H&W F1b Consolidation
Chartered in 1885, the Hudson & Western Railroad ran 150 miles from the Esopus Valley through the mountain grades to the lush farmlands and small cities to the west of Dry Brook. The railroad operated under the H&W name until early 1951 when it was merged in the New York Central. The line was then operated under Penn Central from 1968 until 1976 when Conrail assumed operations. The line was quickly abandoned in December of 1976. Fast forward one decade when a group of local businessmen and avid railfans purchased the line and restored it to become the Dry Brook & Esopus Valley railroad.
The Hudson & Western placed an order for (10) 2-8-0 light consolidations in 1918 from the Alco-Cooke Works in Patterson, NJ., and were classified as the F1b. Receiving the numbers 30 through 39, these little consolidations were the real work horses of the Hudson & Western. The light rail, tight curves and steep grades made them ideal locomotives. They were found all across the line handling local and express passenger trains, as well as local freight deliveries and war time transports. On numerous occasions, the F1b’s would be double headed to handle a heavy freight up the 2 and 3% grades to Dry Brook.
Unfortunately, when NYC took control of the railroad, the entire roster of obsolete F1b’s were immediately retired and scrapped.
In the spring of 1992, the owners of the Dry Brook & Esopus Valley Railroad purchased a former Canadian National G16 4-6-0 and restored her to operating condition for tourist operations. She was cosmetically altered to resemble one of the H&W’s acclaimed F1b consolidations.
H&W F1b Consolidation set includes: (1) Engine & Tender, (1) Baggage, Combine, Coach & Lounge passenger car, and (1) Box car, Flat car, Tank car, Hopper car & Caboose.
The Hudson & Western was designed to be merged with the Dry Brook & Esopus Valley map just east of the Conrail interchange in downtown Esopus.
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