Cherry Valley Branch questions

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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:28 pm

How's the book coming along, Brian?

Has anyone ever wondered the possibilities had the track on this branch stayed intact? Tourist line? Double Stacks for the Wal-Mart Facility? Any thoughts?

- Mark
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:45 am

brward wrote:To my knowledge and from talking to the Bates family there was never a wye there, let alone anywhere else on the branch.

Yep, I hear ya. Still, I've been looking at railroads on aerial photos for a dozen years now, and this is exactly the kind of thing you see in a field. Not much, just a shadow, but you can bet your bippy that a wye was there. I found a wye in a similar way very close to me, about 5 miles away. Went out there with an old NYCentral employee, and we *definitely* found traces of an embankment. Have never found it on a map or in any prose description. My speculation is that it's left over from the Potsdam and Watertown days -- when the railroad used to terminate in Potsdam Junction (a former name for Norwood) for 18 years before it was built out to Massena and thence via CP to Montreal. And if so, then it's 130 years gone.

It's right here: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=44.75839,-74.97154&z=17&t=N -- in order to get the best view of it, you need to look at it on the infrared imagery that you have to download from New York State. But, you can still see the eastern leg on the visible-light color imagery.

BTW, just south is the New York Central Yard, and below that is the Rutland Railroad. They had a few tracks to help with interchange, but Norwood yard was mostly NYC. Oh, and the curved track between them is the "Ice House Track". And the railroad that heads north a bit to the west is the Norwood & St. Lawrence, now the New York & Ogdensburg.
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby brward » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:50 pm

Russ,
Ah yes, the "shadow path" you speak of. Gotta love satellite imagery! I've spotted it before to the east in the fields around Lowe Road as well as in the fields around Keller Road between Sharon and CV. Anything is possible. I've been back to examine those abutments and right where the proposed wye would have been is the slope in the hillside. I guess I agree to disagree, respectfully.

Mark,
It is progressing well. Going through shots of the Seward bridge remnants, Bates farm and Hyndsville now. Historical photos wise I recently acquired a Campbell Pond shot and an awesome shot of Sharon Yard pre-1900. Always looking for more of the past!

-Brian
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Do you have an estimated release date at this point? I can't wait to see this book. Now must be a good time of the year for photos without leaves on the tree branches. Is that Seward bridge visible or accessible by a roadway anywhere?
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby brward » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:27 pm

TrainWorks 2 possibly later this year. The CV Railroad History book...a couple to a few years, I want to be exhaustive in my search for pictures of the line in operation as well as concrete information about all aspects of the line. As for the Seward bridge, it is owned by the Kniskern family in Seward and only accessible through there property or by way of the West Creek...It is visible at that right angle and time of year from Lowe Road.
-Brian
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:04 pm

what type of bridge was that one? Looks from google maps to be pretty long. I remember seeing it as a kid when we would walk the old ROW
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:54 pm

brward wrote:Russ,
Ah yes, the "shadow path" you speak of. Gotta love satellite imagery! I've spotted it before to the east in the fields around Lowe Road as well as in the fields around Keller Road between Sharon and CV. Anything is possible. I've been back to examine those abutments and right where the proposed wye would have been is the slope in the hillside. I guess I agree to disagree, respectfully.

I took a walk out there today. Definitely not a wye. Just seeing things. Nice concrete abutments, though. Also walked the US-20 bridge and the bridge south of Luenburgh Turnpike. Are those the only remaining bridges?
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:00 pm

I only knew of the RT20 Bridge. Where is the other one? What kind of bridge is it? How for south of Luenburgh? yOU Can also still see the old cut in the ravine to the east of Warnerville Cut-Off, where they filed that through girder (??) in back in the 1970's or 1980'S.
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:23 pm

Mem160 wrote:I only knew of the RT20 Bridge. Where is the other one? What kind of bridge is it? How for south of Luenburgh? yOU Can also still see the old cut in the ravine to the east of Warnerville Cut-Off, where they filed that through girder (??) in back in the 1970's or 1980'S.


It's right here: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/173011322 It's about 835 meters south of Luenburgh Turnpike. It *really* looks like it was made from prefabricated concrete pieces and assembled on site. There are some numbers I don't understand cast into the one side ("56.54"??), and "1929" cast into the other side.

Yes, the cut to the east of the Warnerville Cut-off is still there, but I'm guessing that there used to be a bridge over it. It's been filled-in, and the railbed is now Patrick Road, ramping down from the Warnerville Cut-off down to the railbed level.

So ... just so I understand correctly, the bridge over Cobleskill Creek to the south of Seward has been removed, right?
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby ChiefTroll » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:42 pm

"56.64" is the bridge number, in miles and hundredths from Albany in this case, via the Albany Main (Kenwood, Altamont, Delanson). "1929" was the date of erection. It was probably built of precast concrete ballasted deck sections with the concrete abutments cast in place.

