Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

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Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby Highlandhiking » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:40 am

Hello. I'm new to Railroad.net. I'm interested in learning more about the Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway. I know that no track was ever laid for this line, but was any grading ever done? Or was it just a "paper railroad"?
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby Highlandhiking » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:24 pm

Thanks for the links. I don't see any mention of grading work in any of them, though in my hikes in this area I've come across what appears to be railroad-grade roadbeds. Not sure who or what they belonged to.
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby nydepot » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:36 pm

The last link is a book which may contain info. I didn't read everything and you have to pay to get the NYTimes PDFs but they could be helpful. At least the NYT of the time covered the company so knowing that, a local college/university or library may have access to the NYT of the period. I know SUNY-Binghamton did when I have there.

Charles

Highlandhiking wrote:Thanks for the links. I don't see any mention of grading work in any of them, though in my hikes in this area I've come across what appears to be railroad-grade roadbeds. Not sure who or what they belonged to.
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:52 pm

Highlandhiking wrote:Thanks for the links. I don't see any mention of grading work in any of them, though in my hikes in this area I've come across what appears to be railroad-grade roadbeds. Not sure who or what they belonged to.



My book contains a chapter on the Hudson Suspension Bridge (thanks for posting the link, Charles)... The book is cheap cheap cheap and contains a lot of other good info you may be interested in. Sometimes you reach the limit with free resources... Of course, if you live in the Westchester County area, I bet you can get a copy of my book through interlibrary loan. Here's a preview of the text...

Construction of the suspension bridge began in 1868, and was supervised by chief engineer General Edward W. Serrell. A military engineer during the Civil War, Serrell was responsible for the Queenston-Lewiston suspension bridge and was involved in construction of the Hoosac Tunnel. The proposed bridge was to have a clear span of 1,600 feet, a total length including approaches was to be 2,499 feet. The height of the towers above the water was to be 280 feet, with the height of the bridge itself 155 feet. The bridge was to be built to handle railroad and wagon traffic, designed for a working safe load of 2,400 tons for rail, and 2,880 for highway traffic.

In order for the railroad connection from Turners to meet the bridge on a workable grade, a 5,000 foot tunnel was to be constructed through the solid rock of Bull Hill, about half the distance to Fort Clinton. Crossing the suspension bridge and entering Westchester County, the New England Railroad turned south, parallel to and above the Hudson River Railroad (later the NYC Hudson Division) below. There was talk of the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut extending their line from Dutchess Junction (near Beacon) to meet the eastern end of the bridge at Anthony’s Nose. The New York & New England acquired trackage rights on the ND&C in 1881 and operated a carfloat at Beacon where they connected with the Erie Railroad at Newburgh. If the bridge was built with a direct connection to the Erie at Harriman, NY&NE could eliminate their carfloat operation altogether. A major obstacle not discussed by either party would be how the ND&C would climb from the shore of the Hudson River to meet the proposed bridge connection.


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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby Highlandhiking » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:21 pm

Thanks, guys. It looks like there wasn't any grading done. The narrow rock cut and roadbed that I was looking at in Hudson Highlands Gateway Park may have connected the Todd Mine with the Peekskill Iron Mine RR.

Otto: I've already ordered your book and look forward to reading it.

Marty
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby RussNelson » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:01 pm

Highlandhiking wrote:Thanks, guys. It looks like there wasn't any grading done. The narrow rock cut and roadbed that I was looking at in Hudson Highlands Gateway Park may have connected the Todd Mine with the Peekskill Iron Mine RR.

Otto: I've already ordered your book and look forward to reading it.

Marty


What's the location of this cut and roadbed, Marty? Also, you may be interested in the Dunderberg Spiral Railway, discussed here: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=128&t=140805
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby RussNelson » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:31 pm

Hmmm.... According to Otto's book, the opening of the Bull Hill tunnel was described in 1940 as being 10' x 10', and yet this was after the Bear Mountain Bridge was constructed. So it sounds like the remains of the tunnel still exist. Anybody have any idea where Bull Hill and its tunnel are?
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby choess » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:23 am

An excellent question, Russ. "Bull Hill" is normally used for Mount Taurus, the ridge just to the south of Breakneck, but that's in completely the wrong place to be the one referred to. Since Turners is the old name for Harriman Station, the site presumably lies somewhere in Harriman State Park. Looking at the maps, one assumes the proposed railroad would have more or less followed the route now occupied by Route 6. Given the textual clues (about 8 mi. east of the junction with the Erie, about halfway from Harriman to Fort Clinton) and looking at the topography, the tunnel would probably be at the crossing of the Long Mountain ridge-between "Long Mountain" and "Cranberry Hill" as shown on the NYNJTC trail maps. It looks like the Long Mountain Parkway (Route 6) has undergone at least one bout of realignment to reduce curvature, so the tunnel remains might well have been wiped out in the process. Unfortunately, most of my resources on the area, including Otto's book, are stored elsewhere at the moment.

There's a lot of stuff out there that isn't shown on any map. Hikers find undescribed mines and prospects in the park now and then, and I spent some time tramping around to the east of the tunnel location, looking unsuccessfully for the old Queensboro Mine, which presented fairly extensive workings to hikers in the 1910s.
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby trainsinmaine » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:04 am

A lost, hitherto-unknown tunnel would certainly be a find! I can't imagine such a thing exists; the entrances would have to be completely blocked.
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby choess » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:15 pm

Oops, I whiffed on the location-should have looked more closely at my maps. From the 1891 Beers map of the Hudson, we know that the plan was to turn south and make a big loop around Doodletown to gain elevation on the flank of Bear Mountain, then proceed up the gorge of the Popolopen. There the map cuts off, but apparently the planned route would have followed the creek up to around the Forest of Dean Mine and pushed west toward Popolopen Lake. Bull Hill is the ridge to the west and southwest of the lake. The east heading of the tunnel would be on West Point land, which would account for its not being discovered. The map also shows a branch running south from Doodletown skirting Dunderberg, threading through the Dunderberg Spiral Railway, presumably headed for the West Shore around Stony Point. (The proposed grade is abruptly truncated just north of Tompkins Cove.)

The promoters seem to have been a little insouciant about the prospect of a tunnel nearly a mile long. The other side of the river-clinging to the face of Manitou Mountain and probably crossing the clove of the Brocken Kill by a high bridge-would have been no picnic, either.
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby trainsinmaine » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:33 am

It would have been fun years ago to have lived along the Doodletown and Dunderberg Railroad. :wink:
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby CarterB » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:51 am

Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby RussNelson » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:04 pm

choess wrote:Unfortunately, most of my resources on the area, including Otto's book, are stored elsewhere at the moment.

Still stored elsewhere?
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Re: Hudson Suspension Bridge & New England Railway

Postby CarterB » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:05 am

Am I to assume that the tunnel was to have been on the East side of the bridge/river, and would have headed SSE'terly toward Camp Smith? Was any work on such tunnel done? Evidence of same?
And is Bull Hill really there, or is it further North near Storm King? The 1891 map calls it Manito Mountain.(at Anthonys Nose)
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
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