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Rouses Point, NY. A village of 2,000, Rouses Point is a name many are unfamiliar with, though any railfan interested in the D&H knows quite well. Sitting in the corner of Lake Champlain and the Canadian Border, Rouses Point (RO as the railroads call it) is still an important link in rail transportation, as it has been for over a century.
Rouses Point quickly became an interchange point between several major railroads. The D&H from the south, the Napierville Junction and Grand Trunk (CN) from the north, and the Rutland going east and west. Just south of the village, the D&H had a decent size stub ended yard, with fairly large locomotive facilities. Seen here is the roundhouse:
Although most of the tracks are long gone, the turntable and sanding tower remain.
Now only a three mile long siding remains south of the station, along with a spur for Champlain Plastics. Seen here is a CP Container Stacker, with the Rouses Point water tower in the background.
Coming north to milepost 191, the D&H line crosses several streets before coming to the D&H depot, built in 1889.
Yet another Beautiful D&H depot, Rouses Point was restored and now houses a railroad/local history museum, open in the summer.
The museum, although small, has several excellent displays on the D&H and the other railroads that made Rouses Point grow into a village.
Although the depot no longer hosts passengers, a modern platform and wheelchair lift hosts passengers on the Adirondack.
The typical Amtrak procedure is to sit at the station for an hour while Customs searches the train. The hour planned though is often not long enough, as the Customs agents can take their sweet time. For freights crossing the border, the train crew calls U.S. Border agents, who operate a large scanning tower, which essentially X-rays the train.
For the NS/CN run through trains, which diverge from the ex-NJ line just north of the station onto the CN ex-GT line, crews must change in Rouses Point from CP to CN crews and vise versa.
Last summer I observed one of these border crossing operations first hand. It was 12:02 and CP 650 was ready to come south. The crew called Customs, and about 15 minutes later they showed up. After getting the equipment on and the windows on the booth open, Customs gave 650 the all clear, and they came rolling through. I sure hope I wasn’t close enough to get radiation…
North of the station is the “Farm Tracks” and the “Delivery Track”, used to stage trains crossing the border. On a busy day, things can get somewhat congested. I hope to get back to Rouses Point this spring, but that’s all I have for now. Have a comment or question about Rouses Point? Let me know below, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this D&H History Focus. -Harrison
This article first appeared on northcountrytrains.wordpress.com
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