The Otis Elevator Company and Mohawk Construction opened the railway on Memorial day, 1902. Sixty thousand fares were sold in its first year; two decades later that had almost doubled. Riders were often day visitors from New York who came up the Hudson River by steamboat to Newburgh and then took a ferry to Beacon. After a trolley trip to the base station on Wolcott Avenue (today NY 9D), the railway would take them up to the 1,531-foot (467 m) northern summit, via a 65% grade, the steepest in existence while the railroad operated.
At the summit, they could then visit the Beaconcrest Hotel, the Casino, or up to the summit to take in the 75-mile (120 km) views of the valley and surrounding areas. Once it opened in 1922, Beacon Reservoir, the city's main water source, also became a popular place to visit.
In 1982 the railway was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It ceased operations after a fire destroyed many of its buildings the next year. The route still remains and is visible from much of the city. The Mount Beacon Incline Railroad Restoration Society is working to rebuild the railroad and restore service.
Permanent Mount Beacon uses four 3 W LEDs.(Larson Electronics' Magnalight Releases Permanent Mount LED Beacon)
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