• Outlaw speeders from 40 years ago

  • 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 BR&P
 
And at the south end of the line, with some surplus cars Conrail had stored on the siding there.

Cuba Jct - 1.jpg
Cuba Jct - 2.jpg
Cuba Jct - 3.jpg
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  by BR&P
 
Here's another story which can finally be told. There was an excursion involving one speeder under the command of the late (and legendary) Henry Pape and perhaps 2 or 3 other guys, which set on the East Hojack around Webster area. A friendly contact at Conrail or PC (not sure what year this was) assured them that no trains were running that day. So they set off eastward, enjoying the ride until a plugged fuel filter brought them to a halt. Tools were always carried on these trips, and in due time the bowl had been removed, cleaned, and re-installed.

Things went well until Williamson, where they encountered the State Street job out of Charlotte - sitting on the main track! Now I suspect the crew may have outlawed there the previous day and tied down, while those on the speeder insist the crew was over in a diner. Whichever, the speeder guys, who happened to possess a switch key, simply opened a switch, entered the siding, and ran around the sitting train, lining the iron back normal behind them.

With that obstacle behind them, they rolled merrily eastward... East Williamson, Sodus, across the former PRR at Wallington, and thence eastward The trip was interrupted again a time or two for the fuel bowl plugging, but otherwise things went fine. Past North Rose, Wolcott, and Red Creek. In the middle of nowhere, the speeder gasped to a stop again, and Henry, by now quite familiar with the needed repair, prepared to make corrections. As the guys stretched their legs and enjoyed a moment of silence after the racket of the speeder, they heard the one sound they LEAST expected, or wanted to hear.

"HHAAAAAAA HHAAAAAA HA HHAAAAAAA!"

What they did not realize was that the State Street job out of Charlotte, who their friend in Rochester Yard could somewhat monitor the progress of, went only as far as Sodus. Beyond that, service was provided by the Red Line job which came west out of Oswego. And it was coming west from Oswego NOW!!!

Well, track speed was only 10 mph, and Henry dove into the tool box and began carefully but frantically cleaning the fuel line. Soon a headlight came into view, rocking slowly toward them and no doubt with a crew rubbing their eyes in disbelief. I was not there but I think I heard that one of the guys was told to go flag the train, but only went a few feet down the track, reluctant to get too far from the rest.

While the others stared at their slowly approaching foe, Henry merely tossed an occasional quick glance and began reassembling the parts. As the brakes squealed as the Red Line prepared to stop, and a crewman stood on the front steps about to ask what the hell was going on, Henry gave one final turn with the wrench, threw the tools into the box, and a moment later the motor car popped into life. Like a 4-man bobsled the guys climbed aboard and they accelerated westward. The train may have had a 10 mph restriction, but no such rule applied to the trespassers and they soon had blasted west out of sight, leaving a perplexed train crew to follow in the haze of their exhaust.

Well, the trip westward to Webster was made without delay - if I recall, they said the train at Williamson was gone so perhaps it HAD been working and stopped for coffee. Of course there were no cell phones back then and the radios did not always reach everywhere, and no cops ever appeared at a crossing to apprehend them. The speeder made it back home and was trailered away (and probably stashed in a barn covered with hay until things cooled off). But those guys who were there that day had a trip which became legendary in A.S.S. history.

By the way - as I said, I was not on that trip, and am telling it as I recall it being told to me. If I have a small detail or two wrong, it is not intentional, overall that's what happened. And lest anyone think this is a tall tale, one of the guys on the trip that day had a movie camera, and has footage of the whole thing including the Red Line engine pulling up to their speeder! I'll have to ask around and see if it still exists, and maybe could be made into a YouTube.

Like I said, things were different back then!
  by cjvrr
 
I would love to see that video of the Red Line train pulling up to the speeder. I for one believe the story.

Thank you again for sharing and reposting the photos!
  by charlie6017
 
Great story, DRB -- it might have been a good thought to keep a spare pair of undershorts in the toolbox in
the back of those speeders! 🤣

Charlie
  by Fireman43
 
i agree - great pics and the stories are classic.
Few questions: in regards to your pictures - ones a few back of the siding you mention at the " south end of the line" - where would this have been?

Also i had mentioned in a post a few back that the Hojack trestle at Burt may be the last Hojack one standing- however i have nothing to back up my statement .

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thinking now about Oswego - is a bridge they would have used still standing?

thanks
Mark
  by BR&P
 
The River Line extended from River Jct, near Hunt's, south to Cuba Jct. The overpass visible in the last pic was Rt 17, now I-86.

