Category Archives: Utica

$2M deal leads to new name for Utica Aud

A local bank made a substantial transaction in the downtown area Wednesday. Adirondack Bank has purchased the naming rights to the 4,000-seat Utica Memorial Auditorium for $2 million.

Adirondack Bank has purchased the naming rights to the 4,000-seat Utica Memorial Auditorium, which opened in 1960. For the next decade, the multi-purpose arena will be known as the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The 10-year naming rights pact is for $2 million, Mohawk Valley Garden Inc. President Robert Esche said.

“This auditorium was built on the pride of the community and the veterans that gave their lives and served our country,” President and CEO of Adirondack Bank Rocco Arcuri said after the deal was announced. “We thought it was a great fit for us.”

The agreement is between the bank and the Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority, which oversees the facility. The deal was announced Wednesday at a news conference on the Aud’s front lawn near Oriskany Street. The event included officials from the auditorium, the bank, Oneida County, Mohawk Valley Garden and Utica College, as well as local veterans.

“It’s becoming the type of auditorium that I think everybody envisioned probably 60 years ago,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said. “As things have changed over the years, it is no different here in Oneida County and Utica than it is in some bigger cities. It is a small venue, but it has all of the feel and all of the excitement … of a large arena.”

The building serves as the home to the popular Utica Comets American Hockey League franchise as well as the Utica College men’s and women’s NCAA Division III hockey programs. The venue also has hosted a variety of concerts, shows and events throughout the years.

Officials said it was important to keep the “Memorial” portion of the building’s name as a way to continue to honor veterans in the Mohawk Valley. Vincent Scalise, executive director of Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, said the move “will preserve the memories of veterans for years to come.”

“When we did this, we met with the veterans and wanted to make sure this was something that … they viewed in a positive manner,” said Esche, who noted the Aud’s General Manager Rick Redmond is a combat veteran.

Arcuri said a key motivation for the agreement is to provide support for the community. Since May, the building has been undergoing a multi-million-dollar, 21,000-square-foot addition and renovation project, which is expected to be completed before Oct. 27 when the UC men’s team plays its first home game. The Comets home opener is Nov. 1.

Reaction to the name change on the O-D’s Facebook page was mixed:

* “Most arenas have a sponsor name, so it’s not a big deal. Let’s all be thankful it’s still here and bringing things to this city.”

* “If the sponsorship helps to ensure the financial stability of the team so that they will stay here for a long period of time, more power to it.”

* “Leave the name alone … always has and always will be the Aud!”

* “The Aud will always be the name; history speaks for itself.”

Signage with the name change is expected to be placed around the outside of the building soon, Esche said. The bank’s logo also will appear on Comets’ helmets. The bank has been a sponsor for Utica College events as well.

“When you come to these games, they’re so loud,” said Arcuri, who noted that the bank will get one of six new suites being added during the construction project. “Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?”

Utica OD

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Last Steam On NY Central Lines East

THE TWENTY-FIVE Niagaras of this type were almost the last steam locomotives to be purchased by the New York Central. Built in 1945 and 1946, the S1’s were designed as dual-purpose engines (from catskillarchive.com)

The Centrals last steam run in New York state was on August 7, 1953 with locomotive No. 6020 taking train #185 out of Harmon. Employees Timetable, No. 71 from the Mohawk and Hudson Divisions dated Sunday, April 29, 1951 lists Train 185 as a MILK TRAIN with a footnote stating “Will not carry passengers”. Train 185 was a New York – Utica milk train that ran via Rensselaer Yard. It departed Croton at 10.50 a.m. My Electric Division and New York Terminal District Time Table shows No. 185 originating at 60th Street on the NYTD.

On hand in Utica were many to see the event. Included were NY Central Paymaster Ken Knapp and his young (then) grandson…..now our manager.

The LONGEST Interurban Trip!

“The longest continuous trip one could take by interurban was, naturally, in the Northeast and Middle West. Between 1910 and 1922 it was possible to travel by interurban from Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin…to Oneonta, New York…a distance of about 1,087 miles. There is no recorded instance of anyone’s taking such a trip, but in 1910…22 businessmen of Utica, New York, chartered car 502 of the New York Central Railroad’s Oneida Railway for a round trip on interurban track to Louisville, Kentucky. Traveling by day and spending nights in hotels, the passengers were royally entertained by interurban executives en route. Although long trips were taken by individual enthusiasts, this was probably the most extensive organized trip ever taken entirely by interurban. *** It was never possible to travel by interurban from Chicago to New York; gaps between Little Falls and Fonda and between Hudson and Tarrytown, both in New York, were never filled.”

