Monday, February 24, 2020

Remembering The 'Wabash Flyer'

                                        By Richard F. Palmer
For decades the so-called Wabash Flyer was the New York, Ontario & Western’s premier long distance long distance travel between New York and Chicago.  It was known  Trains #5 (westbound)and #6, (eastbound). nicknamed the Wabash Flyer  as for years it operated over the Wabash or Michigan Central railroads between Niagara Falls and Chicago. It was both a first class train with Pullman car accommodations as well as an emigrant train.  The immigrants, assigned to the N.Y. O. & W. train on auto basis, streamed in from Castle Garden. They  usually occupied eight to ten coaches and routinely arrived in Oswego at about 4 a.m. The original routing was over the New York, Ontario & Western mainline to Oswego; west on the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg  to Niagara Falls (Suspension Bridge), and then west over the Wabash. The routings changed in later years. For awhile it ran over the Grand Trunk through Canada. 
On the N.Y.O & W it officially No. 5,  called variously the Chicago Limited or Pacific Express westbound and  No. 6, the New York Limit or Atlantic Express  eastbound. They boasted Pullman buffet sleepers.  On the R.W. & O. they were Trains # 110 and #111.  The train was the creation of J.P. Bradfield, superintendent of the N.Y. O.& W. at the time. It made its first run with the opening of the New York, West Shore & Buffalo station in Weehawken on January 2, 1884. This terminal was a joint venture of the N.Y. O & W. and the West Shore. For decades thousands of emigrants traveled this route, seeking a new start in the Midwest and West. At various times the train’s official name was the Pacific Express or Chicago Limited westbound and New York Limited eastbound. Although it ran for decades it didn’t financially do as well as the summer trains to the Catskills the N.Y.O.& W. was famous for, due to competition. With the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads, passengers didn’t have to contend with ferry boat rides in all kinds of weather. 
Edward F. Winslow, president of the N.Y. O. & W. noted in the 1884 annual report:
“During the latter half of the fiscal year just ended the Company has, by association with other lines, carried a portion of the immigrants arriving at New York, and may hope to enjoy a share of this class of traffic which can be carried without much additional expense.
In the company annual report for 1885 Winslow commented:
“We began carrying emigrants in May, 1884, and for several months this business paid fairly remunerative rates. During the greater part of this year the rayed have been demoralized by the cut rates of the Pennsylvania Railroad of $1.00 from New York to Chicago. We have thought it advisable to continue the business, which has been carried on our regular trains, without much increased expensed, and have taken that which offered outside of Castle Garden at such rates as we could get.” The revenue from emigrant trains as of September 30, 1885, was $17,663.91.
The N.Y. O & W. and other railroads serving the New York area received their emigrant quotas from the American Emigrant Company. On occasion the railroads were were found guilty of price gouging, or “exacting unjust and unreasonable charges for the carriage of emigrants and their baggage from from the City of New York to the City of Chicago, and to other points…”  The Interstate Commerce Commission also found the emigrants were “being carried in an inferior kind of cars called ‘emigrant cars’ that were fitted with uncomfortable seats. At the time the railroads combined were transporting between 200,000 and 300,000 emigrants annually. The railroad companies, including the N.Y.,O. & W., were overcharging emigrants for they baggage. But no charges were ever placed against the railroads.
This train was advertised as offering first class passengers Pullman buffet chair and sleeping cars in which meals were served. The fare from New York to Chicago in a berth was $1.50; section, $3 and the premium drawing room, $6.  Timetables show the westbound train left New York at 6 p.m. and the eastbound, from Dearborn Station in Chicago, at 3:15 p.m. It was a two-day journey, barring delays. An 1894 timetable shows the train  operating over the Grand Trunk from Niagara Falls to Chicago. Annual reports show the N.Y.O.& W. got five percent of the fares for destinations west of Detroit, and 12 percent east of Detroit. 
In 1887 the total derived from emigrant and second class passengers was $94,280, compared with $67,754 the previous year, of 242.51 percent. Total revenue from the emigrant and second class business fell off in 1888 due to dissension over rates among members of the Trunk Line Passenger Committee, which was finally resolved by the end of the year.  During the fiscal year of 1889 the railroad carried 21,167 emirants.
The transportation of emigrants was generally up and down prior to 1900. That year the numbers jumped by 62 percent. 
The train ran year-round, with primary stops at Cornwall, Campbell Hall, Middletown,  Liberty,  Cadosia, Walton, Sidney, Norwich, Oneida, Fulton and Oswego. In 1891 the R.W. & O. was leased to the New York Central & Hudson River.  Occasionally this train ran in several sections depending on the volume of traffic.  The normal scheduled running time was four hours and 20 minutes over this line in 1900, or about 35 miles per hour.  Particularly during harvest time the “flyer” might be shunted off onto a siding while long freight trains of cars loaded with apples took priority. This route was very direct but was susceptible to harsh weather, especially during the winter. On more than one occasion the train was nine hours late arriving in Oswego from the west. Coaches were always  filled with emigrants from throughout Europe. 



