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Troy & Schhenectady Railroad


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American Museum of Electricity

The American Museum of Electricity
(What! You never heard of it?)
stored its collection on the old Troy & Schenectady Railroad.

Welcome to our Troy & Schenectady Railroad WebSite

Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Our feature article is on the history of the Troy & Schenectady Railroad .

We have great articles on the Green Island Bridge (including the Ford plant), the American Museum of Electricity , and Schenectady's American Locomotive Company .

There is a story on the Interstate 87 railroad crossing , the Troy Union Railroad , and railroad stations in Troy .

We have included a T&S Timetable , a timeline of the T&S , and a story about the end of the Line .

Follow the path of the Troy & Schenectady Railroad on Google EARTH and also fly around the Capital District .

Join a discussion group about the Troy & Schenectady Railroad .

We have great article about businesses on the T&S , trolley routes nearby , the Carman Cutoff, and Sandbank Yard.

More Sandbank Yard.

Read all about the End of the Troy Union Railroad .
Troy & Schenectady railroad station at Niskayuna, New York

Troy and Schenectady Branch\Railroad

Welcome to the T&S Branch. A group devoted to the discussion and history of the Troy and Schenectady Branch\Railroad between Schenectady and Troy New York.

Although abandoned now, this line was part of the original New York Central Railroad.


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The Troy and Schenectady: Now it is a Bike Path

It's not hard to realize that the bike path running between Schenectady and Cohoes was once an operating railroad. Just a few short years ago, it was the T&S branch of the New York Central. It was just a "run of the mill" branch line, and, as such, not much was ever written about it.

Having ridden the entire bike trail, I've seen most of where it went, and I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. There doesn't seem to be much opportunity to serve too many on-line customers. Starting out just west of the Schenectady passenger station, it ran 3.8 miles to Aqueduct. Along the way it passed some once-busy factories in Schenectady. At Aqueduct, where Route 146 crosses the Mohawk, a siding ran into the former ALCO tank proving ground which later became the CONDEC plant. This siding was added during World War II. From Aqueduct, the T&S ran alongside the Mohawk River to Crescent (15.5 miles from Schenectady). Other than an old feed and coal company near the abandoned (but now restored) Niskayuna railroad station, there was very little on the line. Near the end of the line's life, General Electric built the Knolls Atomic Power Lab and the Research Center. Because of the nature of these businesses, they did not add any significant traffic.

At Crescent, a Ford tractor branch was served. From Crescent, the T&S ran 2.3 miles to Cohoes and another 2.9 miles to Green Island. There were several served industries including the F.B. Marsolais Coal Co. A small yard was located near the High Street bridge. At Green Island, the line joined the D&H and went into Troy on their bridge. Trackage in Troy was owned by the Troy Union RR. The Troy Union Railroad Co. was in-turn 50% owned by the NY Central, 25% by the D&H and 25% by the B&M. Passenger connections were made to Albany and Boston. Even the Rutland ran a train into Troy daily. In 1913, four passenger trains were run each way daily from Schenectady to Troy. Two scheduled freights ran from Green Island to Schenectady. After being converted to an automobile bridge, the Green Island Bridge fell into the river in the 1970's as a result of ice damage.

The speed limit in the 1950's was 20 miles per hour except for 6 MPH on highway crossings. When the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) was built, the line crossed it near the Crescent Bridge.

The Schenectady & Troy Railroad, later known was the T&S Branch, was originally owned by the City of Troy. It was the only steam railroad built and owned by a city not merely as a commercial venture but with a view to develop the commercial growth of a city. It was the first railroad in the New York Central system that did not use a strap rail on longitudinal wooden stringers. Instead it used "H" iron rail which was 50 lbs. to the yard. It cost $31,000/mile to build. Its first cars were made by Gilbert & Eaton of Troy.

