Hyde Park Station History
The current Hyde Park Station building was built in 1914. It is the second station to sit in this location in Hyde Park.
The first Hyde Park Station was built in 1851, when the Hudson River Railroad built its tracks north from Poughkeepsie along the "Water Level Route" to Albany. A few old photographs of the station show a one-story wooden building, slightly smaller than the current station.
In 1914, the New York Central Railroad four-tracked the main (that is, they added two more rails to the existing two, making a total of four tracks). The new rails were added on the side of the existing tracks away from the river; there wasn't enough room for the old station, so it was torn down and the present building was erected.
The architects of the Hyde Park Station, Reed and Stern and Warren and Wetmore, were the same who had designed Grand Central Station in New York City. When you visit the Hyde Park Station, you will see the same lofty use of vertical space as in Grand central Station, but in miniature.
When the Hyde Park Station was constructed, electricity had not yet been run down River Road. The closest electric lines were along what is now Route 9. The station was built with electric wiring, but it was not connected for several years. Until electric streetlights were put in on River Road, the road to the station was lit by gas lamps.
Regularly scheduled passenger service to the Hyde Park Station began in 1851. In 1953, after over a century, regular passenger service was suspended. The last year that the New York Central listed the Hyde Park Station on its list of stations was 1958. It was probably used as a whistle stop until then. After that, the New York Central sold the abandoned station on the town of Hyde Park.
In the early 1970's, the local teenagers got the Town of Hyde Park to give them the station for a Teen Center. After the kids did a lot of cleaning up, and upgraded the septic system, they lost interest.
In 1975, the Town of Hyde Park was about to tear down the station. The Hudson Valley Railroad Society was contacted and asked if they wanted the station. They accepted, and it was just in time -- when they came down to take possession of the station, a bulldozer was sitting in the parking lot, ready to knock the station down the very next day.
Since 1975, the HVRRS has been restoring the Hyde Park Station. Proceeds from the HVRRS's yearly Train Show help continue to raise funds for restoration. The HVRRS rents the Hyde Park Station from the Town of Hyde Park for one dollar a year.
Interestingly enough, there are only two times when we can be certain that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the Hyde Park Station: In 1939, When the King and Queen of England visited; and when his body was returned to Hyde Park following his death in 1945.
The pictures below show scenes of the FDR Funeral Train arriving at Hyde Park Station in 1945.
Hyde Park Station - Oral History Project
Stuart A Reagan Interview - Memories of the Freight House
Steve Croft Interview - Eight Years Old at the Freight Station
The Hyde Park Station, 34 River Road, Hyde Park NY 12538 E-Mail: webmaster
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