Everything You Wanted To Know About Railroads Through Syracuse, New York; But Were Afraid To Ask


The New York Central Railroad entered the Carrier Corporation plant on what was still referred to in 1950 as the Syracuse Junction Railroad. The air conditioning unit being loaded was bound for the United Nations building being constructed in 1950.

Incorporated June 9, 1873. The road was built by The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company to take the two freight tracks of its four track system around the city of Syracuse and was opened November 16, 1874. It was leased to The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company April 10, 1875, as a legal formality, and on October 7, 1879, was absorbed under authority of law.
(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)

 

The NYC had three lines thru Syracuse:

  1. The original down Water St, then Washington St thru downtown to the 1st station located on West Fayette St. Freight trains never operated on Washington St. except to service the Continental Can Company which was located to the East of Midtown Plaza. The West St. freight yard was built to interchange cars with the D.L.& W. R.R. and to be able to service some businesses on Tracy St. Back in time, I believe there were team tracks to unload freight there to so that the in City customers would not have to go all the way to DeWitt. The lake line—or Syracuse Junction Railroad– was built for freight traffic to bypass the City, it was enough of a hassle to have passenger trains running at all hours down Washington St. without adding freight trains to the mess. There indeed were team tracks at West St Yard. A large freight house for LCL/Pacemaker fronted on West St with the platforms behind it extending westward toward Geddes St. The north side of the building had the platform & doors for motor carrier access. This platform was set back from Erie Blvd a sufficient distance to allow trucks to maneuver and back up to the freight doors. The east end of the building was freight agency offices, the platforms behind it started about opposite the Dietz Lantern Co building on the north side of Erie Blvd. One track at grade level went alongside the freight platforms on the north side but was always blocked with truck trailers. At the west end of this track a switch allowed a spur to curve toward the north, cross the Blvd, and serve Dietz. The Team Tracks were west of this switch paved with blocks at the same grade as the street. Don’t know how many team tracks but more than two, also recall small electric hoist here that I believe to be from the era of steel LCL boxes on flatcars.
  1. The “Lake Line” that left the main at Clark St in East Syracuse to pass through the northern industrial areas of Syracuse proper, and rejoined the main line again on the west side of town at Syracuse Jct. The lake line—or Syracuse Junction Railroad– was built for freight traffic to bypass the City. the lake line The Syracuse Junction Railroad, established in 1873 and opened in 1874, was built by the New York Central and Hudson Railroad to route two freight tracks of a four-track system around the city of Syracuse, New York. Syracuse Junction Railroad was established on June 9, 1873, by the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company in order to route two freight tracks of its four-track system around the city of Syracuse. The line opened for business on November 16, 1874. It was leased back to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company on April 10, 1875, as a legal formality and was absorbed under authority of law on April 10, 1875, and changed to New York Central Railroad in 1914.
  2. The elevated psgr line from Midler Ave to Syracuse Jct. The elevated line ran on the road bed of the west shore. It was built in the 1935-36 time period.
Syracuse Passenger Station in the 1940's
Syracuse Passenger Station in the 1940’s

 

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