CNE 2017 BUS TRIP
The annual CNE 2017 Trip was on Sunday April 2, 2017.
Ittween Hopewell Jct. and Danbury which employed pushers up the hill. Our route shows what we can see of the row which is still in place and we are used 57 seat coaches which have PA’s and restrooms.
We were unable to send a correspondent. If you went, send us a commentary and we will publish.
The Central New England Railway at it’s maximum
Dutchess Northern Model Club collection
This map show the maximum extent of the CNE between 1905 and 1916.
See my blog about the new video showing off the restored Hopewll Junction Railroad Station.
The Central New England Railway
The Central New England Railway was purchased in 1904 by the N Y, N H & H. (New Haven Railroad)
It was operated as a separate entity until formally merged in to the New Haven on June 1, 1927.
A paper organization called the Delaware & New England RR was formed on July 22, 1889 to take over the Hudson Connecting RR (just completed between Campbell Hall and Highland) and the Poughkeepsie & Connecticut RR to form the Central New England & Western RR. On August 30, 1889 the CNE&W leased the Hartford & Connecticut Western RR (then operating between Hartford and Rhinecliff) for a term of 50 years.
It was in 1890 that the CNE&W was taken over by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway; however, it was operated as the CNE&W until the P&R changed it’s name to the PR&NE on August 1, 1892.
There was a major financial crash in early 1893 and the P&R relinquished control of the PR&NE on August 19,1893 to a Receiver who operated the line until it came out of Receivership on January 12, 1899 when the CNE was formed. At that time, the CNE was still controlled by Philadelphia interests.
As mentioned above, the CNE was operated separately from the New Haven RR until 1927. The New Haven purchased the ND&C in 1905 and turned it over to the CNE to operate. For a couple of years it was known as the ND&C Division of the CNE (and it’s operation probably stayed about the same as when the ND&C operated it as an independent company) and on June 25, 1907 it was merged in to the CNE.
The Poughkeepsie & Eastern Railway was bought by the New Haven in early 1907 and on June 22, 1907 it too was merged in to the CNE.
Its grades were the steepest on the New Haven system with the possible exception of the grade between West Cheshire and Summit on the Meriden, Waterbury and Connecticut River RR. Norfolk Summit was over 1300 feet above sea level and Norfolk station was the highest, about 1200 feet above sea level, in the entire system. In spite of these stiff grades, this road did a large freight business for many years and also ran many passenger trains.
The Hudson Connecting Railroad (from Campbell Hall Junction to the Poughkeepsie Bridge) and the Poughkeepsie and Connecticut Railroad (Poughkeepsie Bridge to Silvernails) merged in 1889 to form the Central New England and Western Railroad.
The CNE&W was merged with the Poughkeepsie Bridge Company (inc. 1870) into the Philadelphia, Reading and New England Railroad in 1892. The PR&NE was bought by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, but failed. It was sold in 1898 and reorganized as the Central New England Railway in 1899.
The CNE leased the Hartford and Connecticut Western Railroad and Dutchess County Railroad, and obtained trackage rights over the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad for a connection to the New York and Harlem Railroad.
The CNE also bought the parallel Poughkeepsie and Eastern Railway (Poughkeepsie to Boston Corners, New York) in 1907, and incorporated parts of its trackage into its line, and abandoned other parts.
At one time, there were passenger connections to Boston, Reading, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. There was also through passenger service between Winsted and New York via Millerton and the Harlem Railroad.
The CNE is best known for the Poughkeepsie Bridge. It was an engineering marvel for its time period. Until the Hell Gate Bridge was completed, it was the only all rail line South of Albany to western connections. Thousands of tons of freight were hauled daily over this bridge. It was double-tracked when the bridge was strengthened, then when heavier engines were bought, the tracks were gauntleted.
The first train over Poughkeepsie Bridge was at the end of 1888.
A westbound NH freight on the Maybrook Line charging through Hopewell Junction in 1947.
