Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Discussion related to the Lehigh Valley Railroad and predecessors for the period 1846-1976. Originally incorporated as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company.

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Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby WestShoreMan » Wed May 25, 2016 3:36 pm

This branch of the Lehigh Valley parallels NY-13 for much of its length. My guess is that the line was abandoned in the 1960s judging from the remnants that remain of the ROW. Does anybody know the exact years of abandonment of the different segments of the line? I doubt that there was much in the way of traffic in the final years. Thanks.--John
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby BR&P » Wed May 25, 2016 6:20 pm

Off the top of my head I can't give you answers but I know this has been discussed, either on this LV page or on the New York State Railfan page. "Search" is your friend!
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby TB Diamond » Wed May 25, 2016 10:35 pm

Abandonment dates for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Elmira & Cortland Branch:

Elmira-Horseheads, 5.1 miles, 04 December 1975
Horseheads-Van Etten, 19.6 miles, 25 June 1938
Van Etten-Spencer, 2.5 miles, 1932
Spencer-East Ithaca, 23.0 miles, 30 June 1935
East Ithaca-Freeville, 9.0 miles, 01 September 1977*
Freeville-South Cortland, 9.4 miles, 01 September 1977 (embargoed 1976, dismantled 1978)
Cortland Jct.-River, 4.6 miles, 1975
River-Canastota, 43.5 miles, 30 December 1967 Canastota-Camden, 20.8 miles, 06 August 1938

*Etna-East Ithaca o/s after Hurricane Agnes in June, 1972. Believe this line segment was embargoed in 1973, possibly by Bulletin Order. General Order 1001 effective August 10, 1975, paragraph (f) states:"East Ithaca Running Track East Ithaca-Etna

East Ithaca Running Track between East Ithaca and Etna out of service account track conditions".
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby lvrr325 » Thu May 26, 2016 1:38 am

The tracks in Canastota proper lasted I believe into the 1980s. A group attempted to buy some of the line to host excursion trains, but could not raise enough funding. But they did buy from the NYC/PC connection south perhaps a mile total, then contracted PC to run the line and made some profit that way.

The remaining section in Cortland was empty in March, while I did catch a train on it once many years ago it seems only to be used for car storage these days.

I read of a plan to rebuild the line from Freeville to Cornell for coal trains to run to the steam plant, but instead they added a siding in the LV Ithaca yard at the bottom of the hill and used a small conveyor loader to transload to trucks.

There were active customers I believe in Cazenovia, New Woodstock and DeRuyter. However between NYS's full crew laws, low track speeds from deferred maintenance, grades with cuts that filled with snow in the winter, plus NYS taxes, there wasn't much profit there. A shortline that could have run smaller crews may have been able to make it last longer but I would expect by today it would still be gone.
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby WestShoreMan » Thu May 26, 2016 7:16 am

Thank you to everyone for your prompt, detailed, and insightful answers! Yes, a shortline could have run the line for a bit longer, but it was inevitable that the line would be abandoned given the minimal traffic base. My guess was right that most of the line (Cortland-Cazenovia) was abandoned in the 1960s. That was a common pattern throughout the US then, abandonment of secondary lines with minimal traffic.
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby TB Diamond » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:38 pm

The remnant of the Lehigh Valley E&C branch in Cortland is referred to by the NYS&W as the Cortland Industrial.

There is a washout on this track just compass east of McLean Road.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:35 am

A couple of segments near the Cornell Steam Plant are a hiking trail "East Ithaca Rec Trail" or something close to that - one section compass east and one section compass south (the line made about a 90' turn south at the plant to skirt the ridge around Ithaca). After a certain point it comes to a road and south of that is obliterated by a housing development.

There's a number of bridges and portions that are roads or private driveways if you follow from Cortland on Google Maps.
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby Cactus Jack » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:49 am

Back about 1967 there was a shortline company that looked this over with Gene Blabey, now of WNYP fame who Hi-Railed it and Dave Bees a hospital administrator from Syracuse. I forget the name of their company but later they created the OMID and ONCT.

This has been covered before - refer to this link with a post by Gene Blabey himself.

viewtopic.php?f=128&t=58982&start=0
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby RussNelson » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:00 am

The EC&N bridge over Pine Tree Road off 366 in Ithaca is going to be destroyed and replaced by a simulcra. http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/highway ... t#pinetree

Does anybody here live in the Ithaca area? I am trying to get pictures of every abandoned railroad bridge in NY, and I don't have a picture of this one yet .... even though I bicycled over it. They're starting construction on Monday, so if you don't go get a picture Sunday, it might be too late.
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Re: Cortland-Cazenovia-Canastota-Camden line

Postby BR&P » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:27 pm

And what, pray tell, is a simulcra? Image
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