Troy, which had a population of 19,331 in 1840, borrowed $600,000 to build the line. The intent of the line was to compete with the Mohawk & Hudson. The New York & Albany was to reach Troy as well as the Western RR from Massachusetts. Entrance into Troy was over the bridge of the Rensselaer & Saratoga. The first fare was 25 cents. The line had two locomotives which were purchased for $7,400 each. It was built between 1836 and 1842. It was built between 1836 and 1842. At one point it wanted to go as far as Utica on the south shore of the Mohawk River.

In the late 1860's, George Westinghouse was involved in a minor rail accident on the line. This event led to his development of the air brake.

The Schenectady & Troy was consolidated into the New York Central in 1853, after which Russell Sage represented the railroad on the New York Central board. After consolidation, the line was promptly relegated to branch status. The original Troy station was built in 1854 but burned down in 1862. The station was rebuilt and lasted until 1899. A new structure was built in 1903 between Broadway and Fulton Street. By 1959, it was demolished and trackage through downtown Troy was at an end.

The railroad never became a successful route to the west because its junction with the Utica & Schenectady RR led toward Albany instead of across the Mohawk River to the west. There was no wye to use so access to either the main line or to the West Shore was difficult. Excursions ran from Troy to Auriesville Shrine on the West Shore. At Auriesville, trains either waited on the middle track or backed up to Rotterdam Junction to be turned.

The line ran in a train order mode from Schenectady to Troy. In addition, trains needed an "A" or "B" card (clearance) from the Crescent operator. There were operator/agents at Aqueduct, Niskayuna and Crescent.

Passenger business competed against the Schenectady Railway's interurban to Troy which ran from 1902 to 1934. This line followed Route 7 through Niskayuna and Latham. For much of the time, there were four cars/hour on the 16-mile line. Electric trackage crossed the Green Island Bridge alongside steam trackage and was shared with the United Traction Co.

In the 1950's nuclear waste was hauled from the Knolls Atomic Power Lab complex. The boxcars had signs warning anyone from getting under the car.

Passenger service ended in 1942. The line was broken before 1965 between Aqueduct and Crescent. The now-defunct American Museum of Electricity stored their equipment on the track past Aqueduct in the late 1960's. The Crescent to Green Island section was abandoned in 1976. At that time, Conrail was being formed and was carefully considering all Penn-Central branches. The D&H switched to the Ford plant for a while. For a time, study was given to the D&H acquiring the line. The Schenectady to Aqueduct tracks were taken up in 1984. Crescent to Troy was broken in 1958 when the Green Island Bridge was abandoned. Connection to the line was then over the D&H using trackage rights to Albany.

Now the roadbed is a bike trail. Although there are several diversions from the right-of-way (for instance under the Route 87 Northway bridge), most of the route is that which trains used for over a hundred years. Many old mile markers and ties are visible. Small parks are nearby in the Niskayuna section. A larger park owned by the Town of Colonie is located between Crescent and Cohoes.

At the time that Interstate 87 was built between Albany and Saratoga, the T&S crossing was the only grade crossing on the entire Interstate highway system.

By Ken Kinlock at

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Fly Along the Path of the Troy & Schenectady Railroad!

If you have "GOOGLE EARTH" installed on your computer, you can "fly" along the Troy & Schenectady Railroad from Schenectady to Troy with the "PLACEMARK" below: (Click to get GOOGLE EARTH)
Take a trip on the
Troy & Schenectady Railroad
We will be adding more routes
Because many of the locations on our tour have varying "resolutions" of the pictures, you may need to stop the tour and adjust the height you are viewing.
On several locations, you may also stop the tour and click on the placemark icon for more information.

Tell us where you want to fly and give us any of your comments

Great Link on Schenectady History & Railroads

History around Schenectady
Upstate New York History.

