Sir Ray wrote:Maybe a gap there in chronology (it was a photo caption after all), but did the DO have any reason to run to St. George in revenue freight? The float yard was gone, and I really don't know of any freight customers in the area, even back then.
They might have. There was, in addition to the freight-only North Shore Line between the AK Drawbridge and St. George, trackage rights on the Staten Island Rapid Transit (SIRT), now (as of 1994) the Staten Island Railway (SIR) owned by the MTA, between St. George and Tottenville, the southern extreme of Staten Island. There was a smelting plant near Tottenville (Nassau Smelting) that used rail freight for many years, but that was probably gone by the time NYSW/DO operated the SIRR (Nassau Smelting was probably out of business by mid-late 1980s at the latest, as the plant site attained "brownfield" status when some buildings were demolished in about 1986) as well as a newspaper (the Staten Island Advance) that used to get newsprint, somewhere near Clifton I think. Both of these customers (among others on the SIRT line) were accessed via the SIRT trackage rights, but I'm not sure when those customers stopped using rail. If any were still active freight customers in the NYSW/DO operation period, that probably would be their reason for operating the full length of the North Shore Line to St. George, as opposed to any other freight customers on the North Shore line east of Mariners Harbor. I actually think I recall seeing one of the NYSW SW's on the SIRT trackage in the Clifton area, don't recall exactly when, and no, I didn't get a picture.
The Cross Siclair paper processing plant in Mariner's Harbor used rail for many years, as did a lumber yard (Terminal Lumber), also in Mariner's Harbor, and the lumber yard was among the last active customers; the North Shore Line track near the end of NYSW/DO operation was obviously in service up to the point necessary to switch the lumber yard (which was between Union Ave and Harbor Rd), and just as obviously disused and being reclaimed by nature east of that point. There was also a customer on the Travis Branch (Visey Paper), and I'm not sure when they stopped using rail either. NYSW/DO handled outgoing coal from the Con Edison power plant (also on the Travis Branch) until a stockpile there was removed. The P&G plant was the "raison d'etre" for the existence of rail freight on Staten Island in those days, so once that closed it was inevitable that operations would cease.
GE, not EMD, makes the best locomotives now; has for over 20 years. Get over it.