This abandoned area right smack in the middle of the city of Watervliet popped into my head a little while back.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I climbed up into some of the cars including the locomotive (and a caboose!) . . .
and tried to envision the comfortable ride these cars must have provided passengers over the years–would’ve shown Amtrak up in a heartbeat!
Only person I came across was this dude:
I played with a few switches manually moving the tracks back and forth . . .
. . . then headed inside a few places to see just how long time has stood still.
QUITE the messy office.
And a little poignant one to leave you with:
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