Did you know that during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, the Mechanicville yard was the third-largest rail hub in the nation? 

I didn't, but after reading a recent article in the Saratogian, I realize how a new train hub in Halfmoon, just west of the Mechanicville city line, on the south side of Route 67, could make a major impact in our area.  The Mechanicville hub closed in the 1970s due to the effects of long-distance trucking, but now with the rise in fuel, tolls and taxes, the railway is seeing an increase in popularity again.

About 300 trucks daily already enter and exit the site, which had been vacant for more than 30 years until Norfolk Southern and Pan-Am railways announced a joint venture four years ago to rejuvenate the location.

According to the Saratogian, one train can carry 300 containers from coast to coast. “That’s one engine,” said Sherrie St. Pierre, vice president of Troy-based K-C Refrigeration Transport Inc. “That’s a heck of a lot less than 300 trucks.”

Many area leaders are thrilled with the announcement, including Stillwater Supervisor Ed Kinowski, who says with so much attention focused on GlobalFoundries’ $4.6 billion chip fabrication plant at Luther Forest Technology Campus, many people don’t realize the new rail yard’s full economic development potential.

Mechanicville mayor Anthony Sylvester told the Saratogian, “I’m so happy this is here. A facility they did like this in Roanoke, Va., generated $600 million in new business investment. I can see that happening here. That’s my prediction.”

As a resident of Upstate New York, what do you think of the new Halfmoon Train Hub? Please leave your comments in the section below.

Click here for the official Environmental Assessment of this project.