Tag Archives: hudson river

Foxx seeks meeting with Cuomo, Christie to discuss Hudson River rail tunnels

Following several days of rail service interruptions along Amtrak‘s Northeast Corridor, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Monday asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to meet to discuss plans to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

In a letter obtained by The New York Times, Foxx upheld Amtrak’s Gateway Project to create two new tubes under the river as the only “credible concept” to build a new tunnel, and added that he is willing to explore federal financial assistance for the project.

Foxx noted that the Obama administration had recently set aside $185 million for the Gateway Project under the Hudson Yards development in Manhattan.

The project would double the current train capacity under the river and would enable repair of the existing 105-year-old tunnel, Foxx said.

“Neither Amtrak nor your individual States, acting alone, can replace these tunnels,” Foxx wrote in the letter. “It will take all of us working together.”

Prior to Foxx’s letter, Christie last week released a statement demanding a greater level of accountability from Amtrak. He cited the national passenger railroad’s “abject neglect” of infrastructure in the region among the reasons for the delays.

“We have tried again and again to work cooperatively with Amtrak to resolve these issues, but in the face of this repeated and unacceptable failure, I am calling on the Obama administration and Congress to step up to their responsibility to the people of New Jersey and to the largest and most important regional infrastructure system in the nation,” Christie said in the statement.

Christie said he has asked New Jersey’s attorney general to review the matter to see what recourse the state has to ensure that its funding of Amtrak is being used properly.

Through a spokesman, the New Jersey governor has since said he would be willing to meet with Foxx and Cuomo, according to The New York Times

Schumer proposes plan for new Hudson River rail tunnels

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday proposed a new nonprofit development corporation that would come up with a financing plan to pay for the construction of new rail tunnels under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York.

The proposed Gateway Development Corp. would help advance Amtrak’s Gateway program to construct new tunnels to expand train capacity into New York City from New Jersey and elsewhere on the Northeast Corridor, Schumer said in a speech, which was reported by several New York news media outlets.

Schumer’s proposal follows a number of recent power breakdowns and other infrastructure problems in the existing 106-year old Hudson River tunnels, which led to long delays for New Jersey Transit riders. The tunnels are owned by Amtrak, but many of the trains that run through them are owned and operated by NJ Transit.

The tunnels have had aging infrastructure problems for some time, but they sustained severe and permanent damage during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Amtrak’s Gateway program is a comprehensive plan to expand capacity and improve rail infrastructure into Manhattan. A major component is to build a new Hudson River tunnel that would allow the closing of the older structures for repair. Although the railroad has made progress with the plan, it lacks the funding to complete it. Last year, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman estimated the Gateway program would cost about $16 billion.

Yesterday, Schumer acknowledged Amtrak’s Gateway efforts to date, but added that completing the project will require the cooperation from other government partners and transit agencies.

“We are fast approaching a regional transportation Armageddon: the busiest rail line in the US stranded without a way into NY,” Schumer said on his Twitter account. “Gateway will take energy, commitment, several leaps of faith, but above all else, it will take cooperation.”

Boardman agreed that beginning work on the Gateway project, including constructing a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, was “of the utmost urgency to both the region and the entire Northeast Corridor,” according to a prepared statement reported by the Asbury Park Press.

“To do that, we need to develop a true partnership

40 Years After Poughkeepsie Bridge Fire

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The Poughkeepsie bridge is open! The fellow in the yellow jacket carrying a banjo is Pete Seeger.

For 35 years, the ravaged Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge awaited a rebirth. Opened on New Year’s Day in 1889, the rail bridge — now the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park — was the first bridge to cross the Hudson River between Albany and New York City. The 6,768-foot span was used totransport goods, such as coal and grain from the Midwest to New England, for 85 years. Then, in 1974, a fire visible for miles rendered the bridge unusable.

