• Unfinished Railroads of New York State

  • 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 Marty Feldner
It wasn't easy. but I dug out my paper topos (most of the trolley line, and all of the completed grading that I'm aware of is on the Monticello quad- mine is 1966). No markings for the ROW, and no way to tell from the contour lines; they followed the contours. The section visible from Rt. 42 is on the north side of 'Hill 16', between Kiamesha Lake and South Fallsburgh- it's just south of a high tension power line crossing 42, on the east side of the road; it only extends about 1000 feet. Another remnant is a little further north, where approaches to a bridge over the extreme north end of Pleasure Lake are visible. Both can be seen on Bing Maps, Bird's Eye View (Bird's eye views, where available, were taken when the foliage was down so much more can be seen; they are oblique views that can be rotated- much easier to follow ROW's). Also in South Fallsburgh just south of the former O&W station is a short street, Trolley Road, that leads to the bridge location. (In 1977 Ed Crist and I spent a long day at the Sullivan County Museum in Hurleyville making copy negatives of a large bunch of railroad construction photos- presumably O&W, but nothing was labelled so there could even be some of the trolley line. I have the negatives; they've never been printed beyond contact sheets- there are almost 600 images. Not sure, but the photos may have gone to the O&W archives in Middletown some years later. I may have seen an old map in the museum that showed the proposed line- it was years ago.)

In Wakefield's book, the flown aerial view of the Pleasure Lake bridge approaches is on page 94; the one for the Rt. 42 crossing is page 113, and the info he gathered on the whole endeavor is pages 104-109. Try a google search for 'Fallsburgh Monticello Trolley' (with the 'h'); it brought up several book and newspaper references.
  by RussNelson
Awesome! Thanks so much, Marty. I looked around using Bing Birds-eye as you suggested, and found very clear traces exactly where you said they would be. I also found railbed on the west side of NY-42.

I added acknowledgement and links here: http://russnelson.com/unfinished-railro ... RailroadCo" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by dj_paige
Speaking as someone who grew up in Hicksville, I found that to be fascinating. I knew all about the existing two branches of the LIRR that merge together in Hicksville, but never knew there was another branch planned.

I would like to point out that the town involved is today named Cold Spring Harbor, not Cold Spring (which appears to be a town on the Hudson across from West Point). Maybe there was a time in the past where this town on Long Island was named Cold Spring, and maybe the branch was properly known as Cold Spring and not Cold Spring Harbor. Anybody know for sure?


  by RussNelson
NS3737 wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:44 amThe project that you are about to embark on also cries out loud for a book besides a web-site. May I sugest a title: The iron roads that that did not made it.

Call me old fashioned but I still prefere to browse or read in a book than do the same from the screen.
Working on it, finally!

This is for all contributors to this topic: If you use a handle here, but would prefer to be acknowledged by your real name in a book, please send me a message. In particular, Henry6 contributed quite a bit, but his account is deactivated. Anybody know his offline name?
  by charlie6017

I believe "Henry6" is Henry Sommers, he's on Facebook I believe. Good luck with the book!

  by RussNelson
This is a LIDAR map of NY. Very handy for finding railroads whether finished or unfinished. It's already helped me find more railbeds. The resolution varies from 1 meter to 10 meters per measurement. The 1 meter is the only useful one. This location is some of the Rochester Nunda and Pennsylvania.

https://orthos.dhses.ny.gov/?Extent=-86 ... ightMenu=0
  by dj_paige
Well that's interesting. I could never find any visible trace of the Rochester, Nunda and Pennsylvania RR alongside of Macintyre Road. Nor do aerial photos show anything there, but this LIDAR map shows something faintly, I assume either because it is deeply buried or the graded road bed has been disturbed somehow. What is your interpretation, Russ?

it also shows that the grading doesn't extend far north beyond the crossing of Macintyre, not even as far as the where a line extending Batzing Road further west would be. However, at Telephone Road, and to the north, there are straight line features that might be a railroad bed similar to the known places where the RN&P has been identified, are these, in your opinion, RN&P grading as well? (It seems unusual to me that the grading would be so discontinuous, but I don't have enough background about grading operations to really know for sure)
It's already helped me find more railbeds.
Can you be specific, or is it too early for that, and you need to go out and do some field work?
  by RussNelson
North of Telephone Road is definitely the RN&P. Different contractors were hired for different sections. If they were in a hurry, why not hire ALL the contractors who were available, and set them each to a section?

I don't see anything north of https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/714578613 Not even with the most generous interpretation.
  by RussNelson
dj_paige wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:01 pm
It's already helped me find more railbeds.
Can you be specific, or is it too early for that, and you need to go out and do some field work?
Yes, specifically, the Ogdensburg, Clayton & Rome cutting west of Glenfield was reused by the Glenfield & Western. However, I had it use too much of the OC&R. The G&W actually cut east sooner than I thought. I also found some sections south of that cutting.

Also adjusted the route of the Elizabethtown Terminal Railroad. It was curvier than I thought. Almost completely graded, end to end. Just a little bit where they had to do some more blasting to make space next to the highway.
  by dj_paige
RussNelson wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:28 pm North of Telephone Road is definitely the RN&P.
I went back and looked at the aerial photos of that area, and there's nothing that can be seen that could possibly be interpreted as a railroad grade at Telephone Road. And I'm pretty sure that I drove along Telephone Road but never saw anything. This LIDAR sure is powerful.
  by RussNelson
WOW!!!!!! This is AMAZING! All of these images clearly show the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad. But ONLY on the LIDAR can you see the unfinished Sackets Harbor & Saratoga Railroad. I knew there was a smaller section of it built higher up on the hill south of here, but I didn't know about the section here. South of the creek, you can see a fill and south of it, a cut which just stops. Of course the cut material was going into the fill. North of that you can see more fill and cuts.

Now look at the aerial photo. Do you see anything?? No, not a thing. Now look at the USGS Topo map. Anything?? Nope. It's only visible via LIDAR.

USGS Topo: https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=43.4116 ... 4&z=16&b=t
LIDAR: https://orthos.dhses.ny.gov/?Extent=-87 ... Menu=false#
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