Eastbound train No. 6 passes over Trew Trestle on the N.Y.O. & W. at Pratts, 
south of Oneida, ca. 1907.   [Bruce Tracy collection]

On May 28, 1898 through Wagner sleeping cars service was established between Weehawken and Chicago via the N.Y.O. & W., R.W. & O. and Wabash railroads. This was in addition to the already established through reclining chair service. That year the emigrant business showed a slight decrease owing to the declining number of emigrants arriving at New York.  With its first class business the N.Y.O. & W. A record was set on July 25, 1906 when the train  passed through carrying 1,000 Italian emigrants aboard. Nearly 10,000 passed through Oswego that year. At the N.Y.O. & W. station on West Third Street the westbound train was turned over to the R.W. & O.  Jay Knox, a columnist for the Oswego Palladium-Times, wrote: 
The Wabash Flyer would lay over for three or four hours, while it was being shifted to the R.W. & O. tracks, and would leave over the Hojack the next morning around 4 o'clock and often later. The train was always greeted by large groups of people. Those emigrants were a happy lot and many of them would be bound for states as far west as Idaho, Nevada and California. Most of them were Germans; and a majority of them were seeking homes in Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis - and other cities.


Westbound train No. 5 passes over Trew Trestle on the N.Y.O. & W. at Pratts, 
south of Oneida, ca. 1907.   [N.Y.O. & W. Railroad Historical Society]

“They used to leave quite a little money with the eating house near the station. After a period of years the Wabash Flyer was re-routed and became almost forgotten as far as Oswegonians were concerned. Well do we recall  the time when we stayed up all night in order to take the train at 4 o’clock, only to learn that it was three hours late. And probably that is where we got our reputation for being ‘night hawks.’”  It then proceeded across the river to make a stop at the New York Central station. 
This was considered a bad luck train. Three passengers were killed and 20 injured in a head-on collision between Train No. 5 with a switch engine at Parker, a small station near Guilford, Chenango County, on June 19, 1910. The Middletown Times-Press reported on June 20:
“A passenger train laden with emigrants going to the West, running as the second section of No. 5, the Chicago Limited, on the Ontario and Western Railroad, was wrecked at Parker, sixteen miles southeast of Norwich at 2:15 a.m., today. Three passengers were killed and twenty-five were injured. The wreck occurred when the emigrant train crashed into a locomotive running light.
“The more seriously injured are Percy Furnier, fireman of the locomotive, ankle crushed; B. F.Kingman, engineer of the locomotive, leg broken.
“The engine running light was returning to Sidney from Guilford Summit. Kingman had orders to wait at the summit until the second section of No. 5 had passed, but was dropping back to Sidney when at a sharp curve he ran into the heavily laden passenger train. 
When the collision occurred the first passenger coach, an old one, immediately behind the engine, was crushed to pieces, the tender of the engine passing nearly half way through it. All the injured excluding the fireman and engineer of the light locomotive, were in this car, as the other seven coaches of the train remained on the track.”
“The train was made up of eight coaches and an engine and carried 371 emigrants. It was running about thirty miles an hour, up the heavy grade, and the light engine, making about twenty-five miles, struck it head on.”



The newspapers took note when the Wabash Flyer passed through with an unusually large number of passengers. On April 10, 1906 it passed through Oswego with more than 2,000 emigrants aboard headed for new homes in the midwest. The first two sections were composed of Russian Jews fleeing from persecution in their homeland. Many were well educated and could speak English.  The other two sections consisted of Italians and Sicilians who weren’t as fluent with the language. On March 25, 1907 the westbound  came through Oswego in three sections totaling 20 cars carrying 1,200 emigrants. 
The train, on September 12, 1912,  was running at more than 50 miles per hour on the old R., W. & O. when it ran through an open switch at Morton, 30 miles west of Rochester. The engine crashed into a warehouse.  Five coaches overturned although the Pullman car stayed upright. There were no serious injuries but the engine and cars were badly smashed.
The Wabash Flyer was invariably delayed during the winter months by weather conditions west of Oswego.  Possibly once a  month it might be on time. At 9 p.m. on February 10, 1912, when it should have already arrived in Weehawken was stalled more than  350 miles away by rail in a 20-foot snow drift at Red Creek. The passengers were fed by local farmers while the train waited to be dug out.  It was reported that never in the history of this region had  there raged such a continuous snow storm. It started on December 27, 1911 and continued every day but one, a total of 43 days. Eight-one inches of snow had there was no sign of it letting up.  Through nearly seven feet of snow a small army of shovelers were digging a passageway for trains until the rotary plow could get there. A 40 mile an hour wind  packed the cuts with snow.