The state Legislature charted the Poughkeepsie Bridge Co. to build the bridge in 1871. At its peak, 1,500 construction workers worked on the bridge daily, according to the Walkway’s mobile Web tour. Much of the construction was done from 1886 to 1888. Eight people died during construction, according to the tour.As many as 3,500 freight and passenger cars crossed the Hudson River span each day, according to Walkway Over the Hudson. But, as the decades passed, use of the bridge declined until only one train crossed per day, according to Journal archives.On May 8, 1974, a 700-foot-long fire charred the east side of the bridge. It was difficult to put out the blaze; the steel pipeline that supplied the bridge with water had burst the previous winter. As debris fell from the bridge during the fire, and igniting smaller fires in the city below, firefighters fought the blaze from the warped deck of the bridge and a ladder underneath. Full story and video.

Some great reference material compiled by Bernie Rudberg.

The Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie    

The Poughkeepsie Bridge after the 1974 Fire

Folk Singer, Activist Pete Seeger Dies

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2009, the Poughkeepsie  Bridge Walkway is open The fellow in the yellow jacket carrying a banjo is Pete Seeger. Pete touched a lot of people. His support of the revitalized Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie, as well as the Hudson River was immense.

Unable to carry his beloved banjo, Pete Seeger used a different but equally formidable instrument, his mere presence, to instruct yet another generation of young people how to effect change through song and determination two years ago.

A surging crowd, two canes and seven decades as a history-sifting singer and rabble-rouser buoyed him as he led an Occupy Wall Street protest through Manhattan in 2011.

“Be wary of great leaders,” he told The Associated Press two days after the march. “Hope that there are many, many small leaders.”

The banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage died Monday at age 94. Seeger’s grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, said his grandfather died peacefully in his sleep around 9:30 p.m. at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been for six days. Family members were with him.

“He was chopping wood 10 days ago,” Cahill-Jackson recalled.

With his lanky frame, use-worn banjo and full white beard, Seeger was an iconic figure in folk music who outlived his peers. He performed with the great minstrel Woody Guthrie in his younger days and wrote or co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” ”Turn, Turn, Turn,” ”Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” He lent his voice against Hitler and nuclear power. A cheerful warrior, he typically delivered his broadsides with an affable air and his fingers poised over the strings of his banjo.

In 2011, he walked nearly 2 miles with hundreds of protesters swirling around him holding signs and guitars, later admitting the attention embarrassed him. But with a simple gesture — extending his friendship — Seeger gave the protesters and even their opponents a moment of brotherhood the short-lived Occupy movement sorely needed.

When a policeman approached, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger said at the time he feared his grandfather would be hassled.

“He reached out and shook my hand and said, ‘Thank you, thank you, this is beautiful,'” Rodriguez-Seeger said. “That really did it for me. The cops recognized what we were about. They wanted to help our march. They actually wanted to protect our march because they saw something beautiful. It’s very hard to be anti-something beautiful.”

That was a message Seeger spread his entire life.

With The Weavers, a quartet organized in 1948, Seeger helped set the stage for a national folk revival. The group — Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman — churned out hit recordings of “Goodnight Irene,” ”Tzena, Tzena” and “On Top of Old Smokey.”

Seeger also was credited with popularizing “We Shall Overcome,” which he printed in his publication “People’s Song” in 1948. He later said his only contribution to the anthem of the civil rights movement was changing the second word from “will” to “shall,” which he said “opens up the mouth better.”

“Every kid who ever sat around a campfire singing an old song is indebted in some way to Pete Seeger,” Arlo Guthrie once said.

His musical career was always braided tightly with his political activism, in which he advocated for causes ranging from civil rights to the cleanup of his beloved Hudson River. Seeger said he left the Communist Party around 1950 and later renounced it. But the association dogged him for years.

He was kept off commercial television for more than a decade after tangling with the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. Repeatedly pressed by the committee to reveal whether he had sung for Communists, Seeger responded sharply: “I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American.”

He was charged with contempt of Congress, but the sentence was overturned on appeal.

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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.