Passenger train to run at Copake Iron Works

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COPAKE FALLS – Friends of Taconic State Park has received permission from the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to construct a railroad at the Copake Iron Works National Heritage Area Site in Taconic State Park.

The railroad will take visitors around the historic site on a 900-foot-long loop track.

The train will operate on weekend afternoons and holidays from mid-May to mid-November.

The ironworks operated from 1845 to 1903 and crafted a number of products from its mines, said Friends Board of Directors President Jim Mackin.

“Some of the iron went into the plates that were on the US warship the Monitor in the Civil War, of Hampton Bays. Some of it went into manufacturing guns and actually got displaced at the Crystal Palace in London. Some of it went into cannonballs. Much of it went into railroad machinery, engine parts, even wheels and axles for railroads,” he said.

The Friends group hopes to raise a total of $366,400 to fund the project with $174,000 already in the bank.

Construction has begun on the railroad tracks and station house with the project expected to be completed next summer.