The exasperated management then petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission to allow it to reroute the Wabash Flyer by switching off at Earlville, then over the Chenango branch to Syracuse and the west on the New York Central. This train ceased running to Oswego on December 29, 1912 and was rerouted over the West Shore to Buffalo. It was said this was largely due to constant delays on the R.W. & O. line west of Oswego.
There also was curtailment or re-routing of regular passenger service in many areas of the country during World War  I to free up troop and military supply movements. The N.Y. O. & W. train to Chicago  After June 24, 1917 the N.Y. O. & W. train to Chicago commenced running directly to Utica, and then west on the New  York Central mainline. It was discontinued on January 28, 1918.   

But this wasn’t the end. Following World War I it was restored. An N.Y.O. & W. timetable dated January 1, 1923 shows the Chicago Express operating over the  Utica Division to Utica, west on the New York Central; then over the Michigan Central to Chicago via St. Thomas and Windsor, Ontario and Detroit. On February 19, 1928 the train was discontinued. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Ogdensburgh & Lake Champlain Locomotive "Deer" at Ogdensburg


Ogdensburgh & Lake Champlain “Deer” at Ogdensburg roundhouse. Built by Kirk at Cambridge, Mass. 1850. Cylinders 1” x 20” 68” drivers. 25.35 tons.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Ithaca & Owego Railroad






