• Hopewell Junction depot restoration thread

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by Bernard Rudberg
October 8, 2015
Dear Friends,
For almost 20 years, a dedicated group of volunteers has been working to restore the physical links to Hopewell Junction's railroad past. Three years ago, we opened the hamlet's last-standing railroad building to the public.
Now, we have almost reached our fund-raising goal to complete the next phase of preserving and showcasing the region's railroad history — and bring the first real restrooms to the adjacent Dutchess Rail Trail. But we need your help.
We would like to break ground this fall on a full-size reproduction of the switching tower that once stood across the trail from the 1873 depot. Restrooms on the first floor will provide relief for runners, walkers and cyclists and the second floor will feature exhibits about the operation of the Hopewell rail yard.
To date, we have raised about 80% of the project's $70,000 cost, thanks to rail-trail users and community members like yourself, area businesses, such as the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, and grants from organizations such as the Nuhn Foundation of Poughkeepsie, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation and the PBA. . If you have already given, we thank you. If you haven't, please consider making a tax-deductible donation by the end of the month. Either way, we would love for you to help us by sharing our request with your family, friends and colleagues.
The depot entertains about 1,000 visitors a year and many more pass by on the rail trail. The tower will add to the historic value of our park. It will also allow us to entertain field trips for students and interested groups which we cannot now do without restroom facilities.
So please consider joining our campaign by making a tax-deductible donation. You can do so on our online fundraising page, www://hopewelldepot.causevox.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, or at the Depot's website, http://www.hopewelldepot.org/index.php/tower" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Both pages feature an explanatory video.
Or, you could send a donation to Hopewell Depot Tower Project, P.O. Box 1044, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533. (Also, if your employer supports matching grants, please forward the application to that address.)
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you so much.
Joe Sullivan, president, Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp. 845-729-2636 or [email protected]
  by Bernard Rudberg
Our annual dinner was a big success. We had Tony Musso as the featured speaker (and entertainer) with photos and talk about his book "Hidden Treasures of the Hudson Valley". One generous donor who wants to remain anonymous gave a check for $6,000 for the tower fund. It was a good evening for the Hopewell Depot Restoration.
  by Bernard Rudberg
Help us build the Hopewell Depot Tower

Dear Friends,

Our on line fundraising effort for the Tower, www://hopewelldepot.causevox.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, ends October 31. We are close to our goal so if you have contributed, our heartfelt thanks. If you are considering supporting the Tower and restrooms, please take this opportunity to do so.

We still need your help.
Please review and share it with your family, friends and colleagues.

Thank you.

Joe Sullivan

President, Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp
  by Bernard Rudberg
Our scale model of the control tower is now on display next to the Rail Trail. Notice that the fund raising thermometer is near the top.
The fund raising campaign has only a few more days left to reach our goal so we can break ground on the new tower.

We need your help to put us over the top and begin construction. You can help by donating at the depot or send a check to:

Hopewell Depot Restoration
P O Box 1044
Hopewell Junction, NY

Or you can donate online at the following link,

http://hopewelldepot.causevox.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Bernard Rudberg
The surveyor stakes are in place and we are ready to break ground for the foundation of the new switch tower.

Don't forget the train show at the Poughkeepsie Civic center on Sunday November 8.. We will have our usual table at the show. Stop around and chat for a while.

The Hopewell Depot will now shift to winter hours. The Depot will be open on Saturdays from 10:00 till 4:00.

There may be some construction around the site of the new switch tower adjacent to the Depot. Stop around and catch up with what we are doing.
  by Bernard Rudberg
Construction work has started for the new switch tower. The hole has been dug and a concrete floor installed. Work is in progress adding the forms for the concrete basement walls.. We expect pour the concrete for the walls on Sunday morning.

If any of you construction people are available, stop by and lend a hand. There is also room for sidewalk superintendents to watch the progress. In addition, we will be installing a set of security cameras to keep an eye on the area

Does anybody out there know where we could find a set of switch tower lever to be added to the display when the tower is completed ? We would love to have some . Our tower originally had a 20 lever machine to control derailers and semaphore signals..

The Depot will be open to the public on Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00. Stop around and we wil give you the grand tour of what we are doing.
  by Bernard Rudberg
11-22-15 The insulated concrete forms were assembled like a set of big Lego blocks. About 9:AM this morning the Bulldog Concrete Service trucks arrived complete with a bulldog mascot ( his name is "Mud" )

Our intrepid band of volunteers struggled with the heavy concrete hose to pour the walls for the new switch tower basement. By lunch time the wet concrete was in place. By the looks of our volunteers they may want to throw their clothes away rather than try to run them through the laundry.