New York Central 999
Fast Portal of the Hoosac Tunnel
A Day in the Country
Saratoga Trolley Terminal
Hoosac Tunnel Advertisement
Franklin Square, Troy, New York
Greenwich & Schuylerville Railway #1
Schenectady Railway Trolley Trips Hudson Mohawk Valley
UTC 340 at Jones Car Builders Plant, Watervliet, NY
Letter about Jones Car Co. being located in Schenectady

Northway Crossing

The Troy & Schenectady Railroad, aka New York Central's Troy Branch. The crossing only lasted around 6 months and that's when the State told the railroad to build over the Northway or build under it. 2 trains a day didn't make sense for the NYC to move the ROW. I was told that the State Police were called everytime a train crossed to protect the crossing. I guess there were some close-calls with truckers heading south and flooring it to make the grade after the twin bridges!

The line was abandoned from Aqueduct (Schenectady) and Crescent in 1965. By the way, the D&H used the old line from Green Island to Crescent to service the Ford Tractor plant in Latham when CONRAIL was created.

There were all kinds of warning signs and signals to alert drivers of a possible stop ahead. We actually had to stop there once for a train. It left an lasting impression on me because I knew there weren't supposed to be any traffic lights on the new interstate highway system, which was being built at the time.

Just north of exit 11 there is evidence of where the railroad ran underneath the Northway. The railroad was there when the Northway was built, but the grade of the highway is so much higher than the old right of way that the bridge was a necessity.

End of the Troy Union Railroad

The only reason for retaining the Troy passenger station at the bitter end was the remnant of B&M service from Boston with one or two Budd RDC's. The NYC and D&H had the alternative of using Albany as their passenger interchange, and actually it switched back and forth between Albany and Troy for individual trains over the years. The B&M had nothing but Troy.

The D&H preferred Troy over Albany, because the distance from Colonie Shops (the Capital District locomotive service point and crew HQ) was shorter to Troy, and then they didn't have to run the North Albany Yard Engine to Albany to handle the occasional passenger switching. The Troy Station Switcher (NYCRR crew) was in the station anyway. I don't think the individual railroads paid for it per move, just a on a fixed percentage.

NYC preferred Albany, because it avoided running light engines the longer distance between Troy and Rensselaer, their locomotive service point, if they didn't come back with a train.

The D&H paid NYC to use the upper level at Albany on a pro-rata basis, but, all three railroads that owned the Troy Union RR paid a fixed percent of the operating expenses. NYC paid 50%, D&H and B&M 25% each, because NYC took over the ownership of two predecssor RR's - the Troy and Greenbush and the Troy and Schenectady. The Rutland had no ownership - they operated as B&M trains between White Creek and Troy.

The passenger station was demolished as soon as the last B&M train left town, mostly to avoid the high property taxes levied on railroad property in New York State. The Troy Union RR employees once said, only half in jest, that they knew the end was near when they put a new roof on the station. That was usually the kiss of death for any railroad building.

A serious problem that always plagued Troy was the number of highway grade crossings in the city. Every switching move blocked Fulton Street or Broadway, and the TURR needed about ten crossing watchmen per trick, or a total of more than 40 for the 24/7 passenger operation.

As for the demolition of Troy Union Station, the last passenger service left town in January of 1958 and it was demolished by the end of the summer that same year. So, no, there was never a post-classic- era shack.

Probably the reason Troy lost its direct passenger service relativley early is because it wasn't far from more-than-adequate remaining service in Albany (7 miles, and with good local transit connections) . The cost saving from shutting down TUS was probably enormous.

Around 1959 D&H and NYC had brought running B&M to Albany, but they couldn't make an agreement with the operating brotherhoods to allow B&M crews to run to Albany. It wouldn't work out if a D&H crew had to take the train over that distance. The B&M wasn't about to put any more money into maintaining that service west of Fitchburg, and this was another good reason for them to dump it.