NY Central At Fishkill Landing
Dutchess Junction is on the east bank of the Hudson River just south of Beacon NY. This map was drawn after the NY&NE had built their ferry and yard facilities at Fishkill Landing at upper left in 1881. Fishkill Landing and Matteawan were combined into the City of Beacon in 1913. The first mayor of Beacon was a former ND&C RR conductor named Frost.
Smith St. yard looking west about 1970
Maybrook Yard in January 1948
The Central New England Railway (later New Haven RR) Maybrook Yard connected to other railroads: Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, New York Central, Lehigh & Hudson River, Lehigh & New England,Erie, Ontario & Western, Lehigh Valley
|It shows the Maybrook yard in winter just after the diesels had taken over the main line freight work. By that time it was NH and the Maybrook Line and the yard were in a slow decline which ended with the big Poughkeepsie RR Bridge fire in 1974. The yard is now a terminal for the Yellow Freight trucking company.
This shot is from the collection of a former Hopewell Junction resident, the late George Bailey. ( cousin of the Barnum and Bailey circus fame. ) He had a very nice collection of mostly RR photos from around this part of New York.
| Comment from Jack Swanberg about the Maybrook yard 1948 photo.
(Jack is a retired railroader and he wrote the “bible” on New Haven RR power. If you can find his book at train shows you will pay $75 or more for a copy. He was a fireman on the Maybrook line near the end of the New Haven RR in the late 1960’s. As a Navy reservist he was navigator on transport planes flying all over the world. He recently retired from MTA Metro North management.)
“The photo of Maybrook in January 1948 was taken from the high reefer-icing platform (see photo on page 54 of January 2005 TRAINS Mag.). It is looking west towards the roundhouse, with the car repair shop at far right. The actual ice house building isn’t visible (it is out of sight to the left), but the structure partly seen at far left in your photo is the extension from the ice house which crosses the track to the left of the platform (track not not seen in your photo, but shown in the Maybrook Yard map on the same page 54).”
| This is a scan of the Maybrook westbound classification yard looking west.
On the left, cars along #2 icehouse where cars were spotted with top dock crushed ice for meat and dock underneath block ice for produce. To the right are east and westbound main tracks. The few cars on the left are in the westbound classification yard with the car shed on the far right.
On Christmas day 1947 it began snowing and continued all day. Four or five days later it snowed again with 30 inches total. It then got very cold. One night it got down to 36 below zero and I worked an extra switcher as a brakeman from midnight until 8 am. Plows and Jordan spreaders were used to clear the yard. 2 tracks were cleared with snow piled on the 3rd track. Clamdiggers were used to pick up snow and deposited in gondolas that were going south.
This was my first winter on the railroad.
Central New England Timeline
The CNE merged with the following companies on June 25, 1907:
Poughkeepsie and Columbia Railroad – never built?
Dutchess County Railroad – Poughkeepsie Bridge to Hopewell Junction
Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad – Hopewell Junction to state line
It kept its lease on the Hartford, Connecticut and Western Railroad, which ran from Rhinecliff, New York, on the Hudson River, past Silvernails, New York (where the CNE joined), and to Hartford, Connecticut, with branches to Collinsville, Connecticut and Agawam Junction, Massachusetts (from where it had trackage rights over the Boston and Albany Railroad to Springfield, Massachusetts).
The New York and New England RR from Willimantic was opened to Hartford in 1849 and to Waterbury in 1854. It reached its connection at Hopewell Jct. with the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut RR in 1881, using their tracks from Hopewell Jct. to Fishkill Landing, now Beacon.
For many years, freight was ferried across the river from Newburgh to Fishkill Landing, and the N Y & N E was a busy freight road. Later, freight was routed via the Poughkeepsie Bridge, over the old route to Hawleyville and then down to the Shelton loop to Waterbury and Hartford. The former N Y & N E between Hawleyville and Waterbury was abandoned in 1948.
The N Y & N E covered a lot of Connecticut, but it had no connection into New York City, and to run trains there, it had to use the N Y, N H & H tracks from Willimantic or Hartford. In an effort to obtain more revenue on their own line, the N Y & N E tried to arrange to run its trains over its own line to Brewster, NY and then over the Harlem RR to New York. The New Haven blocked this move.