Excerpted from _The Electric Interurban Railways in America_, by George W. Hilton and John F. Due, Stanford Univ Press 1960, p. 42: I think this insert was originally written by Robert Gurley of New Hartford, New York (New Hartford is a suburb of Utica; I grew up there so maybe I even know what I’m talking about).

This is a guest post by my boss, Penney

Check out our WebSite on the Southern New York Railway
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/the-southern-new-york-railway/

A Trip On The West Shore Railroad…Late1950’s

Let’s take an imaginary trip on the West Shore at some point before the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when the West Shore started to disappear:

Two ferry routes connect to Manhattan; one goes to 42d Street and the other downtown to Cortlandt Street.

The New Jersey Junction Railroad, a five-mile long New York Central affiliate, provides connections for interchange between the various railroads in the Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken area. From Weehawken to National Junction is classified as yard limits. There is a grain elevator and a pier originating carloads of bananas. Floats destined for the many ports of the New York harbor originate and terminate here.

Up until 1957, Ontario & Western trains share the line between Cornwall and Weehawken. Diesels replaced steam on the West Shore in 1952. The ferry service and commuter runs will be gone by the end of 1959, ending a decline begun by the 1931 opening of the George Washington Bridge. Just above Weehawken, the Palisades crowd the river and force servicing operations to be located in North Bergen. Four miles west by operating direction, but north by geographic orientation, is the New York, Susquehanna & Western interchange at Little Ferry.

The road is mostly four track until Dumont, where several commuter runs terminate, their trains laying over in an adjacent yard. Beyond Dumont, the line is double track to Selkirk. After the commuters leave, the second track will be torn up. Above Dumont, there are ten commuter stops before West Haverstraw, where other commuter runs lay over. Just beyond West Haverstraw the road reaches the river and winds its way to Newburgh, where long-distance commuter runs terminate. A few passenger runs continue to Kingston and Albany, mostly serving local passengers as train times are exceedingly slow compared to New York City/Albany on the Hudson Division. All told, between freight and commuters, this is a busy line. Kingston is the next major city, and both the Wallkill and Catskill Mountain branches are still active. Beyond Kingston, huge cement plants originate countless carloads.

The West Shore from Weehawken joins the Boston & Albany at the south end of Selkirk Yard. The Castleton Bridge, a high, mile-long span carries Selkirk traffic into the Hudson Division and the Boston & Albany. Tower SK controls this point. Selkirk Yard was originally developed in the 1920’s to ease the strain on West Albany. It was rebuilt in the late 1960’s as the Alfred E. Perlman Yard. A branch runs from Selkirk into Albany (11 miles). Access to the Albany station is over the Delaware & Hudson trackage from Kenwood Junction to the north end of the station at street level.

After leaving Selkirk heading west, the line crosses the D&H’s Albany-Delanson line and Voorheesville and crosses the Normanskill on a high bridge. At Fullers the tracks cross on an overpass and operation is left-hand running. The Carman Cutoff leads into Schenectady. Next, the West Shore crosses over the D&H main on a pair of bridges near Burdeck Street. Rotterdam Junction is the interchange with the Boston & Maine as well as a bridge to the New York Central main line at Hoffmans.

Most freight from the west leaves the main at Hoffmans and follows the West Shore to Selkirk. RJ Tower is located on the river bluff just west of the town. It will disappear when the area goes under CTC control from Utica.

West of this point is little used and portions will be among the first to be abandoned. At Fultonville is an old West Shore station with “NYWS&B” stenciled under the eaves. Proceeding west through scenic territory, the Mohawk River is almost always in view. The line passes nearby the home of General Nicholas Herkimer of Revolutionary War fame. At Little Falls the track goes by the river and canal lock at the bank. Near Mohawk, the New York State Railways interurbans shared the track for several years. A connection with the main line is at Schuyler Junction.

