Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby scharnhorst » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:16 pm

Would the Proposed Extension of the Marcellus & Otisco Lake Railroad count?? At one time they planed to build tracks South threw Forest Home, Borodino, down to Spafford. Needless to say this never happened but in a Map printed off by the Central New York NRHS shows the proposed route but there is no mention if it was surveyed or even graded.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby RussNelson » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:51 pm

scharnhorst wrote:or even graded.

Well, really, the reason I started this topic / project is to find and document the remains of unfinished railroads. I've been to some of these locations, and it's REALLY COOL to look at them and wonder and ponder. If nothing was graded, there's nothing to look at.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby RussNelson » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:58 pm

salminkarkku wrote:I've just noticed that the "Schenectady & Margaretville" described duplicates your "Delaware & Eastern" entry, which makes sense since the former was a sub of the latter.

Urgh, yes, you're right, good catch!
BUFFALO, BATAVIA & ROCHESTER ELECTRIC. I suspect it did some ground-work as well. Although I haven't seen any evidence, if you look at the map you will see it was almost certain it would have wanted to use the abandoned "Buffalo, Corning & New York" grade and I wonder if it bought it.

Well, I don't count railroads that were graded, unfinished, and then finished later, so I suppose it's reasonable to also exclude railroads that were finished, abandoned, and then incorporated into an unfinished railroad. If they had new grading, that could count as unfinished.
BUFFALO, TONAWANDA & NIAGARA FALLS ELECTRIC. I suspect that work was in progress to fill the gap between the two segments in 1902,

Probably.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby salminkarkku » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:54 am

Interesting question, as to how to label an unused grade when more than one company has tried to do something with it. I've had this problem elsewhere. If a railroad goes bust without opening, and another company takes over and fails as well, the latter could have done several things with the grade:
Nothing; remove secondary growth; repair structures such as bridge footings; rebuild ditto; build new ditto.

For the first two options, I would label it Company 1, and the last two, Company 2. But what of the third?

WEST SHORE IN BUFFALO.

If you look at the atlas page at

http://www.erie.gov/atlases/buff_94/vol ... _2_41.html

you will find an empty block at Niagara and Carroll, just north of the NYC station. This was bought and cleared by the "West Shore" for its Buffalo terminus in the 1870's, but it never had the money to get nearer downtown with a train than Alabama St. Its passenger trains, when it was competing with the NYC before going bust and being taken over, went into the PRR station.
What puzzles me is why the NYC, having bought out the WS, left this site empty for almost 20 years. The date of the atlas is 1895.
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A suggested research approach

Postby march hare » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:09 pm

As a person who does a fair amount of historical industrial research (I clean up hazardous waste sites for a living) allow me to suggest a newly available research tool.

Most counties now have their property tax maps in electronic form, often available on line. Many uncompleted RRs (and even a few "paper" ones that never built anything) will leave historic evidence behind, in the form of funny looking, long parcels of land that curve around a bit. Many times, the property was acquired, the RR went bust, but the property lines remained in the funny shapes they'd been carved into.

I've run across several mystery ROWs this way, some of them in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby scharnhorst » Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:51 am

There is what looks to be 2 ROW's just to the Southwest of the ADM Plant in Savannah, NY they look like Bridge Abutments for 2 ROW's going in a Northwest-Southeast direction. The abutments are most visible in the Potato Fields. Any ideas as to what this is??

I know its not West Shore as they went from the South Side of the Main Line to the North Side of the Current Main Line next to Home Sted Meats in Savannah till they got to Port Byron, NY before crossing to the South of the Main again.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby NE2 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:50 am

scharnhorst wrote:There is what looks to be 2 ROW's just to the Southwest of the ADM Plant in Savannah, NY they look like Bridge Abutments for 2 ROW's going in a Northwest-Southeast direction. The abutments are most visible in the Potato Fields. Any ideas as to what this is??

I know its not West Shore as they went from the South Side of the Main Line to the North Side of the Current Main Line next to Home Sted Meats in Savannah till they got to Port Byron, NY before crossing to the South of the Main again.

Follow the grade west past Savannah, and then switch to map view. You'll get a pretty big hint :) (No, I don't know what it was named.)
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby RussNelson » Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:24 pm

I know! I know! Pick me! Ooh! Oooh!

It was the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern electric railroad. The route on a modern map and a portion of the route on the historic USGS map.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby lvrr325 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:41 pm

That's what I said in the other thread, too. Both finished lines and long abandoned, north to south from the NYC main was the West Shore and then the RS&E. The West Shore was south of the NYC from just east of Weedsport, all the way to Chili Jct. west of Rochester. The '38 reprint topo maps are available for the Weedsport quad at Maptech (historical.mytopo.com) - the overpass at Weedsport is shown there, and the abutments are still visible from the Thruway.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby RussNelson » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:55 am

Been doing some work with the Beacon Institute, which has a site on Denning's Point, which is now a state park. I knew about 1) the grade on the east side of the Hudson River Line, 2) the bridge over said line, and 3) the pilings leading over to Denning's point. I just read a book on the history of Denning's point by Jim Heron (http://www.thebeaconinstitute.org/insti ... mHeron.php) which said that the BH&E had built an engine house, a cut across the point, and a grade on the east side of the point. He didn't say anything about any remains of the engine house.

When I was there a few weeks ago, I found the grade on the east side. Best thing is that it's a state park, so anybody can go visit. Be advised that the trail is closed between December 1 and March 31st to permit bald eagles to nest.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby Gunsnclapton » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:47 pm

I also remember hearing from my grandfather who is now long since passed away that the B&O did start to build a Railway Tunnel from Staten Island to Brooklyn. He lived on Staten Island for his entire life starting in the early 1900s and also worked at Nassau Smelting so he knew quite a bit about Staten Island's History. Does anybody know is he was correct about that?
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby Alcochaser » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Does the partially completed but never finished NYSW Ontrack extension from Carousel Mall thru the new station to the ballpark count?

-snicker-
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby RussNelson » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:37 am

Well, that's a good question. Is it reuse of existing railbed, or is it new railbed? If the first, mmmmmaybe not. If the second, and it has never seen regular service, then definitely.
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Re: Unfinished Railroads of New York State

Postby Alcochaser » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:56 am

Most of it is new railbed. only the end near the ballpark was a reused spur.

It's only a couple miles long. Here is a shot of the unfinished never used ROW

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos ... amtrak.jpg

It was started and then stopped in 1999 because the bridge they were putting in started to damage the nearby Conrail bridge. An interesting much more modern unfinished. It will never be completed because Ontrack stopped running.
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