Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by brward
 
Hey Mark,
I feel horrible, I just logged in and found an email from you from November! Are your shots from when the bridge was in use? Those are the shots I'm looking for now. Funny you should mention that, I just helped a gentlemen with GeoCaching about the bridge and its history. Currently I am in the process of historical research and photos for the CV RR Historical book and currently I'm at Seward in the writing and photo stage for the "railfan perspective" book , a.k.a. Trainworks 2. I am always scouting the entire line looking for new vantage points and the hope I find an artifact. I recently found something amazing...two telegraph poles still standing on the right-of way! It just goes to show no matter how many times you trace or chase a line, new stuff always presents itself.
-Brian
  by Mem160
 
No, sorry. My RT20 bridge pics were from probably around 2001. I recently had some computer issues, so I cab rescan them in a week or so. I do recall an article a few years back in the Bridge Line Historical Society Bulletin, but I don't recall which issue. There are many rumors surrounding that bridge from it only seeing a few trains, to only one trains, to never saw any tracks. All of which are possible because from what I understand, the re-routing of RT20 put the last nail in the coffin on the CV branch. I have some Seward are pics circa 2007 somewhere too, not great, but if I find them you can certainly have them. I wasn't alive yet when that line was in use, but when my Dad had the place in Seward on Slate Hill RD/Seward Lane and 165 the ROW was much more obvious at the time - late 1970's early 1980's era. The thing is at 6 or 7 years old, you don't realize what it's worth. I do recall an abandoned bridge abutments a short walk south of Seward, down past the Highway Department, and the swamp/pond. I think it is West Creek. Also, just north of the Warnerville Cut-Off - which had been closed the past couple of trips I made up there - there is a road which is about the area of the filled in overpass over the CV branch, and you can clearly see the ROW just at the bottom of the hill on the right of said road. I guess the road wasn't there back then. Also the Schoharie Valley Model RR Club at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds has a rather large chunk of coal said to have been found near the ROW in Seward someplace.....

I'll look for some pics. I think I have a shot or two of that area by the road I mentioned above if I recall correctly.....

- Mark
  by march hare
 
If you're serious about compiling photos of the remains of the Cherry Valley branch, contact me off list. I shot some B/W pix in the 1970s in Cherry Valley, including the coaling tower which was still standing at the time.

You should also be aware of a brief article that ran in the Schoharie County Historical Society's bulletin back in the 1970s that included some pix of one of the last trains in town. Some of the only photos I've seen of diesel power on the branch.
  by brward
 
march hare,

Thanks for the offer about the pictures! A bit beyond serious, I would say my passion and intrigue are insatiable for getting to know the 86 years of operation on this road. I do have a copy of the article you mentioned. It was written by Mary S. Bowers of Seward and it appeared in the Fall 1960 Schoharie County Historical Review. My collection is ever growing with the help of local people, historians and historical societies. Everything I have is in B&W when the road was in operation to include both steam and diesel. From Delaware Hudson Canal Company locomotives to ALCo RS D&H units. The process has been very rewarding and frustrating at times because of the lack of photos in certain areas or perspective shots. I want to be thorough and above all,accurate. There are certain aspects of this line that are portrayed incorrectly in conversation and print. I want there to be a book that has all the correct info not only for railfans but also historical savvy individuals.

-Brian
  by Mem160
 
I remember Mrs Bowers as a kid, she died when I was very very small. She lived 2 or three houses down from me. I believe that the park across 165 from the RR station which fills in the old sewer/RR ROW is named after her. This is turning out to be a very interesting thread.
  by Mem160
 
I can't remember if I've already shared this link, though I'm sure someone if not everyone has seen it, but what the heck it only takes 2 minutes to post it. Sorry if it is a repost.....

http://www.cooperstown.net/cherryvalley/index.html

This part in particular: Bypassed...and preserved

Many of the distinctive buildings you will see on your walking tour of Cherry Valley date from the first half of the nineteenth century. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 greatly reduced the importance of the Cherry Valley Turnpike as a commercial thoroughfare. The building of the New York Central Railroad along the Mohawk Route, followed by the Albany and Susquehanna route to Binghamton, diminished the Turnpike further to the status of a rural stagecoach route.

Cherry Valley thus would never again be a major commercial center. But in 1870 Cherry Valley did become a spur of the Albany and Susquehanna, and with its new connection in Cobleskill was at least able to hold and support its own.

The advent of the automobile breathed new life into the Cherry Valley Turnpike which in time evolved into the mighty Transcontinental Highway, US Route 20. Route 20 in New York State was largely superseded by the New York State Thruway after the war. And in 1954 a section of the former Cherry Valley Turnpike was reconstructed to bypass Cherry Valley itself. An exit now leaves you one mile north. Most who love the character of this landmark village would agree that this change was probably for the best.

***** One casualty though was the old Cherry Valley Railroad, whose right-of-way was cut off by the construction of the "new" Route 20. A railroad bridge was built over the highway, a green structure that still greets you as you descend westward on Route 20 along the Mohawk side of Cherry Valley. But that railroad bridge has never borne track or tie. *****

I don't know if there is any truth about how this bridge never had track installed.

I also just found this. I have never seen it before:

http://www.abandonedrails.com/Cherry_Valley_Branch

- Mark
  by brward
 
Mark,
This is not the first time the misinterpretation of history was put into print or on a webpage. One of the primary forces behind my book on the line is to set the record straight and to shed some light on a line missed or overshadowed in books, societies and all around railfan curiosity. For fact, the Route 20 bridge was put in 1954 by the NYS DOT for the price of $133,000, not after August 17, 1956. As this was being built, a run-around track was laid just to the north to allow trains to continue shipments. It frustrates me to no end that this is the "norm" for the whole bridge conversation, that it never saw track or tie. And to display it in a public forum or in print?!
-Brian
  by RussNelson
 
They might be thinking of the Ulster & Delaware railroad's bridge over 9W. The highway was being built just as the railroad was going out of service. They pulled the rails and stored them in the nearby tunnel. So THAT bridge really hasn't seen rail nor tie.
  by Mem160
 
Has anyone seen this yet? Its rather interesting.

http://nysl.nysed.gov/Archimages/65851.PDF

New York State Railroad Abandonment. This particular one includes not only the Cherry Valley Branch, but the CACV Cooperstown JCT to Davenport as well as Main 4 abandonment notices. It includes information on what happened to the buildings in most cases, some of the ROW, the bridges, AND the real estate companies the abandoned ROW was sold to. Maybe this was already in this post, but I thought this was pretty cool to read about anyhow, even if it has been previously posted.

- Mark
  by RussNelson
 
Now you know why I published my own copy of those PDFs, and in plain text format so searches could find them. Your new link doesn't work either ... "Search Session Timed Out."
  by Mem160
 
so I guess these aren't any new information. Oh well, I tried. PDFs are a pain in the butt
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