trainsinmaine wrote: It is difficult, though, to find traces east of East Chatham, where the Berkshire extension of the New York Thruway has leveled most of the roadbed.
A little bit of snow helps a lot. I saw the railbed a month ago when there was light snow on the ground between the place where the railbed crosses the Thruway, and Columbia County CR-5. Went back on Thursday and went looking where the snow was. The traces continue north of CR-5, first on a fill, which has a "B 165" milepost lying down on it, then through a cut, about 20' deep. I went to the next road intersection, New Concord Road, and saw nothing. My guess is that it's underneath I-90 at that point.
Russ, I went to that spot this past Monday. The leaves hadn't yet emerged from the trees, so I could see quite a bit just from the eastbound lane of the Thruway. The roadbed was plainly evident near the aforementioned CR-5; indeed, I could even see the cut. I eventually got onto CR-5 and crossed the Thruway, with the hope that I might be able to access the roadbed on foot.
On the north side, it didn't appear possible (a gap had been created in the process of road construction), and on the south side I surmised that I might have to enter through private property. As I had an appointment pending, I didn't have the time to pursue it. I did, however, travel down the Pleasant Valley Road to the point where it abuts the Thruway, and I found the spot where the roadbed crosses the bog on the north side of the road before it begins the arc toward the current B&A. It's barely discernible, but there is a tree line along it.
If you go to the Google Maps site for that area and click onto the satellite image, you'll find that there is a secondary road that heads south off CR-5 just west of the aforesaid crossing with the old roadbed. It heads toward, then roughly parallels, the Thruway for a short distance. I'm wondering if it joins the roadbed at one point before the roadbed crosses the Thruway. It looks like it might. One wouldn't be able to tell without traveling it.
Lots of interesting history around there!