Hudson Cement Coal Trains ca 1961

Coal Train Hudson Cement

West Shore Railroad construction site August 2006

Note: I am purposly not providing details (textual or photographic) of the exact location of this work area. No need to upset the HS folks.

I noticed this work site while driving around the area one weekend. It is in the mid-hudson valley on the former West Shore line. Rumor has it that the railroad is installing a long passing siding. So far it's hard to tell. It might just be a spur for parking cars with hot journals, although there is such a spur only a mile away.

Update: It is a long passing/staging siding from West Park to Esopus - about four miles in length.

New Switch
A newly installed switch. This was once a double track main line with a station siding here. The railroad could have saved a lot of money by not tearing out the original in the 1960's. Well, maybe not.
Wooden ties for the existing track.

The blue box is also an essential piece of job site equipment
Wooden Ties and Porta-Potty
Concrete Ties
Concrete ties for the new track off of the switch
On a modern railroad you will find underground wiring. Gone are those cool poles with the green insulators that many of us collected as kids.
Underground Tubing
Don't forget the hundreds of types of tools and debris lying around the job site.
Here is a use for some of that old brass track laying around in storage.

It appears that the work crew simply cut the old trackwork into managable sections and tooses it onto the bank with a crane.
From a hundred feet away it looked like discarded pieces of flextrack to me.

Click the image for a larger version. About 240kB.
Old Trackwork

Ramsey Car Transfer 1
This is the Ramsey Car Ttransfer Apparatus used at Phoenicia in 1882. The mechanism cost $1400 and was easy to operate. It did require some horses and possibly a winch or crane.

Specially braced narrow gauge trucks were used to make the wide standard gauge cars more stable on the narrow gauge track of the Stony Clove line.

For more information please see this John Ham / Robert Bucenec book.
Ramsey Car Transfer 2
The pit was 20 inches deep and contained standard gauge tracks entering from one end and narrow gauge tracks entering from the opposite end. The center of the pit contained both.

On each side of the pit was a set of 18" gauge rails carryiing a pair of trolleys onto which a long beam coulb be placed. The freight car was rolled over the beams (cross beams were inserted if needed) and the entire assembly was rolled over the pit where the trucks dropped off of their kingpins.

A horse or winch pulled the trucks out and the car was moved toward the other end of the pit where a new set of trucks waited. As the car and trucks moved off of the pit, the new trucks were aligned to the king pins and the process was complete.

New Haven Railroad

Middle Hadam Station 1928
Middle Hadam Station 1928