Either way, the B&M would have had to either run via TURR to the NYC at Madison Street or to the D&H via the Green Island Bridge, and they would have still needed most of the TURR with all of its crossings, and the Green Island Bridge. A route via Mechanicville would not have worked, either. All three railroads wanted to be shed of the entire TURR, not only the station, and the best way to get regulatory approval was to let the expenses pile up and then dump the whole thing. The only fly in the ointment was the Rutland operation, and when that went away in 1961 the fate of the TURR was sealed.
Railroad Station at Troy, New York

Railroad Station at Troy, New York

The station in Troy was owned by the Troy Union Rail Road. The TURR lasted from the mid 19th Century till the mid 20th Century. It was owned by the New York Central, Delaware & Hudson and Boston & Maine. Access from the South was from Rensselaer; from the West, via the Green Island Bridge; from the North was street running almost the entire length of Troy. See Penney's blog for more information (and a great movie from the 1950's).

Troy had a lot of street running

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TU Tower

The telegraph office at Troy was in the station. The office call was UN on the NYC Mohawk and Hudson Divisions, and the D&H. There were four dispatcher's circuits into Troy - NYC Hudson Mohawk, D&H Saratoga, B&M Fitchburg, and Rutland. The Rutland dispatching ended at North Bennington, but they still had a wire to Troy.

Tower 1 had a NYC dispatcher's telephone. Tower 2 had NYC, B&M and Rutland dispatcher's phones. Tower 3 had a phone to the D&H CTC operator at Albany ca. 1957. The positions in the Troy towers were "Telephoner Leverman," and they were not required to be telegraphers. They were mostly instructed by the stationmaster, who communicated with dispatchers by telegraph through UN.

The inbound and outbound D&H main tracks between WX Tower and George St., Green Island, and the single main track from George St. to River St., Troy (TURR boundary) were ABS. The exception was the "square-end blade signals at George St." which governed movements from double to single track at a remote interlocking controlled by TURR Tower 3. The Green Island Bridge was also interlocked, so the bridge tender had to get an unlock from Tower 3 before he could raise the bridge.

In 1959, the B&M CTC extended from the end of the TURR to Johnsonville, controlled by the operator at Johnsonville. There might have been some non-circuited main track through the B&M yard. There was a CTC home signal at the east (B&M) end of the yard. The earler B&M ABS system that was in place when their railroad was double track may have been more extensive.

Another interesting division problem was the Troy and Greenbush Branch from Rensselaer to the Troy Union Railroad. In the 1920's, when the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were separate, it belonged to the Hudson Division and was dispatched from New York. When the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were combined, the T&G was still dispatched by the Hudson dispatcher, at Albany, until sometime in the 1940's. When the Hudson and Mohawk were split in the 1950's, the T&G went to the Mohawk Division and was dispatched from Utica.

Again, thanks to Gordon Davids
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Fly Around the Capital District!

If you have "GOOGLE EARTH" installed on your computer, you can "fly" along the railroads in the Albany Capital District with the "PLACEMARK" below: (Click to get GOOGLE EARTH)

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Troy Green Island Bridge

Picture of Green Island Bridge above is from an old postcard.

The first bridge to span the Hudson in the area was built in Lansingburgh in 1804. This covered bridge was 800 feet long and 30 feet wide. Horses and wagons (later trolleys) drove through the center and pedestrian walkways flanked each side. The bridge burned in 1909 and an iron bridge replaced it.

The Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad Company tried to lease the bridge but was refused, so the company built a wooden covered bridge on 8 stone piers and spanned 1600 feet from Troy to Green Island. This bridge was the first between New York City and Waterford. The first railroad cars ran over it in 1835. It also had a carriage road and footway. This bridge burned in 1862 taking most of Troy's business district with it. A new iron bridge was built in beginning in 1876. The eastern end fell into the river in 1977.

Last regular use by the D&H of the Green Island Bridge was an ore train to Republic Steel. I always wondered when were the rails removed from the Green Island Bridge; who owned the Green Island Bridge; was it been owned by the Troy Union Railroad, or was it covered by a joint facilities arrangement?

