Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.

Moderator: MEC407

  by newpylong
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
newpylong wrote:Depends if the easement was held by CP (NS soon) or NY State or given up as part of the abandonment.
Believe the county bought it for a planned trail, which is going to make it doubly difficult to get back vs. if the state held it.
Meant the easement where the diamonds were. not east of there.
  by staustell92
As far as I have ever been able to tell, the story of the bridge over the Normankill on the Albany Main was a piece of fiction. O knew D&H officials at the time, and I never heard them say the bridge had been condemned.

The problem was that the bridge was a pin-connected through-truss bridge, and CP Rail didn't have pin-connected through truss bridges. They claimed they are dangerous. If one of the pins fails, the whole bridge is in danger of collapse. But the bridge had beenm there for over 100 years and it hadn't collapsed!

I spoke with a railroad civil engineer who said that there are a number of pin-connected through-truss bridges around the country still successfully in service every day. They just need to be inspected regularly and the pins tested (ultrasonically?).

I located a shortline operator who successfully rebuilt and operated the Nashville & Eastern Railroad in Nashville, Tennessee (but he lived in Vermont) and he was interested in operating the entire Albany Main from Kenwood to Delanson. A commuter line eventually could have operated on that line (which he made happen in Nashville). I took him to a meeting of the Albany County Legislature to make a presentation, and they wouldn't let him speak (it was obvious a backroom deal had already been made). It was Albany's loss. Unfortunately, that will never be a railroad again. The NIMBY's will never allow it. By the way, he and his partners recently sold the Nashville & Eastern to R.J. Corman.
  by newpylong
The loss of that line as a through line is definitely one of the biggest RR travesties in this region in the past 20 years. Especially considering what the D&H South's new owner could have done with it. They certainly would be doing a hell of a lot more with Albany than CP has ever done.
  by johnpbarlow
I don't how important the Albany Main was to D&H ops way back when Conrail was formed. As this link to the D&H Freight Service Guide schematic map effective April 22, 1976 shows, there was only 1 daily train using the line, eastbound BA-6 from Oneonta to Colonie yard. The reverse move, AO-5 was routed to Oneonta from Colonie via Mechanicville (I'm guessing the Albany Main grades west out of Kenwood were fairly steep?).

http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... AUJ475AYbg
  by Engineer Spike
The Albany Main didn't have all that much going for it. At one time I was told that the industrial park was a major source of traffic. At the end it was just the feed mill.

One of the old heads told me that grain trains from down south were often routed this way. I guess that at that time there was enough traffic via Schenectady that it made sense. The D&H and B&M had many trains to get through. There were dozens of businesses between Albany and Mechanicville too. Adding a through train which could easily bypass must have been reason enough to keep it. I've heard that a few of those grain trains got away from the engineers. It is pretty steep.
  by johnpbarlow
CP ran an Albany(?) - Northeastern Industrial Park turn local comprising mostly auto racks just before the diamond at CP-VO was yanked out in June 2000, apparently due to a concern that heavy storms had weakened a bridge over Normanskill Creek. CP rehabbed the west end of the Albany Main from Delanson eastward shortly thereafter to maintain service to NEIP (at least that's what I've read). Here are photos I took sometime in the late '90s or so of the CP local heading for NEIP with a block of autoracks.
CP GP-9 & GP38-2 crossing CR at Voorheesville.JPG
CP Local Albany Main Voorheesville 2000s 3.jpg
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  by newpylong
Yes that is correct.

To CP it became virtually useless as a through route - however I often think about what Norfolk Southern might have been able to do with it had they had direct access to Kenwood and the Port. Like CP not willing to ditch from Crescent to Schenectady, perhaps they would have been unwilling to even sell the line as part of the deal, who knows.