About 1891, the N. Y & N E, in connection with the Long Island RR. The New England Terminal Co. Ferry and the Housatonic RR, (Danbury & Norwalk Div.) placed the Long Island & Eastern States Express in service, Brooklyn to Boston. This train ran from Brooklyn to Oyster Bay on the LIRR, ferried across Long Island Sound by the New England Terminal Co. to Wilson Point, to Hawleyville via the Danbury & Norwalk Div. of the Housatonic then to Boston via the NY & NE RR.
In 1892, the Meriden, Waterbury and Connecticut River RR was leased to the N Y &N E who operated it a few years and then abandoned it for financial reasons.
The Norwich and Worcester RR was built in 1840 and was leased to the N Y & N E in 1869, thus giving the railroad a boat connection from Allyn’s Point to New York. This road was later extended to Groton.
The line out of Hartford (known as the Connecticut Western when built) was completed to State Line (near Millerton, NY) in December of 1871.
Trackage rights were obtained from there via the Dutchess & Columbia RR on in to Millerton itself. The distance between these two points was 68 miles and to begin with there were two daily except Sunday passenger trains in each direction. The morning train out of Hartford departed at 9:50am and took FOUR HOURS to get to Millerton. The afternoon train left Hartford at 3:40pm and beat the morning train’s time in to Millerton by eight minutes. In the reverse, the morning train left Millerton at 6:00am and got to Hartford at 10:17am. It’s afternoon counterpart left Millerton at 2:40pm getting to Hartford at 6:50pm.
In 1882 the then Hartford & Connecticut Western (successor to the Connecticut Western in 1881) bought the Rhinebeck & Connecticut RR that operated between Rhinecliff, NY and Boston Corners, NY. The R&C originally had a lease arrangement with the Poughkeepsie & Eastern (known in 1882 as the Poughkeepsie, Hartford & Boston) to operate between Boston Corners and State Line so that they could connect with the Connecticut Western. Trackage rights were given to the H&CW (based on the previous agreement they had with the R&C) between State Line and Boston Corners by the Poughkeepsie, Hartford & Boston RR. This piece of track was leased to the H&CW on June 1, 1883 and purchased by them on April 5, 1884. When the H&CW bought the R&C, they also negotiated to buy the section between Boston Corners and State Line so as to give them a through route of their own all the way to the Hudson River. Pennsylvania coal coming up to Kingston on the D&H Canal was the main reason the H&CW wanted a route to the Hudson River. The H&CW began to call their route “The Rhinebeck Line” and did start out with at least one through train in each direction between Hartford and Rhinecliff. In addition to this train, there were still two other trains operating in each direction between Hartford and Millerton. The big thing, though, at this time was that these trains were now only taking three hours to make the 68 miles rather than four hours when the line was first opened. The Rhinebeck Line, however, seems to have been downgraded in 1886 as a through passenger route because a timetable from that year indicates one must change in Canaan in order to travel between Rhinecliff and Hartford.
In three volumes totalling 658 crowded pages, author and railroader Robert W. Nimke has pieced together in his own style as much of the Central New England Railway story as is ever likely to appear in one publication.
The longest piece of the Central New England still existing is the line from Danbury Fair Grounds to Beacon, yet there were at one time or another at least a dozen different railroads in that portion of New York lying east of the Hudson river and the western boundary of Connecticut north of Danbury. That is to say there were at least a dozen different groups of incorporators who felt, for their own reasons, that their particular railroad project could be profitable. Ultimately, none were. Nor was their successor, the Central New England Railway, formed in 1899 to inherit them all one way or another. It was brought under control of the NYNH&H by 1904.
Until the mid 1920s, the Central New England was operated semi-independently of the New Haven and the portion from Danbury to Maybrook and Campbell Hall was a very busy freight route, forming the New Haven’s most important connection to and from the west. Traffic on other CNE routes was fading fast by the early 1930s, and wholesale abandonments of CNE routes followed. Then in May, 1974, the Maybrook Line, last route of the CNE, was severed by a fire on the great bridge over the Hudson. By then Penn Central was in control of the whole New Haven property, and despite statements to the contrary at the time, it had no interest in reopening the Maybrook line. So today the great bridge stands, unused and unrepaired but a tourist site, and what is left of the Maybrook line sees no traffic other than excursions.
