Last and Highest Section Of The ND&C. Most Exciting Too.


The Central New England Railway (CNE) / Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad between Pine Plains and Millerton over Winchell Mountain. This was the highest climb that the old steamers had to make on the line with deep rock cuts at the top. It was completed in 1871 and filled up with snow in every big winter storm. Some of the photos are from the infamous “Blizzard of 88”. It is easy to see why this line was abandoned in 1925 after the CNE took over. The CNE stopped using this route in favor the longer P&E route that went around the mountain instead of over it. By 1938 all of the lines were gone.

This section has several drawings by Victor Westman.

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.

Yes there was an old creamery on the liine too!

Ruins of the Clover Farms creamery at Shekomeko.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 132

Next, the famous Blizzard of 1888

ND&C RR at Egglestons crossing between Shekomeko and Winchells on 20 March 1888. This was 8 days after the great blizzard of 1888. It took 6 days of snow clearing to get from Beacon to Pine Plains. Winchells cut was blocked full of snow. The ND&C hired 200 men with shovels to clear the cut. The first train to reach Millerton was on Sunday 25 March, a full 13 days after the storm.

Collection of the Beacon Historical Society

Perhaps the best known weather battle was the great blizzard of March 1888. Volume 25 of the ND&C letterbooks contains the saga of dealing with the infamous “Blizzard of 88“. On 10 March 1888 the conditions were so dry that sparks from the stack of NY&NE engine #98 set a half dozen grass fires which threatened the Van Wyck buildings in Fishkill Village. Two days later the snow reports began coming in.

From here it is downhill into Millerton.

Last freight car on CNE/ND&C spur at Dutchess Avenue in 1958 prior to line being torn up. This car and others were hauled up to the site of the former station by a truck and were returned to the NYC connection by gravity with two or three people working the brakes.

The following is a first person description of moving freight cars through the streets of Millerton. This was written by Jack Shufelt and he recalls the process of rolling cars downhill through Millerton using a truck for motive power to connect with the NYC Harlem line.

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