Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge fire on May 8, 1974, on the Penn Central Railroad over the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. The fire caused enough damage to permantly close the bridge to rail traffic. Trains were diverted to alternative routes, and many railroad facilities in the area closed, including the large yard at Maybrook, New York
. It was likely started by a spark from an eastbound freight train. Due to cost reductions by the financially-strapped railroad, there were no watchmen to immediately notice the fire, and no water available on the bridge. Altogether, some 125 local firefighters spent 12 hours containing the blaze. The bridge had been an important link in the northeast rail system following its completion in 1888. The 6,768-foot cantilever truss bridge still stands and remains a visual icon of the region. Restoration work to turn the bridge into a public park and walkway began in May 2008 by the group Walkway Over the Hudson, which opened the bridge in October 2009.