A southbound Batten Kill Railroad train approaches the village of Shushan, N.Y., on October 19, 2010. The all-Alco BKRR serves a predominantly agricultural community with feed and fertilzer throughout the year.
A visit to New York's Batten Kill Railroad
By Otto M. Vondrak/photos by the author
Welcome to Photo Line! With its classic Alco power and bucolic country setting, the Batten Kill Railroad located along the New York and Vermont border has long been a fan favorite. Eastablished in 1982 to assume the operation of some old Delaware & Hudson branch lines, the BKRR has managed to grow and strengthen its business despite the decline and closure of some customers over the years. With new management at the helm, and an influx of cash to make essential track repairs and upgrades, the Batten Kill is sure to be with us for years to come. Join associate editor Otto Vondrak for a brief visit through Batten Kill Country...
Departing Eagle Bridge
The crew has picked up interchange at Eagle Bridge and is ducking under Old State Road on the way out of town in October 2007. The train is destined for the fertilizer and feed plants in Greenwich.
All aboard at Cambridge
A southbound Batten Kill train passes the stately old depot at Cambridge with cars destined for the interchange at Cambridge on October 19, 2010.
The Master at Work
It was a pleasant surprise to meet up with veteran railroad photographer Jim Shaughnessy on the Route 67 overpass in Eagle Bridge on October 19, 2010. A native of nearby Troy, N.Y., Shaughnessy has been documenting the railroads of New York and New England for most of his life.
Can You Spot the Alco in this Photo?
No space is wasted inside the BKRR's enginehouse in Greenwich, as locomotives share space with office desks and file drawers on October 20, 2008. Alco RS-3 4116 carries the decoration of former owner Greenwich & Johnsonville, the D&H subsidiary that operated these branch lines until 1982.
Steady as She Goes
The brakeman keeps watch as his crew about BKRR 4116 shuffles cars in the small yard at Greenwich Jct.
BKRR 605 has the honors this day as a cut of cars is moved out of Greenwich Jct. This Alco RS-3 was originally built for the Lehigh & Hudson River as their no. 10 in 1950, and became Vermont Railway 605 before coming to the Batten Kill Railroad.
Eagle Bridge Swap
The BKRR interchanges with Pan Am Railways and the Delaware & Hudson (CP Rail) at Eagle Bridge. The small interchange yard has since been expanded since this photo was taken in 2010.
Make Every Move Count
The BKRR crew swaps loads for empties on the interchange tracks located in Eagle Bridge, N.Y.
Cuts and Shoves
The BKRR brakeman and conductor work together to expedite moves on the interchange track in Eagle Bridge.
"See you next time!"
The BKRR crews are friendly as long as you are respectful of their work and enjoy their railroad from a safe distance. Trains normally operate weekdays and originate either from Eagle Bridge or Greenwich depending on the weather and the work to be done.