Drawing of the “Peddler” at Pine Plains station by Victor Westman

Lee Beaujon collection

Victor Westman is an engineer retired from the Harlem line and living in Danbury CT. His drawings were intended for a book which Robert Adams was writing about the CNE and ND&C. Unfortunately Adams passed away before the manuscript was completed and the book was never published. Some of these pictures have been used previously in Christmas card illustrations.

During the years of World War I and after, the Central New England Railway considered its main line between Pine Plains and State Line, New York, to be that of the former Poughkeepsie & Eastern via Ancram Lead Mines and Boston Corners due to its lower grades. Next best was the former Rhinebeck & Connecticut route via Silvernails, Copake, and Boston Corners. The heavy grades over Winchell Mountain via the former Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut route from Millerton via Shekomeko became the least desirable.

In the 1921 setting depicted here, a wreck or other blockage of the usual routes has caused the detour of a westbound freight via Millerton and over the rugged Winchell summit into the safe haven of the valley floor at pine Plains. The little Class F-4 Brooks-built (2-6-0) Mogul was the heaviest freight engine allowed to use the line. It was one of six such engines built in 1910 numbered 400-405, then renumbered in 1913 as 125-130, and rebuilt with Walschaert valve gear in 1919. Indicative of the era is the high-riding Model A Ford parked behind the station, designed to straddle the rutted, muddy dirt roads of rural America in the early 1920s.

See The Railroads Of Pine Plains for more fascinating stories like this


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