Manhattan has the High Line, Poughkeepsie has the Walkway Over The Hudson. Both of which were also viewed not too long ago as crazy ideas.
Turn the Beacon Line into an outside art walk, like Storm King Art Center.
Going to Beacon for a weekend daytrip would become a huge thing. It can of course interconnect with Scenic Hudson's planned Fishkill Greenway. Bikes too.
This would really work. They run trains on the Beacon Line what, once a year? It could be done in such a way that the art would not interfere with the tracks, the trail can be made safe for tourists, and the whole thing would be temporary.
MTA: give us our frigging Beacon Line. ANYTHING on the Beacon Line, except a weed lot.
there's this from 2002
i could have sworn a 2004/2005 trip, but the mention of the 2004 trip here links to 2002 pictures:
there's two bridges, the one over the hudson line tracks, and the one over the entrance to the old hat factory
the timbers aren't structural, the bridges are fine. for bikes/ people they just need a walkway surface between the rails (otherwise you're standing on bare open air timbers watching amtrak going by at 70 mph under your feet, which i've done, and isn't very fun)
Jim Sedore is the Dutchess County rep for MTA. I think he is a Beacon resident.
Something to shuttle tourists to the east end of Main would be a good start. Just sell it as temporary. One of those old 5hp track worker shuttles pulling some kind of wagon would work. Some body could find some old piece of working machinery somewhere. How about an old pump cart? Find some old retired Railfan to run it like they do at the old RR museums.I can't imagine there would be too much insurance on something that is not much more dangerous than walking. The tracks can support work vechicles currently. We are along way off population wise from needing anything more.
Alan: Jim Sedore is in Fishkill.
The problem with that idea is that you have to cross the Hudson Line tracks to get to Beacon Station. And to do so, you need to adhere to federal legal guidelines about rail car standards. Which makes sense: you don't want a dinky shuttle deciding to stall in front of an Amtrak train bearing down at 70 mph.
But there is a solution that makes the dinky shuttle possible: http://beaconline.org/spur.htm
There's a spur line that goes to the West parking lot, buried in the trees. You can see it from the Klara Sauer trail. So you don't need to cross the Hudson Line tracks to get to Beacon station. Which means you can run a shuttle without going afoul of federal rail guidelines, you just close off the Beacon Line from the rest of the rail network. Although you obviously need to do a lot of work on the old spur line, which costs $, but not a prohibitive amount.
Look: I'm for ANY idea, that anyone can think of. Just filling in between the rails with sand and using it for bikes works for me. The Fishkill Greenway being planned will be geared towards hikers, not bikes.
We are beginning to see the dawn of a biking nirvanna up here in the Hudson Valley. The Dutchess county rail trail is going to link across the Hudson with the Walkway over the Hudson soon, which means access to the Highland Rail Trail and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
It would be pretty awesome to get Beacon on this dedicated biking trail network running from Kingston to New Paltz to Orange County... and also connecting across to Poughkeepsie and Hopewell Junction.
We definitely want in on that.
So come on MTA!
RE:Jim Sedore is the Dutchess County rep for MTA
yes he is and he lives in Fishkill - take note of this latter - MTA/MNRR did a feasibility study in 2000 for the Beacon line BUT not at the heavily populated,with major employers,(even in 2000 there was and still is IBM,the Gap dist. center and that whole Merrit Blvd. complex in Fishkill was being built then) western end from the Hudson line to Hopewell Jct.,rather the study was from Hopewell Jct. EAST in the sparsley populaterd scenic mtn. RR section - Stormville,Poughquag,West Pawling (NY state DEC Depot Hill and the AT) - it was almost like they (MNRR) wanted to prove that restoration of psngr svc. on the BL was not feasible ...
and in regards to rail vehicles and a shuttle train between the Hudson line to Fishkill or to HJ - Metro North already have the equipment for branch line/shuttle train svc. - operational and in use on MNRR's other branch lines - the small Brookville BL20-GH work/branch line psngr locos
with the relatively quick restoration of svc. on the Hudson line after hurricane Sandy,it is clear if MNRR wanted to,there could be a shuttle train on the BL in a couple of months or less - besides the the track repairs (new ties) and the grade xng signaling restoration to go from EXEMPT to ACTIVE,all that would be needed is a asphalt low,'quickie' station stop (FYI:the Bombardier coaches have drop down steps for low platform stations)
and once again I see that reference to that old,old wood timber bridge - this is NOT the Beacon line - I guess I should give a local RR history lesson here - way back when,when there were rail lines criss-crossing Dutches county there wasa BRANCH line that went from the Hudson line at/near Dutchess Jct. and through a place called Wicopee Jct. (dif place than where the IBM is in E. Fishkill (I don't have all the info in front of me - may have started in Wicopee Jct. at the Hudson and through DJ),then OVER Tioronda Falls,here this branch line jct. with a SPUR line that went to Fishkill Lndng. (now Long Dock Park - it is the remnents of this spur that BR references to) andall the way to the big rail yard/rail hub at Hopewell Jct. with connection to the dbl track Maybrook 'main line' which went to Danbury CT and beyond
then near the turn of the 20th cent the track was removed (at this time there was also a fire that destroyed the Dutchess Jct. station) to Tioronda Falls and so now there was a contiguous sngl track from the Hudson line to the Maybrook line in HJ - at some point the very last section of this Fishkill Lndng/Hopewell Jct. combined spur/branch line to the river (before the Pok-Hghlnd RR bridge was opened in 1888 ferries were used to get rail cars to the west Hudson) was removed with the connection to the HL intact
1974 - a fire on the Pok-Hghlnd bridge ends trans Hudson rail freight svc.