D&H and the New York Central had reciprocal passenger train trackage rights from around the turn of the century involving the former Troy & Greenbush, the D&H Colonie Main, the D&H Green Island Branch, and the Maiden Lane Bridge for operation of the Albany-Troy Beltline passenger service.

The D&H abandoned the segment between Green Island and Troy (i.e. basically its operations over the Green Island Bridge) in 1964. I don’t have information whether the New York Central or Penn Central used the bridge after that. Apparently the New York Central must have had trackage rights (from Albany) over the D&H to serve the Ford warehouse and other customers once the bridge closed. I wonder if the NYC negotiated access to the T&S around the same time the D&H needed access to Troy via the NYC's Livingston Avenue bridge? The D&H customers in Troy and the NYC customers at the eastern end of the T&S became landlocked from their respective roads when the rails were removed from the Green Island bridge.

The answers lie in excerpts I found from official documents:
"D&H trackage rights on other roads
Troy to Eagle Bridge on B&M
Livingston Avenue in Albany to Madison Street in Troy on NYC (reinstituted in 1964)
River Street to Madison Street in Troy on Troy Union RR (abandoned in 1964)

Other roads trackage rights on D&H
NYC Livingston Ave in Albany to Green Island
NYC Green Island to River Street in Troy"

Who Owned the Green Island Bridge?

Many thanks to Gordon Davids
formerly Design Engineer, D&H RR Corp. for a great explanation

I can tell you definitively that the bridge was owned by The Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation. The Troy Union Railroad ownership ended at the west side of the River Street crossing in Troy, just east of the bridge. However, TURR Signal Station 3 controlled the signals governing train movements over the bridge.

The bridge tender on the bridge was employed by The D&H. He needed an unlock from TU

The Schenectady and Troy Railroad (NYC) had arranged for trackage rights on the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad (D&H) from Green Island to Troy at the time the Troy Union Railroad was organized.
"The T&S: now it is a Bike Path" was published August, 1987
in the CALLBOARD of the Mohawk and Hudson Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Original New York Central Railroad

End of the Line

In 1897 there were five trains each way except Sunday and one train which operated on a daily basis. In 1932 the only scheduled passenger train westbound from Troy leaving at 6:50AM arriving in Schenectady at 7:40AM. Eastbound left Schenectady at 5:16PM and arrived in Troy at 6:10PM. The eastbound on Saturday left Schenectady at 1:01PM arriving in Troy at 1:55PM. These trains stopped at numerous stations along the way: Aqueduct, The Knolls, Lock No. 7, Niskayuna, Mohawk View, Dunsbach Ferry, Crescent, Manor Avenue, Cohoes and Green Island. There were 10 station stops and of those 5 were required stops and 5 were flag stops. Sometime between September of 1932 and September of 1933 the passenger trains were eliminated. The last Employee Time Table to show the line intact between Troy and Schenectady was in 1964. It shows only to Crescent by 1965.
Troy Union Railroad

Hoosac Tunnel to Troy

Penney Vanderbilt developed the map of Troy, including the Troy Union Railroad, when she was writing a blog about the Boston & Maine going through the Hoosac Tunnel to serve Troy. It shows important points like Troy Union Station, the Adams Street Freight House and the Green Island Bridge. Other blogs you might like include the Troy Union Railroad Towers; abandonment of train service to Troy; and last but not least, the Troy Union Railroad.
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Speaking of Radio Stations, we have a great WebSite about General Electric Company Radio Station WGY in nearby Schenectady. We expect to add some early television soon.

More on the Interstate Highway Grade Crossing

The former Troy & Schenectady line was still operating when the Northway (I-87) was built (1960’s) and there still was a grade crossing on the Northway a short distance south of the "Twin Bridges" over the Mohawk River (this was probably one of only a very few grade crossings on an Interstate Highway in the United States). It wasn't there long, as the line was cut back within a couple of years to an industrial site just east of Route 9. You can still see where the line passed under Route 9 perhaps a mile north of Boght Corners.