By Richard Palmer
Plagued with financial difficulties, many of the early railroads in upstate New York were compelled to use horses for motive power until they could afford the "luxury" of a steam locomotive. It wasn't until 180 that the Ithaca & Owego, the second railroad chartered in New York State, secured a small locomotive which was built by Walter McQueen at his machine shop in Albany. 
The engine was built to the specifications of its actual owner, Richard Varick DeWitt, who was treasurer of the Ithaca & Owego at the time, who was "somewhat of a mechanic." Although officially known as the "Pioneer," it was dubbed "Old Puff" by those who operated it. 
"Old Puff" closely resembled models built by major locomotive manufacturers such as Norris, Baldwin and Rogers. It was transported by canal boat to Ithaca and hauled up the incline planes to the summit of South Hill. From there the railroad ran on fairly level ground the rest of the distance to Owego.
One day, Superintendent Daniel L. Bishop told the crew to leave the horses in the barn. "We will hitch up the engine and have some fun by trying her today." Railroading at this tine was still in its infancy and was rather informal as far as operations were concerned. Alvin Merrill, who worked on the line as a boy, recalled: "We were greatly please at the much-talked-of change from horsepower to steampower, and were very curious about it."
Accounts conflict as to the size of this locomotive. One states the weight of the locomotive with water and wood was 10 tons. Another says it was nine tons. One account states the driving wheels were 54 inches in diameter and the cylinders had a 14-inch bore and an 18-inch stroke. The other states the cylinders had a nine inch bore and 16-inch stroke.
The cylinders were attached to the frame instead of on the boiler. The connecting rod was outside (without a crank axle) and the pumps were operated through eccentrics on the driving wheel axle, independent of the pistons.
The driving wheels had cast-iron hubs and wrought-iron spokes and tires with a diameter of 48 inches. The diameter of the boiler was 30 inches; height of the stack, from the rail, 12 feet; the overall length of the engine was 17 feet.. The frames were of wood, 6 by 4 inches, to which were bolted cast iron pedestals for the driving wheels. It had a hook motion of the Norris type. The steam pipes came out at the sides of the smoke-box, and were bolted to the valve chest covers.
Recalling the trial run, which was sometime during the spring of 1840, Alvin Merrill said there was no "bonnet" or spark arrester on the smokestack, " and when we started the fire flew up, we thought, to the sky. It was exciting to us. Merrill continues:
But what a sight for the country people! Their horses quit their quiet grazing as we passed through the fields and forests, bellowed and pawed the earth and took to their heels as fast as they could until they and we parted sight of one another. They must have thought that our locomotive an animal-decvouing monster that emitted smoke and flame and fire from his nostrils. We traveled very fast then - five miles an hour.
When we arrived at Lucky's, where we had been in the habit of stopping the trains to water our horses at a bubbling spring, we stopped our fiery steed and filled his tender with that boiling spring water. We then moved on for two miles and slowly, four our steam had gone down to nearly zero. Before we stopped again, while going that two miles, an old gentleman jumped off the train and exclaimed: "Go to hell with your locomotive, and I'll go on, for I'm in a hurry!" We thought him a lunatic for not having patience with our first trip with steam power.
We fired up and got to Wilseyville, where we were stalled completely. Superintendent Bishop sent me for a barrel of tar and I got it from Dolly, Hurd & Whitcomb, local merchants. It was poured on our wood (we did not use any coal for many years afterward) and soon had steam enough to take it up to Gridleyville, our horse-changing station.
We hitched on a big steed and it hauled our engine and tender back to Ithaca, where we arrived at midnight, and where the locomotive was laid up for repairs and improvements.
Mr. Merrill's son, Jason, said that when the locomotive was shipped to ithaca, it was accompanied by an "expert engineer." According to Jason, "his attempt to put it into commission failed. Its construction was thought to be too light, and it was sent back to Schenectady, and its weight and power were increased so much that new complications arose. The additional weight proved to be too much for the strap rails, and the idea of operating the road by steam was abandoned for a short time."
According to existing accounts, the locomotive lost steam because of leaky joints where the steam pipes were bolted to the valve chest covers. Also, the safety valve was checked by a weight instead of a spring. Alvin Merrill continued:
When the three months has passed she was in fine shape and trip. A gala day was announced, a free ride was offered to all the world from Ithaca to Owego and return. It was called a grand celebration; and such it was. Our train of 16 flat cars stopped at every crossing for passengers. We made the round-trip under Conductor Hatch with only one accident; John Haviland was crowded off or fell off the train and was killed.
There were no fences along the railroad. The cattle and horses became accustomed to the fire, smoke, steam and noise of our monster, and became too familiar with us. They grazed on the track between the rails, and the train hands were obliged every little distance to jump off, run ahead and drive them off the track, which delayed us every time until it became monotonous and annoying.
Conductor Hatch's genius arose to the necessities of the occasion. He secured an old banded flintlock musket, and a bag of dried peas. One of us train hands always sat on the front of the locomotive and shot peas at the cattle and drove them from our pathway.
Railroad historian Herbert T. Walker wrote that the engine on the whole was poorly designed and cheaply constructed. The tank was a cask mounted in a small tender. A second tender carried wood. 
He had it on good authority that the railroad experienced problems with the engine. Oldtimers told him it had poor traction and was "slow" to steam. He said these defects "rendered the engine almost useless in bad weather; in fact, it only ran in summer, horse cars taking its place in winter time, or when it was laid up for repairs." About all it could pull were eight four-wheel cars with a maximum load of 30 tons. Alvin Merrill, as well as official reports confirm the fact that the locomotive was not operated during the winter. Operations usually resumed in April.
The daily routine for "Old Puff" was to leave from the summit of South Hill at Ithaca at 7 a.m. and arrive at Owego at 11 a.m. Returning, it left Owego at 5 p.m. and arrived back at South Hill at 9 p.m. "This speed," Walker noted, "gave passengers ample time to view the beautiful scenery of Tompkins and Tioga counties."
"Old Puff" and its little train of cars was far from being a "flyer." Once a horse trader sat in the last car holding the reins of his horse, which trotted along on the track behind. Others recalled that the engine gained such an evil reputation that good walkers declined to take passage in the cars because they couldn't wait. On one occasion a load of passengers bound for a political meeting at Owego arrived there with the train - but on foot and pushing the cars!
As time passed, the public began to clamor for improved rail service, and the engine was sent back to the shop once more to be overhauled. John Aldrich, who was claimed to be a "mechanical genius," was called in. He lived near Mott's Corners, now known as Brooktondale. After looking over the machine he said he believed he could improve its efficiency by adding even more weight to it. But this only raised havoc with the primitive wooden track structure. The strap rails would roll up and puncture the bottoms of the cars in "snakehead" fashion.
Track hands would then follow the train and respike the strap rails on the stringers. Alvin Merrill was one of those section men. he said "My main duty was to follow the locomotive a spike down snakeheads, and put in new ribbons wherever needed. Snakeheads were the ends of three-quarter-inch-thick iron strap rails, turned up by the weight of the locomotive. The ribbons were made of oak, fastened with a wooden plug, three feet apart, one to a tie."
