GeorgeF wrote:I was on the last regular train to Sparkhill. While I was wondering how I was going to get back, I heard some other railfans asking to ride back. The conductor agreed and charged regular fare, but with all three trainsets coupled together and running EXPRESS, it was a heckofa ride back to Hoboken!
I realize this message is almost five years old but George if you still occasionally monitor this thread, I believe a few of my fellow members of the R&LHS New York Chapter were on that same last run and also took the deadhead back to Hoboken. Maybe you know them? Jim Guthrie and Henry Deutch.
Anyway, I visited Nyack a number of times and the old ROW is still very discernible. The part just railroad east (or south by compass) of the station still exists (or did as of a few years ago). It's ruler straight and you can easily see where the old station was once located.
Btw, looking at old local newspapers (on microfilm) at the Nyack Public Library I found a really wonderful story about the last run of an evening eastbound train. This was on Thursday February 15, 1940, the day before the service was reduced from twenty trains a day to six. Three down in the morning and three back at night.
The last PM eastbound was Train No.1124, made up of a single gas-powered motor car. The reporter sat in the car at the platform in Nyack interviewing the train conductor before departure. They had to wait for the arrival of Train 1111 from Jersey City (the line was single-track) and also wait for a messenger to arrive with the last mail pouch from the nearby Nyack post office. The article noted that the following day the Nyack mail would start going by truck to the West Shore station at West Nyack.
When 1111 arrived from Jersey City Oscar Blauvelt, the conductor on 1124, was on the platform. The reporter wrote that most of the commuters getting off 1111 paused to shake the veteran trainman's hand and wish him well. Many of them had been riding with Blauvelt since they were kids!
With four engine and train crews being furloughed, Blauvelt had decided to retire after 44 years on the Erie, most of it running passenger trains between Jersey City and Nyack.
Train 1124 departed Nyack a few minutes late on the last run -- because the mail was a bit tardy in arriving I think -- but it didn't matter much as the train had to meet two other westbound trains at Sparkill.