(Picture above is P&C abutment at Hibernia) Photo by B L Rudberg
The fellow in the photo is Joe Mato.
After the New Haven RR took over the NE RR, trackage rights the ND&C from Hopewell Junction to Fishkill Landing were known as part of the “Highland Division”.
Early View Of Pleasant Valley Station
Pleasant Valley station in 1968.
In later years the building was used by a car dealer as a storage area for auto parts.
Restored Pleasant Valley station is now on the grounds of a grade school on West Road in Pleasant Valley.
Borden’s Creamery at Lead Mines on the P&E
Hopewell Depot in the 1930’s
The railroad branching off to the right is not labeled correctly. The name should be the Clove Branch RR not Clove Valley. This short 4 mile line was built to haul iron ore out of the mines at Sylvan Lake. It was later extended an additional 4 miles through Beekman to an iron furnace in Clove Valley. After the iron ore business moved to the Great Lakes area, the Clove Branch RR was abandoned and torn out in 1898.
Clove Branch RR building still in use in Beekman.
The dairy business was a big part of ND&C operations. Farmers would put milk in 10 gallon cans and bring the cans to a railroad pickup point. Trains would collect the cans and haul them to a local creamery for bottling and shipping to New York City. This stand was located in Arthursburg along the ND&C tracks. You can see part of route 82 behind the stand.
Wooden trestle near Millbrook
Links to Other Sites Along the Route You Might Enjoy
|Of interest to the railroad manager, railfans, advocates of super railroads, railroad historians. Links to many rail-related organizations and museums. The one source to go to for history of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.|
| All About Railroads in Connecticut.
From 1844 to 1967, the New Haven RR was a force in New England.
The name for a famous bar car was “V:XI-GBC” for the departure time which was 5:11.
RPO’s on the New Haven.
New York City freight. Railroad path between Norwalk and Pittsfield.
Naugatuck Line to Winstead. The saga of a short line serving Middletown, Ct.
Bridgeport General Electric.
Coverage of Central New England, Naugatuck, Boston, Hartford and Danbury Line.
| A story of George Alpert, the last president of the New Haven Railroad. He was president of the New Haven Railroad from 1956 to 1961 when the carrier went into bankruptcy. After he left the railroad, the Interstate Commerce Commission agreed with him that railroads like the New Haven must have federal subsidies to exist.
|Edgar T. Mead described a trip to Choate in the 1930’s. This article shows what has changed in fifty years. Rooting through old magazines on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I came to an old NRHS Bulletin (Volume 52 # 5 1987) and saw an article by Edgar T. Mead on a train trip from New York City to Choate School which is located in Wallingford, CT which he made in 1937. In 1988, I wrote an article about what we had lost or gained over 50 years. I then decided to update this for changes over the last 10 years as well as over the last 60.|
| There are many train stations in Connecticut. Some have been rebuilt. Some are no longer used and have been converted to other uses. Some have restaurants in them or close by.
|The Shepaug Railroad ran from Hawleyville to Litchfield in Connecticut. It was owned by the New Haven Railroad and went out of business in the 1940’s|
|This is all about the railroad from Western Connecticut to Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It was owned by the New Haven Railroad and is still surviving.|
|What railroads serve Connecticut? A listing of Connecticut towns and what railroads serve them for rail freight. All about the freight railroads that serve Connecticut.|
| All about the New York, Ontario & Western railroad.
Some pieces of this railroad that was lost in 1957 are still used by other lines.
|All about abandoned Railroads. A lot about the West Shore. Other abandonments in New York State and elsewhere in the Eastern US.|
|See this page for a rather interesting look at the original CNE with numerous before and after pictures: (Xian Clere site)|
|All kinds of previously unpublished and fascinating things about the Maybrook Yard!|
|From Willimantic, Connecticut to the Hudson River|
Canaan Station in the 1940’s
Sadly, the right half of this historic building burned. It was torched by teenagers. They were caught and now there is a restoration program underway.