Owego historian Roy O. Kingman gives some additional details about "Old Puff." He wrote:
"Its smokestack was similar in shape to a piece of stovepipe. Its frame was of wood. Its boiler was painted drab. The boiler was supplied with water by a hand pump through a hose. The water was kept in a large hogshead (barrel) on a flat car.
"The engine was a failure. The steam chamber was too large for the boiler, and steam could not be made fast enough. The chamber was subsequently altered. The locomotive was afterward reconstructed and the wooden frame was replaced with an iron one.
" The locomotive was a slow affair. It ran only about as a fast as a horse could trot. On its first trip from Ithaca it ran all right until it reached a point a little north of Candor, when it could run no further, as the engineer could not obtain sufficient steam. It had to be hauled back to Ithaca by horses. Frequently the steam would run down, causing the train to stop running entirely. Then, while the fireman was getting up more steam the passengers would sit on the bank at the side of the track and pass away the time playing cards or pick berries along the way. This is said to have been the origin of the term 'huckleberry train.' Later a more competent engineer was found and no further difficulty was experienced."
It is related that in 1844 a mass meeting of the Whig Party was held in Ithaca. That day a load of Owego Whigs rode up to Ithaca to attend the convention. At Candor the track was so slippery with oil that the locomotive could not proceed until the rails had been covered with sand. The story circulated that the Democrats had greased the track, but an investigation revealed that the cause of the incident was a leaky barrel of oil being transported on the train.
On this same day, Philip Mosher of Owego decided to leave Ithaca on the railroad track with his horse pulling an improvised passenger coach. It had previously been the custom to allow practically anyone to operate their contrivances over the tracks. Growing impatient, he said if the steam train did not leave in 10 minutes, he would start out, which he did.
Kingman wrote:
" He had hardly got out of sight when the train started. Some idea of the speed of the train can be gathered from the fact that after Mr. Mosher had reached the Half Way house and had stopped to water his horse, the locomotive came in sight just as he drove on. While the iron horse took water Mr. Mosher obtained another good start. When he drove into the park in this village (Owego) the train was behind him, about where Temple Street is now. he made the trip in a few minutes more than three hours."
While this locomotive was in use it was not allowed to run any further in the village of Owego than the south end of the village park. Previously, horse cars operated through the streets and down to the north bank of the Susquehanna River. It was feared that the commercial wooden buildings along Front Street would catch fire from the sparks of the locomotive.
A small rectangular enginehouse stood on what was later the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Temple Street. It was weather-beaten and unpainted and was just large enough to shelter the locomotive and a car or two. A small armstrong turntable stood just south of the enginehouse. The line into the village through the streets was abandoned when the New York & Erie Railroad was completed to Owego in 1849.
A comical experience relating to this railroad is related in the "Tompkins Volunteer," a local Ithaca newspaper, on May 3, 1842:
"We were amused the other day while coming from Owego on the railroad by a simple expression made by a fellow passenger. A spark of fire had accidentally fallen under the cushion of one of the seats, and was well underway before it was discovered. A lady was in the apartment alone and seeing the smoke gave the alarm of fire. After considerable ado the whole train was stopped, by the hallowing of our friend, who was much agitated, by seeing the lady somewhat alarmed, and who was making preparations to leap from the car while yet underway, exclaiming to her, in a bustling way, 'Oh, don't be alarmed, madam, a little cold water will put it out.' Three cheers for the Temperance reformation."
John Aldrich, the mechanic spoken of earlier, acted as engineer on "Old Puff" until he became apprehensive about the safety of the wooden bridges. He said he felt they were too light to safely sustain the weight of the engine and cars. The management, however, failed to heed his warnings. Finally, Aldrich quit and a man by the name of Eddy took over. 
On the evening of May 21, 1847, "Old Puff" was heading north with a train. Mr. Eddy had gone back into the train and Daniel C. Hatch, the conductor, was spelling him on the engine. About six miles north of Owego, at 6 p.m., the locomotive crashed through a bridge over Catatonk Creek at a place called Woodbridge's, instantly killing both Hatch and his fireman, Al Dickinson of Danby. Hatch fell under the locomotive and was crushed.
Samuel Parker of Ithaca recalled that the engine lay in the creek for three weeks before it was pulled out and placed back on the rails. Alvin Merrill said "We brought her to Ithaca and returned to horsepower again." For some time afterwards before the bridge was rebuilt, horse-drawn cars would exchange passengers at that point.
Frustrated with steam locomotion, the railroad company relegated "Old Puff" to storage. In its annual report for 1847, the railroad, now called the Cayuga & Susquehanna, reported the locomotive was " not in use" and employed 40 horses, five passenger cars and 55 freight cars.
"Old Puff" never again saw service on this railroad. Kingman said for a time it stood on a switch just west of North Avenue in Owego. During this time some dramatic changes occurred and the line was reconstructed. By 1850, the incline planes had been replaced by a switchback on the north end. The old strap rails were discarded. Alvin Merrill said he helped lay the new "T" rail with his team of horses. "I bossed a lot of men while tamping the new roadbed; our tamping bars being made of oak planks nearly a foot wide."
Basically, the Cayuga & Susquehanna had become a segment of the burgeoning Delaware, Lackawanna & Western which was in the process of being built from Scranton Great Bend, Pa. under the guise of the Leggett's Gap Railroad. At the latter place it connected with the New York & Erie Railroad. The Leggett's Gap Railroad had a trackage rights agreement with the Erie to transport anthracite coal to Ithaca.
A locomotive to power construction trains was needed so it was decided to resurrect "Old Puff," or "Pioneer" and somehow get it to Scranton. The story is it was loaded on a raft in Owego and floated down the Susquehanna River to Pittston, Pa.
This is plausible, since slack water navigation had existed on this river for generations. In 1849, some 2,243 rafts were counted floating down the river by Wilkes Barre. 
"Old Puff" was then unloaded at Pittston and transported over the Pennsylvania Coal Company's gravity railroad to Scranton and transferred to the D.L.& W. at Plane No. 6. The engine was taken to the shops where the axles of the engine were pieced out. The frames were widened, and a saddle cast installed to conform to the D.L.& W.'s six-foot gauge. 
In the order book of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosevenor there is an entry under date of April 15, 1851 stating that George W. Scranton, general agent for the Leggett's Gap Railroad, had ordered a new smoke pipe, scale and lever for the safety valve and "one good steam whistle" for this locomotive. 
The engine was fitted out and went into service on the work train in April, 1851 and had the distinction of being the first locomotive to operate between Scranton and Great Bend. But it continued to be a problem to operate even after being rebuilt several times. It is said its cylinders were mounted too far apart and the boiler was too small to generate sufficient steam.
The D.L.& W.'s "List of Locomotive Engines" for 1854 shows the "Pioneer" in the "fourth class" category and "useless." The 1855 list states that it had been on the road for four years and seven months and was "useless as a locomotive; now used as a stationary engine for pumping water from the new well at Scranton.'

