• Colonie-Schenectady Station

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by NYCRRson
Ok, here is a trivia test. The circa 1908 NYCRR Schenectady Passenger Station (on Erie Blvd in Schenectady) was closed up in 1969. And it was torn down in 1971. The tracks remained, but in very poor condition since the money making main line freight trains all went to Selkirk via the cutoff at Hoffman's

It was replaced with the Colonie-Schenectady Station near NY State Road #155.

I remember stopping at this station (but not leaving the train), it seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by pine trees and consisted of a parking lot that might hold a dozen compact cars and a building about the size of a two person phone booth. I think it had one inexpensive asphalt "platform" at ground level and it required step boxes to embark/disembark the train.

Anyone have more info;

Who built the station. NYC or PC ?

Was it manned with ticket sellers during train times, or was it a "buy your ticket on the train" operation ?

Was it a scheduled stop, or a flag stop ? I don't think they did flag stops on the NYC in the late 60's ?

I would assume it did not handle checked baggage ?

GPS coordinates ?

Photos ?

Fate ? Does the building / parking lot still exist ? I see no sign of it in the satellite images.

After Amtrak built a "1970's" station in Schenectady (circa 1979) the Colonie-Schenectady station was closed up.

Maybe the Colonie-Schenectady station (starting as NYC/PC and ending as CR/Amtrak) holds the record for the shortest lived railroad passenger station in New York State History at just about 1 decade? Not counting temporary construction related "shacks".

Any info appreciated, I felt like I was lost in the far north woods of Canada whenever the train stopped there....

Cheers, Kevin
  by TCurtin
Here's what I remember of this (I'm sure others know more and I look fwd. to reading their comments here)

Colonie-Schenectady station was built in the early PC period. It was located just east of the Carman cutoff (the track that goes over to the freight main west of Selkirk) in order to allow passenger trains to use that cutoff, and the freight main to Hoffmans, and therefore allow abandonment of the passenger main through Schenectady. From something like 1971 to 1979 that was exactly how passenger trains operated. The passenger main was never removed, however, and Amtrak reactivated it along with a new downtown Schenectady station at the same site as the old one. The last time I passed through this area on Amtrak --- about 2005 or thereabouts --- the Colonie station was abandoned but still there.
  by TomNelligan
Here's a photo that I took back in 1971 that shows part of the building. It truly was out in the middle of nowhere as compared with the old NYC station in downtown Schenectady, but when it was built PC wasn't especially interested in encouraging passengers.
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  by NYCRRson
Thanks all for the info.

I thought I remembered going over the Mohawk using the bridge at Hoffman's and then showing up at the pictured station.

That explanation makes sense. From about 69 until 79 the NYC/PC/Amtrak passenger trains went over the Mohawk River at Hoffmans. Then they took the Carman cutoff to go back to the passenger mainline and head on into Albany where they used the LAB (northern freight bridge) to cross the Hudson and arrive at the new (never existed before 69) Rensselaer station (built by PC).

That explains my recollection of going by a Huge RR served warehouse complex. It was very large, many many city blocks, It was the Voorheesville Army Depot, which is now the Rotterdam Industrial Park. I looked for that along the passenger mainline on the satellite photos and could not find it. Now it makes sense, it is along the freight mainline to Selkirk. Only folks that took the train from 69-79 would have seen it from a passenger train.

Others on the New York State board agree on the location. It was memorable since all the other stations were either big old NYC stations or new PC/Amtrak stations near "downtown" areas, or freight yards (Dewitt). The station at Colonie was really in the boonies.

And for the folks that lament the "plain old" "AMshack" stations there was a precedent, the "PCshack" station.

Cheers, Kevin.
  by Paul1705
Perhaps there should again be a station in Colonie or nearby to serve the western side of the Albany metro area.
  by PhilBob1
Have to agree with NYCRRson on location and the description of the station. I departed from this outpost in summer of 1971, I believe, for Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was indeed a shelter the size of a two person phone booth, not the building depicted in the later photo. Not sure where that was. The station had no services, no agent, nothing. Just a shack and a parking lot in the middle of nowhere.