Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sat May 17, 2014 8:51 am

Kurt wrote:Yes, May 8,2014 was the 40th anniversary.

Here is a link to the local Poughkeepsie Journal which had a bunch of articles and photos.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/search/bridge%20fire/


The Penn Central said they'll reopen the line, which was BS. Until proven otherwise, I say arson.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby TomNelligan » Sun May 18, 2014 7:45 pm

Hey, lots of people enjoy conspiracy theories, so have fun. But given the complete absence of real evidence (as opposed to rumors) that the fire was deliberately set, I'll go with sparks from a stuck brake or dragging equipment. Lineside fires caused by engine sparks are not unknown, and back then, prior to automated detector, sparks from brakes or dragging equipment weren't either. Penn Central was a mess as a railroad, but given the minimal traffic through the Maybrook gateway by 1974 they had already pretty much shut down the Maybrook line anyway and didn't need to resort to criminal activity to finish it off.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby FLRailFan1 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:53 pm

TomNelligan wrote:Hey, lots of people enjoy conspiracy theories, so have fun. But given the complete absence of real evidence (as opposed to rumors) that the fire was deliberately set, I'll go with sparks from a stuck brake or dragging equipment. Lineside fires caused by engine sparks are not unknown, and back then, prior to automated detector, sparks from brakes or dragging equipment weren't either. Penn Central was a mess as a railroad, but given the minimal traffic through the Maybrook gateway by 1974 they had already pretty much shut down the Maybrook line anyway and didn't need to resort to criminal activity to finish it off.

We will never really know what happened. I just wish the PC was either stronger or the NH was NOT included. It is a pain because the NH is my favorite railroad.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon May 19, 2014 11:50 pm

FLRailFan1 wrote:
TomNelligan wrote:Hey, lots of people enjoy conspiracy theories, so have fun. But given the complete absence of real evidence (as opposed to rumors) that the fire was deliberately set, I'll go with sparks from a stuck brake or dragging equipment. Lineside fires caused by engine sparks are not unknown, and back then, prior to automated detector, sparks from brakes or dragging equipment weren't either. Penn Central was a mess as a railroad, but given the minimal traffic through the Maybrook gateway by 1974 they had already pretty much shut down the Maybrook line anyway and didn't need to resort to criminal activity to finish it off.

We will never really know what happened. I just wish the PC was either stronger or the NH was NOT included. It is a pain because the NH is my favorite railroad.


You might never know but I do, it WASN'T.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sun May 25, 2014 12:54 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:
FLRailFan1 wrote:
TomNelligan wrote:Hey, lots of people enjoy conspiracy theories, so have fun. But given the complete absence of real evidence (as opposed to rumors) that the fire was deliberately set, I'll go with sparks from a stuck brake or dragging equipment. Lineside fires caused by engine sparks are not unknown, and back then, prior to automated detector, sparks from brakes or dragging equipment weren't either. Penn Central was a mess as a railroad, but given the minimal traffic through the Maybrook gateway by 1974 they had already pretty much shut down the Maybrook line anyway and didn't need to resort to criminal activity to finish it off.

We will never really know what happened. I just wish the PC was either stronger or the NH was NOT included. It is a pain because the NH is my favorite railroad.


You might never know but I do, it WASN'T.
Noel Weaver


OK... I wonder why my friend's dad said it was. Oh well, it is a lost cause anyway. We can't get it back.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun May 25, 2014 3:44 pm

If the New Haven had stayed out of Penn Central recognizing by the Trustees that its only 'salvation' was an ultimate sale to a public rail passenger agency, then one might wonder if the 1974 Poughkeepsie bridge fire was an intentional act. However though C-Day did not occur until April 1, 1976 which included the EL and the other NorthEast Bankrupts, PC, and subsequently Conrail, simply had more efficient means to move freight into New England. After C-Day any hope of restoring an interchange through Maybrook was simply gone, gone, gone.

There is not any point on the AmtraK Northeast Corridor that could not be accessed from an N-S line from either the B&A or the B&M; failing that, youngsters, there is no point of considering any kind of conspiracy behind an act that occurred before any of you were born.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby TomNelligan » Sun May 25, 2014 8:47 pm

FLRailFan1 wrote:I wonder why my friend's dad said it was.


Presumably because he believes rumors. I'm sure he believes the story, but that doesn't make it true, much as some wish to believe that there was a conspiracy rather than an accident. As I wrote above, conspiracies are more fun.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby FLRailFan1 » Wed May 28, 2014 6:50 pm

Okay, I'll believe it was a accident, but why didn't PC tell the Poughkeepsie reporters that they'll be putting the bridge out of service, instead of saying they'll reopening in a few months. I guess they didn't want to upset the towns officials. I think PC should have been honest that they would not be reopening the Maybrook line.If they were honest, maybe NY and CT officials would get together to discuss a short line. Hindsight is 20/20, so I can say PC goofed.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed May 28, 2014 7:37 pm

I am getting tired of a continuous rehash of this line. Penn Central had other far better routes in to New England than the Poughkeepsie Bridge to handle the remaining traffic in Connecticut. The freight business in this area was drying up faster than clothes in a gas dryer and it would never return. There would not have been enough for even a small short line to handle today. Little or nothing remains except abandoned ROW's and empty factory buildings and property in ruin, go there and you will understand what I am trying to tell you.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby ExCon90 » Thu May 29, 2014 3:10 pm

This is going back, but I think Conrail did a study shortly after its formation and concluded that the most traffic that could realistically use the bridge would amount to one train a day in each direction, and only between Cedar Hill and Allentown because the traffic was widely dispersed beyond those points. Then a group of locals, doubting whether the Conrail study was truly objective, hired their own consultant, who, after independently analyzing the traffic data, came up with exactly the same conclusion. One train a day wouldn't come close to justifying replacing the bridge.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:57 pm

FLRailFan1 wrote:Okay, I'll believe it was a accident, but why didn't PC tell the Poughkeepsie reporters that they'll be putting the bridge out of service, instead of saying they'll reopening in a few months. I guess they didn't want to upset the towns officials. I think PC should have been honest that they would not be reopening the Maybrook line.If they were honest, maybe NY and CT officials would get together to discuss a short line. Hindsight is 20/20, so I can say PC goofed.

Probably didn't initially know the extent of the damage would be my guess.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 am

I agree that the management of Penn Central didn't really realize the extent of the damage to the bridge and its return to active use would have required a lot of money that by that time the railroad simply did not have. As to the comment that "PC goofed" this is total nonsense. The railroad did not need this route by this time, I had only one round trip road freight and that tonnage was rerouted over a different route.
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Re: Poughkeepsie RR Bridge Arson?

Postby CannaScrews » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:11 am

Noel Weaver wrote:I am getting tired of a continuous rehash of this line. Penn Central had other far better routes in to New England than the Poughkeepsie Bridge to handle the remaining traffic in Connecticut. The freight business in this area was drying up faster than clothes in a gas dryer and it would never return. There would not have been enough for even a small short line to handle today. Little or nothing remains except abandoned ROW's and empty factory buildings and property in ruin, go there and you will understand what I am trying to tell you.
Noel Weaver


Hi Noel:

Unfortunately with these forums you are always getting in new people with the same questions and it is easier to ask than to do the research, such as type something in the search box in the upper right hand corner.

But, at least you are willing to rehash the story which is appreciated. Sometimes, through the rehashing, some new bit of information gets revealed which makes the journey worthwhile.


Anybody willing to take bets when there will be bungee-jumping off the center of the bridge?????
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