One little bit of tri-state rail obscura about by which I am fascinated is the Hospital Branch in Poughkeepsie.
After the bridge burned in '74 and the Maybrook Line to the east was abandoned in '80, customers up the hill in Poughkeepsie were only accessible by this funny little route, which involved a switchback and some steep grades
The line made it all the way through Conrail, but (sources conflict) either CSX or the town of Poughkeepsie was reluctant to continue its operation. Last train ran sometime btwn 1999 and 2001, and after an abortive attempt to make it into a short line tracks were lifted in 2005.
A geographic representation of the area, courtesy of Open Railway Map

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More from @A320Lga

17 Nov
I really don't think there's any bit of railroad anywhere in the US that screams "electrify me" more than Metra's Suburban Branch of the Rock Island District.
With twelve stops in seven miles through relatively dense neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side, the line has the stop spacing of a subway, but is run with agonizingly slow-accelerating diesel equipment -- which also contributes to air pollution in surrounding communities
The line also faces little interference from freight traffic and is owned by Metra; this is one of (surprisingly many) places in the Chicago region where you could pretty easily make real regional rail-style improvements without running into freight railroad opposition
Read 6 tweets
14 Nov
You may be thinking: 9 minutes to go from 3rd Avenue to E180!? That's great! It's not. @NYCTSubway seems to have used express runtimes with local stops interpolated in for 5 service on White Plains Road this weekend. Not the end of the world, but it sure won't help lateness! Image
It also looks like we've got some 30 second scheduled headways on Lex this weekend. Again, not the end of the world, but not great either! Image
Also, @NYCTSubway, I'm not sure what the backend changes that would be required to do this are, but would it be possible to look into making sure that every trip in the supplemented GTFS has a shape_id associated with it?
Read 6 tweets
16 Oct
The LGA EIS has been torn to shreds already, but I just want to hone in on the reasons they chose for rejecting Alt 8B (N to LGA over 31 St and 19 Av) for one sec. They'
The formal reason for rejecting this alt is that it has the potential to disrupt infra during its construction. Specifically, the report writers are concerned about impacts to NEC service, and to sewer infrastruction.
The former line of reasoning has me perplexed. This is the detail they give on the potential impacts to the NEC, but folks, no new-build section of this route crosses the NEC! The NEC crosses the N just south of Ditmars; the new stretch of track would begin beyond it.
Read 6 tweets
14 Aug
.@akgerber successfully goaded me into making a southwards bend, so we're making a detour down to Morgantown WV, aiming to resume normal route back at Johnstown #SEANYC Image
On one of these mountain-defying highways. Geographic aesthetics aside, road building really transformed the jobs geography of river towns: post-highways, industry/employment had an unprecedented ability to sprawl away from valley sites/routes.

Some of the stuff seen yesterday in McKeesport is just that: malls (and office/industrial parks) in the Mon Valley wouldn't have been nearly as possible if activity had been constrained to rail/water-proximate valley sites
Read 672 tweets
21 Jul
Entering Milwaukee #SEANYC Image
These densely packed single fam houses have a strong 1940s/50s Canadian/LA suburb feel to them: Image
This sad looking bit of track may not look like much, but is in fact the last remnant of Milwaukee's storied Beer Line, a once-bustling industrial route through the city owned by the Milwaukee RR. We'll be loosely tracking this ROW. #SEANYC Image
Read 596 tweets
20 Jul
Oshkosh, WI #SEANYC ImageImageImage
I always love it when streetview veers into a parking lot. You get a sense for where the photo car stopped along its journey. #SEANYC Image
You can't really see it in this pic, but it's worth remarking on car shredding machines. They completely revolutionized car recycling by making it easier to separate component materials of old cars, helping ameliorate the issue of abandoned cars in the 70s and 80s. #SEANYC Image
Read 595 tweets

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