The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and MTA Metro-North Railroad are asking companies and organizations to step forward with ideas for how to revitalize a little-used rail line that runs east-west across Dutchess and Putnam Counties, N.Y. The line, known as the Beacon Line or the Maybrook Branch, connects with Metro-North’s Hudson Line at Beacon, proceeds east through Fishkill, Hopewell Junction, and Stomville, and connects with the Harlem Line north of Southeast.
Although owned by Metro-North Railroad, the line is not currently used for passenger train service.
“Perhaps there are ways that the line could be put to use for the benefit of the public that are outside of our mandate as a public transportation agency,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “We want to find out how much interest there is in this real estate and what ideas folks may have that could lead to the revitalization of the line.”
The MTA has issued a formal Request for Expressions of Interest, or RFEI, which is available at the MTA’s website under Doing Business With Us, then Real Estate, then Leasing/Sales & Current Requests for Proposals.
The MTA is issuing the RFEI to seek ideas that would help preserve the line for current or future rail operation, limit Metro-North’s ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs of the line, support economic development and public use, and generate revenue for Metro-North.
Although not part of this RFEI, the Beacon Line continues into Connecticut where it connects with Metro-North’s Danbury Branch and Waterbury Branch.
Responses are due by November 18, 2016. To promote the opportunity, the MTA has taken out advertisements with the Poughkeepsie Journal, Journal News, New York Post, El Diario, Minority Commerce Weekly, Trains Magazine, Progressive Railroading, Railway Age, Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums, and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.