Rensselaer, NY, Questions

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Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby John Laubenheimer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:12 pm

I have some questions regarding Rensellaer.

1) Where was New York Central's station in Rensellaer vs. today's AMTRAK station?

1a) Some trains which did not stop in Albany changed crews and performed service at the Rensellaer yard, and used the Livingstone Avenue Bridge to continue. Was the yard located at the site of today's AMTRAK station?

2) Where did the line to the Maiden Lane Bridge break off from todays track layout? And, where was the line in relation to AMTRAK WAY (the road heading to the shops)?

3) Are there any remnants left of the Maiden Lane route? ROW, abandoned ties, bridge piers, etc.

4) Where did the POST line (from Boston) come in? Same location as todays, or slightly different? IIRC, it used to be double tracked.

Thanks in advance .....
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Re: Rensellaer Questions

Postby Pat Fahey » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:02 am

Hi John
Try this web site it deal with track maps of the Boston & Albany RR , hopefully the maps will help in answering your questions .
http://www.zededev.com/ B&A Track charts .
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Re: Rensellaer Questions

Postby jamoldover » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:57 am

John Laubenheimer wrote:I have some questions regarding Rensellaer.

1) Where was New York Central's station in Rensellaer vs. today's AMTRAK station?

1a) Some trains which did not stop in Albany changed crews and performed service at the Rensellaer yard, and used the Livingstone Avenue Bridge to continue. Was the yard located at the site of today's AMTRAK station?

2) Where did the line to the Maiden Lane Bridge break off from todays track layout? And, where was the line in relation to AMTRAK WAY (the road heading to the shops)?

3) Are there any remnants left of the Maiden Lane route? ROW, abandoned ties, bridge piers, etc.

4) Where did the POST line (from Boston) come in? Same location as todays, or slightly different? IIRC, it used to be double tracked.

Thanks in advance .....


The extract from the NYC Valuation Map collection linked below should help - I'm missing the rest of the pieces to the east/south, but this should give you an idea of the junction area.

https://goo.gl/photos/sA2T8WsWdmn9DtMo9
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Railjunkie » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:03 am

The yard was were the current Amtrak station and yard is now, the Post road came in about the same spot as it does now. The Amtrak shops and now vacant lot that was the high school was the B&A roundhouse and shops were located. NYCRR shops were in West Albany. Best guess the lead to Madien lane was about the south end of the current platforms at the Albany Renselear station. It ran basically through the Duncan Donuts on Broadway. All of the ROW to the bridge has been developed and you would never know there was a second rr bridge over the Hudson. LAB still stands and is used daily but she is old and miserable and most likely needs to be replaced. The Madien lane bridge was the newer of the two.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby J.D. Lang » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:32 am

This topic is of great interest to me. Back in the early 60's I used to take the train from Pittsfield MA. to Syracuse NY a few times. I would take the Beeliner Budd car from Pittsfield to Albany and change trains at the old Albany Union Station for Syracuse. We used to cross the Maiden Lane bridge after coming off of the Post Rd. branch. My guess to where the bridge was is in this Google map. Again it is only my guess as there is nothing there today that looks anything like it did back then.
Possible Route.jpg


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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Railjunkie » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:03 am

Good guess on the bridge but I think it was a little further south. Before 787 was put in there was a large NYC yard there along the river, the D&H and NYC both made stops in Albany. There is a black and white photo out there that shows the yard the station and the bridge an ex boss had a copy of it hanging in his office. Look for historic aerials Im sure there are some out there.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Statkowski » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:29 pm

A great research tool for "forgotten/missing" rail lines is the Historic USGS map site (http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/)

Just type in your location, a current map will pop up, click on a spot, and all the available (i.e., historic) maps for that locale will show up on the bottom border. Click on the one you want and it'll overlay the current map on display. Great for following abandoned lines. Some are more detailed than others.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby J.D. Lang » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:38 pm

Statkowski wrote:A great research tool for "forgotten/missing" rail lines is the Historic USGS map site (http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/)

Just type in your location, a current map will pop up, click on a spot, and all the available (i.e., historic) maps for that locale will show up on the bottom border. Click on the one you want and it'll overlay the current map on display. Great for following abandoned lines. Some are more detailed than others.

Thanks for the link. Great resource.

J.L.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Pat Fahey » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:06 pm

Maiden Lane Bridge   Wikipedia.jpg
Hi
I found this on the web at Wikipedia Maiden Lane Bridge.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby John Laubenheimer » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:45 am

Thanks to all for the great information. It's always amazing how much of this 'lore' exists, but really isn't documented anywhere.
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Statkowski » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:46 pm

If you really want undocumented lore, try the Beech Creek District of the Pennsylvania Division. It wasn't Main Line, it wasn't heavy-duty passenger service, so it wasn't well documented. Disconnected branches accessed only via trackage rights, including the highest elevation on the New York Central Railroad (not to be confused with System or Lines).
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby TCurtin » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:11 am

A great book that will show and tell you everything you want to know about Albany and Renssalaer is Trackside in the Albany N.Y. Gateway 1949-1974 with Gerritt Bruins. It was pubublished in 1998 and is likely out of print but that doesn't mean you couldn't find one at a large dealer like Ron's Books (which I would try first).
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:56 pm

The book mentioned in the previous post is a Morning Sun Book. These books are basically reproductions of various slide collections with lots of very interesting photos. I do not think that in most cases they are good sources of historic information. I don't think I have any Morning Sun Books in my collection that do not have errors in them, some of them are full of errors. You might get something worthwhile from a caption but I think there may be better sources for information. Unfortunately before my time and Rensselaer was not part of my territory. BEWARE
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Re: Rensselaer, NY, Questions

Postby TCurtin » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:24 am

Well, I share your opinion on that matter. Being closely involved in the production of one of the top notch historical society journals I know what's it's like to be frustrated over missing and/or wrong information (eg dates, locations, train numbers, and so on) on slides. Thus I am as sensitive to wrong photo captions as anybody you will find.

However, that said, for a record of what used to be in Albany and Renssalaer this book is the best source I know of
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