Thursday, April 28, 2011

History of the Syracuse & Utica Railroad

Scene at Utica about 1850 showing train arriving from Syracuse.
Engine is believed to be the famous "Lightning."

  (From Oneida County Historical Society Year Book,  Vol. 1 1881 pages 144 through 155. Transcribed by Richard Palmer)                        
     The following paper on the organization and construction of the  Syracuse & Utica Railroad Company was read before the Oneida County Historical Society, in Utica, last Tuesday, by D.E. Wager, Esq. of  this city. While suited to the general reader, it is of special local  interest, as it narrates the details of the struggle that occurred to bring the road to Rome.           

Carthage & Adirondack Served Benson Mines

Stock certificate of the Carthage & Adirondack Railway Company.
                            By Richard Palmer
    In 1883, the Carthage & Adirondack Railway was chartered to finish a line begun in 1869 as the Black River & St. Lawrence Railway, originally laid with maple wood rails as far as Natural Bridge.

Charley Hogan and the "999"

999 and replica of the "DeWitt Clinton" on display in Geneva in 1893

During the 1890s there was a desire for improved transportation and greater speed. This resulted in the creation of a train  named the Empire State Express which was the brainchild of George H. Daniels, General Passenger Agent of the New York Central & Hudson River.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Waiting for the 'Black Diamond'

Eastbound "Black Diamond" at Geneva, March, 1959.

(From the Finger Lakes Times, Geneva, N.Y., December 17, 1984)
   They've torn down the old Lehigh Valley railroad overpass on Genesee Street here in Geneva. That brought back some old, less-than-glowing memories of the Lehigh Valley depot just off Genesee.
    My family lived in Seneca Falls and my maiden aunt lived in Dover, Del. She and my mother grew up in Yates County and we still had family in Bellona, where my grandfather and my uncle and his wife lived.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Old "Midland" Railroad

This photo, taken in 1872, shows the recently completed Auburn Branch of the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad through DeRuyter.
The line was in operation only seven years.
Courtesy DeRuyter Historical Society/Bruce Tracy.

By Richard Palmer
   Wandering over hill and dale for 28 1/2 miles between DeRuyter and Norwich, N.Y. is the old roadbed of the so-called "Auburn Branch" of the New York & Oswego Midland, which originally ran about another 60 miles to Scipio Center, south of Auburn. From DeRuyter west ultimately was sold to the Lehigh Valley.
   But the portion from DeRuyter east has always held a fascination for railroad historians because of its many trestles and steep grades. The following article about this line appeared in the Cortland Democrat on March 7, 1924

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Empire State Parade

Howard Fogg painting of the New York Central's "Empire State Express" speeding through the Mohawk Valley in the 1890s.

Analysis of Passenger Train Performance Between New York City* and Buffalo via the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, Erie, Lehigh Valley, New York Central and West Shore Railroads.
(Compiled from January 1901 The Official Guide of the Railways by Michael Connor)

Remembering The 'Wabash Flyer'

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