1983 - Conrail,the freight RR at the time,takes out the track fgrom Maybrook to Hopewell Jct, there is now no longer a rail junction in Hopewell,they also take out the second track to Danbury - this now leaves a contiguous sngl track from the Hudson line in Beacon to Danbury CT and beyond going north along the Housatonic river - now called the Beacon-Danbury line
1995 - MNRR purchases this line up to Danbury for $4.3M - the line eventualy becomes simply known as the 'Beacon line' - the news article I had read at the time also indicated that there would also be a trail along/on this line - I was not aware at the time of a rail AND trail like the Klara Sauer trail,and so this was a bit confusing to my self
1997 - (I think that is the year) the first section of the Hudson Valley RT on the old Maybrook line ROW opens
1998 - I receive letter from my then representative,Congress woman Sue Kelly in that letter she indicates funding for, what is now the Dutchess RT, has been aproved for a 'bike-walk' trail (her term) on the Maybrook line ROW
2007 - phase 1 first section,in E. Fishkill,of the Dutchess RT opens - this first section does not go to the very very end - HJ 0.0 - at the depot (yes... it took NINE years)
2009 - phase 2 of the DRT opens here in Pok. in the early summer - October of that year the Walkway Over The Hudson state park trailway on the old Maybrook line RR bridge opens
2010 - October,on the first aniv. of the above WOTH,the phase 2 eastern extension to the WOTH of the HV RT opens - there is now a contiguous RT from Parker Ave. in the C.O.P. to the Tony Williams twn. of Lloyd park in Ulster county
2011 - phase 3 of the DRT opens on Memorial day weekend - with phase 1 and that very last 6/10 of a mile section to the depot, there is now a 8.3 mi. section of contiguous RT from the twn of Pok. behind Page Lumber to the,now fully restored depot, in Hopewell Jct. twn of E. Fishkill - again without the info in front of me nerar the end of last yerar or earlier this year? Senator Schumer negotiated a deal with CSX for the 'friends' of the Walkway (www.walkway.org) to aquire the 8/10 of a mile section of ROW from the very very east end of the WOTH to Morgan lake the northern terminus of the DRT- the ROW property will be given to the county for dev. asa link RT
2012 - hurricane Sandy ALL MTA rail svc. is shut down just prior to storm and during storm - ALL MTA rail svc. is afected post storm - on the Hudson line Croton-Harmon is underwater,track washout and a boat on the tracks near Ossining - amazingly svc. is restored in just a weeks time - the upper Harlem line (or Wasaaic branch as MNRR refers to this section) will take longer - this storm raised the 'what if' question - what if the Hudson line was heavily damaged as was the Port Jervis line post Irene and it took MONTHS or LONGER to restore svc.? how would rail commuters north of the afected section of the HL get to their destination to the south? well... the answer my friends is not blowing in the wind but at your feet when at the Roundhouse - the BEACON LINE - AM diesel express trains from Pok. would be switched over to the BL and then down the HARLEM LINE from the SOUTHEAST station to GCT - rail commuters just south of Beacon could be bused to the HL Beacon station then as above - this could have helped the upper Harlem line rail commuters as well - they could have been bused around the afected area to say Pawling then to Southeast where they would take the AM HL-BL expresss big diesel 'super chief' to GCT - I'll bet nobody thought of this at MNRR
This is a terrible idea:
1) Why ruin a beautiful partially wooded ride with artwork?
2) "and this is the sort of thing that will really benefit east main and the beacon theatre: shunt all the dia generated tourists thataways"
The infrastructure of dowtown Beacon is already pushed well beyond it's means. Main Street is a mess to navigate 90% of the time (not to mention many roads around it are one way & add more problems to ones travel). And you want to push MORE traffic towards the east end where The Roundhouse has already created a congestion headache. You should be thinking 5 steps ahead instead of only at the dollar signs you see in the present.
Albert: the point of using the Beacon Line is to reduce congestion.