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Slingerlands in Albany County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

 
 
Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, November 8, 2019
1. Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker
Inscription.  
A History of the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail

This trail is a 9-mile pathway which follows the old Albany and Susquehanna Railroad between Albany and Voorheesville. This pathway connects visitors with landscapes and communities, including the dramatic Normanskill Gorge in the City of Albany, the old hamlets of Delmar and Elsmere, the historic Village of Voorheesville, and the pastoral fields and woodlands of New Scotland at the base of the Helderberg Escarpment.

The Beginnings of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad
In the mid-19th century, private investors became interested in a railroad connecting Albany and the upper Susquehanna Valley to transport coal and to connect the valley's fertile farms with markets in Albany. The privately-owned Albany and Susquehanna Railroad (A&S Railroad) was formed and the first section of rail line was opened in September 1863 between Albany and Central Bridge.

A&S Railroad Becomes the D&H Railroad
Shortly after the completion of the rail line, a challenge by "aggressive capitalists” for control of the board of directors
Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, November 8, 2019
2. Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker
involved a lengthy proxy war and an armed confrontation between the opposing parties. As a result, on February 24, 1870, the weary board of the A&S Railroad leased the line in perpetuity to the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.

Growth and Suburbanization
The railroad's arrival in the small towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland led to a transportation transformation in the movement of freight and people. The railroad dramatically increased access to markets for farmers' cash crops and local commodities. Commuters began to use the D&H for daily travel between their quiet country homes in Delmar, Slingerlands, and Voorheesville, and their offices in Albany. Suburbanization had begun.

Transformation to a Rail Trail
Passenger service on this section of the D&H line ended in the 1930s and freight service ended in the 1990s. In 2010, Albany County, with funding from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) and Scenic Hudson, purchased 9.1 miles of rail bed from the Canadian Pacific Railway to create the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. Albany County, with the assistance of the Towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland, the Village of Voorheesville, the City of Albany, and the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, improved the trail from Albany to Voorheesville for recreation and alternative transportation.

This
Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel
3. Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail Marker
historical summary of the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail is based on "The Rail in the Trail” by Susan Leath, Town of Bethlehem Historian, May 17, 2012

Left Photo: The John D. Westover, one of the first locomotives to operate on the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad.

Right Advertisement: Announcement of the opening of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad on September 17, 1863.
 
Erected by Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
 
Location. 42° 37.74′ N, 73° 51.723′ W. Marker is in Slingerlands, New York, in Albany County. Marker is on Kenwood Avenue 0.1 miles east of New Scotland Avenue (New York State Route 85), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Slingerlands NY 12159, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Slingerlands Train Station (a few steps from this marker); Slingerland Family Burial Vault Erected 1852 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Andrew Conning (approx. 0.3 miles away); Delmar (approx. 1 miles away); Town of Bethlehem Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Bender Melons (approx. 2.1 miles away); New Scotland Church (approx. 2.3 miles away); Early Mission (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Slingerlands.
 
Also see . . .
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1. Albany and Susquehanna Railroad. (Submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. The Rail in the Trail. (Submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
3. The Delaware & Hudson Railroad (Wikipedia). (Submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
4. A more detailed history of the D&H. (Submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
 
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More. Search the internet for Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.
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