New Haven [Penn Central]
Poughkeepsie, New York
January 30, 1973
This was a doubly fortunate shot, for not only did it catch an actual train on the New Haven's massive bridge over the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, New York, but the bridge caught fire and was permanently removed from service less than a year and a half afterwards. It was at one time a vital part of a through freight route, connecting New England and the New Haven with eastern freight railroads at Maybrook, New York. The Penn Central merger rendered this connection not only non-competitive but a positive nuisance to Penn Central, which preferred to use other connections to keep traffic on its own lines. Surprisingly (or not) the bridge caught fire on May 8, 1974; at the time the Penn Central had allowed the bridge's sprinkler system to run out of water and eliminated fire-watch employees.
Ultimately the bridge was donated to a non-profit organization which raised the necessary funds to re-purpose it as a scenic footbridge, called Walkway Over the Hudson, opening on October 3, 2009.
Last updated 2/1/2018. Text and photo ©2018 Lamont Downs.