The next step will be to remove the scaffolding. We expect delivery of the restroom equipment and plumbing on Tuesday.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the saga of building a Depot switch tower
  by Bernard Rudberg
Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society
12 Church Street-Highland, NY 12528

CONTACT: Donna Deeprose
(845) 255-7742


Lloyd Historical Society to Sponsor
Speaker on Hopewell Depot Restoration

Bernard Rudberg, retired IBM engineer and railroad enthusiast, writer, and lecturer, will speak at the December 7 program of the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society (TOLHPS). Past president of the Hopewell Depot Restoration Corporation, he will describe how he and a group of fellow railroad and history buffs restored the abandoned and partially burned depot at Hopewell Junction. The program will be held at 7 pm in the Vineyard Commons Theater in Highland.

Rudberg is the author of three books, Twenty-five Years on the ND&C: A History of the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad; Hopewell Junction, a Railroaders Town; and Hopewell Depot, Railroad Years and Restoration.

He grew up in New Jersey, the son of Swedish immigrants whose family ties to railroads in rural Sweden went back at least three generations. His great grandfather was stationmaster in a small town called "Polcirkeln" where the tracks cross the Arctic Circle on the way north to Narvik on the Arctic Ocean. His grandfather was foreman of a station in a junction town near the Arctic Circle. So perhaps he inherited the passion that inspired him to try to restore the Hopewell Depot that had been built in 1873 and deserted in 1982, a few years after the 1974 closing of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Bridge brought local train traffic to a near standstill.

Restoring the depot faced big obstacles, not the least of which was the damage from a fire set by arsonists in 1986. But with the formation of the Hopewell Depot Restoration Corporation in 1996, fundraising and construction went into full swing, culminating in the opening of the Rail Trail Visitor Center in 2012 and Hopewell Depot Railroad Museum in 2013. The restored depot is at the eastern end of the Dutchess County Rail Trail, which flows westward onto Walkway Over the Hudson to meet up with the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Highland.

Rudberg’s efforts on behalf of the depot led him to the Beacon Historical Society, where he discovered 48 volumes of ledger books, each 700 pages, handwritten on onion skin paper and containing everything that happened to the railroad that ran across Dutchess County from 1879 to 1984. Rudberg read every word. As he tells it in the Hudson Valley Institute’s Oral Histories of Walkway Over the Hudson, that included “whose pig got run over” and when the washroom sink got clogged up. Based on these extensive records, Rudberg wrote Twenty-five Years on the ND&C, detailing the stories of the numerous small railroads that used to link up to move goods and people throughout Dutchess and Colombia Counties, south into New York City, eastward into New England, and west across the Hudson to the rest of the country, first on barges and later over the Poughkeepsie-Highland Bridge.

While Rudberg will focus his presentation on the Hopewell Depot, he might be persuaded to tell some of his Walkway stories too, like the one about the fireman who was afraid of heights and hid under the consul every time his train crossed the bridge 212 feet above the water.

Vineyard Commons, where the December program will take place, is at 300 Vineyard Avenue, about a mile and a quarter from the Hamlet of Highland on Route 44/55, just south of the Hudson Valley Rehabilitation Center. The program is free and open to everyone. To reach the theater, turn into Vineyard Commons and follow signs to Building 6. Early arrivers get the best parking spaces. Free refreshments will be available.

For more information, call 845-255-7742, visit the TOLHPS website at http://www.tolhps.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, or look for Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society on Facebook.

Photo Captions
Bernard Rudberg, with his wife, Celeste, in front of the Hopewell Depot Railroad Museum. Rudberg will speak on the restoration of the depot at the Dec. 7 program of the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society in Highland.

The Hopewell Railroad Depot in 1905. Bernard Rudberg will speak on the restoration of the depot at the Dec. 7 program of the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society in Highland.
  by Bernard Rudberg
The frame for the switch tower is coming along nicely. The Clivis Multrum equipment for the restrooms is in place in the basement. We expect to have it all covered before the winter snows. The plan is to complete the building early in the spring. We will have a grand opening for the new Rail Trail restrooms.

If you are curious, stop around and take a look at what we are doing We could use more donations to help complete the building.

The Depot will be open on winter hours on Saturdays from 10:00 till 4:00. We would be glad to see you.
  by Bernard Rudberg
The building inspector came on Thursday and gave the OK for the basement work. Our contractor filled in the dirt around the basement walls. Now we can walk over to the construction. Next big step will be to add the top story to the switch tower. The warm weather has helped us get a lot of work done.

