The CMRR (Catskill Mountain Railraod) operates a tourist excursion train from Phoenicia Railroad Station, Phoenicia, MP 27.5 to Cold Brook Railroad Station, MP 22.1. Its trains originate from the former Ulster & Delaware station in Phoenicia, which is also home to the Empire State Railway Museum. (The trains are circa mid 1800’s) Passengers may board trains at Phoenicia or Mount Tremper Railroad Station, MP 25.2.Initially, service was provided by track cars hauling trailers between Phoenicia and Mount Tremper. Realizing that the future lies in conventional railroad equipment hauled by locomotives, two flatcars were rebuilt as open air bench cars to accommodate passengers. A Porter 50-ton switcher was enlisted to haul the expanded consist. A 1922-vintage wooden caboose often (ex-D&H 35952)brought up the rear, and offered additional capacity.
In early 2004 the caboose was taken out of service and replaced with a restored coach of Lackawanna heritage. This coach greatly increased the capacity of each train, and also helped offer “all-weather” service. In late 2004, service was extended to MP 22.7. It was extended further to Cold Brook Station, MP 22.1, on July 4, 2008.
A second coach was put into service on October 2, 2010, just in time for the Fall Foliage trains. Work trains generally consist of transfer caboose 697 (ex-CR 18015) and “The Duck,” a small Davenport switcher. Equipment restoration and maintenance takes place at the railroad’s open-air facilities. The original Phoenicia section house is undergoing a multi-year restoration, and is used by the railroad to store tools and supplies for the track gang. CMRR work trains venture as far east as the Boiceville Trestle at MP 21.3, which will continue to be the eastern limit for Phoenicia operations until the trestle is replaced. On May 6, 2010, Phoenicia operations acquired a new locomotive, former LIRR/SIRY Alco S1 407, which was placed in service on May 7, 2010. It has been the workhorse engine for Phoenicia operations since the start of the 2010 season.In 2011, construction of a new switch and siding began at MP 24.75, to park maintenance equipment and give the work train a place to alight while the Scenic Train is in service. It was completed on May 25, 2012.For the 2012 season, the train ran initially from Mt. Tremper west to MP 23.3 where subgrade repairs are necessary. On August 5, 2012, after repairs were made at MP 25.5, the passenger train began running west to the next damaged section at MP 25.8, one half mile west of Mt. Tremper, where repairs to the subgrade need to be completed,. The line will gradually be reopened to Phoenicia and Cold Brook throughout 2012 and 2013 as repairs to damage from Hurricane Irene are completed.
The train pictured above is the engine used to run the tours o the mountains along the old railway lines.
Photographed in Phoenicia, New York, USA. Composed in Photoshop with layers, adjustments, and textures. Textures courtesy of Lena-Bem Anna of flickr