During the period that the line crossed Interstate 87 (ETT has a typo “89”) at Dunsbach Ferry, the following instruction appeared in the Employee Time Table under “special instruction 103 public crossings at grade: Manually controlled traffic signals:” "Trains or engine must stop in rear of stop sign and a member of crew must operate pushbuttons in manual control box. After traffic signals have been operating for at least twenty seconds train or engine may proceed over crossing, signals must be restored to normal position after movement over highway has been completed.”
Interstate 87 Crossing Route 9 Crossing in Crescent
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Detailed map of the Schenectady section of the T&S
List of New York Railroads
Link to local Railroads in Capital District
Conductor Jackie T. throws derail at United Baking Company in Schenectady
Green Island Freight House (another view)
From RPI Railroad Site
Green Island Depot
From RPI Railroad Site
A Great ALCO history site
Switching for the T&S in Schenectady
From RPI Railroad Site
Troy & New England Railway
Trolley from Troy to Averill Park (Troy & New England) which missed its goal of reaching New England

Railroads On The Rebound

Troy and Albany Passenger Trains in 1939

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path of the Troy & Schenectady Railroad

The Troy and Schenectady Railroad:
What If It Still Existed Today?

A lot of my readers create model railroads. Instead, I fantasize about them on the computer.

Let's assume for this project that the T&S (and several other nearby rail lines) were not abandoned.

In our scenario, a big railroad headquartered in northern Florida just purchased the former New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail lines running through the capital district of New York.

They want to get rid of everything that is not money making train load freight.

I'm just starting to "build my model railroad", so take a few minutes and take a look at my layout. Then give me your comments: either by email or by participating in the Troy Schenectady Yahoo Group.

Businesses on the T&S

The Troy & Schenectady as well as the D&H branch crossed the Hudson River on the Green Island Bridge. The former New York Central/Troy & Schenectady freighthouse in Green Island is adjacent to Grimm's building supply. Both the D&H and the T&S start side by side at this point with the T&S starting to climb up and cross above the D&H main while the Green Island branch is at the same level as the main.
Near the Nashua/Stone Management siding, the D&H Green Island Branch passed under the T&S. The T&S bridges over the D&H Green Island Branch and the D&H Colonie Main were not removed until 1980. A T&S/D&H connection was near this point. The T&S then swung north to pass through Cohoes (concrete bridge still in place) west of where the D&H still is today. While they paralleled each other, the difference in height is quite evident. The T&S kept climbing while veering north and west. There was a three or four track yard overlooking the city. The old textile mills where once served by rail.

The D&H played a role in the line's final years, being named operator of the eastern end of the line when Conrail was formed in 1976. In a 1970’s issue of the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter NRHS newsletter (with photo) the D&H ran locals to a Ford Motor Co. tractor parts warehouse along Route 9 in the town of Colonie. Ford no longer owns the building, but you can see the old roadbed at Rt. 9 and Fonda Road. The tracks entered the building on the south side for boxcar loading. There was also a sand & gravel elevator at the same spot along the branch.

On the west end of the T&S, there wasn't much business until Niskayuna, where The Knolls Atomic Research Lab and possibly the GE Research & Development Center where located on the branch as it paralleled the Mohawk River. Continuing on to Schenectady, there were a few customers in that city. A short spur climbed the hill along Aqueduct Road as far as Hillside Avenue to reach what has been (since being built in the 1940's):
a testing facility for Army tanks assembled downtown by Alco;
(2) Consolidated Diesel Equipment Corp. (Condec) who manufactured large military vehicles; and (3) the Nova Bus company.
Railroads in New York State

All-time list of railroad names in New York State

Some interesting things about New York State Railroads, mostly New York Central Railroad

The one source to go to for railroad history.

Even more great railroad links.

The Several Railroads of Troy

In 1826 a railroad was projected, to run from Troy to Schenectady, but it didn't gain support because the citizens had the Erie and Champlain Canals.

