by Noel Weaver
derail wrote: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.What exactly caused the fire, probably either sparks from the stack(s) or maybe a stuck brake or brakes on cars in the train.
Both happened occasionally and still do. As for Penn Central, the New Haven was absolutely broke and had little future if
the Penn Central had not taken it over when it did.
As for the Maybrook Line, it was a very scenic and interesting line to work or even to just ride over BUT in the early 70's
it was not really needed. Penn Central had a far better east/west railroad on the former New York Central with a very
new and modern yard at Selkirk and a far better physical plant over the former New York Central. Why should they
maintain this route for a competitor namely the Erie Lackawanna.
The biggest thing that killed this line was the nearly total loss of freight business in Southern New England and especially
Connecticut. It is pretty amazing that this line lasted as long as it did with major connections at Maybrook history long
before the Penn Central entered the picture. Penn Central had a good route into New England from both the south and the
west that had good clearances and good connections with very little passenger interference and it made track connections
at a number of locations with the former New Haven Railroad.
Finally the walkway over this historic bridge can and probably will be a big plus for Poughkeepsie, the Hudson Valley and all of
the surrounding area. If I make it to Connecticut this coming November and I am planning to, I fully intend to attemp to
walk over this bridge end to end if it is open and in use and my sources say that it will be. I have ridden over it many times. Thankfully this bridge will be around for generations to enjoy for years to come.
I think you will do yourself a favor if you had a more positive outlook on this.