

The RR would have had to establish a station about a half-mile south of Harpersfield proper, but it was the Town of Harpersfield and not the hamlet that bonded itself to buy R&O stock. They were probably more interested in the property tax revenue than in having the railroad run close to the post office. Thomas Cornell put the R&O into bankruptcy after it reached Roxbury. The stock became worthless and the Town of Harpersfield was left holding the bag with nothing more than the hope of eventually taxing the railroad-to-be that never was.

- GAD
ChiefTroll
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:51 pm
Location: Severna Park, MD

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:24 am

ChiefTroll wrote:There are maps in the office of the County Clerk in Delhi showing the proposed route west of Stamford of the Rondout and Oswego, the NYK&S predecessor. I have seen the map that covers Stamford to west of Harpersfield, and I plotted the approximate route on Topo USA. It stayed up on the sidehill south of the hamlet of Harpersfield, and didn't reach the level of Center Brook until it reached West Harpersfield. The grade on that portion is less than 2%.

Oh neat! I gotta get a copy of those maps. Now ... the next question is: was any grading done starting in West Harpersfield?? Or even further west. The mystery deepens (I hope).
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3786
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby brward » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:08 am

Russ,
The area in question is immediately east of the Bates Farm bridge abutments. It was the largest on the branch at 63 feet and was a steel lattice deck. To my knowledge and from talking to the Bates family there was never a wye there, let alone anywhere else on the branch. Now, that is not to say at one point previous to 1870 some roadbed was laid and never completed. To further back up the theory of the wye I have personally seen the ICC maps and can say there aren't any on them. But, they did divert a number of areas of the creek between Hyndsville and the junction. So anything is possible. Between 1860 and 1869 who knows what was done across the landscape? It was graded for the most part before the D&H stepped in aside from bridge and trestlework.
-Brian
brward
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:41 pm
Location: Central NY

PreviousNext

Return to Delaware & Hudson

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests