CNE/NDC Dutchess Junction and Matteawan

ndcdutchessmap01

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.

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Drawing of the Dutchess Junction station in 1873.

The double track main line of the NYC&HR RR runs through the middle. At right the tracks of the Dutchess & Columbia RR go up the hill and across the Tioronda bridge over Fishkill Creek to Wicopee Junction and Matteawan. The bridge in the distance is left from the failed BH&E RR plans to build a deep water port on Dennings Point at the far left. The pilings in the bay were intended to hold a trestle which was never completed.

The station was jointly owned by the two railroads and the D&C offices were on the second floor over the passenger waiting room at right. An overhead walkway connected the passenger station to the freight house on the left. This station was destroyed by fire in April 1876. All of the D&C office records were lost in the fire.

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This newspaper clipping describes the Dutchess Junction station fire in April 1876.

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View of Dutchess Junction about 1880.

J. W. Swanberg collection
Over the years the center of ND&C Railroad activity was Dutchess Junction. At the peak of operations, Dutchess Junction was a thriving town with a train station that served two railroads, the ND&C Railroad and the NYC&HR Railroad. There was also the busy ferry and freight dock for Hudson River boat traffic. The ND&C Railroad repair shops were located at Dutchess Junction as well. Workers lived in tenement houses owned by the railroad. Descriptions of the ND&C facilities include a locomotive repair shop, a carpenter shop, brass foundry, paint shop, car repair and build shop, coal and water facilities plus a turntable with a roundhouse and train yard. Adjacent to the ND&C Railroad property was a brick manufacturing company. Dutchess Junction was a bustling, active community.

Today there is very little evidence that Dutchess Junction ever existed. When you ask, Where is Dutchess Junction?, most local residents respond with only a puzzled look. The nearest passable road is more than a mile away, but if you hike through the trees to Dutchess Junction, all you are likely to find are a few overgrown foundations and some scattered bricks. Metro-North and Amtrak trains thunder past what seems to be only woodland along the banks of the Hudson River.

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ndcdutchessstation05

The last Dutchess Junction station.

The first Dutchess Junction station was detroyed by fire in April 1876. The replacement station also burned in November 1893. The station in this photo was actually the third and last station at Dutchess Junction. The 1893 fire also burned the ND&C RR lumber shed, storehouse, roundhouse and the timber supports of the water tank. Three steam engines were severely damaged in the roundhouse fire but #1 was driven to safety by an ex slave named George Washington who was working as a night watchman. It was early in 1894 before the ND&C trains were back to a normal schedule.

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Dutchess Junction agent in an undated photo.

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Dutchess Junction in 1950

Lee Beaujon collection
By 1950 a lonely passenger shelter was all that remained of the bustling town of Dutchess Junction. Even that shelter is now long gone.

 

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We are going up the hill out of Dutchess Junction over the Tioronda Bridge and through Wicopee Junction.

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Tioronda Bridge over Fishkill Creek in Beacon NY.

Just up the hill from Dutchess Junction the ND&C tracks crossed high over Fishkill Creek. This bridge was strengthened and repaired a number of times while it was in service. The last train across this bridge was in 1916. Shortly after that the bridge was sold for scrap by the CNE.

This area is now part of Madam Brett Mill Park in the City of Beacon NY. The bridge is gone but the stone abutments are still guarding the spillway.

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Tioronda Bridge abutments still stand in Madam Brett Mill Park in Beacon NY.

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This would have been the track level view over Tioronda Bridge

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New York Rubber plant in the background.

The NY&NE RR built a ferry facility at Fishkill Landing in 1881. They leased trackage rights on the ND&C from Hopewell Junction to Wicopee Junction. They built their own tracks from Wicopee Junction to Fishkill Landing. Wicopee Junction was near the east end of Tioronda bridge. At this point the NY&NE tracks connected to the ND&C tracks from Dutchess Junction.

After many years and many different names, these tracks are still in service and owned by Metro North MTA. There is no regular train service on this “Beacon Branch” but they are keeping the line open for possible future use.

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ndcdutchess1932wicopee12

Wicopee Junction in 1932 was no longer a junction.

The watchman’s shanty is gone and the former ND&C tracks end at the tanks in the distance. Tracks to the right go down the hill to Fishkill Landing. Just beyond the tanks is what remains of Tioronda Bridge abutments.

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ND&C RR engine #6 in 1882.

This engine was built by the Brooks Locomotive Works in 1873 and purchased new by the NYB&M which went bankrupt that same year. The trustees of the NYB&M leased this engine to the ND&C in 1877. The ND&C purchased her from the trustees in September 1888. The CNE scrapped this engine in 1912 or early 1913.

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Mostly Matteawan

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The D&C RR along Tioronda Avenue in 1869.

Between Wicopee Junction and Matteawan the tracks run alongside of Tioronda Avenue. This photo is of a D&C RR train before Wicopee became a Junction and before the City of Beacon was formed. This scene today is part of the City of Beacon. Behind the train is Tioronda Bridge and Dutchess Junction. Ahead of the train is the station stop at Matteawan. These tracks are still in service today and owned by MTA Metro North RR.

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The New Haven RR alongside Tioronda Avenue in 1949.

Eighty years have passed since the previous photo but little has changed along Tioronda Avenue in Beacon NY.

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Matteawan NY 1876

At lower right the D&C RR tracks run along Tioronda Avenue. You can see the two-story Matteawan station toward the upper right with a couple box cars parked on the siding. Just beyond in the upper right corner you can see a tower on a factory building. This distinctive tower shows up on several old photos of Matteawan and later Beacon. Also visible is a siding leading into a coal handling business. In later years new concrete silos were built to hold the coal.

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Matteawan station on Main Street in the 1870’s.


A few years after this photo, another story was added to this station to hold the offices of the ND&C RR successor to the D&C RR. This scene is now part of the City of Beacon.

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ndcdutchessmatteawanstation18

Matteawan station after the third floor was added.

When this building was renovated in the 1990s, the record books of the ND&C RR were found in the loft over the third floor. Those books are now at the Beacon Historical Society in the old Howland building which is on the corner of Tioronda Avenue just to the right of the church steeple.

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Matteawan station in 1933.

Gasoline powered railbuses were used for the last few years of passenger service. Some old timers may recall riding the “galloping goose” to high school in Beacon or Poughkeepsie. Railbus service ended in September 1933.

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Matteawan station in 2003.

This building now contains a beauty shop, nail salon and apartments.

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Matteawan station RR fans.


The Matteawan station has been visited by several fan trips from the Danbury RR Museum.

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Crossing guard on duty in Matteawan

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Main Street in Matteawan in 1869.

Here again you can see the tower attached to the factory building. This scene is now part of East Main Street in the City of Beacon NY. The Matteawan station was just off the right edge.

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Main Street in Matteawan in the “blizzard of 88″.


This is almost the exact same view as the previous picture. Notice the horse drawn street car behind the snow bank. Later photos of this area show the top section of the tower was removed.

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Derailment in 1976

Almost 100 years later the tower was badly damaged by a train derailment. Notice the Penn Central truck at far right. After the accident the tower was removed completely so that only the markings of a stairway show on the factory wall.

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ndcdutchess2005matteawan26

Derailment in 1976

Almost 100 years later the tower was badly damaged by a train derailment. Notice the Penn Central truck at far right. After the accident the tower was removed completely so that only the markings of a stairway show on the factory wall.

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These coal silos are still standing in Beacon.

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