The people of Albany thought otherwise and pushed for a railroad to Schenectady. They got their railroad in 1832. Troy had a lot of trade with the north, especially, Saratoga Springs and Washington County. The people of Albany attempted to grab some of this trade by building a railroad from Schenectady to Saratoga. So Troy then pushed for a railroad to Ballston Spa. It was called the Rensselaer & Saratoga railroad. The first passenger train crossed the bridge between Troy and Green Island. The northern terminus of the road was in the south end of the village of Ballston Spa, and the southern terminus was at No. 10 First street, Troy. From the bridge the cars were drawn by horses down River street, turning into First in front of the Troy house, the engine leaving the train at the bridge. While the Rensselaer & Saratoga road extended only as far north as Ballston Spa, the Schenectady branch of the Mohawk & Hudson road had been built as far north as Saratoga Springs, the latter road thereby securing a monopoly of the traffic between Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa. But the Rensselaer & Saratoga purchased control in the other road. This kept Troy as a commercial center.

The State Legislature in 1836, passed an act incorporating the Schenectady & Troy Railroad company. Work was begun in 1840 upon the road connecting Troy and Schenectady. The expense of the work, $649,142, was borne by the city of Troy, which bonded itself for that amount. The first regular trains were run over the road beginning in 1842, the cars being drawn by horses across the Rensselaer & Saratoga railroad bridge to the company's office on River street. In the spring of the following year the tracks were extended along River street from the Troy house to State Street, in order that both roads might land and receive passengers and freight at the steamboat landing.

In 1845, the Troy & Greenbush Railroad company was chartered. The road extended to Washington street, at which point it intersected the Schenectady & Troy railroad, and the cars were drawn by horses over the track on River street to the station built in 1845 at the intersection of River and King streets. This road was leased to the Hudson River Railroad Company. Through trains between Troy and New York began running on the new road. That road (currently just north of the Troy-Menands bridge) was the location of the Burden Iron Works. They made cast iron, and produced coke from coal to burn in the blast furnace. The gas released from the coal in the heating process to make coke was called "Producer Gas" and was captures in large tanks and sold thru out all of south Troy to heat and light homes, and street lights. In the Civil War, the Iron plates for the Union Ironclad "USS Monitor" were manufactured at this mill.

Troy's fourth railroad, the Boston & Maine, arrived later.

Schenectady to Troy




Schenectady 0.0 Signal Station 8 open day and night in 1949
Aqueduct 3.82
Niskayuna 9.82
Mohawk View 12.11
Dunsbach Ferry 13.94
Crescent 15.49 Open weekdays 8-5 in 1949
Cohoes 17.78 Open 8-5 in 1949
Green Island 20.78
Troy 20.78 Troy Union Railroad

Carman Cutoff in Schenectady, New York

The Carman Branch (now called Carman Sub-Division) connects the Chicago Line with the Selkirk Branch. It splits off at CP-156 on the Chicago Line (Near Chrisler Ave). The Carman Branch joins the Selkirk Branch at CP-SH in South Schenectady. The branch was re-designated the "Carman Running Track" in 1996 when Conrail applied to the Surface Transportation Board to remove signals from it.

The Chicago Line is single track through Schenectady with the exception of the 15,750' controlled siding between CP-156 and CP-159 (Sch'dy station).
ALCO pictures Click at the left to check out some great ALCO pictures by Steve Myers, including the former shop switcher that remained in the plant long after ALCO closed. Green Island Bridge
Click at top to read a story about Troy Railroad Stations

Schenectady Railway's Trolley Line

Just past Aqueduct Road and just past the end of the auto graveyard there are some stone abutments. There is also a low stone wall bordering the bike path along the full length of the auto dump but ending at this structure. Same type of stones I think. It's about 10-12 feet tall, so it's a pretty big pile of rock, not just part of the wall.

