I am a resident of the Village of South Nyack and have been leading a small group of volunteers from our historical society in a project to compile information related to the Northern Branch/Erie railway line that came up to Nyack. We began our project in 2015 and have since compiled a mountain of fascinating information including photographs, newspaper clippings, village documents, maps, anecdotes from long-time residents, and so on. We are in the process of putting all of this information on a website that I am building. We hope to launch that website by year's end.
I was delighted to stumble across this railroad.net forum thread last week and have a couple of comments and some questions.
A-1) I applied for a small grant from New York State to cover the cost of manufacturing some information signs that would explain the history to the railway and its impact on the villages through which the Northern Branch passed. Eleven signs have now been installed. One is in Nyack close to the former location of the turntable. Eight are in South Nyack. The tenth sign is next to the renovated Piermont train station building. The most southerly one is on the Piermont/Sparkill border at the base of the long incline. The signs are a real hit with trail users who love reading about the history. We soon hope to install a short section of railway track near where Nyack station used to sit.
A-2) The turntable was located next to South Franklin Street between Hudson Ave and Depew Ave (longitude/latitude -73.9216/+41.0893) in what today is the Nyack Community Garden. Close to the turntable was a freight depot. When the railway opened, in May 1870, that freight depot did double duty as a passenger station. It was torn down in 1949.
A-3) By 1884, a dedicated, separate passenger station was built next to South Franklin Street, at the base of Elysian Ave. It was called Nyack station but was, in fact, located in the Village of South Nyack which had seceded from Nyack in 1878. We think that the name "Nyack station" stuck even though the building was erected in a different municipality because (a) there already existed a South Nyack station a little further south, and (b) passengers were probably used to Nyack being the name of the last station on the line. We have been unable to identify the precise year that Nyack station was built. The building was sited in what is today Franklin Street Park and its footprint is now largely covered by the tennis court (-73.9216/+41.0872). In fact, I first got the impetus to start this history project when I asked our public works about the origin of cracks in the tennis court surface. I was stunned when the reply was that the cracks might be due to foundations of the train station that had perhaps not been properly removed! I had no idea that a train line came up this way because as other people have posted on this forum thread, there is virtually no sign of it today.
A-4) South Nyack station was located further south on Chase Ave between Cornelison and Mansfield Avenues (-73.9223/+41.0802). It was demolished (in 1954, we think) along with the village business district, village hall, and dozens of homes to make way for the huge looping Exit 10 interchange of the I-287 New York State Thruway.
The website will contain loads of maps, photographs and other documents related to these stations and to the railway in general.
B-1) In May 2011, a post to this thread was made by user "granton junction". The post included a wonderful 1964 photo of a diesel engine sitting between Nyack station and the turntable. Does anyone know of a way to contact user "granton junction"?
B-2) In January 2017, another post to this thread, by user "rscott417", posted two photos that appear to be from either an edition of The Diamond magazine or from another publication. Does anyone know how to contact that user?
B-3) I tried contacting the editor of the "The Diamond" ELHS magazine but got no response. And, there does not appear to be an archive of these magazines on-line. If someone has access to them, could you see if those two photos from rscott417 came from The Diamond, volume 22, no. 4 (2008)?
B-4) If anyone has any additional photos related to the railway in Nyack or South Nyack I would be really interested to be in touch with you.