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The Beacon Line Project website: new content

Frequent issues involving Beacon's growth center on transportation. And we have a relic of Beacon's industrial past, the Beacon Line, running right through our city. Even more amazing (considering it is not currently used) is that the line is owned and maintained by the M.T.A.

 

The Beacon Line Project is a long term advocacy group centered on finding ways to use this line. Whether light rail, scenic walking, biking, alone or in combination, the Beacon Line Project aims to draw attention to the line and potential plans for its use and to keep the drum beat alive until one vision or another is realized.

 

The site is maintained by myself. It has added content under the advisory of Kevin Newman of Poughkeepsie, transit expert, and John Fasulo, photographer at large.

 

Currently the site addresses 3 visions for using the line and land surrounding the line:

 

A Light Rail Transit Plan

 

A Biking/ Scenic Walk Plan

 

An alternative Rail-with-Trail Plan

 

There are other visions as well. Which vision should dominate?

 

Visit the site and contact us at the Beacon Line Project to submit your own ideas or to contribute in other ways to the worthy cause. The only thing that is not acceptable is the current status quo: that a potent transportation alternative, owned by a transit agency no less, should run right through our city, and simply lie fallow.

 

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Tags: MTA, beacon line, beacon line project

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Comment by Ben Royce on February 1, 2011 at 12:54pm

Steve:

 

when you say you run between madam brett and dennings point, you mean you go over the rr bridge over the main tracks? that's scary! i only did that once, never again

 

what i do is i take the madam brett trails to the cinder path alongside the main hudson line tracks, then loop up and around over the dennings avenue bridge. it's longer, but more solid footing, and since you're running, hey, longer work out

 

although what i do is still a little dangerous because now you have amtrak trains 10 feet away going 70 mph. but i still see lots of bikers and joggers doing the same thing as me

 

the deeper issue then is that the MTA has a real need to allow some sort of connection between dennings point and madam brett, simply because the MTA doesn't want us 10 feet away from high speed trains on the main hudson line tracks. its a safety issue, and the MTA has to allow us to make the connection the right way

 

as for the health of the beacon line rr bridge: they DID run a train trip over it, in 2004. the bridge is solid, just old. there's infrastructure in grand central which is oldier and rustier but gets daily use. although there IS degradation on the beacon line... in brewster. but that just means you can't take a train to danbury, not that that is anything on anyone's radar as a possibility

 

and i actually don't think they should pave between the ties, although many other people have proposed that, and its certainly an improvement over what we have now. they should allow a cinder trail alongside the beacon line tracks, like the klara sauer trail cuts now. just cut across the edge of the old dump site, then where the land becomes level with the beacon line, start a cinder train to south avenue. see "alternative rail-with-trail" tab on the beaconline.org site to see how it would map

 

Comment by Steve Knowles on January 31, 2011 at 4:51pm

I was considering writing to MTA to ask if they had considered "donating" (for a major tax write-off) the track and right-of-way to a non-profit group for conversion to a walkway. (just don't get the people who did the walkway over the Hudson involved; that would result a few million per mile!)  I run/walk on the portion of track between the Madam Brett park and Dennings Point a lot.  In the 11 years I have lived in Beacon, I have never seen, nor seen evidence, of any train using the tracks.  I believe the RR bridge over the main Metro North line would not pass inspection; the ties are very rotten, some to the point of being hollow.  I heard a couple of years ago that some "nostalgic" train trip was being planned that included use of this line between Beacon and some point well east.  I don't think that trip ever happened, and I wonder if it's because a track inspection revealed it wouldn't be safe to use that bridge.

If a walkway is limited to the width of the rails, then the cost SHOULD be very low to pave it; it would involve filling the space between the ties.  If cost estimates for paving are requested, they should be for paving X thickness between already established borders X inches high. (not saying what the linear paving is for)  If bids are solicited for a public walkway, the estimates will be jacked up because when contractors see it's a group-funded project, they think overcharging is not a big deal, since the overcharge is spread out among so many people.

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