Abandoned Kaydeross Railroad bridge crossing Kaydeross Creek near Rock City Falls in 2016
|Other name(s)||Ballston Terminal Railroad|
|Locale||Saratoga County, New York|
Ballston Spa, New York|
Rock City Falls, New York
|Line length||12 mi (19 km)|
|Number of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Kaydeross Railroad, earlier known as the Eastern New York Railroad and Ballston Terminal Railroad, was an electric-powered trolley line that served industries along the Kayaderosseras Creek in the town of Milton, Saratoga County, New York. It was a terminal railroad, which means it had an interchange at one end (in Ballston Spa) but terminated without any other interchange.
The railroad's primary purpose was to serve the dozen water-powered paper mills and a large tool factory that were situated along the creek. These included the paper mills and bag factory of "Paper Bag King" George West, the famous Ballston Scythe & Axe Works of Isaiah Blood, the paper box mill of the National Folding Paper Box Company, and the straw paper mill of Chauncey Kilmer (later the Cottrell Paper Company).
The railroad was unique for being one of the few trolley railroads in the country to have a primary function of hauling freight cars. At least eight freight cars could be hauled by the George West trolley car to the Delaware and Hudson Railway interchange track on present day New York State Route 50.
Construction started in 1896 when an investor group headed by Arthur B. Paine was granted a franchise by the Village of Ballston Spa. By 1902 the railroad reached its greatest extent of twelve miles. It served the villages and hamlets of Ballston Spa, Bloodville, Factory Village, Craneville, Milton Center, West Milton, Rock City Falls, and Middle Grove. A regular schedule was instituted to accommodate passengers.
The railroad was never a financial success. The Ballston Terminal Railroad Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1904, but a new corporation was formed called the Eastern New York Railroad, and operations continued uninterrupted. In 1918 the line was sold to I. W. Wiswall for $25,000 ($430,000 in 2018 dollars). Another reorganization occurred when several paper mill owners banded together and purchased the ailing railroad. It was thereafter called the Kaydeross Railroad. This line operated until 1929, when it shut down for the last time. By then, only three paper mills had survived. However, the railroad served its primary purpose of providing inexpensive transportation and distribution and contributed to the longevity of the industries it served.
Little of the railroad remains today. The brick powerhouse still survives in Factory Village, and approximately one mile of the former railroad bed is now a walking trail in Boice Park in Milton.
- Lost Industries of the Kaydeross Valley: A History of Manufacturing in Ballston Spa, New York; Starr, Timothy, 2007
- "Entire Railroad Sold for $25,000". The Saratogian. May 23, 2018.
- http://www.ballstonhistory.com The Ballston Terminal Railroad And Its Successors; Starr, Timothy, 2007