• Questions regarding operations on the Southern Tier Line

  • 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 trainfreak
Hello forum. I am looking for some information on the Southern Tier Line. I know NS, CP, and the NYSW operate on it. Could someone give me some information on the line like what trains run on it from where to where the line runs. Thanks in advance.
  by jmp883
The fabled Southern Tier is originally an Erie RR line running between Suffern, NY to western NY state. It then became an EL route, then Conrail, and finally an NS route. With each successive owner less and less traffic was routed over it. Trackage rights have been granted to other railroads over the years, most notably the D&H/Guilford and NYS&W.

As for current operations I'm not sure of what is happening west of Binghamton, NY but east of there the line is owned by NS but there is very little NS traffic running these days. It gets slightly better from Port Jervis, NY east to Suffern, NY. Here, the line is still owned by NS but is leased to Metro-North and dispatched by NJ Transit. Having worked on the NJT Mainline dispatch desk during 2002, which covered the Suffern-Port Jervis section, let me fill you in on what you might expect to see. Keep in mind that the freight train information is based on what we did in 2002 and may have changed since then (though not by much based on what I still hear on my scanner).

Obviously the commuter trains are the most numerous. Starting from around 5am through the morning rush there is a train about every hour from Port Jervis. There is a midday lull, except for Train 60-due out of Port Jervis at 1235pm-until Train 53 kicks off the afternoon rush out of Hoboken.

In regard to freight trains NS runs a daily local out of Campbell Hall, NY. HO-8/HO-9 would come out midmorning, usually around 10am and would usually work both west to Port Jervis, 4 Story Jct, and then east all the way to Harriman. They would usually follow 53 west in the afternoon. There was also a night job that switched Campbell Hall. We'd hear them switching the yard, but I don't recall them ever coming out to do any road work.

On the very east end of the Tier, H-55 would come out of Suffern Yard, again around 10am, and work the Main and Bergen County lines as well as switching the industries in and around Paterson, NJ. They would return to Suffern during the late afternoon. The night job out of Suffern is H-56, also working the Main and Bergen County lines.

The NYS&W operates on the east end of the Tier between Hudson Jct. and Port Jervis. Their Southern Division mainline ends in Warwick, NY and they run on the NS Hudson Secondary Track (former L&HR) from Warwick to Hudson Jct. and then the Tier from Hudson Jct. to Binghamton in order to reach their Northern Division. SU-99 is the westbound symbol, SU-100 is the eastbound symbol. They seemed to run usually at night or in the very early morning hours.

Hope this helps, and if anyone can update or correct the information here, please update it.

Joe P
Long Live The EL :D

  by videobruce
The state of PA is releasing $2 million for the WNY & P track improvements.

Also, a company out of Indiana called RFI Energy will be granted $2 million to obtain access to the B & P to serve a RFI coal facility.

  by thannon
Between Binghamton, NY and Gang Mills, NY is probably the most active stretch of freight on the entire line.

There are several trains currently running the Tier daily:
1- NS 206/205 (Buffalo/Bingo then the D&H) trailer/container train)
2- NS 30T/31T (CN power usually- was 40T/41T)
3- NS 12T/13T (which can't make up if it wants to run Tier or Buffalo Line)
4- DH 166/167/418/419 (CP's mixed daily run)

Also several locals:
5- H11/H12 (Gang Mills, NY to Mehoopany, PA)
6- H13 (Ithaca, NY to Gang Mills - kinda)
7- H88 (Bingo to Gang Mills- usually salt traffic)
8- H2G (generally works online industries between Elmira and Bingo)

Several unit coal runs frequent the line too:
9- NS 524/525 (Miliken, NY coal train)
10- NS 526/527 - NS 888/889 (Rarer runs for the D&H traffic)

Strange and relatively infrequent visitors:
11- NS 295 (unit autorack on as needed schedule - ie; surprise it's here)
12- NS 20J (EB empty flats and container wells)

Running times vary- but currently most traffic is into Binghamton under the cover of darkness. Here near Waverly, NY most traffic goes by between 23:00 and 06:00.

If you want more specific answers- ask away.

Tom H>

  by roc
Since no one else has stepped up vis-à-vis west-end traffic,
I'll give it a go:

• WNY&P is the lease holder and operator of the line from Hornell to Corry. The company owns the line from Corry to Meadville outright.
• WNY&P currently interchanges at Meadville (NS), Corry (A&E), Salamanca (B&P) and Olean (NS). Though Hornell is listed as an NS interchange, I don't believe any revenue traffic has been exchanged there yet.
• WNY&P has said they moved 2,200 cars last year, which is more than 40 times the number of cars shifted in the year prior to their takeover.
• A good guess at commodities hauled is coal, lumber, feed/grain, abrassives/sand.

Their base of operations is Falconer and they go east (Salamanca, Olean) or west (Meadville) a couple times per week. Customers are located mostly around Falconer and the stretch between Corry and Cambridge Springs.

• NS has a trackage rights agreement with the WNY&P.
• It appears that loaded (east) and MT (west) unit coal trains are now running daily and have been for about a month.
• After the recent NS wreck near Silver Springs a number of other NS-symbolled trains also moved from Olean to Hornell off the Buffalo line.

  by videobruce
Other than the B&P round trip between S Buffalo (old B&O yard) and Salamanca, what else uses the line between Salamanca and Machias past Asford Junction?

I assume NOTHING north of AJ? Is there any switch moves south from the B&P yard in S Buffalo?

  by Allegheny
VideoBruce, the only other moves on the B&P north of Ashford Junction are an occasional trainload of sand and gravel from the old gravel pit near the Junction in Machias. This is hauled here by truck and then loaded onto the train, which carries the material south to somewhere in PA. These trains occur only once in a while. Otherwise, you are right - one northbound and one southbound daily freight. I don't know how B&P survives with this little traffic on this end.

  by videobruce
The NS has been sending cars (farming out) to the BP to switch. Instead of the NS switching them at Bison, they have the BP do it probably for half the cost. Then they are sent out west over that 'Swamp track'.
Another example of 'scabbing' AFAIC!