Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



Against the Incline Railway, For a Walking-Path Rail-Trail

Some comments to the Poughkeepsie Journal article about the prospective renovation of Beacon Incline Railway. We propose an alternative possibility: Transforming the old rail-line in Beacon into a walking path akin to the one in New Paltz, Millerton, and other towns, rather than wasting resources on an unnecessary relic of an incline railway on Mt. Beacon. 

Please see comments here:

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Comment by Andy Brown on February 7, 2011 at 7:57pm
I was in my yard mowing this summer when an elderly couple pulled over and stopped by my fence.  I live on East Main going up toward the mountain.  They told me they hadn't been in Beacon for a while and wanted to know how to get the train that went up the mountain.  It was so sweet. I really wished I could have told them the incline was running.
Comment by Steve Knowles on February 7, 2011 at 11:24am
I like the incline railway and rail trail initiatives, but I hope that the people involved with the Walkway over the Hudson don't get involved!  There is no reasonable construction project involving 1.5 miles of paving that could cost more than 30 million dollars!  (I tried to get some serious inquiry into that project before construction began, but the Poughkeepsie Journal, being the biggest promoters of that project, would have not part if looking into it)  Somebody heavily lined their pockets on the walkway project, so you definitely don't want anyone involved with that helping with the inclined railway or rail trail initiatives!
Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 4:03pm

Charlie: agreed on all. However, when it comes to James Watkins/ Charlene Vesuvius... look what they posted here:


"I don't think this kind of high end real estate like the roundhouse project will serve Beacon other than to continue to divide the have and have not residents of this city."


What?! LOL. Classic Charlene Vesuvius trolling. Racism, antisemitism, homophobia, class warfare... all the Charlene Vesuvius greatest hits. Of course these problems are real. But it's quite the effort to shoehorn these issues into a discussion about an incline railway. And do you remember the contrived attack on 4th Wall's Beacon Theater Project last year? These are not valid alternative opinions, these are fabricated baseless attempts at incitement.


I admire the dedication, and the troll even says some useful things sometimes, and yet... they always have to go that one step further. Kind of a shame actually, because whoever this person is, they obviously do care about Beacon.


None of this is news to you: you are well aware of the exploits of Our Famous Troll, being that your very nickname here is an homage to this odd person's exploits. So you know that we are dealing with a special case here. But given the troll's new account, perhaps you should rename yourself Jim Waxman or Jamie Wilson to continue with the homage!


Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 3:04pm

roject with the incline railway project, somehow.


For those of you scoffing: yes, I agree, this is getting a little far-fetched. But these are just visions, possibilities, they don't have to happen. It's just good to talk about them, get the ideas out there, and maybe something superior can be figured out.

Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 3:03pm

Charlie: the same thing happened to me. The comment box has a size limit but it doesn't warn you, so your comment gets sliced. Nice bug >:-(


You have a genuine complaint about traffic, parking, crowding, trash, etc.


I have one solution, but it only increases the cost. But I've heard Mt. Beacon Incline Railway people talk about the idea before, so it's not my zany idea alone: a trolley car.


Heck, you can combine it with the Beacon Line if you revive that. This doesn't exclude the hikers and bikers: rail-with-trail is an established concept and runs the paths alongside the tracks.


The site I maintain talks about light rail, but as many noted, including John Fasulo: all you would need is a dinky little electric thing, you don't need a MetroNorth diesel engine. On one end, you couldn't really turn off on 9D: no way to make the connection. Maybe, wiggle through side streets in East Beacon via Churchill Street or East Main to get to the foot of the mountain.


On the other end, there is the old spur line that goes to the West parking lot at Beacon Station. You could pick up tourists there and drop them off at the foot of the incline railway. I took the blurb about the spur line on my site down, I'll put it back up: the issue is the spur line doesn't have to be revived if you use a "real" train that can cross the Hudson Line main tracks, but you'd have to revive the spur line buried in the weeds currently if you want to run a dinky trolley, because M.T.A., CSX, and Amtrak will never let a dinky trolley cross the main tracks to get to the wooden platform to the East End of Beacon Station stop.


Yes, we are talking about an expensive proposition (the incline railway) and making it even more expensive now. But Charlie brings up valid points about traffic and parking.


I'll revive the spur line write up on , and mention tying the beacon line p

Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 11:03am

Person behind the James Watkin's account:


As I said before, if you are not the same troll behind the old Charlene Vesuvius account, I will remove my shoe, slice it up, saute it, and eat it.


And it is quite funny, CV, to hear you complain about disdainful tones and personal attacks. LOL. Thanks for the laugh!


Comment by James Watkins on February 4, 2011 at 10:58am
Mr. Royce, I don't understand your continued personal attacks, disdainful tone, and consistent and public association of me with someone else.  I've been told that every site like this one has a cyber bully like you and it is best to ignore you, but I feel I have to express my concern every now and then.  That said, it seems to me wrong to equate an international museum project like dia, with a local condo and hotel development.  I don't think this kind of high end real estate like the roundhouse project will serve Beacon other than to continue to divide the have and have not residents of this city.  That's just my opinion.
Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 10:21am
rrounding area? Pick another incline railway from the list, anyone, ask the same question.

The only problem is getting over the hump of the initial investment. But once you do that, you begin to pay back on the investment, then you are generating revenue, for the incline railway, and businesses in Beacon, and the City of Beacon. Money to the city that does not have to come from your tax assessment. See how that works?

Welcome to Business 101.

The only thing that your post and "Resident Beacon"'s post says to me is that some people in this world have a profound lack of basic business sense.
Comment by Ben Royce on February 4, 2011 at 10:13am

James Watkins/ Charlene Vesuvius/ Beacon's resident troll, I'll bite:


"Not everybody has drunk their cool aid about the interconnectiveness of these very different projects."


That "cool aid" is a basic fundamental concept of business development and civic development. If you don't understand how a big project anchors a bunch of other little ventures and growth, you are failing to understand something very remedial here. How many examples do you want exactly? An anchor store at a mall driving the filling of the smaller store spaces? A highway exit bringing in hotels and gas stations?


How about this example: Dia anchored Beacon's renaissance. Without Dia, a lot of what is going on in Beacon would not be as far along as it is today. Do you doubt that?


So OF COURSE these projects are interrelated. This is not an opinion, this is demonstrable business fact. Do you want a couple of thousand more examples? Infrastructure investments drive money and growth in other projects, on small scales and large. "If you build it they will come" is not a lame line from a Kevin Costner movie. It's solid bedrock principle of pretty much all business ventures ever proposed: build off existing growth.


Furthermore, the incline railway is not a pipe dream, it is a lost part of our history that rightfully should be restored. Not out of nostalgia, but for a more crass purpose: because it will bring in lots of revenue to the city. You know, offset your taxes? What could a restored incline do for Beacon?


Pick one of those. Any one. Here's one at random:


How much revenue does that thing generate? How much tourist traffic and tourist money does it drive to the su

Comment by john fasulo on February 4, 2011 at 9:33am


  I guess who ever "resident Beacon" is' ... he/she doesn't  have the conviction to identify  themselves. I'll be brief... History was made here  from the revolution to  silent movies.. 

 The Incline RR will be an asset  to Beacon..We are all about history; The factories are long gone.. but

their historical place in  our growth as a nation needs to not be  forgotten...

More when I've fixed the computer problem Im having...and I'LL Sign my name


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