• Peru, NY (Plattsburgh) area railfan activities?

  • 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

  by 3rdrail
Hi Folks ! I just got a call from my railfan son (twire). He's up in Peru, New York, which I guess is west of Syracuse with a bunch of friends looking for something to do. Are there any railroad or trolley museums in the Peru area to steer them to ? I know that that's Central country - any abandoned roadbeds of interest in the area ? Thanks !
  by Matt Langworthy
3rdrail wrote:Hi Folks ! I just got a call from my railfan son (twire). He's up in Peru, New York, which I guess is west of Syracuse with a bunch of friends looking for something to do. Are there any railroad or trolley museums in the Peru area to steer them to ? I know that that's Central country - any abandoned roadbeds of interest in the area ? Thanks !
CSX's Chicago Line is just a few miles to north and the Finger Lakes Railway is just a few miles to the south of Peru, so IMO those would be good places to start.
  by SecaucusJunction
Isn't there a Peru NY right up by Plattsburg too?
  by 3rdrail
Yes there is ! :wink: I think now that that may be where he is ! "Who knew !!!" Ok, same question for the Peru, Plattsburgh, Port Kent area. Thanks SecaucusJunction ! Thanks also Matt. I was pointing him to the Finger Lakes Rwy which looks like a nice trip, but it looks like things will have to change ! Any thoughts ?
  by Noel Weaver
If these folks are OK to cross the border to Canada there is a great Rail Museum in St. Constant, Quebec that rivals any in
the US anywhere. They could easily spend hours there. There are also great train watching spots in the suburbs of Montreal.
One of the best spots is Dorval at the Via station which was pretty open the last time I was there with pay parking right next
to the tracks. There are two double track lines through there. CN has heavy Via passenger traffic and plenty of freight trains as well. CP has commuter trains out of Montreal as well as freight traffic too. There are some other spots along this
line between Dorval and Dorian which are pretty decent too. The CN line across Victoria Bridge to the east toward Quebec
has plenty of activity as well although less than to the west. Good spots all over the place. Lots of commuter trains to ride
as well. Montreal is a great area for riding, watching and photography.
If crossing the border is a no go, I would suggest that Plattsburg is probably as good as you will find there but I don't really
know just what is running over that line today. Another interesting spot is Burlington, Vermont which can be reached by
ferry from Port Kent (not too far south of Plattsburg) this time of the year and is a neat ferry ride as well. St. Albans is also
a good spot north of Burlington in Vermont.
Noel Weaver
  by 3rdrail
Oh, yes. I couldn't agree with you more, Noel. Years ago, not too much older than my son now, I went on a trek to Montreal and stopped at the St. Constant Museum on the way home. Beautiful museum with equipment that one does not normally see in the States. My day there was a cold, rainy day, but in spite of it, I lingered as the place was so intriguing (aided by the best tasting hot coffee that I ever drank in a thermos that I had brought with me !). Actually, the lads had originally planned to go to Montreal, but made the mistake in thinking that they could pick up a passport in a few days. A passport is now required for U.S. citizens to enter Canada. So, off to Peru they went ! (family home of one in the group). Thanks for the excellent suggestion however !
  by RussNelson
Lots of interesting stuff in the Plattsburgh area. You can look at http://rutlandtrail.org/gmap.cgi?alltracks to see a map of every rail line that ever existed in New York State. There's Bombadier's subway car facility in Plattsburgh. They build them in the industrial park north of the old air base, and then they test them on a test track on the base itself. The test track is part of the old D&H mainline. You can see bits of rail in the woods at the north end of the test track. They have a bunch of posts with blinking xenon bulbs, probably lit when the tracks are energized. Also an engine house with three tracks, likely for holding the trains under test. There's a spur track which ends in a box of rocks. Presumably they keep the switch aligned to the spur when they're testing, in the case of a runaway.
Heading west from the industrial park containing Bombadier's build plant is a very disused set of tracks which cross I-81 and dead-end at Military Turnpike and Getman Road. Connecting to that line is another line heading to South Junction, also disused. Further west, those tracks used to cross the bridge still present in Cadyville, and headed on to Dannemora. And finally, the D&H AuSable Branch used to go straight through Peru, next to Train Rd., of all places! Those wacky Peruvians, how do they come up with those street names!?!
  by Champlain Division
Touche', Russ. That's I-87; not I-81. :wink:
  by rls62
I'm visiting my in-laws in Plattsburgh this weekend. The rails and ties from the long abandoned AuSable Branch that runs to Peru and beyond are being pulled just north of the airport. From what I gather the line through Peru was abandoned in 1978. There is a nice rail trail in Peru now and an old D&H sign which I have as of yet to locate.
  by Champlain Division
Actually, those rails and ties being removed, if they're at and north of the airport along (NY) Route 22 that you're referring to, would be on the original D&H Fredenburg Falls Branch most recently referred to on CP as the Plattsburgh Running Track which generally encompasses all industrial trackage in and surrounding the old Air Force Base .

Both the Ausable Branch and the Fredenburg Falls Branch came/come off of the D&H Lyon Mountain Branch, a.k.a. the Chateaugay Branch, o.k.a. the Chateaugay Railroad. This trackage starts at South Junction and passes to the south of the airport runway, past the propane dealer spur (which is the only remaiming piece of the Ausable Branch) over the Northway and turning left and ending at Irish Settlement Rd. The portion of the Fredenburg Falls Branch being torn up comes off of that left turn as a trailing point "switchback" that required trains to reverse over the other Northway bridge closer to the river, through the s-curves along Route 22 and past where you're seeing the activity, and turning left into the industrial park area where Bombardier and a few other industries are or have been. Since the newer trackage that comes through the old base and joins this trackage at that left turn was built, there has been no sustained activity on any of that trackage between the propane dealer and the industrial park.

I had been hoping for a tourist railroad type operation over that Plattsburgh Running Trackage basically forming a loop around the old base by installing two "wye" connectors at "Bombardier Junction" and Fredenburg Falls Junction. Nobody ever picked it up and ran with that idea, though.

I guess, as they say, the only constant in railroading, and in life for that matter, is change. I don't think anyone can deny there's been a whole lot of change in our industry lately and not a lot of it for the better. (NO, I won't elaborate. Don't get me started!)
  by C2629
A passport is not the only identifacation that will let you into Canada. It all depends on how you are trying to enter. If you are a NYS resident you can also use what is called an Enhanced Drivers license when driving to Canada.They are available to NYS drivers after filling out the needed paperwork. When I got mine recently it took less than two weeks. As far as I know you cant use the enhanced license when flying to Canada. Im not sure about when taking a train.
2629 (and Everyone:)

A New York State Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) is sufficient for ALL LAND crossings between the
US and Canada. There are other States (Vermont is one) and Provinces (Ontario and Quebec being
prime examples) that issue them for border crossing identification. This does include rail travel.

A passport will be required to FLY across the US-Canada border.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/ ... initiative" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;