• Maybrook line trailways NY

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

  by bigK

(west) Maybrook line trailways - town of Lloyd,Ulster county to Hopewell Jct.,town of E.Fishkill,Dutchess county

everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask ...

With the expansion,and the further expansion yet-to-be,of the 3 main trailways of the (west) Maybrook line between 2006 and the present,I had thought that a summary and upate was in order.

In a few years ?? this technical distinction of seperate trailways,on the former (west) Maybrook line,will be a moot point as there will be a SINGLE contiguous trailway from the town of Lloyd near SR 299,Ulster county,to Hopewell Jct,Dutchess county.This aproximately 18 mile RT will be under diferent jurisdictions with 3 distinct sections with a unique name for each section.

for the Maybrook trailway system RT construction reports and pictures please visit the archive section of my Hudson Valley - cycling adventures and area trailway reports blog

for info on all of the area trails,and a trail etiquette and safety presentation,please visit the ]Hudson Valley section of my cycling website

the 3 main trailways:
all paved (asphalt) with a 1.26 mile section of concrete (the Walkway bridge) and all are Multi Use Recreational Trails (Equestrian use on the Hudson Valley RT phase 1 soft side)

Hudson Valley RT {Hud Val RT} Town of Lloyd park UC


The original section,now to be refered to as phase 1,opened in 1997 and was the first trailway to open on the old Maybrook line
ROW.Phase 2,the eastern extension to the WOTH,opened in October of 2010

Walkway Over The Hudson state park {WOTH}
http://www.walkway.org ('friends' of the Walkway)

Highland UC (west end - park office and mailbox) Poughkeepsie DC (east end)
This is the 125 year old repurposed RR bridge spaning the Hudson River.The Walkway had been completed in 2009,but work on the
planed elevator has yet to begin as of January 2013

Dutchess RT {DRT} Dutchess County park

} NOTE:above URL also includes some brief info about the Harlem Valley RT - the section in Dutchess county is under DC gov (parks dept) jurisdiction

Morgan Lake,city of Poughkeepsie to the Hopewell depot,Hopewell Jct. town of E. Fishkill
90.7% complete - phase 1,phase 2,and phase 3 are now all complete.The final section of the RT (as per the 2006 plans) phase 4,will be the construction of the 900' pedestrian RT bridge spanning the Wappingers creek and the 6 lanes of SR 55.This final phase of construction will also include about 1 mile of ROW to the south end of phase 2,completed in 2009,at Overocker Rd.DUTCHESS RT MAP - 2011

?? future 'connector trail' ??


Very east end of the WOTH to the Morgan Lake northern terminus of the Dutchess RT HJ 11.8
the 8/10 mi. section of the undeveloped ROW has been aquired,and turned over to Dutches county,by the friends of the Walkway organization for development into a RT - it would seem this 'connector trail' will not be an extension of the main Dutchess RT and,as of January 2013,Morgan Lake will be in perpetuity the northern terminus for the DRT - at least as far as one can tell from the Dutchess county web site



2006 {DRT} - Plans for development of the ROW into the Dutchess RT are drawn.There are public meetings,in the towns that the
former Maybrook line passes through.The plans for the future rail trail are presented at these meetings.Under those plans,at least
the section in E.Fishkill,the trail would be split longitudaly with one side paved and the other side unpaved soft surface.Ostensibly
for Equestran use but,at some point this planed usage was disallowed.
except for the optional fence seperating the soft section from the hard asphalt section,phase 1 is per batum the above diagram

The ROW,at first,would be used as a ROW for a new water line to the IBM facility in E. Fishkill.After this initial pre-RT phase,work on the actual RT would begin.Dutchess county had purchased the ROW in 1984 and had received federal funding to convert the ROW into a rail trail in 1998.


late fall {DRT} phase 1 construction is complete and this first section in the town of E.Fishkill is opened,23 years after the county purchased the ROW.This first section did not go all the way to the old depot in Hopewell Jct. and abruptly ended at Bridge Street SR 376,6/10 of a mile away.


{WOTH} - (late summer) On a local bike ride here in the city of Poughkeepsie,I notice activity on the old siding,and main line ROW,at Parker Ave.
I had read that work on the Walkway would begin this year.Under Fred Schaeffer's leadership,in a few relatively short years the funding was aquired
and the day had finaly come with work boots on the steel.It would seem that,after 15 years of talk and BS,work has actualy begun on converting the old
RR bridge spaning the Hudson river between the city of Poughkeepsie,Dutchess county,(east side of the river) and the village of Highland (west side of the river),town of Lloyd Ulster county into the Walkway Over The Hudson.In spite of the somewhat misleading name of the newly created non-motor vehicle bridge,the WOTH would be a multi use recreational trailway - M.U.R.T. alowing for walking,cycling,roller bladding etc.It should be noted that Fred Schaeffer,is an avid cyclist.
the rusting giant had awakened ....

construction trailer field office and signs at the west end

Fall {DRT} - construction of phase 2 begins.This will be a 2.4 mile section in Poughkeepsie from Morgan Lake to Overocker Rd.
This will also include the mini park trailhead at Morgan Lake with a kiosk,picnic table,benches,landscaping etc.

