Postcard view of the original station at New Hamburg. [image credit]

Today our Tuesday Tour takes us to the northern portion of Metro-North’s Hudson Line, as we visit New Hamburg. The station is about 65 miles from Grand Central in the un-electrified territory north of Croton-Harmon, and sandwiched in between Beacon station and Metro-North’s terminus at Poughkeepsie. The railroad bisects the hamlet of New Hamburg, notable mostly for its marina on the Hudson.

Along the railroad, however, New Hamburg was likely notable for its tunnel. As I mentioned in my introduction to the Hudson Line, eight tunnels needed to be constructed to accommodate the tracks in the 1840’s, one of which was in New Hamburg. Although the tunnel is no longer used by the railroad, it still exists, though for the most part it is covered by brush. Railroad service both north and south had already been established before the tunnel was completed, so for a short time passengers heading through New Hamburg had to detour the unfinished tunnel by boat.

New Hamburg has seen its share of train crashes – one New York Times reporter, apparently fond of alliteration, described an 1871 crash as a “Human Holocaust on the Hudson”. The above image shows a crash in 1899.

Despite being around since the Hudson River Railroad days, the station at New Hamburg was closed sometime after 1962 (yes, the station had again made the newspaper that year for another crash – this time four children walking on the tracks were hit and killed by a New York Central Beeliner). Though most stations that are closed end up shuttered permanently, this one has a little bit happier of an ending. New Hamburg station reopened in 1981, and was serviced by new Seldom Self-Propelled Vehicles operated by Conrail. Thankfully, those cars are just a memory, and today Metro-North offers some more reliable service from New Hamburg.


5 Responses

  1. Al Cyone says:

    I have to admit that when I read “self-propelled vehicles” my first image was of a handcar and I couldn’t imagine them ever being in use for passenger service! But a little Googling (and a little thinking) led me to the “seldom-powered vehicles” you’re referring to: the Budd SPV 2000.

    Keep up the great work on the Mighty Hudson line.

    • Backshophoss says:

      RDC’s and SPV’s ran between POK and Croton-Harmon as shuttles
      with a cross-platform transfer at Harmon to a semi-express to GCT.
      Sometimes to all stop locals to GCT as well.

  2. Adam Moss says:

    Considering New Hamburg’s location, obviously it was an easy reopening candidate. It’s still 8.5 track miles to Poughkeepsie (which I’d like to see bridged with a park and ride at Route 113 and IBM.

  3. Backshophoss says:

    At one time in the past,New Hamburg had a movable bridge as well,
    Signal Station-54(BU) controled the span,a hinged lift type.
    the bridge spanned Wappinger’s Creek.
    Believe it was straight railed in the ’70’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *