Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm taking the train downtown!

Everyone in Kingston has heard the news that this City is one of three finalists to be chosen to demonstrate a new rail system. Not to be confused with the High Speed Rail that's included in the "stimulus" package.

Well, the news went out the other day that our Sr. Senator Chuck Schumer has written the head of Kawasaki to use Kingston as the site for a test of the company’s new battery-powered trolley. I say bravo!

According to the AP: Senator Schumer made a personal call to Akira Hattori, the CEO of Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. last week urging the company to choose the city of Kingston for their pilot program that will test a battery-powered light rail trolley.

Much of the needed track is already refurbished and the remaining link to E Chester St could be the focus in 2009. The new light rail will provide clean, reliable public transportation in Kingston and serve to boost tourism. (If we ever get back in the business of promoting tourism)

Chuck was quoted: “The City of Kingston is the perfect spot for Kawasaki to test a battery powered light rail system." Mayor Sottile alerted me to this development weeks ago, since he knows I'm a big train enthusiast.

There are 1.5 miles of tracks from the trolley museum to Kingston Point Park and an additional mile cutting through the Avenues and over the 9W Bypass. Folks from Foxhall to Mary's Avenue could walk to the rail station behind Rondout Savings and catch a ride to the Hoolie!

It would be just one more attribute for the Main St Manager to promote for the City of Kingston come next year.

Personally, I'd like to see the City reopen the Canfield Street Tunnel and link the light rail from the Rondout to the Plaza. Talk about a "stimulus" plan.


bd said...

Tickets, please,,,, Tickets,,,,

next stop, Syosset,,,,,, Syosset - Next Stop -

Alllll Aboard,,,,

Jeremiah said...

That's awesome if it works out.

Would this be on the same track that the Catskill RR has been recently running on? If it is I hope that they will still be able to continue with their project as well.

Anonymous said...


In making the journey from the Rondout to the Plaza, how would the proposed train get through Kingston Hospital and the DEP building on Grand Street? As those respective buildings block the tracks.

Mike Madsen said...

9:19...I'm glad you asked.
I have had such conversations with the members of the Trolley Museum for many years about their Cars and turning radius.
As recent as last week, I was assured that the Trolleys in possession today can make turns on street corners better than a limo.
The Trolleys that could come here through the Kawasaki program, will have a shorter wheel base and manoeuvre our streets much better.

Besides, my original plan was to start at the E Chester link, travel Broadway, make a loop around uptown and come back to E Chester. That would be a better tourism stimulus and be functional to boot.

Anonymous said...

Is this Finkles pipe dream again, just like no one is in the building at the business park. What is going on with that Company?

Anonymous said...

Nice job in the Freeman.
It almost sounds like a possibility.
I can hardly imagine such good fortune for our city.
Your idea of connecting uptown with the Rondout by rail is novel. I didnt know anything about an old tunnel under the CSX tracks. Wow

Anonymous said...

If Kingston only had planned and not closed off the tracks by the Hospital and DEP.