Friday, May 31, 2013

Trains Through Hudson

Back in April, I attended a workshop presentation that Ken Flood was making to the Greenport Planning Board about the proposed Lone Star transloading facility, which will, without a doubt, bring more trains through Hudson on the tracks that transect the city around Seventh Street. In the discussion in Greenport, Planning Board chair Don Alger, who has a very long institutional memory, recalled that, at one time, trains traveling along that line could have as many as 50 cars, but in 1950, there was a problem with an ambulance being delayed by a train, and the City of Hudson succeeded in imposing an 18-car limit on trains passing through the city.

This morning, I had the bad fortune to get trapped by the train east of the railroad tracks when I wanted to be west of the railroad tracks. The train was already across State Street when I pulled out of the drive-thru at First Niagara. Mine was the third vehicle stopped in the westbound lane. It didn't immediately occur to me to count the cars, and when it did occur to me, I thought there wasn't much point because too many had already passed. Finally, prompted by frustration and amazement, I started counting. After what I think was more than half the train had already passed, I counted 23 cars! So much for that 18-car limit.

This morning's long, long train raises some questions. Is there in fact an 18-car limit? If there is, whose job is it to enforce that limit? If there isn't, what problems might this cause if the Hudson Police Department moves to the east side of the tracks?


  1. Well, here's the law--Paragraph 228-1 of the City of Hudson Code:

    It shall be unlawful for the directing officer or the operator of any railroad train to direct the operation of or to operate the same in such a manner as to prevent the use of any street for purposes of travel for a period of time longer than five minutes, except that this provision shall not apply to trains or cars in motion other than those engaged in switching.

    I should have been watching the clock instead of counting cars, but I have to say that "except that" clause is thoroughly confusing.

  2. i was also caught - i wondered also - it was so long i finally turned my car off - thinking of the new police station having to deal with this moving wall in the future

  3. It doesn't matter which side of the tracks the Police Dept, Fire Dept, Ambulance, Hospital, etc. is located. A barrier to the public's safety should be addressed & corrected.
    Is there any communications between the train dispatcher or operator to the Police, etc. as to the time its movement through Hudson? Or does the train travel unannounced?