Category Archives: ny central railroad

The D&H at one time connected with two railroads in Oneonta

The first was the Catskill Mountain Branch of the New York Central, later Penn Central; the second was the Southern New York Railway, an interurban which ran from Oneonta to Mohawk, NY, on the Mohawk River.

Another neaby railroad that did not connect was the Unadilla Valley.

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DEXTER AND NORTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY

The railroad of the Dexter and Northern Railroad Company, was a single-track standard-gauge steam railroad, located in New York. The main line extends easterly from Dexter to Dexter Junction, a distance of 0.462 mile. The carrier also owns 0.419 mile of yard tracks and sidings. Its road thus embraces 0.881 mile of all tracks owned and used. In addition, the carrier has trackage rights over the railroad of the New York Central Railroad Company between Dexter and a point about 2 miles west of Brownville, N. Y.

CORPORATE HISTORY

The carrier was incorporated July 23, 1908, under the general laws of the State of New York. The date of its organization has not been ascertainable from the records reviewed.

DEVELOPMENT OF FIXED PHYSICAL PROPERTY

The owned mileage of the carrier, extending from Dexter to Dexter Junction, N. Y., a distance of 0.462 mile, was acquired by construction. The returns of the carrier to valuation order No. 20 show that its property was constructed during the period from 1908 to 1910 by or under the supervision of the Dexter Sulphite Pulp and Paper Company.

1956:

the Dexter & Northern Railroad line was purchased by the New York Central Railroad and reopened for service.

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George H. Daniels

The ‘Twentieth Century Limited’ and the ‘Empire State Express’ were originated by George H. Daniels who was the General Passenger Agent and later the first advertising manager of the New York Central. His many contributions to the success of the Central rank him as one of the greats of American advertising. Daniels worked on Mississippi steamboats as a youth and sold patent medicine before joining the railroad in 1889. He was a great publicist and did such things as give “red caps” their name and put the ‘Empire State Express’ on a postage stamp.

George H. Daniels, the NY Central General Passenger Agent, turned his advertising magic on and built the Thousand Islands up as a premier resort area.

Today’s Poor Prediction
“It may, however, be safe to assume that it will hardly be possible to apply electricity to haul great passenger trains.”
– George H. Daniels, railroad executive, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1900.

In most of the complaints randomly picked from files, the newsroom seemed to get the last word. In 1903, George H. Daniels of the New York Central and Hudson River Rail Road Company threatened to pull display advertising because of the series of “mean articles” by F. C. Mortimer. Mr. Mortimer responded, “As for the number of ‘mean attacks’ mentioned by the amiable Mr. Daniels, they have appeared, perhaps, twice for every three times that the train service at the Grand Central Station has utterly broken down.”

Read his story of “Health and Pleasure” from the 1890’s.

Elgin Genealogical Society GAR Obituaries

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Central Warehouse in Albany NY

In Albany, New York there is a huge warehouse that has gone sort of obsolete with advances in frozen food procedures and exit of Albany as a meat processor. Not only does it have a rail siding and an interior “railroad station”, but it is only a few feet away from the Amtrak New York to Chicago line. It is almost shouting distance from the Livingston Avenue Bridge that is the Amtrak New York to Chicago line. Well anyway in October, 2010 it caught on fire from someone removing steel pipes and using cutting torches near cork insulation. See some great pictures of the Central Warehouse.

Fire continued to smolder inside the former Central Warehouse cold storage building more than 48 hours after the fire in the Albany landmark was first reported, but Albany Fire Chief Robert Forezzi Sr. said the vacant eyesore is in no danger of collapsing. Firefighters were shooting 1,000 gallons of water per minute into the building’s 10th floor in an attempt to extinguish cork insulation that was still smoking. Despite more than two days of fire damage and constant water being pumped into the structure, Forezzi said the 83-year-old building’s massive concrete and steel frame will hold. The only evidence Sunday that the 400,000-square-foot former refrigeration facility had been ablaze was water running down the outside walls.

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Amsterdam, Chuctanunda and Northern Railroad

Here’s an old map of Amsterdam (courtesy of Russ Nelson) which shows the Kellogg’s Branch (Amsterdam, Chuctanunda and Northern Railroad) leaving the New York Central mainline which runs on the East side of the Mohawk River.

Across the Mohawk River, is the West Shore Railroad.

Another, more detailed, map of the Kellogg Branch from Gino’s Rail Page, shows the entire extent of the branch. Careful! It’s BIG

In the Amsterdam, New York, area, a short spur leaves the old New York Central mainline and goes up a hill to the upper portion of Amsterdam. Once this was a separate railroad. It has continued as a branch under Penn Central, Conrail, and now CSX.

It is known as the Kellogg Industrial or by CSX as “CP-173 -to- QCG1.60”.

