Ike's Interstate system is still a figment of his imagination. People work, live and play in places that are relatively close together. The metropolis of Hawthorne, Hudson Point and the surrounding communities are such a place.
On the trains, passenger traffic continues to decline in 1956 as it has since the end of WWII. Americans love their cars. They drive to work, go for rides in the country, and vacations are more likely to include a trip in the car. Times are still good for freight on the railroads. There are trucks on the roads too, but most raw materials and finished products are moved by rail.
Hudson Point is the eastern terminus of the HP&H. The terminal here facilitates passenger service by ferry to and from Hawthorne. Passenger service extends westward and northward. Southbound passengers travel west, then must change trains and ride another road. Northbound trains take the branch off the main near Arcadia. On weekdays, commuter service extends out to Lourdes and there is limited service on Saturdays.
At the Western end near Lourdes, freight arrives from the south and west via interchanges with the Pennsylvania, Western Maryland and Erie Railroads. Near Lourdes, a branch line leaves the main for Derry and the HP&H's biggest customer, Derry Quarry Products. Much of the stone needed to build Hawthorne and the surrounding communities came from this quarry. The cut stone, gravel and sand from this area are used throughout the northeastern states. A train leaves the quarry twice daily and the HP&H crews are kept busy returning empty hopper and flat cars to the branch line. The Northern Branch line leaves the main near Arcadia and interchanges with the New York Central. The Arcadia and Jumpers Perch areas are rather congested and the branch line may be difficult to see. From Hudson Point Yards, freight service to Hawthorne is via rail car loaded onto barges and bulk loading into various vessels.
Construction of the HP&H began in June 1997. For a progress report
The Hudson Point and Hawthorne Railroad is a work in progress