Albany Troy Belt Line


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Picture above was the Maiden Lane Bridge in Albany, NY. It plays a part in a recent discussion on the “Belt Line” that provided frequent train service. After a lot of guessing, we finally got the straight scoop from Gordon Davids:

The Albany – Troy Belt Line was jointly operated by the New York Central and the Delaware and Hudson. Contrary to a statement made on another web site and widely quoted, it was not initiated in response to competition from electric
railroads. The service was begun around 1881, according to the 1916 Annual Report of the New York State Public Service Commission.

It appears from that 1916 report that both railroads had reduced the frequency of service in that year, and the Public Service Commission took some exception to that action.

The Belt trains operated in a loop, using the upper level of Albany Union Station, Maiden Lane Bridge, the Troy and Greenbush Railroad (NYCRR) to Troy, the Troy Union Railroad to the Green Island Bridge, the Green Island Branch of
the D&H to WX Tower (Watervliet Jct), and the D&H Saratoga Division to Albany.

The D&H operated its trains on the Belt in a counter-clockwise direction, or running north on the east side of the Hudson River, and the New York Central operated in the reverse direction. According to the PSC, until 1916 there was a
train every 30 minutes between Albany and Troy, for 18 hours per day. I don’t believe that one train could make the loop in one hour, considering time needed for coal and water, so generally each railroad must have provided two sets of
equipment at one time to handle the service. The D&H crew would go on duty at Colonie, deadhead with their train to Albany, run via Rensselaer to Troy and then south on the D&H back to Albany. The NYC crew would start at Rensselaer,
deadhead to Albany Union station, run up the D&H to Troy and then back to Albany on the NYC. The Belt trains also handled some through sleepers and head end cars between Albany, Troy and Rensselaer.

Each railroad granted trackage rights to the other for passenger service only. It wasn’t until the abandonment of the Troy Union Railroad and the T&S Branch that the D&H got trackage rights on the NYC for freight between Albany and Troy
via Rensselaer, and the NYC (or Penn Central) got rights for freight on the D&H from Albany to Green Island.

Here is some other information I found before Gordon clarified it for me;

Trying to find something on the Albany/Troy “Belt Line”. No decent D&H info so I looked at the NY Central side:

1957 NY Central Hudson Mohawk Division ETT
Only one daily train covering the 7.31 miles from Troy to Albany
Train 706 left Troy at 3:35pm
Flagstop at Adams Street at 3:38pm
(leaves Troy Union Railroad and enters Troy & Greenbush)
Flagstop at  Madison Street at 3:40pm
Flagstop at Iron Works at 3:43pm
Flagstop at Rensselaer at 3:49pm
Arrive Albany at 4:00pm

Sunday only  Train 146 ran express and terminated in Rensselaer

1951 ETT was more robust, but included Montreal trains and some express trains.

Public Timetable Form 101 July 1940
Table 60 shows Montreal trains via Rutland (B&M)
Table 61 shows Montreal trains via D&H
There is a note: “Frequent bus and street car service from Troy to Albany”
Table 61A shows the connection at Troy with the B&M to Boston

Nothing here so I went to 1950
Troy is mentioned in tables 8, 9, 12, 13, 55, 56, 60

OK. Nothing so far. I will go in the other direction. I tried 1930 “New York Central Lines” Public Timetable
Troy shows on tables 18 to 25
I finally found it!
Albany and Troy Local Trams
No . ” T h e Belt Line”
Leave Albany t6 00, 56 57. 17 00. T7 30, tS 00, ‘8 30, f 9 00, “9 30. ’10 30,
511 30. t i l 33 ill. *12 80. 130, *2 30. *3 30 14 00, *4 30, +5 05, *5 30. 16 00, ‘6 30, fi 05, “7 33, *8 30. *9 30. *10 30. *1130 PM
Leave Troy tU 30. V 00. t” 30. »7 55, f8 00 tS 30, *9 00, t9 10, “10 00. *11 00 .’.!!
1 2 01. *13 57. * i 05, *S 00. *2 59. *4 00. t l 32. ‘5 00, t5 31, *6 05. 10 30, *7 00,
17 32, *S 00, *8 05. “9 00, *10 00, *11 00 PM.
Time occupied in trip between Albany and Troy, 25 minutes
Sorry, but copying some of this scanned stuff sometimes looses letters/numbers
All these timetables came off of the “Terry Link” site
http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/ptt/timetables.htm

1933 Public TT says: T a b l e 2 5 a A l b a n y a n d T r o y L o c a l T r a i n s
“The Belt Line”
Leave Albany §5 57, f6 50, f8 05, §8 30, *11 33, *1 25, t5 30.
Leave Troy, *7 30, f8 25, U 0 55, *12 25, *6 00, *8 13.
Time consumed i n t r ip between Albany and Troy, 25 minutes

1935 still there

1936 could not find “Belt Line”

2 thoughts on “Albany Troy Belt Line”

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