Category Archives: Adirondacks

Saratoga Springs, New York and Railroads


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.

Tahawus: Railroad to a Mine, Does it have a Future?

CNYrailroadnut: West Shore-Oneida Railway Company and Much More About Railroads

We ran into a great (new?)  WebSite all about all the Central New York that we cover. Check out the CNYrailroadnut

We only checked out a small portion of the site, but will be covering more in the future.

We were trying to find out about West Shore Railroad abandonments and found something on a railnet forum that brought us to this new WebSite

Mainline abandonment’s on the West Shore:

Minoa-Canastota (12.9 miles) 1955
Belle Isle – Amboy (3.9 miles) 1955
Byron-Oakfield (10.24 miles) 1963
Chili Jct. – Byron (11.88 miles) 1959
Amboy-Wayneport (59.32 miles) 1959 (small portions near Lyons and Newark abandoned 1982)
Vernon-New York Mills (12.3 miles) 1964
Little Falls-South Ft. Plain (14.5 miles) 1971
Harbor-South Utica (5.6 miles) 1971
Ilion-Little Falls (9.5 miles) 1973
Oneida Castle-Vernon (5.6 miles) Nov. 1, 1977
Ilion-Harbor (9.4 miles) 1982
Canastota-Oneida Castle (5.9 miles) Spring of 1982 or Oct 1982??

Chenango Branch abandonment dates:

Cazenovia-Earlville 1937
Oran-Cazenovia 1944
Manlius-Oran 1948
Fayettville-Manlius 1964
Dewitt-Fayettville 1977
Final abandonment of the Chenango Branch Syracuse-Dewitt 1983

The original files we were trying to see are “More About West Shore Abandonments” and “Richard Palmer’s West Shore Abandonment Lists



Trenton Falls combines scenic vistas with historic lineage



t was a place where John Quincy Adams, Ulysses S. Grant, Charles Dickens and other notables kicked off their boots to relax among high society. Now it’s a place where families and friends can come and enjoy nature and the view. For three weekends all year, the Trails of Trenton Falls will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Read More About Trenton Falls Openings

Picture of Trenton Falls courtesy of Harvard University

Came across a story written in 1925 by J. Lyman Gollegty, Utica Gas and Electric Co.

The western entrance to the Mohawk Valley is a center of great industrial activity. Its past has been crowned with great achievements. So great an authority as Roger Babson has predicted that this section of New York State is bound to become the manufacturing center of the United States. Naturally enough one wonders just why this is…

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Railroads on Parade gets reprieve, famed model train displays to remain in Warren County

Remember the story about Railroads On Parade? CitiBank used to sponsor a Christmas exhibit then it went to Pottersville, New York.

Visitors to Railroads on Parade love examine the intricate model train displays and cityscapes crafted by award-winning set designer Clarke Dunham. While it was expected that the displays were to be dismantled due to an auction Nov. 11 to pay off the venue’s debt, an agreement was reached between Clarke and Barbara Dunham and an investor to keep the displays intact and the venue open

Dunham said that he might pursue buying the Railroads on Parade property — which he now leases.

#He’ll also be seeking a waiver from state building code that mandates that a sprinkler system be fully charged, which prevents the museum from staying open past mid-November due to potential pipe freeze-ups.

#Dunham said he’d like to keep Railroads on Parade open year-round, which would likely include a Christmas display.

A New York Times article in September which publicized the pending closure of Railroads on Parade and described the intricate, enchanting layouts helped in securing the museum’s future, Dunham said. The article attracted thousands of extra visitors — hailing from all over the northeast U.S. and Canada as well as from Europe — until the venue shut its doors in mid-October, Dunham said. During that time, the traffic at the museum doubled, raising $39,000 which is vital in the venue’s pending resurrection, Dunham said.

Lucius Riccio, the former Commissioner of Transportation for New York City, will be organizing the fundraising through, Dunham continued. Riccio is a long-time fan of Dunham’s award-winning set designs and displays.
Anybody know how close to a “real” railroad? All I know about Pottersville is it REALLY in the boonies!

#To obtain news on the status of the museum or for updates on the crowd-funding effort, see: or

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Take a Ride To Sanford Lake (Tahawus)

We have been following the railroad to Tahawus (Sanford Lake in D&H Railroad terminology). But we never had too many current pictures to show off. (Well we just had the first stone train in a long time).

Now we finally found some current pictures from our great friend Gino.

Seems a “speeder convention” went up there. Gino collected a great group of pictures. Thanks much Gino

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First load of stone from the Tahawus Mine in 25 years.

First load of stone from the mine in 25 years.  13th Lake Road, up in North River.  Tyler Michael Warrington  was on the corner looking down towards the river

Stone Cars from Tahawus
Stone Cars from Tahawus

See a video too

Saratoga & North Creek caboose
Saratoga & North Creek caboose

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