Submitted by scott on Fri, 05/27/2022 - 19:37

The Hudson and Boston Railroad was a railroad that spanned across Southern and Central Columbia County, New York. It was chartered in 1855 and acquired by the Boston and Albany Railroad in 1870, only to face its gradual demise beginning in 1959. Despite its name, it never actually reached Boston, but it did serve as an important connecting line for the Boston and Albany Railroad, which converted it into the B&A Hudson Branch upon acquisition. The line formed a cutoff between the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad towards New York City and the Boston and Albany Railroad, toward PittsfieldSpringfieldWorcester, and Boston.

The Hudson and Boston was originally chartered in 1828 as the Hudson and Berkshire Railroad by James Mellen in order to build a railroad line from Hudson, New York to the Massachusetts state line. Construction began in 1835 and was completed in 1838. The company was leased to the Berkshire Railroad, along with the connecting West Stockbridge Railroad, in 1844, but was sold at foreclosure to the Western Railroad of Massachusetts on November 21, 1854. The name was changed to the Hudson and Boston Railroad on February 23, 1855, and the part east of Chatham was abandoned around 1860, since it was redundant with the newer Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad (part of the Boston and Albany Railroad main line).[1]

The line was acquired by the B&A on November 2, 1870, and thus became its Hudson Branch, also called the "Hudson and Chatham Branch." It was important both for passengers and for freight services, especially those used by the various mills in the county. In its waning years, the Hudson Branch would serve freight exclusively. In the summer of 1892, an accident took place in Claverack, New York.[2] In 1900, the line along with the B&A itself were acquired by the New York Central Railroad, thereby making Hudson, Harlem, and B&A Main Line work as one with the former H&B. However, the B&A would run under its own name until 1961. 1936 was the year when Mellenville station, the station named for the founder of the Hudson and Berkshire Railroad, was closed and converted into a local grange. The same year, the "BA" Tower in Ghent which controlled movements between the NYC Harlem Division and the B&A Hudson Branch was closed, and the segment between Ghent and Chatham became exclusively part of the Upper Harlem Division.

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