Unfinished Railroads of New York State

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NYH&N - NYW&B

Postby s4ny » Mon May 07, 2007 8:20 am

The proposed route through Harrison and south of Rye Lake was the Housatonic.

50 years later, in the 1920s, the New York, Westchester & Boston purchased land and did grading north of its terminal in White Plains for an extension to Bedford and beyond.

This grading later became part of the Central Westchester Parkway (from NY 22 in North White Plains to I-287 exit 7) and I-287 south to exit 8.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Mon May 07, 2007 9:00 am

Actually, I am finding fault with the story that the ROW for the Central Westchester Parkway was indeed part of the Westchester Northern. The CWP goes due northwest towards Valhalla. The WN goes due northeast towards Purchase and Greenwich, CT. I doubt seriously that the WN would have gone northwest toward Valhalla, then swing wide east to go over the top of Rye Lake, especially when I have in my posession a copy of a 1938 Greenwich survey that shows the WN ROW cutting across Connecticut from Purchase to Armonk. I think Roger Arcara (originator of the CWP story) might have gotten his data confused. The WN survey across White Plains and Purchase was similar to the original NYH&N survey. I dont know how much grading work was done on the WN, but the nearly the entire NYH&N was graded from Brookfield, CT to White Plains, and bridge abutments had been constructed in many places. Not known if any tangible work was done on the WN project before it was officially cancelled in 1925.

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North By Northwest

Postby s4ny » Tue May 08, 2007 7:09 pm

The Central Westchester Parkway and WN might be bad info. I will try to get to the White Plains Library and check the maps from the 1930s for property ownership. Maybe the WN graded part of line on what is now I-287. Or not...

Otto, do you (or anyone) know if the WN purchased the Housatonic right of way (ROW) in Greenwich?

What appears to be ROW of the Housatonic goes through the Tamarack Country Club. The Tamarack purchased that property (the Griffen Farm) in 1928. Had the NYW&B given up on the northern extension by 1928?

Also, I have to believe that the Housatonic right of way just west of the NY/CT state line would now (and in the 1920s) be under the greatly expanded Rye Lake, so at least there, the WN would have to have had a different ROW than the Housatonic.
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re - never finished

Postby izzy1975 » Sun May 20, 2007 8:23 am

Russ - did you ever get a chance to get up to Happy Hollow Campground to check out that one ROW i told you about earlier in the thread. Just wondering!
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Postby RussNelson » Sun May 20, 2007 9:15 pm

Nope, haven't yet. Wife keeps me on a short leash, otherwise I'd be spending every weekend away, doing research.
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NEWEST ISSUE

Postby henry6 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:11 pm

Newest issue of KAATSKILL LIFE magazine has an article on the Schoharie Valley RR or Middleburgh and Schoharie if you will. Just picked it up at RT81 Gateway in Kirkwood so have not read yet. However, there is a wheel chart which shows all the railroads that aimed at Schoharie but never made it. Russ this is one for you to check out.
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Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:18 pm

Otto, do you (or anyone) know if the WN purchased the Housatonic right of way (ROW) in Greenwich? What appears to be ROW of the Housatonic goes through the Tamarack Country Club. The Tamarack purchased that property (the Griffen Farm) in 1928. Had the NYW&B given up on the northern extension by 1928? Also, I have to believe that the Housatonic right of way just west of the NY/CT state line would now (and in the 1920s) be under the greatly expanded Rye Lake, so at least there, the WN would have to have had a different ROW than the Housatonic.


The land purchased for the WN only belonged to them. While the route surveyed may have been similar, all of the land that had been used for the NYH&N had reverted back to the original owners. I think the WN ROW along Tamarack may have been on the southern border of their property. The WN was cancelled by NH in 1925, though I found maps in that showed parcels of land owned by NYW&B as late as 1938. Go to the Greenwich Public Library and ask to see their old atlases. All will be revealed!