} To put things in perspective,it had been 25 years since I had been to the bicycle friendly city of Seatle WA for a League of American Wheelmen (now known as the League of American Bicyclists) bicycle rally/convention.It was there I had ridden my first true paved RT,the Burke-Gilman trail.The Burke-Gilman trail was already 5 years old back then.I also saw transit buses with bike racks for the first time.I took advantage of this to extend my range for one of the rides I had done.

March {WOTH}
I see one of those arial lifts at the old RR bridge in the vicinity of the 1974 fire.There would be work crews at both ends ofthe old RR bridge yet-to-be Walkway.There would be construction crews working from below as well.Iron workers,local 417,would be repairing damage caused by the fire,replacing rivets and doing other iron work.

April {DRT}
Phase 2 construction reaches Overocker Rd.

(early) June {WOTH}
The primary deck placement crew,that had started from the west end,were now at the first bridge support,or bent,over water.One of 2 very large crawler cranes,dwarfed by the bridge,is now visible.

(mid) June {DRT}
the 2.4 mile phase 2 full width paving is completed
The asphalt was still warm,construction barrels,barricades and caution tape were in place,when I see the first walkers on this section of the rail trail.

(early) July {DRT}
phase 2 is officialy opened to the public,somewhat pre-maturely.However for several weeks prior to the phase 2 opening ceremony,the RT had been in use by the public.

August {WOTH}
The west and east crews are almost together.The west crew is now technicaly in the city of Poughkeepsie.

September {WOTH}
Labor Day weekend - the last prefab concrete deck section is put into place.

end of month 9/25
the west entrance is complete.The parking lot is paved and striped.Paving is complete at the east end entrance as well,Parker Ave. Poughkeepsie.Work at this end continues.

October {WOTH}
Grand Opening - Fri. 10/2,Sat. 10/3,and Su. 10/4 - for full report on the grand opening along with pictures please visit the October 2009 archive section of my Hudson Valley - cycling adventures and area trailway reports blog
The grand opening ceremonies,for this grand lady of the Hudson,would be truly grand begining with fireworks on Friday night.Saturday a 'walking on air' parade of the communities on both sides of the Hudson and the actual official opening ceremony,with then Gov. Paterson presiding.New York's newest park,the Walkway Over The Hudson,was openened to the public around 3 PM that day.On Sunday there would be a mass bikeride across the span.

post grand opening
ohhh ... the humanity
The above photo was taken just a week after the grand opening and there is still an opening-day-like mass of humanity on the Walkway.The WOTH is a huge sucess far exceeding everybody's expectations,including that of Fred Schaefer,and had already establised it self as one of New York's most popular parks.

} a very short time after the Walkway opened,plans are drawn and $3.2M in ARRA (American Recovery & Re-investment Act) funding is aproved and aquired by the town of Lloyd to extend the Hudson Valley RT east to the WOTH - phase 2


March {Hud Val RT} There is still snow on the highest peaks of the Catskills when work on the east extension to the WOTH,phase 2,

May {WOTH}
The new LED bridge lights are in place.There is a lighting-of-the-bridge ceremony 5/15


Work on phase 3 has begun.There is now simultanious construction on 2 diferant rail trails,on both sides of the river,on the old Maybrook line ROW.

phase 2 - Michael Murphy memorial dedication.

New automated parking ticket machine installed at east end,Poughkeepsie.

} At first,when the Walkway was opened,there was no charge for parking.I am not sure precisely when the parking fee,as with
all state parks,went into effect.I think may have been just before the new automated ticket machine was installed.

July {Hud Val RT}
The new RT truss bridge is put into place over Vineyard Ave.

August {WOTH}
East end - new stairs from Washington Ave.,City of Poughkeepsie

September {WOTH}
There is a public information meeting for the proposed elevator.$2.4M in ARRA funding had been aquired as a transportation
enhancement project.Bergman and Associates,the engineering/architect firm for the Walkway,would be the primary consulting firm for the elevator as well.
As per the public meeting presentation,construction of the elevator should have begun in 2011 and have been completed by March of 2012.
Bergman and Associates Walkway elevator presentation - 2010

October {Hud Val RT}
10/2 grand opening of phase 2 - this would coincide with the 1 year aniversary the Walkway OTH opened to the public (technicaly should have been the next day 10/3 but was celebrated 10/2)

November {WOTH}
The new LED street lights are in place.


