The Milton-on-Hudson train station opened to the public in 1883 and was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm, Wilson Brothers and Company. The New York, West Shore, and Buffalo Railway was completed through Marlborough during the early 1880s, and ran as far south as Weehawken, N.J. and as far north as Buffalo, N.Y. As the West Shore Line was utilized by both passenger and freight rail, the station was designed for both purposes, one on either side. Remnants of this can still be seen today along the roofline of the station.
The Milton-on-Hudson station was heavily used by residents during the early and mid-1900s. An 1884 article in the Kingston Daily Freeman, reported that “more people get on and off the train here than at any other place of its size along the entire line.” Farmers would use the station to transport their crops to New York City, while young adults took the train to Newburgh until 1921 to attend high school. Residents would also take the train to Newburgh to attend movie premieres and special events. Many men said goodbye to their families here as they left for service during wartime.
Despite the bustling train station, the New York, West Shore, and Buffalo Railway quickly faced financial difficulties, and found itself unable to compete with Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Line across the river. In 1885, the West Shore Line was bought out by Vanderbilt and became a subsidiary of the New York Central Line. This would not be the last time the line changed hands. In 1968, the line merged with Carnegie’s Pennsylvania Railroad, and less than ten years later, it was bought out again, becoming the Conrail System in 1976. In 1998, the line was taken over by CSX, who remain the current owner today.
In 1940s, the station saw a rapid decline in passenger usage, and in 1947, the New York Central Line proposed closing the Milton station altogether. A petition was signed by local residents to keep the station open, and service continued. However, in 1959, after usage continued to decline, passenger service ended on the West Shore Line, and the Milton-on-Hudson train station closed its doors to travelers. Conflicting records indicate that the station may have been used for freight into the 1960s. By the late 1960s, the station was no longer in use and was sold to private owners.
In 1968, Kedem Winery purchased the old train station and used it for a tasting room. In 1998, the winery donated the site to the Town of Marlborough, and it quickly gained the interest of many locals who wished to see the station restored to its former glory. Working diligently for many years, the Friends of the Milton Train Station raised funds and restored the site. As a result of their labor and dedication, the train station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and is now open as a cultural and community center. Today, the track still remains busy with freight trains running multiple times a day, with the average train spanning over three miles.
For more information on the Friends of the Milton Train Station, click here.
Friends of the Milton Train Station. (2007). First Annual Lawn Party Fundraiser Brochure.
Mahan, M. (2002). The First Hundred Years. Writers Club Press. New York, NY.
“Milton-on-Hudson.” (2014). Hudson Valley Magazine.
“Milton Training Days.” (2008). About Town.
New York Central Railroad. (1959). Notice to West Shore Riders. End of Service.
"New York Central R.R. Must Keep Milton Station Open, Says Comm." (1952). The Marlborough Record
“No Agent at the Milton Train Station of the West Shore Railroad. (1947). The Marlborough Record.
Reynolds, M. (2018). Milton Train Station Project Completed. My Hudson Valley.
“West Shore Station at Milton.” (1884). The Kingston Daily Freeman.
“West Shore Station at Milton Changes Agents at Very Rapid Rate.” (1941). The Marlborough Record.
"Young Telephone Worker Killed." (1968). Southern Ulster Pioneer.