Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Discussion about shortline operator Genesee Valley Transportation, operator of the Delaware-Lackawanna; the Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern, the Falls Road Railroad; Depew, Lancaster & Western; and the Lowville & Beaver River railroads. Official site: GVTRAIL.COM.

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Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby hrfcarl » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:00 am

I tried searching for a similar discussion, but could not find one. If one exists, please direct me to it.

Using the map on this link http://www.nysdot.gov/portal/page/porta ... ailmap.pdf it seems there is a ROW between Lyons Falls and Lowville. What would be needed to allow this ROW to be used again? Is there a reason why this connection between these 2 GVT divisions could or should not be reestablished?

Thanks.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby RussNelson » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:08 am

My understanding is that (not Conrail) the NYCentral had no customers on that portion of the line, and didn't want it to be usable as a through line. Last time I was there, I didn't see anything explicitly blocking the main, but for example, I don't expect that the industrial plant in Lowville would be happy to have their industrial turned back into a mainline (I shot that photo through a chain-link fence). Plus the southern end of the track in Lyons Falls is a little sorry-looking.
Last edited by RussNelson on Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:44 am

It's likely that various bridges and pieces of the ROW have been removed over the years. Even if that is not the case, there would probably be NIMBYs even in those less heavily populated areas.

Lastly, why would you do it? The cost would be staggering, there is apparently no industry in between, and neither branch, the last I heard, was doing great traffic wise. Adding another 14 miles, at a cost of say a million per mile, would accomplish...what?
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby hrfcarl » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:07 pm

BR&P wrote:Lastly, why would you do it? The cost would be staggering, there is apparently no industry in between, and neither branch, the last I heard, was doing great traffic wise. Adding another 14 miles, at a cost of say a million per mile, would accomplish...what?


With no industry on the line, the main benefit of restoration of this ROW would be as a through line connecting the 2 Mohawk, Adirondack & Nothern divisions. The worth depends on whether the customers on the northern MHWA division would benefit from having access to CSX at Utica rather than Philadephia/Carthage(?) - would there be a benefit? If yes, worth the cost?
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby Kuyahoora Valley » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:36 pm

That section of line was pulled up by NYC in the 60s, way before Conrail, I think 1964. You can still see some small bridges from Route 12, but it looks like lots of the ROW is now farmland. Land ownership would be an issue.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:37 pm

I don't know anything about the traffic on the lines, but the lower line goes to Utica and the upper one feeds down to Dewitt. Those points are roughly what - 50 miles apart? There does not seem to be much advantage geographically.

Further, look at the payback. CSX is not going to make much, if any, change in their pricing. One way they haul a load from Watertown to Dewitt, the other way from Utica to Dewitt. Just about even.

Even if we pick a number, say $200 more per car to MAN from CSX, that's 70,000 carloads needed to pay for our estimated $14 million to replace the segment. Any guess how long it would be before the upper segment generates 70,000 cars?

It's always neat from a railfan perspective to think of some long-abandoned line being rebuilt. Almost never will it happen. Usually there is an economic reason why tracks are removed. It's very rare that things change enough to warrant replacing them.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:43 pm

New York Central abandoned that portion of the St. Lawrence Division, Lyons Falls-Lowville, 14 miles, in 1964.

Per FRA files.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby RSD15 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:35 am

IIRC conrail briefly thought of restoring the line to service.
something about a short cut for the montreal selkirk trains,and needing only one crew selkirk-massena.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby hrfcarl » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:14 pm

BR&P wrote:It's always neat from a railfan perspective to think of some long-abandoned line being rebuilt. Almost never will it happen. Usually there is an economic reason why tracks are removed. It's very rare that things change enough to warrant replacing them.


From the point of view of a map, the idea of connecting 2 lines together, especially ones used by the same company, using an existing ROW looks to make sense. In this case, where most of the trackage and related structure have been removed from the ROW and at a cost of $1 million per mile to rebuild, not so much.

