• Utica Branch Discussion Thread

  • Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.
Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, NJ Vike

  by Steve F45
so i guess all there tourist/excursions are no more.
  by JoeCollege
The Utica side is dead, folks. Walter Rich and his friends have driven almost all the business off that wasn't gone already. The washouts from Sherburne to Greene remain; a small amount of the line from below Greene to Chenango Forks is being used as car storage, and there is still some traffic to Sherburne, where Baillie Lumber still ships out some wood products and Chenango Valley Pet Foods still gets inbound grain. Metal Products has stopped using rail. There is talk of a biodiesel plant in Norwich that will never happen IMO.

The value in the line to Walter Rich and friends is in the proposed NYRI power line that as of yet has no interested users downstate. It is a redundancy and inefficient transmission line, but I think the investors are looking at 10-15 years from now as demand grows.

I often wonder what business the LAL crew could have built had the had access to this line. If they can generate traffic from Hornell to Corry, they could have done it from Utica to Greene.

Instead Route 12 gets more congested with trucks and a rail line gets neglected.

  by amoreho1
maybe its cheaper and easier for them to run locos more then a couple times a year

but it is a shame to see them leave the nysw

  by RichM
Well, it's tough to blame the Cooperstown boys. The Utica line has been marginal for a long time, hence its acquisition by DO. Conrail certainly couldn't make a go out of it. And it's not an apples-apples comparison to LAL. LAL had a potential base load of traffic in the NS coal trains that could support the state investment in restoration and upgrades, and the line represents a convenient bypass of Buffalo when necessary. There were rail customers who couldn't be served adequately by Conrail here, but were interested once a regional took over. But the investment in restoration came from the government, with a good business plan from LAL.
The Utica branch essentially parallels both the D&H and the Syracuse line, so bypass traffic isn't really an option. NYS&W, when part of a state/regional program that supports and encourages development / revitalization, can be successful. I'm not sure whether it's the investment climate, the business and real estate tax climate, or other factors, but there's enough blame to cover a wide target beyond Cooperstown for the demise here. Driving customers away by trying to recoup the cost of doing business isn't necessarily a bad strategy after all...
Last edited by RichM on Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by NYSW3614
Heck, from what I've been told even EL looked to sell or abandon the Utica line.

The SD45

  by Steve F45
the utica line runs through norwich,ny correct? So theres no chance of seeing any trains when i go up there next month for my g/fs fathers bday. Or should i leave earlier and swing by bingo?

  by cjvrr

When are you going to be up there? I am running a railroad speeder trip between Sherburne and Utica on Sept. 16. Staying overnight in Norwich the 15th and 16th.

Sunday we will be running on the CACV from Cooperstown Junction.

Handful of cars running now, hopefully more will sign up by the day of the event.


  by Steve F45
not till the 29th i believe. going up on a friday, then surprise 50th on saturday.

  by RichM
You'll either need to do the Binghamton thing, or move a few miles east of Norwich and see D&H/CP action on the Bingo-Albany line

  by Steve F45
i think it will have to be bingo then. I know the g/f is going to flip out when she finds out why im going to bingo. Hopefully i'll be able to catch something up there.

  by RichM
Get the folks from that area on here involved with you, I bet there are some diversions in the Bingo area your girlfriend might be interested in, may not object to taking an hour or two on your own.

  by Steve F45
im sure there's something up there. She's originally from norwhich.

  by amoreho1


  by charlie6017
I just deleted about 3 or 4 flame posts. I am not about to close a good thread, so knock off the flaming and needless criticism and get back on the topic, please! Thank you.

Hi Amoreho1, will you please turn off your caps lock when you post?

  by JoeCollege
I agree- the Utica branch lacks the potential for overhead traffic in the current environment. Although at one time, I believe interchange took place at Utica as opposed to Syracuse.

Online traffic potential exists but is just that unless shippers decide to go to rail. I think a smaller operator could be more interested in developing propane or fuel oil service, for example, along the route than a larger carrier with different profit margins and other areas of priority.

I know the Oneida county area sends dozens of garbage trucks a day down route 8 to I think PA; that traffic and other regional counties could potentially be captured, delivered to NS at Binghamton or to CSX and tacked on to the existing refuse trains.

I don't know what was flamed here but I think if the line isn't rebuilt and if the county IDA's own it, then they need to either develop a rail authority to find a shortline operator, sell the land, or develop a long rail trail....and I am not flaming, just thinking out loud.
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