Watervliet Rail Yard

This abandoned area right smack in the middle of the city of Watervliet popped into my head a little while back.

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I had discovered it when I was a teen during one of my summer bike adventures (yes…I’ve been exploring since I was a wee lad) and decided to check it out on Google Earth to see if it was still vacant, and sure enough!

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I was a tad on guard however, because the perimeter lies flush up against land belonging to the Watervliet Arsenal.  In fact, a helicopter flew directly overhead a few times while I roamed about.

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With a little research I discovered the area was a maintenance facility known as the “Colonie Shops” for the Delaware & Hudson Railway.  An extensive article in the newsletter of the National Railroad Historic Society describes the place in detail.

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Mixed in among the rotted railroad ties sans rails, there were some traces of wildlife.  Upon circumventing this ominous pool (with a lonely, empty rusted mailbox mounted on the fence) I found a well-trodden trail leading out of it.

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I decided to follow the trail through the dried, calf-scratching foliage and came across a task that “someone” gave up on. At the end of the trail, my suspicions were confirmed….beavers.

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I climbed up into some of the cars including the locomotive (and a caboose!) . . .

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and tried to envision the comfortable ride these cars must have provided passengers over the years–would’ve shown Amtrak up in a heartbeat!

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Only person I came across was this dude:

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Bittersweet

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I played with a few switches manually moving the tracks back and forth . . .

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. . . then headed inside a few places to see just how long time has stood still.

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QUITE the messy office.

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And a little poignant one to leave you with:

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Here are some references to the location:

An extensive description of the history of the location:  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/65574974?access_key=key-2azq66gp5yhzgiu26sba

Pics of locomotives while place was active: http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?city=Watervliet&country=New%20York,%20USA

Abandoned Railroads:  http://www.kinglyheirs.com/Palmer/AbandonedRailroads.html#AbandonedAlbany

Scroll to “Colonie Shops and north”:  http://members.localnet.com/~docsteve/railroad/local.htm

A couple of images of trains getting an overhaul when the “Shops” were operative:  http://www.trainweb.org/trains/d%26h.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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