• When in 1983 was the Maybrook Line cut back to Hopewell?

  • Discussion related to the operations and equipment of Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) from 1976 to its present operations as Conrail Shared Assets. Official web site can be found here: CONRAIL.COM.
Discussion related to the operations and equipment of Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) from 1976 to its present operations as Conrail Shared Assets. Official web site can be found here: CONRAIL.COM.

Moderators: TAMR213, keeper1616

  by ekho-viktor
Is anyone familiar with that date? :-) I'm aware that the last run occurred in 1982 and the tracks were torn up in 1983, but I'm unsure of the exact dates of those events. I've seen a photo of track removal labelled March 7th, 1984, but I know that must not be correct since by 1984 the tracks were gone.

So yeah, if anybody knows when in 1982 Conrail last served the remaining industries along the route, and/or when in 1983 they removed the tracks, I would greatly appreciate it!

If nobody is completely sure then it's no biggie. I know it was over 30 years ago. I just figured somebody might have taken note.

  by Engineer Spike
I can't give too many details. 1982-3 was when Stanley Crane was given a last chance to make the company profitable. Many excess lines were ripped up then. The line ran through relatively rural areas. I wonder if any of the west end of it had any customers, which were served via the rest of the ex CNE trackage in Poughkeepsie.
  by glennk419
I don't have an exact chronology of the dates but I worked in the mid Hudson Valley area from July 1983 to June 1984 and the entire line was ripped out during my time there. I recall the line in the area of Titusville Road still being intact until September / October 1983. I also remember that the rails and ties came out first with the signal system still being in place for months after the tracks were gone, the most entertaining part of that being all of the signals at Hopewell Junction still being lit and controlling an empty ROW on the Maybrook Branch although Conrail was still using the Beacon Branch at that point. The trackage in the City of Poughkeepsie remained for several years after that, including right up to and on to the bridge.
  by Fishrrman
The Maybrook rail was not actually taken up until 1984. I was called to be the engineman on the rail train that was going to do the job, but passed that call over to take a week-long "hold down" for the Poughkeepsie switcher instead. I'd never operated on the track being removed, so I thought it was better for someone else with experience on the line to take the call.

A small portion of the Maybrook was left in place, that being from the east end of the bridge extending roughly 2/3 of a mile or so to provide access to a printing company in Poughkeepsie. Access was via the "Hospital track", a steep climb upwards from the C&E yard just north of Poughkeepsie station with switchbacks at the top. From there the track went south past the old Smith Brothers (cough drop) factory into the Smith Street yard. Then there was another switchback to get up to the Maybrook, with the switch just east of the bridge itself.

I believe there's a picture or two of the "last rail train" on the Maybrook displayed at the restored Hopewell Junction depot...
  by Maybrook fan
I don't know the exact dates, but I think this is the same time they took up all extra rail along the line. All the controlled passing sidings from the NH days along the Maybrook/Beacon line were tore up. - I could never figure out Conrail's thinking with this line. Later in the 80's they upgraded it so they could run 6 axle power, installed gates at most of the crossings. For a couple years they ran the SE/NH and its counter NH/SE trains and countless loads of stone out of Conn. Then all of a sudden in 1990 they sold and got out.
  by Noel Weaver
I think there exists in back issues of Railpace (maybe) of the rail trains and I suspect elsewhere as well. As to the sidings I think Brewster was the first one to go and that happened in the Penn Central period and I think there was a washout problem somewhere in this case. I don't think any of the others went until after Conrail took over and maybe Hopewell Junction was the next one to go and again maybe a washout or something of that sort, date not clear to me. As for six motor power, Penn Central ran six motor power on the Maybrook Jobs not too long after they took over the New Haven in 1969. The Beacon Branch originally had no engine restrictions but the line was still not in great shape after they started running the through jobs over it around 1970 or so. I think the rail was 107 pound rail at that time. As to exactly why Conrail wanted out, there were a number of issues involved with Danbury and in addition the freight business in Connecticut in particular was drying up at a rapid rate which added more to an already bad situation, I won't go in to details right now, maybe some other time. There probably was not enough strictly local business between Danbury and either Poughkeepsie or Beacon to justify even a short line freight operation, a little but just not enough. Don't forget business on the Beacon Branch was so bad that the New Haven put the line up for abandonment even before the Penn Central came on the scene.
Another situation in the 1970's and beyond where there was more railroad tracks than the existing business could ever support, some of it had to go. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to work this interesting territory way back when.
Noel Weaver
  by Maybrook fan
Mr. Weaver you are absolutely right about there being no buissiness between Poughkeepsie and Danbury. I know the Holmes siding was tore up in the early 80's as for the others I cannot say for sure when they went. My statement was just an observation of them spending a lot of $$ they didn't earn back for upgrading track and gating most of the crossings. And also didn't they have to repair a bridge in Derby to complete the line to New Haven ?