The West Shore proceeds through South Utica to near New York Mills, where both the Lackawanna’s Utica branch and the Ontario & Western’s Utica branch cross it at grade. There is a short branch serving the textile mills in New York Mills. At Clark Mills, the Rome branch of the O&W crosses. The main line of the O&W crosses at Oneida Castle and the Lehigh Valley crosses at Canastota. At Kirkville Junction there is a crossover to the New York Central main line, and a few miles further the Chenango Branch joins the West Shore. Traffic is light on this branch and soon Earlville to Manlius will be ripped up. The section from Utica to Rome was electrified for several years. West Shore passenger trains ran on the main line from Syracuse to Utica and left the “direct” route to the NY State Railways interurbans.

From Syracuse to Buffalo (don’t forget, the West Shore bypasses Rochester), the West Shore and New York Central weave across each another several times. The West Shore goes slightly north of Syracuse, while the Central goes right through town. At Lyons, there is an interchange with the Pennsylvania Division. Before reaching Buffalo, there are crossings with the Pennsylvania, Erie, R&D and Lehigh Valley. Waynesport to Chili Junction and Byron to Buffalo will survive as branches to serve local industry after the West Shore as a through route is eliminated as redundant by 1961. The West Shore terminates in East Buffalo with connections to the immediate world.

Find out more about the West Shore
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/more-on-the-west-shore/

UTICA COMETS 2016-17 SCHEDULE

The Utica Comets and the American Hockey League have announced their 2016-17 regular season schedule. The fourth season of Comets hockey will begin with a Saturday-Sunday weekend series in Toronto when they face the Marlies on Oct. 15 at 1p.m., and Oct. 16 at 5p.m.

Printable Schedule| Online Schedule
Opening weekend in Utica will kick-off with a intradivision rivalry showdown when the Binghamton Senators visit The AUD on Wednesday, Oct. 26. It will continue with a Friday night contest against the Providence Bruins on Oct. 28.

The Comets 2016-17 season will see the team play two games in NHL arenas. On Saturday, Nov. 26, the Comets and Marlies will play at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:30p.m. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Amerks and the Comets will square off at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Puck drop at the home of the Buffalo Sabres is scheduled for 7:05p.m.

This season the Comets will once again host theme nights such as Pink the Rink, Military Night, and Clinton Comets Appreciation Night. Dates and details for these nights will be announced at a future date.

Utica will once again have a fan-friendly schedule with 26 of their 38 home games occurring on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This year’s schedule provides Comets fans with the opportunity to see the other 13 teams in the Eastern Conference play against the Comets this season including the AHL’s newest team, the Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida Panthers), who will make their first visit to The AUD on Friday, Nov. 18. A new rule for this season will provide Comets fans the opportunity to see all three of the Comets sweaters at The AUD. After the league-mandated Christmas break (Dec. 22-25), teams will don their dark sweaters in their home arenas. Prior to the break, teams will wear their traditional white jerseys at home.

The growing rivalry with the Syracuse Crunch will reach a new level this season with 12 meetings between the two clubs. The first game in the Galaxy Cup rivalry will take place in Syracuse on Oct. 22, at 7p.m. The Crunch are scheduled to make their first visit to Utica on Wednesday, Nov. 23. All-time the Comets possess an 11-6-2-1 record against their closest rival, and have captured The Galaxy Cup in all three years.

Tickets to all individual games will go on sale at a future date. For the latest Comets news visit http://www.uticacomets.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uticacomets), Twitter (@UticaComets) and Instagram (@UticaComets).

Group Fights To Save The Adirondack Railroad

UTICA —”This has never been easy for the railroad or its supporters,” said Bethan Maher at a Friday afternoon rally in support of preserving the entire length of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

The group behind the rally, the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society — of which Maher is executive director — is challenging the state’s plan to remove a 34-mile stretch of the railroad between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid and replace it with a recreational trail.

SaveTheRailsORGAt issue is communities along the line, such as Utica, which want to preserve the line as an infrastructure and tourism boon. Supporters hope to see trails co-exist with the railroad. There currently is a legal challenge working its way through state Supreme Court against the state’s decision.

“We are invested so heavily in this,” County Executive Anthony Picente said of tourism development around the rail line and the ability to find ways for trails and rails to co-exist. “It’s not about dissing the snowmobilers (who would be able to use the state’s proposed 34-mile recreational trail). There are other ways to cross the state.”

State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, said at Friday’s rally that “officials in Albany lost their train of thought when they decided to rip up the tracks. We should be building up our rail infrastructure. … We need to send a message to Albany that this is an ill-conceived plan and it will not stand.”

