CNE main line west of Canaan

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CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:50 pm

I was driving through upper Dutchess County the other weekend and came across traces of the CNE in the Millbrook area. That made me curious about something.

West of Canaan, I know that the route split at State Line Jct. in Salisbury on the NY/CT border. From there, one line ran to Millerton, NY, then Shekomeko, Millbrook, Hopewell Jct. and Poughkeepsie (I'm pretty sure this was built as the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut.) The other line ran to Boston Corners, where it branched again: one route went Silvernails-Pine Plains-Poughkeepsie; the other went Pine Plains-Poughkeepsie, skipping Silvernails.

My question is- which one of these routes was actually considered the main line by the Philadelphia, Reading & New England, and its successor the CNE? Were they all abandoned at the same time by the NH or did one route last longer than the others? And were one (or all) of these "speculative" routes trying to capture potential traffic moving west out of New England, or was there actually some industry or business in that part of the world that would have supported that much rail infrastructure?
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:20 pm

The first line through that area was the Dutchess and Columbia RR which reached Millerton in 1871. After several name changes ( BH&E - NYB&N - NYB&M ) it became the ND&C RR.

In 1872 the second RR was the Pougkeepsie & Eastern from Pok through Pleasant Valley to join the D&C at Stissing Junction in 1872. North of Pine Plains it ran through Boston Corners and down to Millerton at State Line.

When the big bridge was opened in Poughkeepsie in 1889 the bridge company wanted to buy the P&E for connections into Connecticut. The P&E people refused to sell so the bridge company built a parrallel line from Poughkeepsie to Pine Plains and into Columbia County and eventually to Boston Corners and Millerton at State Line.

The CNE Rwy was formed in 1899 with New Haven RR money. Within a few years all three of the above lines became part of the CNE Rwy. These lines were all abandoned in 1938 and rails were sold for scrap to Japan. Just in time for Pearl Harbor.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:30 pm

The original D&C ND&C route through Bethel and Shekomeko went over Winchell Mountain which was a difficult climb and prone to snow blockages in the winter. That route was the first to be abandoned in 1925. The former P&E route went around the mountain to the north and then south through Boston Corners to Millerton. This became the preferred route until they were all abandoned.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Ridgefielder » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:59 pm

Bernard Rudberg wrote:When the big bridge was opened in Poughkeepsie in 1889 the bridge company wanted to buy the P&E for connections into Connecticut. The P&E people refused to sell so the bridge company built a parrallel line from Poughkeepsie to Pine Plains and into Columbia County and eventually to Boston Corners and Millerton at State Line

So, after the bridge opened, the main line from Hartford to the west was the Pougkeepsie & Connecticut route via Pine Plains and Silvernails; all three routes didn't come under common ownership until after the New Haven gained control of the Central New England. And even after that date, the preferred routing was via Pine Plains to avoid the hill west of Millerton. Have I got that right?
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:04 pm

The route west of Millerton to Shekomeko over Winchell Mountain was abandoned in 1921. From Shekomeko to Pine Plains was not abandoned till 1935 because there was a creamery in Shekomeko that wanted service.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:15 pm

You said that the P&E route was prefered. After the CNE was formes, didn't they connect the P&E to the P&E near Pine Plains? The P&C route had the advantage of the line to Rhinecliff.

One summer my uncle and I did an extensive exploration of the CNE.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:54 pm

Yes, the CNE did build a connector between the old P&E route and the old P&C route. Within a few years after that they abandoned most of the P&C route in favor of the P&E route. By 1938 all of the rail routes in that area were gone.

