We came across this article by Great Barrington historian Bernard Drew and were delighted to learn more about the train services that criss-crossed the Berkshires in the past.

We hiked a leg of the abandoned Berkshire Railroad in south West Stockbridge in search of a cattle pass. The Berkshire line was chartered in 1837 to continue the Housatonic Railroad from the Connecticut border through Sheffield and Great Barrington to West Stockbridge. It opened in December 1842.


New York interests had already promoted a railroad from Hudson to the Massachusetts border at State Line. The 31-mile Hudson & Berkshire Railroad opened in 1838 for passengers and marble and other freight. A short extension called the West Stockbridge Railroad had brought the tracks into West Stockbridge village in 1838 to end near the present No. 6 Depot Roastery and Café. The Housatonic Railroad leased the Berkshire Railroad and the West Stockbridge Railroad tracks and had a continuous route from Bridgeport to Hudson.


. . . As we walked, we admired the engineering — this roadbed from VanDeusenville to Shaker Mill was accomplished with only six culverts and two bridges over the Williams River.