Sources
(Newspapers cited)
New York State Assembly Document 314, April 14, 1840; Letter of Daniel L. Bishop.
Gerstner, F.A. Ritter von: Die Innerten Communicationen des Vereingten Staaten von Nord Amerika (Vienna) 1842 Vol. 1 p. 197.
Walker, Herbert T., History of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and its Locomotives. Railroad Gazette, May 30, 1902 pp.388-9.
Merrill, Alvin, The Third Passenger Railway in America, ca. 1910 unpublished manuscript.
Merrill, Jason P., History of the Development of the Early Railroad System of Tompkins County, Ithaca Journal Centennial Edition, Aug. 28, 1915.
Kingman, Roy O., Early Owego (1907)
Parker, Samuel J., A picture of Ithaca as I Saw It in Childhood. , unpublished manuscript, Cornell University Special Collections.
Hollister, H., History of the Lackawanna Valley, 1857. The Pennsylvania Coal Co. gravity railroad extended from Pittston to Hawley, where it connected with the Delaware & Hudson Canal.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A Long Ago Scene


Westbound DL&W passenger train on the Richfield Springs Branch near West Winfield in the early 1900s.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

'JG Tower'



This is what was called “JG Tower” on the New York Central freight bypass at the Park Street overpass. The Amtrak station would be to the right of it on the south side of the tracks. It controlled the interchange with the Hojack. It was destroyed on Aug. 25, 1957 when a coal train derailed. The operator, Sam Lahood, was killed. This photo was taken by Ted Jackson in September, 1948.

Remembering The 'Wabash Flyer'

                                         By Richard F. Palmer For decades the so-called Wabash Flyer was the New York, Ontario & Wes...