Thus far on our tour of the Hudson Line, we’ve visited some very attractive stations. The unfortunate reality is that not every station can be that beautiful. This week’s station, Beacon, and next week’s station, Croton-Harmon, are probably two of the least attractive stations on the Hudson Line. Beacon – which has been listed on timetables as both Fishkill and Dutchess Junction in the past – is 59 miles from Grand Central, and is on the northern, un-electrified portion of the Hudson Line. Just south of Beacon station is Metro-North’s non-revenue Beacon Line, which continues east towards the Harlem Line and Southeast.
Admittedly, part of Beacon’s sketchiness factor is the horrible underpass where unsavory persons leave disgusting “surprises.” I honestly can’t think of a single Metro-North underpass that isn’t a somewhat frightening place. Thankfully, Beacon does have a few things going for it that are actually cool. First of all, there is a little coffee shop actually on the platform. While little establishments are quite common in old station buildings, it is extremely rare to see one on the platform. Probably the coolest thing you’ll notice at the station itself is the old wooden platform, and the old New York Central milemarker right next to it.
Outside of the station, there are a couple of interesting places worth checking out. Beacon station just happens to be right next to the waterfront, where on Sundays a farmer’s market is held. Several ferries are available from the waterfront area as well, one of which is primarily for commuters. You can also catch a boat for a Bannerman Castle tour, which I highly recommend. If you’re into art, Dia Beacon is definitely worth going to, and Metro-North does offer getaway packages (they do for the previously mentioned Bannerman Castle tour as well).
That pretty much sums up our quick visit to Beacon today. As I mentioned before, next week we’ll be visiting Croton-Harmon!
I’d argue Wilton on the overpass situation.
Beacon was one of the first M-N stations I’ve photographed, and admittedly, its boring as hell.
My 1926 schedule lists Beacon & Dutchess Jct as 2 different stations 7 minutes apart (I’m guessing mostly due to dwell time). http://www.roadandrailpictures.com/fornyhuu.htm
It’s not an official NYCRR schedule, it’s a reprint of all rail lines in NY, but I thought they were 2 different places.
Hmm… and I had one that had no Beacon but listed Dutchess Junction. Maybe they just didn’t like Beacon ;)
I’m gonna get rid of that statement then.
A possiblty,”Dutchess Jct” may have been NHRR’s name for the
NYC’s tower,signal station 50(telegraph call”F”) where the Beacon
Branch connected with the Hudson Line. Maybe someone at the
Restored Hopewell Jct Depot can clear this up.
Beacon is also sort of MNRR’s Penn station, with large peak crowds, not enough waiting space, not enough parking etc.
I have a theory, that MNRR purchased the Beacon line from Conrail to relieve some of the stress on Beacon. They have the former yard space in Hopewell where they could store trains, and build a fair size parking lot. Buy running trains from Hopewell and down the Hudson line (which would be the fastest southbound connection) you would draw the riders from the Hopewell area that drive to Beacon now, freeing up space at Beacon. Hopewell to Southeast is a pretty long ride on east of Hopewell with a decent grade Stormville to Pawling. This would require a south bound facing connection to the Hudson line.
The better connection from Hopewell Jct is via the Harlem Line
at CP DYKE(What ever ## it is now) to Southeast/GCT.
You are backtracking back to Beacon from Hopewell Jct.
The turnout to Beacon Branch/Maybrook faces north at
what was CP-58
The P-32’s don’t mind grades at all,not sure of the BL-20’s.