Category Archives: Central New England Railway

Walkway Over The Hudson Awarded $500,000 for Visitors Center


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — the Walkway Over The Hudson is getting a new visitors center.

The Walkway was awarded a $500,000 grant through New York State’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) program this week, to be allocated toward the planned Eastern Entrance Welcome Center.

The welcome center is expected to be completed by spring 2019 and will feature permanent restrooms, a gathering area for up to 40 visitors, water fountains, benches, lighting, landscaping and other amenities. The welcoming center will cost approximately $3 million and be located adjacent to the park’s east side parking lot and at the juncture between the Walkway State Park and the Dutchess County Rail Trail.

“The Dutchess Welcome Center is another great and much-needed enhancement to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park,” said Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart.

Whenever I hear about the WALKWAY, I think of old friend, the late Bernie Rudberg from Hopewell Junction. Know a lot of others promoted the Walkway, but Bernie was a great promoter.


CNE and Hopewell Junction Railfans

To all of Bernie Rudburg’s e-mail fans.

If you are not aware, and are wondering why you have not seen any e-mails from Bernie this year, we lost our Conductor and Historian emeritus last December. Bernie was the heart and soul of the Depot and he is sourly missed.

We have dedicated the station masters office to Bernie and plan to build a 20 foot by 40 foot picnic pavilion just south of the Interlocking Tower later this year and dedicate it to Bernie’s memory as well. If you are interested in supporting this project, please send your contributions to the Depot or donate at the “Give” page on our website (

We are now working on providing Depot update e-mails one or two times per month during the summer and fall seasons, so stay tuned.

Joe Sullivan
President, Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp.
PO Box 1044, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533

The Final Phase Of Reconstructing Fishkill Landing

Northbound NYC train near Fishkill Landing.

Beacon Historical Society collection

The Hudson line which became part of the NYC had been in operation for nearly 20 years when the first east-west railroad was built. The Dutchess & Columbia connected to the Hudson line at Dutchess Junction in 1868. In 1881 the NY&NE built a connecting track and ferry service at Fishkill Landing just north of Dutchess Junction. This NYC train is along the shore of the Hudson River between those two points. Fishkill Landing became part of Beacon in 1913.

Find out more on Fishkill Landing history

The Second Phase Of Reconstruction Is Progressing

Beacon Historical Society collection

On a sunny day in November 1915 the CNE tracks to the station are being built. At lower left you can see the extension of the CNE tracks from the old yard area.

At far left there is activity in the old NY&NE yard now occupied by the CNE. There was no more car ferry service but there was a dock for river boats and barges.

Read all about the new station at Fishkill Landing

Reconstruction Is Underway In 1913

Beacon Historical Society collection

The road to the old ferry dock on the point runs off into the distance. The trolley is turning onto the old road bridge over the NYC main line. The CNE station is gone. It used to be about where that big pile of dirt is left of center. Behind the pile of dirt you can see the water tower for the former NY&NE car ferry yard. By 1913 there were no more car ferries but there was still a freight dock in service for river boats and barges.

Find out more about the initial reconstruction in Fishkill Landing.

Fishkill Landing Over The Years

This is an enlarged section a of what was Fishkill Landing. The NYC main line runs north and south through the center. NY&NE and later CNE and NH tracks run on trestles and fill between the shore and the NYC main line at lower left. Just below the center there is a road bridge over the NYC tracks. This bridge shows in many of the following photos and was rebuilt during the reconstruction in 1913 to 1915. North of the road bridge you can see a set of yard tracks to the right of the NYC main. During rebuilding of this area those tracks served as a bypass for the NYC main line. The label “Penn Central RR” dates this map to about 1970.

Find out more on railroad activity in the Fishkill Landing Area

A Lot of Beautiful Towns North Of Poughkeepsie

Those of you who were along on the CNE spring tour in April may remember the Pleasant Valley station painted in blue. The paint was beginning to peel in spots and blue was not really the original railroad color. Above shows the Pleasant Valley station on 14 August 2006.

It now has a fresh coat of yellow and brown which is more like authentic railroad colors. The paint job is not completed yet. You can see that the rain gutter and some of the roof braces are still blue. The new colors are a big improvement over the faded and peeling blue.

The Pleasant Valley station is on the property of West Road School and is now taken care of by the Town of Pleasant Valley recreation department.

B. L. Rudberg photo

Find out more about the towns North o Poughkeepsie

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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