Monday, March 09, 2009


Anyone familiar with the region knows there used to be an active rail system here in Kingston. The railbed spans Ulster County east to west and quite a distance into Delaware County.

Here in Kingston, you'll notice the new loading ramp at the Kingston Plaza. It's located close to Westbrook Lane and enables train fans of all ability to climb aboard the newly refurbished "weekender". During certain holiday weekends, the volunteers bring out the passenger car for short trips through midtown Kingston.

Last week, I found a crew from CMRR trimming brush and cutting down pine trees next to Holiday Inn near Washington Avenue. I stopped by and had a quick chat with one of the guys, telling me that the pace of track repair is picking up, but the prospects of connecting the line all the way to the operating Alaben Station, west of here, depends on a serious influx of funding.

There are a few bridges that need a complete overhaul; one in Boiceville. Either through a generous endowement or through a state transportation grant. Considering the conditions of the common commuter methods, that funding is in doubt.

That doesnt mean they arent looking for more volunteers. The Catskill Mountain Railroad is an all-volunteer operation, with over 100 active members. During the heyday of IBM operations here in the Kingston area, the number of active members was much higher, with a greater level of expendable cash. Those days are gone and the downturn in the economy isnt helping thier efforts.

To the left are the passenger cars stored next to Rt 209, just north of the Trooper Barracks.

So what can you do? From train operations, to selling tickets, to clearing brush, rebuilding track, or restoring equipment, the CMRR offers a world of hands-on opportunities to get involved in running and building a railroad. No prior experience needed!

It is clearly stated on their website: As we expand our operations in Phoenicia and Kingston, we can use more help. If you would like to join us in this exciting project, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ernie Hunt. New volunteers are always welcome!


Anonymous said...

When I saw them blocking traffic at the Plaza last year, my reaction was simply "you cannot be serious." Don't worry, I didn't say it quite as well as John McEnroe might lol.
However, let's not forget that this is the same organization that held up doing anything different with the hanging out on their property of druggies and litterbugs and so forth and became a campaign issue of sorts between Richters and the hurricane that blew into and blew out of town we know as Jennifer Ringwood. Besides that, if they stopped insisting on having their dream within the city limits, we might be able to have an alternate road into the Plaza from Albany Ave., thus taking strain off other areas uptown of traffic.
Sure, have your dream--but why do you have to interrupt life at the Plaza and look pretty silly IMHO doing it? Let them go outside the city and I'll be happy to let them "live there."

Anonymous said...

So, we will simply stop all attempt to increase tourism because you have issues with a former Alderman?
There were instances of some trespassing under one of the abandoned rail crossings in midtown and you want to halt what ever attempt may come to utilize the rail for making midtown better?
You've got to be kidding.

Anything to help get people involved in making things better in the troubled areas is a start in the right direction. You may think it's a be it. I'll support CMRR moving anywhere they want to.

Please retire your continued theme of the "Party of NO" like the rest of the quacks down in DC.

Anonymous said...

"No"--it's simple common sense:please don't disrupt life in the city.
Increase tourism, sure. Don't do it at the expense of holding up life such as food shopping. Simple. If you keep it in rural areas starting at the Town of Ulster that is fine by me. It won't reduce tourism one iota and if you think it will, show me the data.
Where was this organization when all kinds of crap was happening on its property in midtown? All of a sudden they are coming out to block traffic to the plaza. Come on.
Despite your rant I am not in the so called party of no. I am not sure what I would call this party but I will say this much:I am sick and tired of folks from out of town thinking they have the answers for Kingston. If you live in Kingston, fine, get involved, you don't have to agree with me on everything. If you don't live here,please butt out. That is not the party of no, that is simple common sense. Take care of your own area and stop your
whining from Woodstock and New Paltz and who knows where else.
Thank you. We now return you to the regular political nonsense, already in progress...

Anonymous said...

cmrr could be a shot in the arm for kingston,bringing people down from the hills to shop,sight see or just take a ride.i wonder how long they stopped traffic,3-5minutes,maybe.csx shuts the city down for longer than i say phooey to antis,bring on the choo-choo

Anonymous said...

OH NO!!! Hedley LaMar wants to bring the choo choo right thru rock ridge,what shall we do???