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French Tract

Postby RussNelson » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:01 am

Marcus Crosby found a new one!
http://rutlandtrail.org/list.cgi?northe ... d.ny.track
Near Binghamton / Vestal, was to have gone to Montrose, PA, but was interrupted by WWI. Interestingly, it's also on the old topo maps here:
http://rutlandtrail.org/mapview.cgi?lat ... 3&height=4

Does anybody know more about the "French Grade", as it's called locally?
Last edited by RussNelson on Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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IT'S NOT NEW

Postby henry6 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:55 pm

It's not a new find, I've mentioned it several times. It was actually the Scranton-Bingahmton trolley line up from Montrose. There were tiles laid and roadbeds prepared here and there across the terrain and topo maps up into the 70's reflected it. No rail was ever laid, no trolleys ever ran.
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Postby RussNelson » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:18 pm

Oh, well, it's news to me. Were there any other sections of it graded besides the one I pointed to?
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I CAN'T

Postby henry6 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:03 pm

I can't tell what you have marked besides a red circle I believe to be at the end of a road. But that road is just an abandoned road and not the ROW at all. If you can find a 1970 circa or earlier topo map the entire roadbed as built is shown as abandoned rr grade.
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Postby RussNelson » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:31 pm

Oh, sorry, henry6, I changed the name to reflect the new information you gave me. The URL is now here:
http://rutlandtrail.org/list.cgi?northe ... d.ny.track
or in more detail, here:
http://rutlandtrail.org/gmap.cgi?northe ... d.ny.track
That consists of a portion of Foley Rd, and the rest is marked on the 7.5' topo as "Old Railroad Grade". It's 3.2 miles long. On the 1900-1901 15' topo map, it's drawn as a unimproved road. Is that the only section they graded?

(I wonder how they planned to get down the 1000' hill to Binghamton?)
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OK

Postby henry6 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:08 am

Ok, yeah. That blue line is about it. I have been up in there several times but the roadbed is not near any roads, all private properties, so you can't really see any of it. I did have a friend who lived up in there years ago who told me about it on his property, though. Even with a topo map and hip boots and permission it would be difficult!
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Postby RussNelson » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:34 pm

A fellow whose AOL username is capevct tells me that his father told him of an unfinished railroad from Savona north to Wayne (north of Waneta Lake). I looked on the topo map and aerial photos (DOQ), and sure enough, there's a very clear railbed going that way. But I'm unable to find any information about a railroad between Savona and Wayne. Here's the route that I can see on the aerial photos and topo maps:
http://rutlandtrail.org/gmap.cgi?savona ... d.ny.track
Alas, I don't have any web interface which will display that map against a DOQ.

Does anybody know anything more about this railroad?
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Postby scottychaos » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:22 pm

RussNelson wrote:A fellow whose AOL username is capevct tells me that his father told him of an unfinished railroad from Savona north to Wayne (north of Waneta Lake). I looked on the topo map and aerial photos (DOQ), and sure enough, there's a very clear railbed going that way. But I'm unable to find any information about a railroad between Savona and Wayne. Here's the route that I can see on the aerial photos and topo maps:
http://rutlandtrail.org/gmap.cgi?savona ... d.ny.track
Alas, I don't have any web interface which will display that map against a DOQ.

Does anybody know anything more about this railroad?


I cant get the webpage to make useable links directly to the maps, but it shows up here:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/rrhtml/rrhome.html

click on "New York"
click on "gallery view"
click on the 1870 map.
click on the "zoom in, zoom out" center radio button,
and click on the Keuka lake area on the map.

It shows up as the Sodus Bay, Corning & New York Railroad.

hmmm..it goes from Savona to Penn Yan, Geneva, Lyons and up to Sodus Bay

It does not exist on the 1858 map.
It does exist on the 1870 map.
and then its gone on the 1888 map

I can clearly see the ROW on the aerial photos north of Savona and up to Lamoka/Waneta Lakes, as Russ said...but no modern railroad (post 1880's) ever shows up on any maps on this route north out of Savona..or on a direct path between Penn Yan and Geneva...so perhaps no tracks were ever laid between Savona - Penn Yan - Geneva.

North of Geneva however, it appears to be the modern NYC route north out of Geneva to Lyons,
but there seems to have never been a modern (post 1880's) railroad on this route between Geneva directly to Penn Yan, and south.

Im not aware of a NYC route that ever existed between Lyons and north to Sodus bay..only the PRR...so it looks like the only seqment of the "Sodus Bay, Corning & New York Railroad" that ever saw rails was Geneva - Lyons.

Interesting! :P

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