D&H bridge numbers on the Susquehanna Division from Albany to Binghamton, including the Cherry Valley and Cooperstown Branches, corresponded with mileage from Albany via Altamont. Bridges from Mechanicville to Schenectady were numbered by mileage from WY Cabin in Mechanicville. Between Schenectady and Delanson they were numbered by mileage from Schenectady. On the Nineveh Branch of the Penn Division between Nineveh and Jefferson Jct they were numbered by mileage from Nineveh Jct, which did not correspond with the mile posts. CP bridge numbers on the former D&H correspond with the mileage now used on a particular subdivision. Albany mileage south of Delanson was changed by adding 473 to the Albany miles, which now represent mile post zero at Mattawamkeag, Maine.

That mile and hundredth numbering system was adopted by the D&H sometime in the early 20th Century, possible around the time of the first valuation surveys around 1916. Before that time, D&H bridges were numbered consecutively on each division and subdivision, which caused problems when any new bridges were added between existing bridges with consecutive numbers.

As an aside, the Ulster and Delaware wisely used the miles and hundredths system beginning before 1900, with a B or C in the number to denote a bridge or a culvert. When the New York Central took it over in 1932, the bridges were renumbered to correspond with the NYC consecutive numbering system like that formerly used by the D&H. When Penn Central was created, they renumbered the U&D bridges on the Catskill Mountain Branch back to the old U&D system, without the "B", which matched the system used by the PRR before the merger.
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:21 pm

Yes Russ, that bridge south of Seward was long gone already in the late 1970's when I used to sneak down there as a little kid. I believe the overpass north of the crossing on the Warnerville Cut-Off Road was filled in around 1980ish. I did find a large, old pipe culvert still underneath the old ROW next to that pond or swamp or whatever that is just south of the old(??) Seward Highway Department HQ. I got a decent photo of it but I've had issues posting it here.

So is this the SAME bridge that Brian spoke of earlier, or is this a THIRD bridge still in place??

- Mark
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby RussNelson » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:29 pm

I'm not an expert on the Cherry Valley Branch, but I've only see two bridges and only know of two bridges. It's possible that there's a bridge southeast of Hyndsville. There's a benchmark listed there, and they usually put benchmarks only on things likely to never be removed, like poured concrete bridge abutments. There's probably a culvert north of Hyndsville, and maybe a few tiny culverts elsewhere. I don't see any other opportunities for bridges, though.
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby Mem160 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:27 am

well the thing is Russ, I don't know this for a fact, by any means, but after exploring Patrick Road a few times through the years to see what I could find that is left of the branch, it is quite obvious that once you start going south of Hyndsville, there has been numerous floods due to West Creek. You can see where the roadbed is just at the bottom of the hill where Patrick Rd comes off Warnerville Cut-Off, but I never walked any of it, so beyond that spot, I don't know what's left. I would assume there HAD to be some damage done to what was left there over the years. When Patrick Rd comes back out to RT 10, you can clearly see the old ROW - Somebody mows it on the North side of the road! And I can't remember which road it is, but it is more toward Seward, and you can still see some roadbed left, in brutal condition, even in the winter when you should be able to see it stand out and it should be obvious, you really have to look at it. There are still roadside culverts underneath the old roadbed where the grade crossing once was. It is a modest reminder, but it is there.

- Mark

PS What do you mean when you refer to a "Benchmark"? I'm not familiar with what that ACTUALLY means.....
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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby ChiefTroll » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:19 am

A benchmark is a monument or point of known elevation measured and placed by surveyors. In this case, the benchmarks were set and documented by either the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey or the United States Geologic Survey during their surveys that resulted in topographic maps of the area. The benchmarks and their elevations above mean sea level are shown on those maps. The benchmark is a bronze disk, about six-inch diameter, with a "root" that is embedded in grout or concrete, usually in a massive stone, masonry or concrete structure. The caps of bridge abutments are ideal, because of their size and relative permanence, as well as the ability to run levels along the cleared route to and away from the bridge. The process of measuring elevations and setting benchmarks is termed "vertical control."

Not all of those disks are benchmarks, however. Some are triangulation points, used in the process of "horizontal control." Those are commonly found on summits, where the surveyors established fixed points of known coordinates using a system of accurate triangulation. Geodetic surveying is a complex but very interesting subject.

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Re: Cherry Valley Branch questions

Postby brward » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:55 pm

To answer your question- Only two bridges are still standing on the branch, 1. The Route 20 bridge and 2. The Engleville bridge. Route 20 bridge was put into place 1954 by NYS for $133,000 and in service til August 1956. The Engleville bridge is a low-lying pre-cast concrete bridge placed upon concrete piers put in 1929 as a result of the former timber trestle not being able to withstand the flooding from the West Creek. The other significant spans were located north of Hyndsville, south of Seward, Hanson Crossing and the timber trestle between Barringer Road and Route 20. Hanson Crossing has concrete abutments and are stamped 55.33. Seward is hand laid stone abutments and Hyndsville has one concrete and one hand laid stone. There are many culverts both stone and concrete along the ROW. Someday I would like to organize a walk on the ROW between Route 20 and Barringer Road as this I feel is the most intriguing part of the line and showcases all sorts of historical goodies. South of Hyndsville there were no bridges, there are culverts and a cattle culvert and interestingly enough the West Creek was diverted in spots to accommodate the railroad being built.
-Brian
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