Both became part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.
Welcome to Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp.
One of our members has created a Facebook Page about the Hopewell Depot Restoration.
The Hopewell Depot Restoration project also has a new web site.
(from the Late Bernie Rudberg)
I have been working on local railroad history since I retired from IBM 20 years ago. I have posted several hundred photos and stories about Hudson Valley railroads on a CNE web site. This web site has 23 sections. Just scroll down and select the section you want. If you have any questions or comments just send me a note.
In addition I did about an hour of video for a Marist College oral history project. About 6 minutes of my video session is in the “construction” section. Portions of this interview are now recorded for phone access as narration for the Walkway Over the Hudson web site. A number of photos from my collection are now being used on the interpretive signs on the Walkway.
Since my family background is in railroads in Sweden, I have always been interested in railroads and since I retired I have had time to study more. I am also the former president of a group working to restore our local Hopewell Junction train station into a small museum and educational facility.
I am also one of the organizers for the Central New England Railway Historical Tours. Every spring we tour a section of the old CNE Rwy with two bus loads of railroad fans. I do the navigating and narration for the tour. I have written the guide books for the last eight tours and I am working on the next one . Each book contains around 200 pages of photos and history for that section.
I found the original record books of the ND&C RR at the Beacon Historical Society. The ND&C RR became part of the CNE Rwy in 1905. There are more than 30,000 pages of original railroad records. I wrote a book based on those records. It is called ND&C RR Twenty Five Years on the ND&C. It still available from the publisher and several local bookstores. I have also written a book of photos and stories about Hopewell Junction and East Fishkill which we are selling as a fund raiser for the Hopewell Depot Restoration.
Unfortunately, Bernie passed away. A big pair of boots for anybody to fill.
He was born May 1, 1932 in Camden, New Jersey, to George Bernard Rudberg and Anna Christina Ahlstrom Rudberg. He grew up in Marlton and Franklinville, New Jersey, graduating from Clayton High School in 1951. In 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, graduated from electronic technician school, and spent a year and a half in El Centro, California, and a year and a half on Guam. In 1956, he was hired as a customer engineer by I.B.M. On June 24, 1960, he married Marie Celeste Taylor at the Second Methodist Church, Millville, New Jersey. In 1964, he accepted a position as a technical writer for I.B.M. in Poughkeepsie. He spent eleven years in that position before becoming a hardware engineer working in Poughkeepsie, Danbury, and Kingston. Bernie retired from I.B.M. in 1991.
In retirement, he became more involved in railroad history, as the grandson and great-grandson of railroad men in Sweden. He was always proud of his grandfather who was a conductor in Boden, Sweden, and his great-grandfather who was stationmaster where the railroad crossed the Arctic Circle. In 1997, he got involved with the newly-formed Hopewell Depot Restoration group, serving on the board until his death, as president for several years, and finally “historian emeritus”. Bernie wrote three books about the railroad in Hopewell Junction, and ten guide books for the annual CNE railway tour. He also gave frequent talks in the Hudson Valley and as far away as Maine and Massachusetts, becoming known as “Mr. Conductor.”
Bernie was also interested in genealogy and served as a vice-president of the Dutchess County Genealogical Society. He also maintained the family tree with hundreds of photos of his Swedish family.
In retirement, Bernie and his wife enjoyed traveling, making a cross-country road trip in 1987, road trips up and down the East Coast, many visits to California, plus travels to Sweden, England, Germany, Hawaii and Switzerland.
Bernie is survived by his wife; three children: Steven of Staatsburg, Bruce and wife Lisa of Corona, California, and Nancy Sturm and husband Edward of Kingston; three grandchildren, Krista Rudberg and Dillon Rudberg of California, and Edward B. Sturm IV of Kingston; his brother-in-law and wife, David and Elfrieda Taylor of Millville, New Jersey; plus three nieces and many cousins in the United States, Sweden and U.K. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Barbara.
A celebration of his life will be held at McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Visitation will be from 2 – 4pm followed by a memorial service with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hopewell Depot Restoration Corporation, P.O. Box 1044, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533.