BTW, does anyone own this ROW?
Last edited by hrfcarl on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lyons Falls to Lowville ROW

Postby TB Diamond » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:07 pm

There are some examples of the New York Central abandoning and removing sections of certain branch lines in New York State, leaving both ends of same as stub end lines. In addition to Lyons Falls-Lowville, other cases are the Auburn branch Pittsford-Victor and the East Peanut Holcomb-Caledonia. Read once that this may have been done in the hope that one or both stub ends would thereafter dry up and be available for abandonment of service. The author seemed to be a bit cynical in this assessment, however. Anyone know for a fact that this could have been NYC corporate policy, official or unofficial?
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Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern, LBR, and Adirondack Scenic

Postby brockwaythemusician » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:47 pm

I am beginning a model railroad based on these lines and I am looking for some information. I have already collected information on engines and equiptment, businesses and such. However there are some loose ends:

Mohawk Adirondack and Northern:

-Is (or was there ever) there a connection between Lyons Falls and the Lowville and Beaver River in Lowville. The map on the MHWA web page has this area blank which leads me to believe that nothing ever existed between these locations.

- What businesses exist between Utica and Lyons Falls?


Lowville and Beaver River:

Different sources are telling me different things. Some say the railroad is defunct, others say it is run by the MHWA? Is it still operational?

How far did the line extend past Croghan? Did it extend to the Beaver River located on the Adirondack Schenic Route?

Adirondack Schenic:

Sources show that lumber and stone trains run on this route however I can not find any businesses associated with the origin of these goods on the route.

The line between Thendara and Lake Placid is listed as non-operational however I have seen pictures of equiptment from Lake Placid on-line and actually seen the equiptment in person sitting in Rome in storage. Is the line usable but not in passenger service, therefore listed as unuseable?

There is a yellow switcher with boarded up windows on the Adirondack stoarage tracks in Rome but it doesn't appear on any rosters I've found. It has also been moved since the beginning of the week so I know it is operational. Any clue where this engine came from?

At the Utica Childrens Museum there is an RS-3 painted dark green. Was this engine ever used in service with that scheme.

Thanks.
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Re: Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern, LBR, and Adirondack Schenic

Postby Dick H » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:56 pm

Run this URL, but take note that the site has not been updated since 2005

http://www.nessman.net/rochesterrailf/lbr.htm

Also, run this URL, again not updated since 2005. Note more links at bottom of page

http://www.nessman.net/rochesterrailf/gvt.htm

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Re: Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern, LBR, and Adirondack Schenic

Postby RussNelson » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:25 pm

brockwaythemusician wrote:-Is (or was there ever) there a connection between Lyons Falls and the Lowville and Beaver River in Lowville. The map on the MHWA web page has this area blank which leads me to believe that nothing ever existed between these locations.

Of course there was a connection. It was a through line at one point.

Lowville and Beaver River:

Different sources are telling me different things. Some say the railroad is defunct, others say it is run by the MHWA? Is it still operational?

Last time I was through there, some crossings were paved over, but the tracks remain.

How far did the line extend past Croghan? Did it extend to the Beaver River located on the Adirondack Schenic Route?

I don't think it ever went beyond Croghan. I've inspected the area past the current end of the line, and there's no evidence that it continued beyond that point.

The line between Thendara and Lake Placid is listed as non-operational however I have seen pictures of equiptment from Lake Placid on-line and actually seen the equiptment in person sitting in Rome in storage. Is the line usable but not in passenger service, therefore listed as unuseable?

The line is usable for equipment moves, but not passenger service.
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Re: Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern, LBR, and Adirondack Schenic

Postby O-6-O » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:22 am

The engine in Utica is a rare RSC-2 that was used on the Adirondack Railway in 79-80 . The line between Lyons Falls and Lowville was cut and removed in 1964 by the Central.. This line dates back to the 1860's as the original Black River and Utica. The Lowvile &Beaver River while a seperate railroad on paper is part of GVT now but currently OOS.
One way or the other we're gonna fix this railroad.
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Re: Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern, LBR, and Adirondack Schenic

Postby BR&P » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:28 am

Welcome to the forum! You can save yourself a lot of trouble if you use the "search" feature, many questions have been discussed before. For instance,

http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=110&t=58828 takes you to a thread in the GVT forum which discusses your first point in detail, and it's only 2 weeks old. Farther down this forum, there's a thread about Lowville, complete with numerous photos.

Search is your friend! Happy hunting.
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