Saratoga Springs, New York and Railroads

RENSSELAER AND SARATOGA RAILROAD

This road was chartered April 14, 1832. The articles of incorporation named as the first directors John Cramer, Elisha Tibbets, John Knickerbacker, Richard P. Hart, Townsend McCann, Nathan Warren, Stephen Warren, LeGrand Cannon, George Vail, Moses Williams, John P. Cashin and John Paine. John Knickerbacker and John House, of Waterford; Stephen Warren, William Pierce, William Haight, James Cook and Joel Lee, of Ballston Spa, were designated as commissioners to open the books of subscription. Completed Green Island to Ballston Spa (25.0 mi.) 1835. Work was commenced the following year, and on October 6, 1835, the first passenger train north bound, left Troy. The northern terminus of the road was near the present depot in Ballston Spa. While this road extended as far north as Ballston Spa, only the Schenectady and Saratoga Railroad had been built as far north as Saratoga Springs; the latter road thereby receiving a majority of the traffic between Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa. As soon as the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad had been completed, an agreement was entered into with the other road whereby the passengers and traffic of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Road might be carried on north of Ballston Spa over the tracks of the Saratoga road.

This road finally went into the hands of the creditors, and was purchased by a new organization, which raised the capital stock to $600,000, and later to $800,000. In June, 1860, it leased the Saratoga and Schenectady and the Albany and Vermont Railroads. All these with other additions subsequently passed into the possession of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. Leased to Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. 1871

The original Rensselaer & Saratoga ran from Troy to Saratoga Springs. Here is the current status (2008), in segments from south to north:

– trackage in Troy that pre-dated the Troy Union Railroad was abandoned about 1954

– last operation over the Green Island Bridge was about 1964

– trackage in the Village of Green Island is still in place but has been embargoed and out of service since about 2000. CP has filed with the STB for abandonment and a former shipper has filed an offer to purchase the line and operate it as an independent short line (called an OFA). The Village of Green Island has filed in support of abandonment, in opposition to the OFA (NIMBY driven).

– from Green Island to Waterford Junction was abandoned in the late 1970s.

– from Waterford Junction to Mechanicville is in service as the CP Colonie Main

– From Mechanicville to a point just a coouple of miles west is in service as the Freight Main

– from west of Mechanicville to Burnt Hillls was abandoned about 1967

– from Burnt Hills to Saratoga Springs is in service as the CP Canadian Main Line, except for line relocations in the mid- late-50s around downtown Ballston Spa and downtown Saratoga Springs.

R&S expanded to many other lines before D&H took over in the early 1870s, but here is just the orignal R&S.

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