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Delaware & Hudson Railroad Police Department

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Donald B. Hutton

About the Delaware & Hudson Railway Police Department

The Delaware & Hudson Railway is the oldest continuously operated transportation company in the United States.  It was founded as the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in 1823 by act of the New York Legislature and, though subsequently reorganized a number of times, with minor name changes, it has maintained an unbroken corporate identity for 175 years.

 

The D&H started out as a canal company as a result of four brothers from the Wurt family in Philadelphia beginning a coal company in what is now Carbondale, Pennsylvania, in the early 1800s.  A route to New York was needed to get the coal to market, so a canal was built from the Delaware River to the Hudson River to barge the coal.  It was completed in 1828 and extended for 108 miles from Honesdale, PA to Rondout, NY.

 

In 1829 the D&H entered the railroad business with a gravity line, and decided to purchase four small locomotives to pull the coal cars on flat stretches of the line, replacing the teams of horses used for that purpose.  The first of these locomotives was the Stourbridge Lion, (price $3,000), built in Stourbridge, England.  It started work at Honesdale on August 8th, 1829.  The D&H gravity line was just 16 miles long in 1830 but in that year there were only 23 miles of railroad in the entire United States.  In 1840 the D&H became the first transportation company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Following the Civil War, the D&H expanded its operations northward from the Pennsylvania coal fields to Binghampton and Albany, then from Albany to the head of lake Champlain, and subsequently constructed a line along the west shore of the lake to the International Boundary south of Montreal.  In 1875, service between Albany and Montreal was inaugurated, and in 1907 the D&H extended its lines into Canada and connected with the Canadian Pacific Railway at Farnham, Quebec.

 

The Canadian Pacific Railway acquired the D&H in 1991. The CPR Police's Community Services Unit is the front line connection with communities along the CPR network, both in Canada and the U.S. Officers in this unit work closely with municipalities, schools and other police forces to promote railway safety and security. They develop and implement local crime prevention initiatives and education programs about highway crossings and trespassing.

 

Source:

cpr.ca/cms/English/General+

Public/Community/DHSoo.htm

 

Selected book by a Delaware & Hudson Railroad Police Department police officer.


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