Catskill Mountain Railway

Catskill Mountain Railway

Catskill Mountain Railway

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The Catskill Mountain Railway (CMRy) was a narrow gauge (3') railroad, long, running from Catskill to Palenville in Greene County, New York.

Organized as the Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) in 1880, construction was begun in 1881 and completed in 1882. Unlike most railroads, the CMRR was built primarily for the purpose of transporting passengers and intended to operate seasonally. Most people using the line were summer tourists who travelled by steamboat from points along the Hudson River. Their final destinations were Hotels and boarding houses located high in the Catskill Mountains.While the railroad served its purpose of bringing passengers closer to the mountain top resorts, it still left them with an arduous hour long stage trip up the face of the Catskill escarpment (also known as the Wall of Manitou).

In 1885 a branch was built to Cairo, NY with the intent to carry bluestone, hay and fruit and run year around. That same year, the CMRR was reorganized as the Catskill Mountain Railway.

The principals had interests in shipping on the Hudson and in Hotels in the Catskill Mountiains.


Competition soon arose, in the form of the Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain and the Kaaterskill railroad companies, both controlled by the Ulster and Delaware Railroad. These narrow gauge railroads brought passengers much closer to their final destinations, saving them the difficult stage trip CMRR patrons had. To counter the competition, the Otis Elevating Railway was...
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