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Hudson Walkway & Catskill Trains

Adventurers in New England

Chapter Four

Walkway over the Hudson and Catskill Trains


Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

June 13, 2015

After loading the car and leaving the motel, our first stop was for breakfast at McDonald's which was an easy find because it was across the road from the Subway shop. Then we were headed west towards Poughkeepsie, Walkway bridge and Marist College.

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Our good ride for the next two weeks.

From Dover Plains, NY we take NY-343 to NY-82 and then on to US-44. Our first venue was Marist College, just north of Poughkeepsie. This week my nephew Struan, graduated from high school in Honolulu and has chosen to attend Marist College so I have the chance to check out his new digs.
Originally settled by the Dutch, Poughkeepsie became the state capital in 1777. The city is built on the rocky terraces rising 250 feet above the Hudson River and the level plateau above.

Marist College. Liberal arts college on the Hudson River. Home to approximately 4,100 traditional undergraduate men and women, 1,100 adult continuing education students, and another 1,000 graduate students. In 1947, the first graduating class of modern-day Marist College consisted of four Marist Brothers. Today, close to 30,000 alumni and alumnae call Marist alma mater; offers professional training to business, government and nonprofit organizations. Marist's Art Gallery (Steel Plant Studios) showcases faculty, student and Hudson Valley artists. Musicals, plays and lectures in the Nelly Goletti Theatre and new music building's Fusco Recital Hall and Symphonic Hall. Men's and women's NCAA Division 1 athletic contests on site as well as crew races on the Hudson River. Longview Park overlooks a scenic stretch of the Hudson River along the Marist waterfront.

Marist College follows in the tradition of great institutions like Harvard University and the College of William and Mary that were founded as seminaries and developed into independent academies of higher learning.

Marist College

College crew with Walkway bridge.

As we arrived at the campus, we couldn't enter because it was closed and being used as a staging area for the marathon which we had no knowledge was happening. One of a few surprises we had on this trip. Leaving Marist we drove about a 1.5 mile south to the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Crossing the bridge we go from Duchess County with the FDR Home and Presidential Library plus the Culinary Institute of America into Ulster County. On the west side of the Hudson River we go a few miles north on US 9W to the entrance to the West Gate. The runners' cars made the parking area very crowded and walking to the gate, we met the runners awaiting the start of the race. We could not walk on the bridge till after the racers left.


Souvenir of past railroad bridge traffic.

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Waiting to start the 5K Marathon.

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Before it became Walkway State Park, this massive 1.28 mile steel structure was know as the Poughkeepise-Highland Railroad Bridge, an Industrial Age Superstar! When trains began rumbling over the bridge in 1888, it became key transportation hub linking western raw materials to eastern industrial centers, until a fire in 1974 crippled the railroad bridge.

Thirty-five years later it opened on October 3, 2009 as Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. More than 3 million people have visited the park to stroll, cycle, walk, jog and roller blade over its mighty steel trusses.

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Several minutes before start of Marathon.

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Runners on bridge awaiting the start.

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We are allowed to enter and walk on the bridge.

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Mid-Hudson Bridge for route US 44.

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Boathouse Row and Marist College on east side of Hudson River.

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Looking down on the freight track on the west side of Hudson River.

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Mid-Hudson Bridge.

After we are allowed to enter on the bridge, Chris and I walked out about on a third of a way out. The wind was blowing and with runners crowding the bridge we decide to proceed to the next stop. The 5K started on the west side and went to Marist and the 10K started at Marist, went over the bridge and back to also end at Marist.
With my nephew going to be here for the next four years, I have serious intentions of returning to visit and walking the entire length of the walkway.

Leaving the bridge we traveled north on US 9W to Kingston, NY to the New York Trolley Museum. As the museum was not open at this early hour, we could only can take a few pictures before continuing on to the next stop.

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Leaving Kingston we take NY 28 to Phoenicia, NY about 25 miles away. Here is the Empire State Railroad Museum.

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In the heart of the Catskill Mountains.

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New barn.
Hurricane Irene came thru this area in 2011 and did a lot of damage here and they're still cleaning up.

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When we arrived the area was deserted so we just walked around taking pictures. After a while a couple of volunteers arrived to do work, we chatted for a time and were told about the big storms and the damage done by them. The damage was overwhelming and the museum still has a lot of work needed done.

Our next venue was Arkville, NY to ride the Delaware and Ulster Railroad about 20 miles northwest.The name is taken from the counties here.

Our First Train ride of the Day.

Delaware and Ulster Railroad.