I am familiar with the Burt trestle, even have pics of the last train to cross it, but I don't know whether it still stands or not.

Another Hojack trestle, while nowhere near as spectacular as the 2 on the west end, was at Red Creek NY. Somewhere I have pics of the last train there, posed on the trestle, but taken from track level not down below. Sadly I don't have the date - a ballpark guess would 1990 to 1992. Google Maps appears to show that structure still standing:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Red+C ... 76.7235636
  by RSD15
 
Fireman43 wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:51 pm i agree - great pics and the stories are classic.
Few questions: in regards to your pictures - ones a few back of the siding you mention at the " south end of the line" - where would this have been?

Also i had mentioned in a post a few back that the Hojack trestle at Burt may be the last Hojack one standing- however i have nothing to back up my statement .

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thinking now about Oswego - is a bridge they would have used still standing?

thanks
Mark
Yes still there as a public walkway across the Oswego river.
  by DGC-24711
 
Fireman43 wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:51 pm
Also i had mentioned in a post a few back that the Hojack trestle at Burt may be the last Hojack one standing- however i have nothing to back up my statement .

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Last summer when I was living with my in-laws in Newfane (until we bought a house), my wife and her father rode their bikes to Olcott, and rode into the Burt Dam Fisherman's Park and she told me the trestle was removed. Too many kids jumping off into the water, which is below the dam and I'm guessing means that the water is more shallow so injuries were occurring. The trestle is still there in Google Maps overhead view though. (Looking at it now makes me wonder about Railroad Street and if there was a station there.)

[I remember in the mid 2000s walking down the Burt Dam Fisherman's park and seeing it then. I also remember seeing the rusted half of the Waterport trestle when walking to see the Lake Alice waterfall a few times around that time as well.]
  by RussNelson
 
BR&P wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:51 pm The fact that the line was abandoned, and washouts in places would have prevented a train from getting there, changed nothing. The rule was the rule, and he made sure it was followed! :P
Any train, any track, any time.
  by KevinD
 
The I-86 bridge is gone as of ~2008, replaced with a fill for both lanes of the interstate.

The rooftop shot that shows the Reading logo on the boxcar is a west/south view that also shows the girder bridge in the distance that allowed the River line to cross over the abandoned PRR Rochester line.

The boxcars are likely waiting their turn at the scrappers around Youngstown.

River line track removal sever point was just north of the Rte 305 bridge, near where the new high school baseball diamond is, and after the route was cut, Conrail also began storing more scrap-bound cars on the stub of the main as well.

Pulling out a switch key to line yourself around an outlaw? Count the felonies that would be today!
  by nessman
 
DGC-24711 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:02 am Last summer when I was living with my in-laws in Newfane (until we bought a house), my wife and her father rode their bikes to Olcott, and rode into the Burt Dam Fisherman's Park and she told me the trestle was removed. Too many kids jumping off into the water, which is below the dam and I'm guessing means that the water is more shallow so injuries were occurring.
Sounds like you're referring to the Waterport Trestle. The Burt trestle is still there.
  by Fireman43
 
If so I need to take a trip down to snap a picture. Maybe a last hurrah - one of those
“ geez should have “ before gone .
Like in my bucket plan to go see the Kinzua Viaduct.
Who knew a freak tornado would hit it?
Mark
  by sd80mac
 
Thanks
Fireman43 wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:33 pm The ROW of the Hojak at Model City is in Niagara County just north of rt 104, east of Lewiston where it apparently started to make the climb up the escarpment .

Waterport is in Orleans County going back east, north of Albion @rt 279.
The trestle crossed Oak Orchard Creek although it is a lot more than a “creek” having quite an impressive ravine .

The only trestle left on this ROW I know of is one in Niagara County at Burt, just north of Newfane. This is quite an impressive structure.
Quite a few pics online of this one
Mark
  by BR&P
 
Found some slides from spring of 1982, on the Adirondack line.

Beaver River, ready to head north
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Eating lunch just south of Tupper Lake
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Mother Nature is always at war with that line
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  by BR&P
 
Lake Clear Junction
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Unknown location
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"SNOW", the south end of the ADIR track. We had to turn the machines to go back north, and there was a road crossing just a quarter mile south of here. It was a weekend so Conrail would not have been running to Lyons Falls, and we had a switch key, but after talking it over we decided to back up a short distance to.....Forestport? Woodgate? and turn them on the crossing there.

It was while we were doing that, about 10 minutes later, that we heard the southbound Conrail train go by!!!!!!!!! "Expect a train on any track, at any time, in either direction!"
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