Friday, May 8, 2009

Following the Albany & Hudson route from Electric Park to Albany

The Electric Park Depot a century ago

A hundred years ago Electric Park was a popular weekend destination for working people from Albany and throughout Columbia County, although one marred by tragedies on the electric railway that carried them to this amusement park.

Remains of Albany & Hudson Bridge over Valatie Creek

The route of the railway north from the site of the old Electric Park is clear but can only be followed a short way on foot. We took route 203 north, which parallels the line, and inspected the remains of the railway bridge over Valatie Creek, which is on Little Lake Road

North Chatham Depot in 2009

In North Chatham, we saw the reconstruction work on the depot, and continued on 203 to Nassau, where the line passes the Stewarts shop.

Railway route passes Stewarts shop in Nassau.

From Nassau, we followed county route 7 toward the next stop on the line, East Schodack.

Nassau Lake on county road 7

The railway passed close by Nassau Lake, a beautiful little body of water surrounded by private homes and camps.

ATV on railway route in East Schodack

In East Schodack we found a long stretch of the old route in regular use by walkers and ATV riders. Biking along this route, we met a convoy of seven ATVs. We also found the largest rock cut on the line.

Rock cut by Albany & Hudson in East Schodack

To reach the next stop, East Greenbush, the rail route crossed the present location of Interstate 90 just east of Exit 10, Miller Road. The fatal accident of 1901 was reported to have occurred near a bluff in East Greenbush, and the only place meeting that description near here is just about where the line crosses the Interstate. Perhaps someday a marker will be erected to remember the tragedy, which is described in detail on an earlier entry on Upstate Earth.

Railway route through Capital Corporate
Campus in East Greenbush

On the other side of I-90, the route crosses the modern Capital Corporate Campus and then runs parallel, and just to the north, of combined route 9 /20 through the busy shopping area of East Greenbush.

Rail route passes W.F. Bruen Hose Company

The route intersects such streets as Elliot Road and Greenwood Avenue and then follows Southern Avenue (perhaps named for the Albany & Southern line?) past the W.F. Bruen Firehouse
Railway route past K-Mart

The route then crosses 9/20 and heads between the K-Mart and the closed OTB, after which point it was difficult to follow.

We picked up the route again a mile or so to the west where it crosses the intersection of Aiken Avenue and Red Mill Road in Rensselaer and from that point downhill to intersect with the railroad line.

Albany & Hudson probably joined other rail lines near this trestle

We conjectured that the Albany & Hudson connected with the railway line near the present trestle on Aiken Avenue near South Street, and from that point followed on its own electric track into downtown Albany. The Albany & Hudson owned the rail bridge from Rensselaer and Albany and evidently sold access to other rail lines.

An Albany & Hudson electric car near
New York Central station in Albany

Old photos are courtesy of Don Ross.

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! I am still in the process of creating an Albany & Hudson Trolley Page on my trolley

    Keep up the great work!