On a final note at the rally, Mark Mojave, owner of Gerber’s Tavern in Bagg’s Square West in Utica, pointed out to the crowd: “Johnny Cash never sang about a rail trail.”

Lot of Trivia on New York Central Railroad History

One of the items we follow is a list of NY Central news items from Mark Tomlonson. Sometimes we comment on them.

April 17, 1826 The Mohawk & Hudson Railroad is chartered in New York State. Most historians consider this the first event leading to the New York Central System.

May 8, 1858 The New York Central provides a sleeping car on overnight trains between Albany and Buffalo NY. COMMENT: The New York Central was instrumental in early railroading in United States. Check out The Original New York Central Railroad

May 3, 1875 The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad opens the first portion of its Fourth Avenue Improvement in New York City for full revenue service. The section from 56th to 94th Street has been placed in a combination cut-and-cover and tunnel with smoke vents in center of Park Avenue. COMMENT: See Grand Central Terminal

May 7, 1921 The New York Central makes the first test of run of mail containers, from New York and Chicago. COMMENT: The Central was very important in the development of the US Post Office. Read more on Head End Equipment.

April 19, 1940 The Lake Shore Limited wrecks at Little Falls NY. Thirty-nine people are killed. The Road Foreman of Engines, who was riding in the cab and survived the wreck, reported that the engineer, approaching a curve too fast, seemed disoriented. The engineer cut the throttle instead of applying brakes, causing a severe run-in and derailment. COMMENT: See more at NY Central Wreck

May 1, 1950 The New York Central places the first Budd RDC cars (“”Beeliners” on the NYC) in revenue service between Boston and Springfield MA. COMMENT: BEELINERS

May 2, 1957 The last steam locomotive operates on the New York Central as 2-8-2 Class H-7a 1977 drops its fires at Riverside Yard in Cincinnati.

May 8, 1962 Stockholders in both the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads approve the Penn Central merger. COMMENT: Bad Day!!!   See What If No Penn Central

April 28, 2009 Workers replace what is believed to be the last incandescent light in Grand Central Terminal. Managers admit they may have missed an incandescent among the roughly 4,000 bulbs in the facility.

Sometimes we find interesting pictures.

Utica Trolley In ClintonAt one point, Utica trolley system was owned by New York Central. It used to serve Clinton, NY

Other times we get great pictures. Especially from Wayne Koch.

September 1955
It would be the last time he would see steam on NYC trains in Chicago. Thanks for viewing!
 1955: The Last Gasp–NYC steam in Chicagoland…
LastNYCsteamInChicago

 

 

Comets Bow Out in First Round

The Utica Comets third season came to a halt with a 6-3 loss to the Albany Devils Thursday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Devils took the best-of-five series three games to one.

Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) had a multi-point night for Utica, while Alex Friesen (1-0-1) and T.J Hensick (1-0-1) had the other two Comet goals. Travis Ehrhardt (0-1-1), David Shields (0-1-1), Jordan Subban (0-1-1), and Jon Landry (0-1-1) each had an assist on the night.

Albany fed off of a Comets mistake to jump out to a 1-0 lead early in the first. A Utica pass was picked off in the Comets zone by Matt Lorito. He took the puck down the center of the ice and ripped a shot past Joe Cannata.

The Devils were able to strike again seconds later on a Joseph Blandisi goal. Blandisi brought the puck down the left side of the ice and in on net. He made a move to get Cannata off balance and backhanded a shot into the net to give Albany a 2-0 lead.

Mike Sislo extended the Albany lead just over halfway through the first period. The Devils got out on a two on one and Blandisi skated down the right side with the puck. He then zipped a pass to Sislo, who streaked down the middle for a one-timer, Which gave the Devils a 3-0 lead.

Reid Boucher added on to the Devils lead in the second, turning defense into offense. Boucher stole the puck in the Comets zone, had an open scoring chance and took advantage, as he sent a shot past Cannata to make it 4-0.

Utica showed some urgency towards the end of the second, as they connected for a goal to make it 4-1. Shields fired a shot on net that deflected off the net minder. Ehrhardt grabbed the rebound and rifled a pass across the slot to Grenier who one-timed it into the open net to give the Utica crowd some life.

Albany was able to strike shortly after with a short-handed goal. Pavel Zacha got the puck on the goal line and passed it out to Blake Pietila, who put a wrist shot to the right of Cannata for a 5-1 Devils lead.