The two track Schenectady Railway trolley line crossed the river and then went thru Alplaus (past an amusement park) and on to Saratoga. There was also a single track trolley line which extended down to cross the river (on the highway bridge) and into Rexford. This may have had to cross over the canal if it was built before the canal was abandoned. At one time, the track imbedded in the deck of the former highway bridge at Rexford. There was also stonework at the end of the dam which diverted water into the feeder canal.

You can see from the map that the Schenectady Railway ROW came off of Aqueduct Road at an eastward angle and curved north to cross the Mohawk River and Erie Canal. Most of the piers for the bridge are still in the river.

Timeline of the Troy & Schenectady

Year Event
1835 First Green Island Bridge completed by the Rensselaer & Saratoga
1836 Construction begins
1840 Troy borrows $600,000 to build line
1842 Line complete
1851 Troy Union Railroad formed
1854 Troy Union Railroad completed in downtown Troy
1862 Green Island Bridge burns along with most of Troy
1876 New Green Island Bridge completed
1900 New railroad station built in Troy
1932 End of passenger service on the T&S
1950 Tank plant built on Hillside Avenue in Schenectady.
1958 Troy station demolished.
1959-1960 Tracks in downtown Troy torn up except one for the "Rutland Milk"
1964 Delaware & Hudson abandones its operations into Troy and over the Green Island Bridge.
Remaining track through downtown Troy removed.
1965 Railroad cut between Crescent and Niskayuna
1976 Conrail formed. D&H named operator of branch from Green Island to Crescent.
1977 Green Island Bridge falls into the river.
Sandbank Yard in Scotia shut.
1980 T&S bridges over D&H Colonie Main and D&H Green Island Bridge removed
1984 Conrail "Aqueduct Secondary" (the little bit of the T&S that remained) was formally abandoned.

American Museum of Electricity

The collection of the American Museum of Electricity was stored (in the early 60's) on the Niskayuna section of the T&S (approximately mile marker 5...Aqueduct...Balltown Rd area was 3.8) right next to Lock Seven Road. In the 60's, the line had been cut to a point where there was a bridge over Lock Seven Road.

The collection was kind of unique, but the museum didn't make it. The collection went several ways:
A couple of Chicago North Shore interurbans, a box electric motor and the "Ponemah" went to Warehouse Point. The Ponemah was a very early electric locomotive that had switched an old textile plant in Taftville, Connecticut.
A Panama Canal locomotive went to Transportation Museum in Roanoke.
The NY Central S-Motor went to the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter NRHS.

The Ponemah:
Engine# 1386
Status: On display, work in progress.
Constructed: 1894
Received: 1971
Operator: Ponemah Mills
Manufacturer: General Electric
Weight: 35 Tons
Length: 24 Feet
Motors: (4) General Electric Schenectady, NY
Brakes: Train Air K14F
Controls: K35-HH
Type: Double truck, steeple cab, steel direct-electric freight locomotive.

To see this locomotive, visit the Connecticut Trolley Museum

Troy Stations

Troy's first depot was the "Troy House" on River Street, lasting until the move to Sixth Avenue in 1851. The second one burned in the Great Fire. The third one was built shortly afterwards, and lasted until 1900, when it was replaced by a more "modern" one. The architect firm of Reed & Stem, who had already been commissioned by the NY Central to work on Grand Central Terminal, used the Troy station to test out some of their concepts. The Troy station was one of the earliest to forego the massive train shed in favor of individual platform umbrella sheds. Passengers reached the platforms by means of an underground passageway, rather than crossing the tracks at grade.
spur to the ALCO tank plant Here's where the spur to the ALCO tank plant left the branch.
3.8 miles from Schenectady
Niskayuna Station Niskayuna Station
9.8 miles from Schenectady
Green Island Green Island
20.8 miles from Schenectady
Pictures above complements of Gino's Rail Page.
Snow Belt in New York State Boonville Station There is a "Snow Belt" in New York State that runs above Syracuse and Utica. It goes East from Oswego to at least Boonville. Here's the station at Boonville.

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