Albany and Schenectady Railroad
The M and H Railroad was incorporated April 17, 1826 by the Mohawk & Hudson Company and opened August 9, 1831. On April 19, 1847, the name was changed to the Albany & Schenectady Railroad. The railroad was consolidated into the New York Central Railroad on May 17, 1853.
On December 28, 1825, Schenectady County native (Duanesburg) George William Featherstonhaugh ran a newspaper notice announcing the formation of the Mohawk & Hudson Rail Road Company. The M & H Railroad became the first chartered railroad in NYS on April 17, 1826. Construction began in August 1830 and the railroad opened September 24, 1831, on a 16-mile route between Albany and Schenectady through the Pine Bush region that separates both cities. The DeWitt Clinton locomotive made its first test run on July 2nd that year. The railroad was seen as a way to expand land transportation as the Erie Canal was the leading transportation network of the time, but it took an extremely long time to go from Albany to Schenectady on the canal as there were over a dozen locks between the two cities, due to the large elevation change around the Cohoes Falls.
In 1832, a rider wrote in his journal. "June 28, arrive in Schenectady. Among the astonishing inventions of man, surely that of the locomotive steam engine hath no secondary rank. By this matchless exercise of skill, we fly with a smooth and even course along once impassible barriers, the valleys are filled, the mountains laid low, and distance seems annihilated. I took my seat as near as possible to the car containing the engine, in order to examine more minutely the operation of this, to me, novel and stupendous specimen of human skill. Having thus, as if by some invisible agency flown the distance of 16 miles in 40 minutes, at Schenectady I took passage on the Hudson and Erie Canal for Buffalo." 
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