The Comets didn’t go away easy, as they cut the lead to 5-2 early in the third. Subban set up Friesen, who stood above the right circle. Friesen ripped a shot that went through the legs of the goalkeeper and kept Utica in it.

Hensick and the Comets chipped away at the Albany lead again midway through the third. Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood went behind the net to get the puck and Grenier snuck up on him and stole it. Grenier found Hensick in the crease for a one-timer, as Wedgewood was trying to scramble to get back. The Hensick goal cut the Devils lead to 5-3.

Richard Bachman was pulled from net with just over two minutes left in the game and Pietila put one in from mid ice to close out the scoring and give the Devils a 6-3 win.

Utica totaled 35 shots on the night, while Albany finished with 34 shots. Cannata (23 saves) and Richard Bachman (5 saves) combined for 28 saves in net for the Comets. Wedgewood made 32 saves in goal for the Devils.

Revitalization work continues on New York regional’s Utica main line

A multiyear effort to restore service along New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway‘s (NYSW) Utica main line will continue this year starting with the removal of brush and other obstacles along 45.5 miles of right of way in Chenango County, N.Y.

Frontier Railroad Services LLC of New Stanton, Pa., will begin the brush clearance today, which will allow access to damaged sections of track that are scheduled for repair during the 2016 construction season, said Chenango County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) officials in a press release.

Starting in the Sherburne area, workers will fill washouts, resurface bridge decks, and make other repairs. The project’s final phase will involve replacing several thousand crossties and reactivating crossing signals, agency officials said.

When completed, the project will allow restoration of NYSW service between Binghamton and Utica, and will provide freight customers with access to both the Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX lines.

NYSW’s Utica Main Line was taken out of service after flooding in 2006 ruined the track. In 2011, the CCIDA obtained $772,000 in funding from the New York State Department of Transportation toward the rail line’s repairs. That funding leveraged an additional $4.7 million in federal funds.

The NYSW, Chenango County, Development Chenango Corp. and CCIDA are providing a total of more than $400,000 to complete the nonfederal match.

Construction is expected to continue through June 2017.

Old destination? Utica, New York

UticaUnionStationToo

Comets Ride Electric Crowd to OT Win

The Utica Comets rallied off of the electric Utica crowd to defeat the Albany Devils 2-1 in a tightly contested overtime battle to take Game 3 of the North Division Semifinals, Tuesday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Jordan Subban (1-0-1) and Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) had the Utica goals, while Jon Landry (0-1-1) and Mike Zalewski (0-1-1) tallied on assists. Joe Cannata made some crucial saves in net for the Comets and finished with 27 saves.

After some back-and-forth action for over twelve minutes to start the game, Subban’s fortunate bounce gave the Comets the early lead. Subban carried the puck down the right side of the Devils zone and sniped a wrist shot from the right slot. The shot clanked off the post, off of the back of the net and into the net for a 1-0 Comets lead.

The Devils struck back late in the first on a four-on-three power play. Severson received the puck at the point and quickly swung a pass to his left for a Sislo one timer to tie the game 1-1.

Things got chippy in the second period, as both teams exchanged hard hits. The physical play led to a lot of fights and penalties for both sides, but neither team could gain momentum as the score remained 1-1 going into the final period.

There was more of the same in the third period, as both teams had their chances, but neither could find the back of the net and the game went to overtime.

Utica dominated the overtime period out of the gates and outshot Albany seven to three in the period. The game winner came after Zalewski stole the puck from a Devils defensemen, and brought it in on net. He faked a shot and passed it to Grenier, who streaked down the slot and punched in a point blank shot to give the Comets the 2-1 win and extend the series.

Utica finished with 30 shots on goal, while the Devils totaled 28 shots. Scott Wedgewood saved 28 shots in net for Albany.

The Comets and Devils will be back at it on Thursday night for game four of the North Division Semifinals at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

To ensure local Comets fans can get first chance to purchase tickets to Game 4 on Thursday night, single game tickets will be available to the general public starting at 10a.m. tomorrow morning, exclusively at the Utica Memorial Auditorium box office. Tickets will only be sold at the Labatt Blue Box Office (facing Cornelia St.). Tickets will be sold online (www.EmpireStateTix.com) and over the phone (866-688-8750) through Empire State Tickets starting at 12 p.m. No tickets will be sold over the phone through the Comets office or The AUD’s Box Office.