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Upper Hudson River Railroad May 17, 2010

by Chris Guenzler

After Randy and I got up at the Best Western at Lake George and had breakfast we drove northwest to North Creek to board the first of our rare mileage trips. We parked the rental car and I started walking around.

Upper Hudson River Railroad 5019.

Upper Hudson River Railroad Alco 5 was the plant switcher at the Alco Plant in Schenectady.

Our Excursion Train

Our train consisted of Alco 5, Coach CN 4970, Open Air UHRR 107, Coach CN 5038, Coach CN 5033, Open Air UHRR 108 and Caboose UHRR 100.

UHRR Caboose 100.

The rear end of our excursion train today.

UHRR Caboose 101.

Bart Jennings, Greg and the Conductor had a chat before departure time.

A Brief History

In 1848 the Sackets Harbor & Saratoga Railroad was organized to connect the two towns and tap an iron mines at Sanford Lake. Surveys were made in 1853 and in 1854 ground was broken. The company was reorganized as the Lake Ontario & Hudson River Railroad in 1857. In 1860 it was reorganized again into the Adirondack Estate & Railroad Company. Construction of the railroad in 1865 reached Saratoga Springs. Funds for construction ran out after reaching Wolf Creek in late 1865. On November 1, 1865 the company was seized for non payment of $1.3 million in bills. New track work began during late spring of 1866 with the goals of reaching traffic sources at Warrensburg and North Creek. In 1871 service began to North Creek. On September 29, 1881 the railroad failed again this time with 10 million dollars in interest payments and bonds. On June 11, 1889 the line was sold to the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company with complete control not taking place until 1902. At that time it became known as the Adirondack Branch of the Delaware Hudson Railroad. North Creek was the northern end of the line until the development of titanium and iron mines and processing plant beside Lake Sanford. On May 29, 1957 the last regular passenger train operated over the line. Fall foliage, ski trains and numerous excursion trains operated over the branch until early 1980's. On November 7, 1989 rail service to the ore mines ended with a 58 car ore train pulled by four engines leaving just International Paper Company in Cornith as the last on line rail shipper. In 2003 IP closed their Cornith Mill and all service on the line ended. To preserve the line, in 2006 the Town of Cornith bought 16 miles of the line for 2.2 Million Dollars. In 1998 Warren County bought the track to run excursion trains in interest of tourism and economic development. In 1999 the Upper Hudson River Railroad was contracted to run excursion trains over 8.5 miles from North Creek to Riverside Station. The track was later rebuilt from Riverside to Hadley. Today the railroad operates from the 90 foot turntable in North Creek southward to the 96 foot high bridge in Hadley.

The Trip

Our trip will be following the Hudson River south to Cornith.

Views of the Upper Hudson River.

Some places you have trees along the river and the train.

The bridge we had driven across this morning on the way to North Creek. We arrived into Riverside and unloaded for the first Photo Runby of the morning.

The highway bridge at Riverside we would use to shoot the train on the runby.

The back up move. I moved for to the grade crossing for my Photo Runby.

The Photo runby at Riverside.

The Delaware & Hudson Station in Riverside. We all reboarded the train.

The train left Riverside.

Cabins across the Hudson River.

Views along the Hudson River.

The train takes a curve.

Views along the Hudson River.

Mill Creek.

Views along the Hudson River.

Highway Bridge across the Hudson River.

The highway heads to the bridge.

New platform at Thurman.


Views along the Hudson River.

Curving into Stony Creek.

Views along the Hudson River.

Click here for Part 2 of this story