Here’s what the branch looks like:

CP-173: Chicago Line: Kellogg’s Yard QCG0.00
New York State Route 5 Undergrade Bridge QCG0.33
Chuctanunda Creek Bridge QCG0.98
Vrooman Avenue Grade Crossing QCG1.20
James Street Grade Crossing QCG1.40
Church Street Grade Crossing QCG1.49
Jay Street Grade Crossing QCG1.49
End Of Track QCG1.60

The Kellogg Branch was actually a separate railroad corporation: The Amsterdam, Chucktanunda and Northern Railroad Company. The Kellogg family owned it, and had built it (1879) to serve the their mills on the hill in upper Amsterdam. The NYC leased the RR (1907) and operated it. This railroad corporation used to show up in “Moody’s Railroads” as late as 1954 and shows it extending “about 1 mile” from the NYC main line to Jay St., Amsterdam. The AC&N owned the right-of-way, and NYCRR owned the track, aggregating about 2.71 miles including side tracks. There were 200 shares of stock outstanding, with a par value of $100, all owned by Lauren Kellog and Elizabeth K. Swift. It paid a dividend of 14.75 in 1953.

1959 Employee Timetable shows equipment restrictions as cranes X-13 to X-16 and engines nos. 526 to 566, 1000 to 5104, 6600 to 6903. The cranes were all 250-ton wrecking cranes, and the engine restrictions essentially prohibited cab units. The maximum gross weight for cars operated without special authority on the Mohawk Division at the time was 220,000 lbs (nominal 70 ton capacity) and there were no additional weight restrictions on the Branch. In 1950, the restriction read: engines heavier than U-2a, U-2b, U-2d and U-2f must not operate over the Kellogs Branch. (those were 0-8-0’s).

It is one of the steepist adhesion railroad grades in service in the country.

The Kellog’s Branch was established in the late 1800’s as a connection for the Kellogg and Miller Linseed Oil operation. Remains of this can be seen behind the present Dunkin Donuts on Route 67 in Amsterdam. The line was extended to the Sanford Carpet Mills, present day Noteworthy Printing.

NYC named the line the Kellogg’s Branch and for some reason, Conrail refered to it as “The Kellog’s Branch.” Why they dropped the last ‘G’, who knows.

In 1905, a spur was built off the Branch (Originally called the Linseed Oil Branch) headed north to the Mclarey and Wallins Carpet Mills, later Mohawk Mills. A large wooden trestle was built across a ravine to reach the plant. There was a steam generating plant there as well, which facilitated another trestle, this one made of stone. Parts of the trestle are still on the property. The smoke stack, seen all over Amsterdam and as you made your way up the NYS Thruway was just knocked down recently.

Sometime in the 1960s, a spur was built to Fiberglass Industries in the Edison Ave. Industrial Park. This is THE sole remaining customer.

The line was abandoned from the FGI spur north around 1990. Some of the last customers on the line were a paper company, COLECO toys (Former Sanford Mill) and a lumber yard just north of the FGI switch. The trestles were removed sometime in the 1990’s. There were several impressive ones. The two at Mohawk Mills, and a large wooden trestle that curved over the Chuctanunda Creek near the Forest Ave. Paper Mill.

A Conrail caboose was used to push up the branch, but after a derailment in 2004 it was moved to the CSX interchange where it has sat ever since. In 2006, 3 trips are made a week, usually Monday, Wednesday. and Friday. Inbound covered hoppers of sand come in and emptys go out.

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New York Central Fire Brigades

New York Central had several fire departments composed of volunteers from railroad employees. Some locations like West Albany and Selkirk had actual fire trains. Other locations had a single car. Beech Grove Shops on the Big 4 in Indianapolis had a home made fire engine pulled by a tractor. Several cars were available for the Adirondack Division as the road passed through a forest preserve. These cars had lots of the backpack pumps, called Indian Pumps. In 1950 West Albany was still a big railroad facility as evidenced by the West Albany Fire Brigade.

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THE SYRACUSE JUNCTION RAILROAD COMPANY

The New York Central 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)

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Troy & Greenbush Railroad

The Troy and Greenbush Railroad was chartered in 1845 and opened later that year, connecting Troy south to East Albany (now Rensselaer) on the east side of the Hudson River.

It was the last link in an all-rail line between Boston and Buffalo. Until bridges were built between Albany and Rensselaer, passengers crossed on ferries while the train went up to Troy, crossed the Hudson River, and came back down to Albany.

The Hudson River Railroad was chartered in 1846 to extend this line south to New York City; the full line opened in 1851. Prior to completion, the Hudson River leased the Troy and Greenbush.

The two railroad bridges crossing the Hudson River between Rensselaer and Albany were owned nominally by a separate organization called The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany, incorporated in 1856. This ownership was vested in The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, three-fourths, and the Boston and Albany Railroad Company, one-fourth. Except for foot passengers, the bridges were used exclusively for railroad purposes. The north bridge (variously referred to as the Livingston Avenue Bridge or Freight Bridge) was opened in 1866, and the south bridge (variously referred to as the Maiden Lane Bridge or Passenger Bridge) in 1872.