Rt. 28, Arkville, NY  12406

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green arrowClick for Moving passenger cars video.

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right arrowClick for making the consist video.

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Our train awaits us.

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Dome and dining cars with power car in front of them.

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Our ticket to ride.

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Our train for a scenic ride through NY Catskill Mountains.

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After loading all the passengers the train left on time at 11:00 A.M. Passengers arriving by bus coach were seated in the dining cars or the dome car for their lunch. The general public had seating in either of two coaches or two open air cars. We chose the open car so as to get better pictures.

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East branch of Delaware River.

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flashing arrow   Watch video.  Riding in open car

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We arrived in Roxbury, NY. on time at noon and had a twenty-minute layover before the return trip to Arkville. There was a small museum housing local artifacts.

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Layover at Roxbury, NY.

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Arriving back in Arkville on time at 1:00P.M. We then made our way to the next venue at Mt. Tremper, NY. We traveled back southeast on NY 28 on past Phoenicia to the depot at Mt. Tremper. It was a nice half hour drive through the NY countryside.

Our Second Train Ride Today.

Esopus Creek Scenic Train, Catskill Mountain Railroad, Mt Tremper, NY


Mt Tremper Station on route 28.

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Ticket for Catskill Mountain Railroad Esopus Creek Route.

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Our little engine that could.

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An extra consist in storage. I think these tracks go to Phoenicia but now closed due to Hurricane Irene.

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Inside seating.

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arrowWatch train crossing Highway video.

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Our flag man. Because the crossing arm was broken. See previous picture.

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Stored in the woods. Engine has thrown rod.

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Esopus Creek with NY 28 bridge.

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After we finish our ride along the Esopus Creek, we take a few more pics and then depart for the next stop. We travel southeast on route NY 28 back to Kingston, NY.

Our Third Train Ride Today.

Kingston City Limited, Catskill Mountain Railroad, Westbrook Lane Station, Kingston, NY 12401.

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The Ulster & Delaware Railroad started construction in 1866 from the Hudson River at Kingston Point. By 1900, the line was completed to Oneonta, proving a vital link for freight and passengers through the Catskills. Acquired by the New York Central Railroad in 1932, the last passenger train ran in 1954. In later years, Penn Central offered freight service, but after decades of decline, the last freight train rode on the old U&D tracks in 1976. Ulster County purchased the railroad in 1979 to preserve the corridor for future rail use. In 1982, the Catskill Mountain Railroad was chartered to run tourist passenger trains as well as freight service. Today's train ride is just one part of a long-term plan to re-open the length of the railroad from Kingston to Phoenicia and beyond.

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We arrived around 3:30 PM with time to pick up our tickets for the 4:00PM departure.

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This was the next surprise for the day. This was the first of weekend of the last three in June for a Chuggington's Traintastic Adventure. Lots of young trainees have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. And we would be sharing and riding the train together. Asked where he wanted to sit, he said right behind to ALCO engine so he could hear it chug. With the dancing, singing and music led by two teenage counselors, Chris never did hear the engine chug. But he said he got the mileage.

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Returning from previous trip. Caboose forward.
green movingWatch returning to Westbrook Lane Station video.

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Chris enjoying the ride before the music, dancing and the noise makers were handed out.

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We travelled out into the countryside going under the NY State Thurway, US I-87, crossed over the Esopus Creek and stopped at US 209 because there were no crossing signals. This would be the end of the ride in this outbound direction.

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End of the line.

We arrived back at the platform and went to our car to drive to Rutland, Vermont, our stop for the night and the start of the convention tomorrow. We proceeded to the New York State Thwy, I-87, a toll road, and head north to Albany. About a hour passed and we decided it was time to eat. Together we decided a stop at the Colonel was just the ticket. Driving along we keep watch for exit signs telling about restaurants and shortly we spotted an easy-off easy-on exit with KFC.  I ordered the two piece meal, dark with mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, this will be nice for my tummy. Chris got his chicken order with a side of mash potatoes and gravy.  By the time he returned to the car the bottom of the potatoes cup was leaking gravy. Soon it was a big mess all over his clothes and the seat. After time out to clean up, we were back on the road passing Albany and staying on I-87 to just near Glen Falls where we turn east to meet US 4 north to state line. Staying on US 4 in Vermont till US 7 and then north on to Rutland. Shortly after we checked in, I unpacked and got the room ready for the next 8 nights and Chris went to his first safety meeting.

The end of two big days, in Manhattan and the Catskills and the convention only starts tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Train ride and photo run by.

 Next !!