RR bridge over I-787 in Watervliet

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RR bridge over I-787 in Watervliet

Postby DJ » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:34 pm

I think this is an old bridge for the D&H. It also crosses Rt. 32 and has a D&H shield on it.

I've been driving on 787 for almost 20 years, and have never seen a train use this bridge. 787 has been rebuilt and the bridge has not been torn down. It looks like there are trees growing on the ROW now.

Can anyone give me the history of this line? Is there any hope to ever see trains on this line?

Postby kaisen » Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:49 am

I have always wondered the same thing, I go under it every morning, as well.

That track doesn't appear to go across the Hudson anywhere, so I always just assumed it went to one or all of the various junkyards/factories/scrap yards in Green Island.

Postby CREngineer » Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:57 pm

That bridge is the remants of the old green island branch, that was abandoned about two years ago. At one time, it was joint with the NYC to Troy, and the D&H went north thru Green Island, Cohoes, and Waterford and reconnected with the mainline at Bell's Lane near GE at a place called JA. What trackage was left last year north of Friedman's Scrap Yard was lifted. Also, the brick buildings at the scrap dealer are what remains of the former R&S Shops, as this was the original main line at one time.
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Postby onder » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:09 pm

Each RR had its own bridge I seem to remember. The NYC was a couple
of feet to the south. At least that is what is goes over the north/south
street just west of the I-state. Two bridges are still there.

As for the tracks north of GI, north of the scrap yard, there was
a switch just above the old shop. I was standing there on the day
they derailed. I dont think they ever went north of there again.
Ill try to dig up the pix for you, they'd might be dated.
The bridge just above the shops is still there and the next one
up that leaps the canal into Waterford has been recently repaired
and paved for cars. On one side a pedestrian lane has been built.
After coming off this bridge the D&H operated right down the middle
of the street. See Shaughnessy's book.

By the way, can you post pix on this board?
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Postby onder » Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:28 pm

Looks to me like you can't post images...Ill send via direct
email if somebody wants it.

Date on pix is fall 99
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Postby ChiefTroll » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:08 pm

The D&H bridge over I-787 carried what was once the Green Island Branch, which ran from Watervliet Jct (WX Tower/Cabin) to Green Island. The Troy and Schenectady Branch of the New York Central came through Cohoes at a higher level than the D&H, crossed the D&H Saratoga Division Main Line (Colonie Main) on a bridge, and joined the D&H G.I. Branch just east of 2nd Street (NY 32).

The D&H Troy Branch was the original main line of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad. It left the Saratoga Division Main Line at JA (Waterford Jct) and ran south through Waterford and Green Island to meet the G.I. Branch, then continued into Troy on the old Green Island Bridge. It met the Troy Union Railroad at River Street, where one leg of the T.U.R.R. wye went south to Troy Union Station between Fulton Street and Broadway, and the north leg went toward the B&M at Hoosick Street.

As for history, the Green Island Branch is older than the hills. Same for the Schenectady and Troy Railroad, which was opened in 1842 and became one of the ten roads that constituted the original New York Central Railroad in 1853. The original R&S was opened to traffic from Troy to Waterford in 1835, with the cars being drawn across the Hudson River Bridge by horses account the bridge would not carry the locomotives. The Green Island Branch was in service by 1842, when the D&H granted trackage rights to the S&T over it to reach Troy over a better bridge.

The final Green Island Bridge was a vertical lift bridge, carrying the single main track of the Troy Branch, two lanes of highway, and a street car line. It was owned by the D&H, and was operated while the Troy Union Railroad was in service. I forget which year it was taken out of railroad service, but I rode trains across it in 1960, and the TURR was gone when I left Troy in 1963. The bridge remained as a highway bridge longer than that.
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Postby onder » Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:35 pm

A guess on the Hudson Riv bridge to Troy would be 78 or so. Flood
ate away at one of the pier bases if I remember correctly.

I was by the GI shops just and they are falling down a bit more
than last time I looked. The old brake plant across the street
was just demoed. I was rather shocked...but hey, Im sure
it was or is a asbesto-whatever site!

Well GI needs the space to reinvent itself. Next to go will
be the scrap yard Im sure.
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