The CNE was backed by New Haven RR money and operated like a division of the New Haven. It formally became part of the New Haven RR in 1927. The New Haven RR did not want the short lines in Dutchess County. They wanted the main route west across the big bridge in Poughkeepsie. As soon as they acquired the local lines they started a program of abandonment. The first to go was the old ND&C facilities at Dutchess Junction. Other sections were abandoned as soon as they legally could. The climax of the abandonments came in 1938 just before WW II. The rails were sold for scrap value to Japan. There are probably parts of old Dutchess County railroads in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Kilgore Trout » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:51 am

This thread provides an interesting segway into something I've been wondering about. What was the relationship between the NY&NE and CNE in eastern New York? The NY&NE extended to "the Hudson River" in 1881, but where to...? If the line from Hopewell to Fishkill was the ND&C, that is to say CNE, were there trackage rights of some kind? I know the NY&NE and predecessors went through a lot of shakeups and reorganizations, so I wonder if using the ND&C was always the plan.

Once the New Haven had both the CNE and NY&NE under its control, what was the relationship of these lines? I have a 1910 Official Guide which shows trains from Providence and Boston terminating at Poughkeepsie, with not a mention of Fishkill.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby RonM » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:03 am

Not sure if you're aware of this... (I know Bernie is lol)

CNE SPRING TOUR 2013

This is a heads up for those planning to join us for the 2013 segment of the annual bus tour along
various portions of the former Central New England Railway. The 2013 tour will be on April
7th (rain or shine).

This years trip will be the area around Millerton and Pine Plains, New York. There were 5
railroads in this area and 4 were predecessors of the CNE and New Haven RR. The plan is to
start at 9:00 AM from the Millerton Post office lot on Century Blvd. We plan to cover Mt Riga,
Boston Corners Silvernails and Pine Plains. The railroads in that area were the P&E, the P&C,
the ND&C, and the R&C. As usual lunch will be provided on this trip.

We have planned this trip to reach as many of the remaining historical spots as our intrepid
scouts could locate. In many cases we have had to rely on photographs, new and old, to fill in
parts of the puzzle. We hope that you will gain a better understanding of the part that the
railroads played in the history and development of New York.

As usual, everybody will get a copy of the 2013 CNE Tour guide book. We have a lot of ground
to cover so we will have coffee and buses will roll at 9:00.

The cost of this year's tour will be $55.00 per person and payment should be made out to:
Joseph Mato CNE 2013

Be sure to include your E-Mail address so we can contact you if we need to. If you don't have
E-Mail then include your phone number.

Send it to:
JOE MATO-CNE 2013
62 WOOD ROAD
REDDING, CT. 06896
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:30 pm

When the NY&NE built the line into Hopewell Junction from Danbury in 1881, they bought track rights on the ND&C RR from Hopewell Junction to Wicopee Junction (Now part of Beacon).

The single track through that section had passenger and freight traffic of two railroads in both directions. This was a logistics and dispatching headache that lasted over twenty years until both roads were gobbled up by the CNE/New Haven.

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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Kilgore Trout » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:16 am

Ouch. Sounds like a railroading nightmare. Thanks, Bernie.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby FLRailFan1 » Fri May 02, 2014 10:51 pm

Was Clove Lake branch part of the D&C? Was it part of the NH?
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Bernard Rudberg » Fri May 02, 2014 11:13 pm

The Clove Branch was part of the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut RR which later becme part of the CNE Rwy and still later, part of the New Haven RR. The clove Branch was abandoned in 1898.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby FLRailFan1 » Wed May 28, 2014 7:09 pm

When most of the CNE was abandoned, a piece from Cannan to Lakeville was part of the PC/CR until the 1980s. What did they serve. I guess only the CNE line from Griffin to Hartford and a mile east of Cannan station for the quarry are the last pieces of the CNE.
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Re: CNE main line west of Canaan

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed May 28, 2014 7:30 pm

FLRailFan1 wrote:When most of the CNE was abandoned, a piece from Cannan to Lakeville was part of the PC/CR until the 1980s. What did they serve. I guess only the CNE line from Griffin to Hartford and a mile east of Cannan station for the quarry are the last pieces of the CNE.


The Canaan - Lakeville Line was gone, abandoned and torn up long before Penn Central came on the scene in 1969. I have the date here somewhere but it doesn't matter in this case.
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