THE BEACON LINE, FORMERLY THE MAYBROOK BRANCH OF Conrail, connects the Hudson Line at Beacon, New York with the Harlem Line in Brewster, New York, and the Danbury Branch of the New Haven Line in Danbury, Connecticut. While there is no regular passenger service on this line, excursions have been run since Metro-North took over ownership of the line.

...The Beacon Line was once the main east-west freight line of the New Haven Railroad with service from Maybrook, New York in Orange County to the huge Cedar Hill yard in New Haven. From Maybrook, the line ran east over the high Hudson River bridge at Poughkeepsie. While this bridge still stands, train service over it ended in 1974 after a fire of suspicious nature during the Penn Central era. East of the bridge, New Haven trains headed southeast to Hopewell Jct. At Hopewell Jct, the Beacon Secondary connected the Maybrook with the New York Central Hudson Line.

...The Beacon Secondary and the old Maybrook Line east of Hopewell Jct. make up the current Metro-North Beacon Line. Metro-North purchased the line to preserve the right of way for future use. Movements on the line are infrequent. The track has been kept out of service to permit an inspection prior to any required use.


See a photo essay of a trip on the Beacon Line by Pierce Haviland.

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Last updated November 10, 2010