The Depot is on winter hours and will be open Saturdays from 10:00 till 4:00.
  by Bernard Rudberg
This is a heads up for those planning to join us for the 2016 segment of the annual bus tour along various portions of the former Central New England Railway.
Our trip will take place on Sunday April 3 starting at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie. There is a parking lot on Water street just across from the Metro North parking garage. within sight of the Hudson River and the Walkway Bridge. The buses cost less on Sunday and traffic is less at least in the morning. It seems like the weather is better the first weeks of April than March and that is another factor. Please notify your friends so that everyone who wants to go has a chance. The price will be $55 per person again.
This years trip will include the former railroad bridge ( now a Walkway) in Poughkeepsie, The line from Highland to Maybrook and Campbell Hall. After lunch one of the stops will be the restored Hopewell Junction Depot and Museum. and the newly built replica of the New Haven Switch Tower ss 196. Then return to Poughkeepsie. As usual lunch will be provided.

We have planned this trip to reach as many of the remaining historical spots as our intrepid scouts could locate. In many cases we have had to rely on photographs, new and old, to fill in
parts of the puzzle. We hope that you will gain a better understanding of the part that the railroads played in the history and development of New York. As usual, everybody will get a copy of the 2016 CNE Tour guide book. We have a lot of ground to cover so we will have coffee and buses will roll at 9:00. Try to get there by 8:30 or earlier.

The cost of this year's tour will be $55.00 per person and payment should be made out to:
Joseph Mato CNE 2016
Joe Mato
62 Wood RD CNE 2016
Redding, CT 06896
(home): 203 938-9992 e-mail: [email protected]
Be sure to include your E-Mail address so we can contact you if we need to. If you don't have
E-Mail then include your phone number.

Any money that is left after expenses will be used as "seed money" for next years trip.
As we did last year, we have two buses with 47 seats each. In past years we sold all seats and had a waiting list so don't wait too long to send in your reservation. Please note that any request for refunds must be received thirty (30) or more days in advance of the tour date. If you can find a replacement to take your bus seat, that's OK just let us know who it is. We have to know who to let onto the bus when the tour starts. If you can't find a replacement then we may have somebody on the waiting list to suggest but we can't refund money that has already been spent on tour expenses.
Bernie Rudberg
7 Marion Ave.
Wappingers Falls, NY Phone 845 221-9330
12590-6017 E-Mail [email protected]
  by Bernard Rudberg
The weather has turned colder and we had snow flurries today. Despite the cold and wind, our volunteers continued work on the switch tower. The frame is in place for the top floor and the roof. The scaffolding is in place for the roof work and upper floor windows. On the ground floor there is a new door to the restroom area. You may note the small tree attached to the roof. This is the traditional construction topping off tree, Wr should have the roof covered and the widows in before the winter snows. There is a lot of interior work to be done. We expect to have a grand opening some time around May.

The Depot will be open on Saturdays from 10:00 till 4:00.
  by Bernard Rudberg
Despite the grey drizzly weather we had quite a few visitors from the Rail Trail today.
Among the recent donations were a RR check embossing machine, two lanterns and a Bordens Milk carrier.

Tower construction has added vapor barrier to the lower floor walls If the weather holds out, we expect to enclose the top story and install the windows on Wednesday.

The Depot will be open on winter hours of 10:00 till 4:00 on Saturdays..
  by Bernard Rudberg
Winter weather arrived with 2016 but our volunteers still are working to install windows on the top floor of our replica switch tower. Our local town highway crew found an abandoned railroad crossing gate and dropped it off at our depot.

We are producing a series of short videos starring "Mr Conductor" to tell the story of Hopewell Junction railroading. We have completed the first five videos and they are available on You Tube at the following link.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-AH3x ... HnYQFA-2WQ" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The new series of short videos is also available on the Depot Web Site at the following link.
http://hopewelldepot.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There will be several more in the series as we get them recorded.

Stop by the Depot on a Saturday and check out our progress. There is plenty of room for "Sidewalk Superintendents".
  by Bernard Rudberg
The was a very nice two page article in the Poughkeepsie Journal about our Hopewell Junction Tower project. There is also a link below to a short video about the Tower project. HINT- you may get a short commercial before the video starts.

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;…/hootPostID=13c635953f7…

This is a reminder that we are still taking donations for operation and maintenance of the Tower. We are also taking donations to build displays in the top floor of the Tower. Construction is well underway and we expect to have an opening ceremony around May. You can help with a tax deductible donation or maybe you know where we can find some railroad artifacts to illustrate Tower operations.

Check out our Depot web site for more information and videos.

http://hopewelldepot.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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