March {DRT}
phase 3 construction - new pedestrian RT truss bridges are put in place at Titusvill Rd. CR 49,town of LaGrange,and SR 376 (Brookmeade Plaza)
town of E.Fishkill.Both locations were originaly at-grade crossings but were changed to above-grade crosssings.A new truss bridge
was also installed at Maloney Rd.,town of Wappingers,maintaining the original above-grade crossing.A new bridge over Sprout Creek,town of E.Fishkill,
was also built.

the new truss bridge,in place,over Titusville Rd. CR49

April {DRT}
phase3 construction - sections of trail paving complete - the bridge decks,and the newley graded trail to the bridges,not yet

phase 3 design closely resembles above diagram


phase 2 - The restored RR signal at No. Grand Ave. Poughkepsie,is back in place.The signal has been fully restored with new lenses and working lights.

May (Memorial Day Weekend) {DRT}
phase 3 - official grand opening

With the existing phase 1 section combined with this new section,which includes that 6/10 of a mile to the Hopewell depot,thereis now a contiguous 8.3 miles of trail from Old Manchester Rd. (behind Page Lumber) to the old depot (now restored) in Hopewell Jct. Phase 2 remains as an isolated 2.4 mile section of the RT.With this newest section of the RT,are new mileage - directional signs at the intersections and large educational signs along the trail.Some relate to the local flora and fauna and others are of a RR historical nature with pictures and narative.

phase 2 - The new signs,seen on the DRT south section,are now installed on this northern section as well.The Dutchess RT is now a more complete looking trailway.

} Due to a bru ha ha with Metro North over the extent of their ROW property,the Dutchess RT now ends in a 'comma' on a side street
instead of going straight up to the MNRR gate underneath the SR 82 overpass bridge,ending in a 'period',as per the original
2006 plans.As a result,the DRT is now 1/10 of a mile shorter.

July {WOTH}
First suicide from the span.

November {WOTH}
Construction begins on the first of 2 new pavilions (one at each end)


September (Labor Day Weekend) {WOTH}
elevator project - I was at the Poughkeepsie station to take some train pictures,specificaly of the pvt. rail car the 'MOUNT VERNON' at the end of an Amtrak train (#280),and walked the short distance from the station to where the Walkway crosses high over Water St.to see if there had been any progress in regards to the construction of the elevator.As noted the elevator should have been in use already and I would have been able to take a ride up to the Walkway deck.Not only was there no elevator to be seen,but there was no evidence of any construction activity.

November {WOTH}
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new west end pavilion

(early) December {WOTH}
elevator project -I returned to Water Street at the Walkway cross over for an end of the year look.With a bit less than a month left in 2012,
there still was no constrction activity related to the Walkway elevator.However,I had discovered the reason,at least in part, for the delay.It seems that a new city park,named UPPER LANDING,is to be built under the Walkway from Water Street to the river.There now will be a park at the base of the elevator.


note:park boundries shown are aproximate (a best guess at this point) and are not meant to represent legal boundries



January {WOTH}
BCI construction of Albany was awarded the $2.3M state contract to build the elevator (remember the Walkway is a state park) - a bit more than
2 years after the original plans were drawn,and a public meeting was held,by Bergman and Associates.


{HudVal RT}
phase 3 - I had received an email reply from Ralfael Diaz of the Hudson Valley RT Association in regards to my inquiry about the west extension- phase 3
of this RT.He had indicated phase 3 would not go all the way to the Lloyd/New Paltz border near SR 299 across from the Lowe's,but will go only to the firehouse and the Centeville station masters house instead.This would infer a future phase 4 ??

here is what Mr. Diaz had written:
we have gotten a OK to take the Rail Trail just shy of Route 299, i.e. across from the firehouse. I do not know the exact parameters. What we were facing was that we would not get funding unless we went all the way to across from Lowe’s.Now we can go short of that just to Rt. 299.Nothing has begun yet in terms of construction.
'connector trail' (WOTH to DRT)
In the above email reply,Mr. Diaz had also written in regards to this link trail
As for the former CSX link, I thought that plans were pretty far advanced. but I do not have any specifics
} There is a surprising dearth of info (actualy none) at the DC website in regards to this 'connector' or 'link' trail.At the dutchesscountytrails.com (DC gov) page/site there is no mention of an extension to the DRT as per the 2006 plans and a construction phase 5.Of course plans are one thing,but since this aquisition of the CSX property came 6 years after those original plans for the rail trail,additional new funding would have to be aquired in order to convert the ROW property into a RT.

