Tag Archives: Albany

The Tobin Packing Company of Albany (Makers of First Prize Hot Dogs)

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The Albany Times Union recently had a feature article on long-gone Tobin Packing of Albany.

They had quite a collection of pictures. The old First Prize Truck at the top is courtesy of Hanks Truck Pictures

The plant lasted from 1924 to 1981 and the ruins are still for sale.

As well as First Prize, meat processing was once a big industry in Albany. The Swift meat packing company was first founded in 1855 by 16 year old Gustavus Franklin Swift in Eastham, Massachusetts. It’s early origins on Cape Cod, led to later Brighton, MA, Albany, NY and Buffalo, NY locations, It was finally in Chicago. Gustavus Swift also championed the refrigerated railroad car.

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Abraham Lincoln and New York Railroads

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Plaque in honor of President Lincoln at 414 W. 30th Street in NY City

It is at the site of the Hudson River Railroad’s New York City passenger station. Lincoln arrived here February 19, 1861 on his route to be inaugurated in Washington DC as President of the United States. After his assination Lincoln’s body went through here April 25, 1865. The Hudson River Railroad became part of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad and moved it’s main station to what became Grand Central Terminal. The old Hudson River Railroad line in the city became the West Side Freight Line.

See more about Abraham Lincoln’s trips

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Picture ABOVE is the engine that pulled the Lincoln Funeral Train

Photo courtesy of Wayne Koch

Information on Lincoln’s funeral train, including details on the route, is fully covered in Scott Trostel’s book on the subject, with maps.

See more about President Lincoln’s Funeral Train

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Pictured above is the Livingston Avenue Bridge in Albany. When Lincoln’s funeral train went through New York City to Illinois in 1865, it could not cross the Hudson at Albany, because the bridge had yet to be completed (in 1866). I believe that the coffin crossed the river from East Albany (Rensselaer) to Albany on a boat, and the train went around via Troy and Green Island to Albany, from whence it continued its trip west. The Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad (D&H) had built its first Green Island Bridge in 1835. The connection from Green Island to Albany was opened in 1853.

The Livingston Avenue Bridge stands as a working monument to steam-age rail thinking in the Empire State. The almost 150-year-old swing bridge is the sole link for Amtrak passenger trains crossing the Hudson River.

Return of Albany’s “Night Boat”

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Picture (undated, from the Library of Congress) shows the “Night Boat” from New York City docked in Albany. Everything is different in the picture except the Livingston Avenue Bridge in the background that still carries AMTRAK between New York City and Chicago.
Up until 1941, The “Night Boat” from New York City to Albany could carry 2,000 passengers. It ended an era in American history of grand boats with staterooms, ballrooms, etc running up and down the Hudson River. Passengers could be young couples on a weekend trip, couples evading detection by spouses, “ladies of the evening”, etc. There was even a Broadway farce in the 1920’s called the “Night Boat“.
But by 1941, everybody was in a hurry. You could make the trip by car, train or even airplane. Saratoga horse racing and gambling was slowing down as more options opened up near NY City. So when it went down the tubes, few cared about the “Night Boat”.
The first “crack” in the monopoly of the Hudson River steam boats was in the 1860’s when Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Hudson River Railroad (part of the great New York Central Railroad) started running trains, first only in the Winter. At their beginning, trains stopped at Rensselaer with passengers walking across a foot bridge. A NY Central subsidiary, “The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany” solved that problem with the Maiden Lane Bridge into downtown Albany (now gone) and the Livingston Avenue Bridge (originally a freight bypass).
Now, New York State is considering changes to gambling laws, and guess what? A “gambling” boat between NY City and Albany might become legal.
Not going to get into the topic of Saratoga and gambling (other than horses), but it could help Rensselaer too. Imagine a “class” hotel there!

DISCOVER A WATERFRONT TREASURE…. Campbell Island on the Hudson – America’s Premiere Heritage River

HudsonRiverCampbell Island

River lovers – don’t wait any longer to live your dream. You can own 97 acres on Campbell Island on the Hudson River – a waterfront treasure little known to the outside world, yet the largest, best piece of riverfront property left in New York State. Technically the southern part of a peninsula, Campbell is virtually an island on America’s premiere historic river.A once in a lifetime opportunity for waterfront real estate unparalleled. 

Located in New York’s Capital Region, close to civilization yet a million miles away, Campbell Island on the Hudson is the perfect place for waterfront adventures, year round recreation, a family/corporate compound, training or meeting space, a getaway retreat, your heart’s content. 

Here you can recharge your spirit, enjoy nature and experience the ever changing Hudson. Rest, fish, hike, bird watch, kayak, canoe, swim, or just be in your own paradise with friends and family while you fulfill your imagination, be it Indiana Jones action, Swiss Family Robinson simplicity, Huck Finn journeys, Great Camp Shangri-La.

Accessible by water, foot and air, and buildable by NYS Regulations, Campbell is very beautiful, nearly pristine and features 4750 feet on the Hudson next to 3000 feet of state riverfront and more frontage along a tributary creek, rare underwater rights (from 19th century letters of patent), scenic views, diverse topography including cozy coves and sandy beaches, trails through majestic woods, and an elevated extensive tree-covered plateau in the 500 year floodplain that tapers gently to the tip where the Papscanee Creek meets the river. Campbell offers ample waterfront on the Hudson River for motorized or sailing craft, a serene creek to the east for canoes and kayaks to explore, and quiet forests to wander in.

Located directly across the Hudson from the Town of Bethlehem park and boat launch, 10 minutes from Albany, off scenic Route 9J, in the Town of Schodack, upstate New York, Campbell Island is near amenities, airports, Amtrak, interstates, Saratoga; less than 3 hours from Boston, New York City, and Montreal. Schodack Island State Park and the Papscanee Island Nature Preserve are neighbors. Historic Van Wies Point is across the water too.

Come watch the world float by on the longest deep water channel in the world. Once home to the Mohicans, Dutch settlers and an icehouse, Campbell Island is quiet now, waiting to awaken as a most unique Hudson River destination more than 400 years after the river’s discovery by Europeans. Make Campbell yours. It will enrich your life and be your legacy.

Find out more about Campbell Island where waterfront dreams can come true! Visit this link to more photos and a PDF brochure to print out Click here to view “CAMPBELL PHOTOS”.  

Call owner to discuss and arrange a visit,  518-477-6618 . 

DISCLAIMER: I do not know the owner or expect a commission. Just doing this as a “good turn”  so somebody might find it and enjoy it.

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”