• Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge's History - Connecting New England to the Nation's Freight Network

  • Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
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  by Bernard Rudberg
 
We have had a couple responses so far but for some people the logistics are a problem.

Even if you live far away you could always post some short items on this forum.

Bernie Rudberg
  by Amtrak700
 
Does anyone know what the last train to cross the bridge was in 74? I was told years back it was NE-74 w/ 5 EL units, but no proof. If anyone knows the symbol, power, etc...please post!! thanks! dave magill
  by Noel Weaver
 
Dave, outside of the local out of Poughkeepsie which went to Highland as necessary, there was only one through freight train
remaining on this route, NE-97 westbound and NE-74 eastbound. I believe NE-74 crossed the bridge an hour or two before
the fire was noticed.
I trust you will be walking across the bridge when the walkway is finished and opened. I am going to try to do it this year
in November if I make it up to Connecticut at that time.
Noel Weaver
  by Amtrak700
 
Thanks noel, i will be on the bridge this fall for sure, dont think we'll see and el sd-45's but it should be a lot of fun up there, the are progressing well it seems. Maybe Ill see you there! Dave
  by Allen Hazen
 
Didn't a New Haven or Central new England predecessor run a passenger train called the "Ghost Train"-- cars painted white. And wasn't it a Boston to somewhere south of New York train that took some route that avoided New York? Maybe the bridge is a good place to see ghost trains after all? (Grin!)
  by dcm74
 
Allen Hazen wrote:Didn't a New Haven or Central new England predecessor run a passenger train called the "Ghost Train"-- cars painted white. And wasn't it a Boston to somewhere south of New York train that took some route that avoided New York? Maybe the bridge is a good place to see ghost trains after all? (Grin!)
The Ghost Train ran on the New York & New England from Boston via Putnam, CT, and Middletown, CT, and then the Air Line to New Haven and the Shore Line to New York.
  by TomNelligan
 
Allen Hazen wrote:And wasn't it a Boston to somewhere south of New York train that took some route that avoided New York?
You're thinking of two separate bits of history. An early version of the Federal Express briefly ran between Boston and Washington via the Poughkeepsie Bridge and the Lehigh & Hudson River, and the New York & New England's New England Limited running between Boston and New York via Putnam and Middletown was the one with the white cars.
  by Allen Hazen
 
Thanks, dcm74 and Tom Nelligan, for clearing up my confused memories of something I read many years ago! ... So the Poughkeepsie Bridge doesn't have a history of Ghost Trains: I suppose that means one is less likely to have visions of EL SD-45, or NH U25B, when walking it? (Grin!)
  by Bernard Rudberg
 
The last train was an eastbound and it set grass fires along the line all the way out to Hopewell Junction.

Bernie
  by Amtrak700
 
I have a few pics of the bridge where part was painted silver, and was never completed, what was the story behind this????
  by RedLantern
 
Just a guess, those parts may have been developing excessive rust, and were painted for their protection.
  by derail
 
I believe the year was '67; the NH was getting ready to spray paint the bridge with a fish oil based paint; and seems they got the paint on everything but the bridge. they paid out a fortune in damages to cars and buildings and never finished painting the bridge. That was the last attempt to paint. In the yearly engineer's inspection reports from the early 60's on, it strongly recommends that the bridge be painted. and in the last report I have it says that unless the bridge is painted in the following year, the engineers weren't guaranteeing that they would certify the bridge for rail traffic. Guess one PC (pretty corrupt) took over, the inspections stopped. The inspectors did mention that they could not walk on the portion of the bridge that had been painted; they refer to the painted portion as having been coated with a cosmoline type coating. BTW, first coat of paint on the bridge was red lead, and I believe it was 54,000 gallons of paint!!!!

Derail :-D
  by derail
 
Ok one more time to beat this dead horse!! all of this is IMHO. As part of the PC (pretty corrupt) merger, the NYC and Pennsy were force fed the new haven; had to include it in the merger or no deal. The NH was an orphan that hadn't made any money since at least 1953, nobody wanted her. By 1974, most of the traffic had been taken off the bridge, and sent up the west shore to selkirk. So- since the NH was a railroad nobody wanted anyway, what better way to get rid of the maybrook line than to take 700 feet out of the bridge?? On PC day, the suits from Philly were sent to maybrook to essentially destroy the maybrook connection. It went downhill from there. Right after the fire, there was an estimate of $550,000 to fix the bridge made available. and in the USRA master plan of 1975, plans called for a merger of the Erie- lackamoney and Providence and Worchester, and some other roads to keep the maybrook going. Money was available to fix and rehab the line, resignal, etc, but it was never pushed and never came to fruition. The b*stards got their way. They wasted little time in removing the track from the maybrook side, and a few yrs later, '84, I think, they tore up the track from Pok to hopewell. The deed was done. BTW,I have one of Woody Cohen's slides of the last train across the bridge; SD-45's I think, pure EL Power!!! Draw your conclusions. I also understand that they don't have enough $$ to finish the walkway, but with old money like Dyson's, it will probably be done in some way, shape or form. I'm sure the history will be forgotten once the drug dealers and yuppies on $5000 bicycles are up there.

Derail :-D
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