Timeline of Events - The Through 1873 - 2020

Table of Contents

Depot History Overview Slideshow

1873 - Depot Built
The depot was built about 1873 at the corner of Bridge Street in front of the Hopewell Inn. It was moved to the crossing before 1908. Earliest known photo of the Depot. This photo is from 1905.
1986 - Arson Destroys Depot
A local fireman torched the depot in 1986. He was caught and the fire put out but the damage was done. There was extensive charring of the roof rafters and interior walls.
1996 - Restoration Begins
In 1996 the Hopewell Depot Restoration Corp was founded and began to restore the depot. It is now the Hopewell Depot Museum as the restoration is now complete.
2012 - Visitor Center Opened
The visitor center side of the Depot is opened public. The opening was marked with a ceremony that was well attended and marked the great achievement that volunteers had done so far on the depot.
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Depot History Overview Video

Conductor Bernie Rudberg provides an oral overview of Hopewell Depot’s history that you read and see below.

1873 - Hopewell Depot built on the Dutchess & Columbia Railroad

1873 - Dutchess & Columbia Railroad Fails

1877 - Reorganized as Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad

1881 - New York & New England RR reaches Hopewell Junction

1892 - Dutchess County RR connects Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge to Hopewell

When the connection to the  Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge happened the Interlocking Tower S-196 was built, protecting the junction. You can see it in the picture to the right.

The tower was installed to mange the flow of traffic that the depot began to see with the new connections.

1905 - Borden’s Creamery Begins Operations

1905 -The Move Of the Depot

During 1905-1910 the Depot building moved 300 feet from Bridge St. (Rt. 376 – In Front of The Hopewell Inn Current Location) to the rail crossing, then 20 feet to present location, to make room for a 2nd east-west track

1927 - New Haven Railroad absorbs CNE and takes over the Depot

1933 - Passenger service ends

The last passenger train at the Hopewell Junction was in 1933. The line was officially abandoned and the tracks sold for scrap to Japan in 1938. Some of Dutchess County is probably at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

1938 - Old ND&C tracks to the north abandoned; interlocking tower razed

1950 - Steam pusher service ends; coal/water facilities razed; Borden’s closes

1969 - New Haven Railroad; Hopewell lines become part of Penn Central, then Conrail systems; later transferred to MetroNorth

1974 - Poughkeepsie Bridge burns; cross-Hudson traffic to Maybrook stops

1984 - Maybrook Line tracks torn out; Depot abandoned

The big RR bridge in Poughkeepsie had burned in May 1974 and rail traffic stopped across the Hudson. Local rail traffic could not justify the cost of the line. By 1980 the line through Poughkeepsie to Hopewell Junction was almost out of business.

1986 - Hopewell Depot burns in arson fire

A local fireman torched the depot in 1986. He was caught and the fire put out, but the damage was done. There was extensive charring of the roof rafters and interior walls.

1996 - Depot Restoration group forms

1996 - Depot Restoration begins in earnest

2012 - Depot Restoration visitor center opens to the public; full museum in 2013

2016 - Replica of 1892 Interlocking Tower S-196 opens

2019 - Bernie Rudberg Memorial Pavilion opened April 19, 2019