In response to someone finding a track date nail from 1979 on the New York end of the Northern Branch. It was correct. I lived in Sparkill NY from 1978 to 1983 before moving to Tappan along the busy Riverline. I lived on Edward Street and the Northern was in my back yard. The Northern at that time was quite busy and was served sometimes six days a week. There were several customers on the NY end. Clevepak and Federal Paper were both located in Piermont NY. They received boxcars from southern railroads (Southern, Seaboard Coast Line, Family Lines, Richmond Fredricksburg and Potomac, etc.) Glenshaw Glass and Minigrip Plastics were located in Orangeburg NY. Glenshaw received covered hoppers of glass sand (Conrail and Winchester and Western etc.) while Minigrip received ACF centerflow covered hoppers of plastic granules (ACFX, MOBX, PTLX, etc.). In regards to the track nail dated from 1979 there was trackwork performed during that year. I remember seeing tie gangs and work trains at work in the area. Major track work was also performed during the summer of 1982. This also included tie and surface work. I remember this very well. Conrail was upgrading the track so the 1st Northern local (WJCR91) would not have to keep outlawing. I remember the local laying over in Sparkill during many nights. Clevepak and Federal shut down shortly after (1982) and Glenshaw Glass shut down around 1983. The bridge over the Riverline to Glenshaw in Orangeburg remained in place until 1985 when a Trail Van train derailed on the Riverline and struck the bridge. Conrail removed the bridge and the lead into Glenshaw from the Northern shortly thereafter. Glensahaw appeared to be served from both the Riverline and the Northern. The Riverline connection is still in place and was revived in early 1987 when Aluf Plastics took over part of that complex. Aluf is still served today by CSX. The last customer on the NY end of the Northern was Minigrip which was served until about 1990. I remember walking that section to Orangeburg during the summer of 1990 and the rails were rusted. Up until that time local WJNB51 served the line. The train would come into Sparkill in the afternoon, run around it's train on the wye, place excess cars from other customers on the stub ended yard track, place it's cabin car on the rear and back up the line towards Orangeburg with several covered hoppers for Minigrip. Switching took about 40 minutes and the train would soon return to Sparkill. The excess cars would be retrieved from the yard track and the crew would grab lunch at the local deli before heading back south towards North Bergen. I made friends with the conductor and continued visiting the Northern after moving to nearby Tappan. One time I was treated to a ride on the cabin car Conrail N8A 23625) from Orangeburg back to Sparkill. The tracks were intact for several years after the last customer stopped receiving cars. A private contractor lifted the rails from Orangeburg, Sparkill, Piermont and Tappan to a point just north of the New York/New Jersey border in late 1994 and early 1995. The last movement I remember seeing on the short stub into NY was a high and wide load on a depressed center flat car that sat on the stub end for several weeks in 1997. The load was offloaded and removed by truck. I have many more memories of the Northern in NY and would like the railfan community to know that it did last well into the 1980s and was pretty busy for a time. An article about the Northern in Railpace magazine stated that the north end was abandoned in the 1970s when Continental Can in Piermont closed. This was not true as I just explained. There are several good sources of info the can confirm the Northern's heavy customer base in the early 1980s which can be found in old back issues of Block Line. There is also another good article in the Diamond (ELHS) that talks about a boy growing up on the Northern in Closter in the 1960s. He was treated to a ride on and Erie Lackawanna Drill up to Piermont NY. I believe that was the same conductor (his name was Don) who treated me to a ride during the Conrail era!