• NYC coal lines

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by tk48states
Recommend all get latest copy of Classic Trains to read “A Territory of My Own”, reminisces of a NYC trainmaster at Newberry Junction in the 60’s when the Central was very much still in the coal hauling business. Plenty of personal info on the Cherry Tree Newberry line where first generation EMD’s and Alcos battled the curly hilly 97 miles in 15 hrs! Imagine the roar of the 244’s on that run, most coal was sent up the Fallbrook to the mainline at Lyons, six daily trains all gone now. Not a whole lot of information available on NYC’s Pa coal runs but did find “Branch Line Empires” extensive treatise of Pennsylvania coal branches by Michael Bazilla, states that a one time the Central was the nations third largest coal hauler, could have fooled me.
  by NYCRRson
That line from PA up through Corning NY to Lyons was one of the few places that the NYC used "mainline" Articulated/Mallet engines. The NYC had a whole class of articulated steam Loco's built specifically for that line (circa 1920's). These replaced doubled headed steam loco's.

(Edit), I believe the NYCRR "NE" class compound articulated loco's are the ones specially built for the "coal hauling" lines of the NYCRR coming North out of PA and connecting to the "Mainline" at Lyons NY. These were built from 1917 to 1922 ? There was about two dozen of them, they replaced about 4 dozen other loco's at the time;

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=5046097

The NYCRR also had a dozen or so articulated loco's used as hump yard pushers. (End of edit)

Of course the "Water Level Route" never went out of the way to advertise their "mountain railroading" to the public. :P

Much of the coal was high quality coal for use in railroad steam loco's and was shipped across Lake Ontario to Cobourg in Ontario. Apparently Eastern Canada had very little high quality coal to mine for use in the railroad loco's.

My Father (NYCRR Loco Engineer) ran on that line from Buffalo to Lyons to Corning and return (circa 1972-1974). The crew would overnight and return the next day. This was an "Inter-Divisional" run so the jobs were split evenly between Buffalo engine crews and Corning engine crews. About every 3 months (IIRC) the crews would swap. IE for 3 months all the trains were handled by Buffalo based crews. Then for the next 3 months all the trains were handled by Corning based crews.

This was a union deal dictated to the railroad. They counted the exact number of trains operated by the "other division" crews and once the allotted number of trains had been operated by the Buffalo crews the Corning crews would run the very next train. Sometimes when the "swap" occurred Dad got "deadheaded" home from Corning to Buffalo in a taxi cab.... Got paid for a full trip, and the Corning folks running the train got paid for the the same full trip. And people wonder why the NYC/PC went bankrupt.....

Dad said when getting on his train in Corning in the summer and fall evenings he always had a good flashlight in hand because the rattlesnakes would like to shimmy up against the nice warm rails at dusk to stay warm.... :(

Rattlesnakes occur in "pockets" all around the southern parts of NY State. They were exterminated in many areas but since they don't travel very far the pockets of rattlesnakes that survived never expanded their population much into areas where they had been killed off.....
  by Clif
The NYC NE series of articulated Mallets were actually first built for the Berkshire Mountain region of the Boston and Albany;
Moving up from Consolidations, with four axles of power, to Mallets in the Berkshires only made sense, according to the report in the AERJ. The territory was "...country where heavy grades combined with sharp curves are practically continuous. There are several long sections where grades of approximately one percent are encountered and eastbound, the section of six miles between Pittsfield and Hinsdale is on a grade of 1.42 percent. Westbound a grade of 1.5 per cent 11.5 miles long is found between Chester and Washington, Mass."

To determine if a Mallet was the answer, the New York Central ordered this prototype. The AERJ writer noted that the relatively small grate was chosen to better fit the demands of slow-speed service in compounds burning bituminous coal. In most other respects, except for the larger boiler and the larger truck wheels, the N-1 was "practically duplicate in design to eight recently delivered by the same builders to the Denver & Rio Grande Railway."
This engine was evaluated with some redesign and then sent to the Pennsylvania division for testing there;
"[1249] was immediately put into service on the Albany and Springfield in the Berkshire Hills for exhaustive testing. After testing was completed, it was sent back to Alco at Schenectady for the addition of a superheater and a security brick arch to improve performance, efficiency and economy. HP cylinders were served by 10" (254 mm) piston valves; double-ported slide valves served the LP cylinders.

"By April 1911 it was transferred over to the New York Central & Hudson River, reclassified as an NE-1a, renumbered to #1374 and sent to the NYC Lines Pennsylvania Division where additional testing took place."

"The objective on the Pennsylvania Division was also to obtain a locomotive capable of handling a 70 car train at an average speed of 10 to 14 miles an hour without assistance. The alternative was to double track the railroad to get the increased capacity the traffic required.

"These tests proved so successful that an additional 74 of these mallets in the NE-2 class with sub-classes a through g were added through 1921 for use on the B&A and NYC&HR. [See Locobase 11082 for the B&A production variant, Locobases 16136, 4794, and 16135 for the New York Central's engines.]
The B&A mallets were replaced by the 2-8-4 Berkshires, and the Penn Div Mallets were replaced by 4-8-2 L-1 Mohawks.

Some were scraped, but quite a few were transferred to Minerva Ohio to run into West Virginia coal mines just as they had done on the Penn Div, these locos lasted into the 1950's. Most photos of a NYC 2-6-6-2 were taken in Ohio not NY or Mass.

As an aside the NYC also owned one 0-6-6-0 type articulated Class NB-1a which was acquired as a pusher up the west Albany grade. Basically it looks like an 2-6-6-2 minus the from and rear truck. Built in 1913 at the same time the 2-6-6-2's were being built.

Pictures beyond the wiki page image about then 0-6-6-0 are kinda hard to come by, and makes since as why would the water level route want pictures of their crack passenger trains getting a slow speed push up the 1.7% grade at west Albany ..... Hudson or no Hudson.


http://www.steamlocomotive.com/locobase ... d=nyc#4794
  by shlustig

The NYC did not run into West Virginia from Minerva.

This line (former Alliance Division; nee LEA&W) ran as far southward as Dillonvale, Ohio and did not reach the Ohio River.
  by pumpers
Perhaps trackage rights south of Dillonvale were involved??
  by Clif
My mistake, it was on NYC(K&M) from Charleston WV through Columbus to Bellefontaine or to Toledo, the branch in WV was the Kanawha and West Virginia Railroad which connected with the NYC/C&O co-owned Nicholas, Fayette & Greenbriar Railroad deep in West Virginia which serviced many mines.

As far as I can tell the 2-6-6-2's never went south of Charleston WV. South of there it was usually mikado's (H6's) and the trains on the NF&G you could see trains with NYC power and C&O caboose, or the reverse, because equipment from both RR's were used to run the line.

This resulted in images like this one;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13912032054/

or this;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... otostream/

both images from here;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 4076194184

If you like coal trains, mountains and steam, worth the look.
  by BR&P
Wow, Clif, that link is well worth the click! Some very cool pics there - thanks for posting! :-D