The first railroad in New York State, and one of the first anywhere, was the Mohawk & Hudson, connecting Albany and Schenectady. The Rensselaer & Saratoga Rail Road followed in 1832, only a year later. Within twenty years, three more railroads came into Troy:
(1) Troy & Greenbush;
(2) Troy & Boston; and
(3)Troy & Schenectady.
The resulting congestion led to the formation of the Troy Union Railroad in 1851, owned jointly by the four roads. It opened in 1854. The tracks were moved from River Street to Sixth Avenue and a new station built. One of the lines was eventually bought by the D&H RR (Rensselaer & Saratoga RR), two were merged into the New York Central RR (Troy & Schenectady RR and the Troy & Greenbush RR), and the fourth became part of the Boston & Maine RR (Troy & Boston RR).

TROY AND GREENBUSH RAILROAD ASSOCIATION was incorporated May 14, 1845; road opened June, 1846. Leased June 1, 1851, for the term of its charter or any extension thereof to The Hudson River Railroad Company at an annual rental of seven per cent on $275,000 capital stock. The lease was assumed by The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company under the consolidation of 1913.

This Company was incorporated May 11, 1845, and organized May 14, under a lease from the New York and Albany Railway Company. According to the charter the road extended from Washington street, in Troy, to where it intersected the track of the Schenectady and Troy Railroad, to Greenbush, where it connected with the track of the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad. On its completion trains were drawn by locomotives up through River street to the intersection of King and River streets, Troy, where the depot was situated. On January 1, 1851, the road was leased to the New York and Troy Railroad Company. This was subsequently leased to the Hudson River Railroad for seven per cent. on $275,000 its capital stock.

From our archives of New York State Railroads: “GREENBUSH, one hundred and forty-three miles, is the northern terminus of the Hudson River Railroad. The Troy and Greenbush road, six miles in length, is run by the former company under a lease. Passengers can cross the ferry here to Albany, or continue on to Troy, trains being run every hour, and immediately upon the arrival of the New York trains. The western terminus of the Albany and Boston is also at Greenbush. Extensive depot accommodations have already been erected here, which will soon be increased, and the vast business in freighting done by the various roads will tend to render this village a very important point.”

In 1851 the Hudson River Railroad leased the Troy & Greenbush. If the Mohawk Valley were to be built, then there would be a true rival to the Mohawk & Hudson and the Utica & Schenectady. When the Hudson River RR failed to press its advantage, Troy tried to get the Harlem to extend to Troy from Chatham. Russell Sage chaired a committee that concluded city should sell its railroad. Also involved was Edwin Morgan, the president of the Hudson River RR. The net result was a sell-out to the New York Central.

The 1950 Annual Report of the New York Central shows improvements on leased or controlled property Troy and Greenbush Railroad $238,925.55

Another interesting division problem was the Troy and Greenbush Branch from Rensselaer to the Troy Union Railroad. In the 1920’s, when the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were separate, it belonged to the Hudson Division and was dispatched from New York. When the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were combined, the T&G was still dispatched by the Hudson dispatcher, at Albany, until sometime in the 1940’s. When the Hudson and Mohawk were split in the 1950’s, the T&G went to the Mohawk Division and was dispatched from Utica.

Today, all that is left is the “Troy Industrial Spur” that runs from the Livingston Avenue Bridge to South Troy.

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New York Central’s Fall Brook Subdivision

In 1873, the Blossburg and Corning Railroad and the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad were merged to form the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railway. Owned largely by the Fall Brook Coal Company, the CC&A was reorganized in 1892 as a part of the Fall Brook Railway, which, via three additional holdings, the Geneva and Lyons Railroad, the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railway, and the Pine Creek Railway, offered through passenger service between Lyons, New York, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

In 1899 the Fall Brook Railway was leased to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, which was in turn reorganized in 1914 as the New York Central Railroad. All ex-Fall Brook lines were operated as the Fall Brook Subdivision of Central’s Pennsylvania Division. The New York Central was succeeded in 1968 by the Penn Central Transportation Company, which was itself succeeded in 1976 by Conrail.

In 1988 Conrail ceased operation of its line between Wellsboro Junction and Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, leaving only the line between Gang Mills (near Corning), New York, and Wellsboro, and making the name “Wellsboro Junction” something of an anachronism. With this abandonment, the remaining line became and continues to be the only railroad in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County.

On December 31,1992, Conrail ceased operation between Gang Mills and Wellsboro. So that freight service might be maintained, the line was purchased by Growth Resources of Wellsboro (GROW) and began a new life as the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad. Tioga Central began operating passenger excursion trains over the Wellsboro and Corning in May, 1994.

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