} in the spring I will begin checking on the progress,or lack there of,of the 2013 trailway projects - DRT phase 4 and the Walkway elevator
I will post progress reports on my Hudson Valley - cycling adventures and area trailway reports blog
  by bigK
Russ,as near as I can tell the Thruway I87 crosing (over - I would guess the ROW goes UNDER the Thruway) of the old Maybrook line ROW would be in Ulster county - Twn. of Plattekill just north of interchange 13 - US rt44/SR 55 north east of Modena

a long time ago,on a bike ride in the area,I tried to find the ROW which would cross US rt 44 /SR 55 - I could not see the ROW at that time

In Modena looks like there is encroachment (and/or conversion to) of a side street

the Google maps show,when zoomed in,some property boundries and one can see the old ROW property lines - I have highlighted these property lines to show ROW alignment through Modena in the below map


the I87 crossing looks like might be near the Plattekill-New Paltz border posibly in New Paltz

if indeed this is as we hope/naturaly assume IE:development of the old ROW into a RT - I don't know if this is a TOWN project like the Hudson Vlley RT or perhaps a (Ulster) COUNTY project like the Dutchess RT

on this latter - I have always wondered about how the Hud Val RT was just a town of Lloyd project and just the section of the ROW in the town of Lloyd was developed into a RT IE: why didn't UC purchase (or claim eminant domain) the ROW property that is in the county as Dutchess county gov did with the SAME ROW here in Dutchess county? the Wallkill Valley RT also is NOT a county linear park - the same for Ulster's #3 RT im Marbletown (I always forget the formal name - the section to the north is paved and the south part is not) - on my Hagstrom map this RT is listed as a TOWN linear RT park

a more likely explanation for the construction at the I87 crossing is expansion of the nearby housing development/new road for same

I will have to check with Rafeal Diaz on this - he is my WOH RT contact

I don't know if you are aware of the plans for a SR 299 corridor connector trail/path etc. from the west end of the HudVal RT to the
Wallkill Valey RT in New Paltz

just in case are not aware of this here is the link for the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail & Hudson Valley Rail Trail Link Feasibilty Study 08-05-2011
  by bigK
Russ,I just checked Bing maps and switched to Birds Eye view and you can see the ROW going under the Thruway

  by RussNelson
bigK wrote:Russ,I just checked Bing maps and switched to Birds Eye view and you can see the ROW going under the Thruway
Right, I know, I've looked down at it many a time, imagining seeing a train, or lacking that, me bicycling it (even though it looks a bit muddy).

Sounds like they're going to recuscitate the New Paltz-Poughkeepsie Electric Railway's route, only now for a trail!
  by bigK
Sounds like they're going to recuscitate the New Paltz-Poughkeepsie Electric Railway's route, only now for a trail!
Russ,is this a reference to the HVRT-WVRT link trail? and/or the Maybrook line? on the latter I did not know of the New Paltz-Poughkeepsie elec Ry. - I guess that would have been the above link trail (SR299 corridor) AND a part of the Maybrook line in the twn. of Lloyd IE: what is now the Hud Val RT

one of the very early ideas for what is now the Dutchess RT,was for a LRV line,then the ROW was to be a county hwy. (DC CR11) then finaly what it is now a water line ROW/RT

this construction you have seen - is there work on the actuall ROW under the Thruway ? or in the area? there are all those houses nearby so I am thinking - with lack of any info to tell me otherwise - that this construction is related to housing like the Toll Bros. luxury homes dev. in Hopewell Jct. that has the construction equip. crossing the DRT - there is a special construction warning sign for the RT in the area

I would like to think / hope that this section of the ROW is being converted to a RT - HVRT south?
  by bigK
UPDATE 07-21-13

so much has been happening since the Winter!

construction of the Dutchess RT stage 5 connector trail (funded with NY DEP funding) from the east end of the Walkway OTH to Morgan Lk. began in early April or late March - this construction was taking place at the same time as the planed phase 4 of the DRT - phase 4 started near the end of last year - as noted in my seperate Dutchess RT posts,the connector trail is now paved - the RT from Overocker Rd. (phase 2 2009) to SR 55 had been paved earlier - and so now there is a contiguous RT from the twn. of Lloyd in Ulster county to SR 55 in the twn. of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess county - all that remains to complete this networked trail system on the old Maybrook line is that 900 ft. bridge over SR 55