The Albany Institute of History & Art has announced “Romancing the Rails: Train Travel in the 1920s and 1930s,” a new exhibition featuring objects and library materials from the Albany Institute’s New York Central Railroad collection. [Read more…] about NY Central Railroad Highlighted In New Albany Exhibit
New York Central RR
The New York Central System Historical Society (NYCSHS) has announced the creation of a second-generation archive system as a resource for railroad historians and model railroaders of the New York Central System. With more than 58,000 images, the archive is the largest offering from the Society to date. [Read more…] about New York Central Railroad Photo Archive Gets Update
The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun tearing up the former NY Central Adirondack Division tracks connecting Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, part of a $1.9 million State project to build a rail trial suitable for use by bicyclists and snowmobilers.
The 34-mile rail corridor being removed was key to a once-thriving 119-mile railroad which operated almost continuously from 1892 until 1972, first as the Mohawk & Malone, and then by the New York Central starting in 1913. [Read more…] about Former NY Central Adirondack Division Rails Being Removed
A DEC plan for the 119-mile Travel Corridor that runs through the heart of the Adirondack Park does not adequately assess actual and projected impacts on the Park’s public wilderness and natural resources according to the group Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve.
At issue is whether the plan complies with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Adirondack Wild does not believe it does comply. The group filed comments on the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan amendment with the Adirondack Park Agency this week. [Read more…] about Adirondack Wild: Rail-Trail Plan Fails to Assess Impacts
Abraham Van Santvoord, a descendant of one of the earliest Dutch settlers in Albany, was born in Schenectady on December 18, 1784. At the age of 14, he worked with his granduncle John Post who owned a shipping business in Utica. Since, at the time, there were few roadways, and the ones they had were snow covered in the winter and mud bogs in the spring, most shipping was done by water.
Van Santvoord successfully ran a shipping business on the Mohawk River. During the War of 1812, he contracted with agents of General Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany to store and ship provisions westward on the Mohawk to support Van Rensselaer’s troops planning to invade Canada. [Read more…] about A Short History Of The Hudson River Day Line
A foundation named for a Fort Plain inventor and his wife, both born in the 19th century, continues to support local charitable organizations. William Yerdon was born in the town of Minden, NY in 1843. He married Sylvina “Vina” Barker in 1881.
Born in Canada, Vina Barker had studied telegraphy and came to Fort Plain in 1876 as a telegraph operator for the New York Central Railroad. She kept her job for about a year after marrying Yerdon, a businessman and Fort Plain postmaster who patented the Yerdon Double Hose Band in 1890. [Read more…] about The Legacy of Fort Plain Inventor William Yerdon
When the night train to Montreal set out from Utica on April 29, 1931, James E. Smith had already been toiling over the needs and wants of his passengers for many hours. At 29 years old, Smith had been a Pullman porter for about three years. He had done a stint in Pennsylvania and now was employed on the New York Central Railroad.
The experience of the Pullman porter was both uncommon yet ordinary. The Pullman Palace Car company hired black men almost exclusively as porters. This practice began under the direction of the founder of the company, George Pullman, after the Civil War. On board a luxurious and comfortable Pullman Car, Pullman porters were expected to be the ideal servants to their well off white passengers. [Read more…] about Chaos On An Adirondack Train: The Case Against Pullman Porter Smith
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) announced today that they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile nineteenth-century rail line in the western Adirondacks.
A bitter debate has raged in the Adirondacks over the past several years after rail-trail advocates began pushing to have the historic railroad tracks torn-up. In 2011, an organization calling themselves Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates began calling for the outser of the tourist railroad operation and for conversion of the rail bed to a multi-use trail. More than 10,000 people have signed-on to a petition calling for the removal of the tracks. The trail advocates’ call for a reassessment of the corridor’s management plan has resulted in this round of public hearings. [Read more…] about Public Meetings Over Historic Railroad Line Planned
On May 9, 1903, a seemingly minor error led to a terrible Adirondack railroad accident near Old Forge. About seven miles south on Route 28 was Nelson Lake siding (a side rail, or pullover) on the Mohawk & Malone Railroad (an Adirondack branch of the New York Central Railroad). A little farther down the line from Nelson Lake was the village of McKeever.
That fateful day started like any other. From Malone, New York, about 90 miles northeast of Nelson Lake, train No. 650 (six cars) was heading south on its route that eventually led to Utica. At around 8:00 that morning and some 340 miles south of Malone, train No. 651 of the Adirondack & Montreal Express departed New York City. At 1:05 pm, it passed Utica, beginning the scenic run north towards the mountains. [Read more…] about A Small Error Leads To A Terrible Adirondack Railroad Accident
Although Albany remains a vital railroad junction, New York’s capital city was once a major hub of the railway industry. Can it become one again? On Sunday, October 24, at 2:00 p.m., the Albany Institute of History & Art welcomes Harvard University Professor John Stilgoe, who will give a lecture entitled, Albany’s Railroads: A Once and Future Hub.
Professor Stilgoe recalls the bustling railroad lines that once converged on Albany, examines how curtailment of passenger and freight service has affected our region, and imagines a visionary railway revitalization that transcends the now-dominant interstate highway network. He holds joint appointments to the Harvard faculties of Design and Arts and Sciences. He is the winner of the Francis Parkman, George Hilton, and Bradford Williams medals, the AIA award for collaborative research, and the Charles C. Eldredge prize for art history research.
This lecture is free and open to the public, and is made possible by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities. Admission to the lecture does not include museum admission.