Mount Beacon Incline Railway

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Mount Beacon Incline Railway
Beacon Mountain incline railway.jpg
Incline railway route seen from city in 2006
LocationBeacon / Town of Fishkill, New York, USA
Coordinates41°29′27″N 73°57′20″W / 41.49083°N 73.95556°W / 41.49083; -73.95556Coordinates: 41°29′27″N 73°57′20″W / 41.49083°N 73.95556°W / 41.49083; -73.95556
MPSHudson Highlands MRA
NRHP reference #82001151
Added to NRHP1982

The 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Mount Beacon Incline Railway was a popular tourist attraction in Beacon, New York, United States, and the neighboring Town of Fishkill. It operated for much of the 20th century, providing sweeping views of the Hudson Valley, and efforts continue to restore it today.

The Otis Elevator Company and Mohawk Construction opened the railway on Memorial Day, 1902. Sixty thousand fares were sold in its first year; two decades later that had almost doubled. Riders were often day visitors from New York who came up the Hudson River by steamboat to Newburgh and then took a ferry to Beacon. After a trolley trip to the base station on Wolcott Avenue (today NY 9D), the railway would take them up to the 1,540-foot (469 m) northern summit via an average gradient of 65% and a maximum gradient of 74%, the steepest in existence while the railroad operated.[1]

Once on the mountain, tourists could then visit the Beaconcrest Hotel, the Casino, or enjoy the natural setting while taking in 75-mile (121 km) panoramic views of the valley and surrounding areas. Once it opened in 1922, Beacon Reservoir, the city's main water source, also became a popular place to visit.[1]

In 1978 the railway ceased operations due to financial problems. In 1982 the railway was added to the National Register of Historic Places. A fire attributed to vandalism destroyed many of its buildings the next year.[1] The route still remains and is visible from much of the city. The Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society is working to rebuild the railroad and restore service.

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  1. ^ a b c "History of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway". Retrieved 2009-03-31.

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