L&HR's last day, last run - 1976

Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail

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L&HR's last day, last run - 1976

Postby Marty Feldner » Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:50 am

Twenty eight years ago today- the last Lehigh and Hudson River train (NE-3) prepares to depart Warwick for Hudson Yard in Phillipsburg. At midnight, before it returned to Warwick, it, its crew, and the L&HR would all be part of Conrail.

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Postby rushhour » Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:45 am

Its hard to imagine that it was 28 years ago. When did CR rip out Warwick yard?
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby philipmartin » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:28 pm

Anybody know who the crew was? Did Conrail discontinue the Warwick trains then and there? For the record, G tower closed in '72, about four years before the Conrail take over.
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby Marty Feldner » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:21 pm

Engineer was the late Jim Rader; I want to say Spranger was the conductor, don't remember the rest. I can check, and get back.

As I remember, traffic patterns didn't change for a while (CR had more than a full plate in the beginning...); it may have been a year or two.

And rushhour- I should have responded to your question much sooner. The Warwick yards outlasted Conjob, at least as a physical entity. The office building was sold and is now professional offices. CR (now NS) owns the main and the run-around track; the remainder of the property (shops and roundhouse area, and former yard tracks across the main) were bought by Jones Chemicals. Jones pulled the remaining yard tracks in the late 90's, for scrap.
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby SooLineRob » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:54 am

As a follow up to Marty's post:

Regarding April 1, 1976 and beyond, I came up with the following notes taken from various sources. Most of the info was taken from Conrail freight schedules. Keep in mind although a train/crew is scheduled/advertised to work within specified limits, that doesn't mean they did every day. Quite possibly only one trip every six months was the norm...

Date : On duty location : Train symbol : On duty time : Days off : Working limits : Remarks

April 76 : Warwick, NY : WM-2/1 : 07:00 : Sat & Sun : Highland, Maybrook, and return.

April 76 : Warwick, NY : NE-3/CB-2 : 13:00 : Sat & Sun : Phillipsburg and return.


Spring 79 : Conrail embargoes the former L&HR main line between Warwick and Franklin, severing the once busy through route.

June 79 : Warwick, NY : WM-2/1 : 07:00 : Sat & Sun : Highland, Maybrook, and return.

June 79 : Allentown, PA : AF-2/1 : 14:00 : Sat & Sun : Franklin and return.


May 80 : Warwick, NY : WHWA-14 : 07:00 : Sat & Sun : Highland, Maybrook, and return : Conrail begins using their alpha-numeric train symbols. W=Wayfreight/Local, H=Hoboken Division, L=Lehigh Division, WA=Warwick, BE=Bethlehem, followed by train/assignment number.

May 80 : Bethlehem, PA : WLBE-16 : 14:00 : Sun : Franklin and return.



Feb 81 : Allentown "AL", PA : WLAL-16 : 14:00 : Sun : Franklin and return.


July 81 : Warwick, NY : WJWA-14 : 07:00 : Sat & Sun : Highland and return : Warwick becomes part of Conrail's New Jersey Division, "J".


Jan 82 : Allentown, PA : WLAL-16 : 13:00 : Sat & Sun : Franklin and return.

Jan 82 : Campbell Hall, NY : WJWA-14 : 09:00 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return : Conrail abolishes Warwick "WA" and Middletown "MI" (former EL) yards as on duty locations and combines the work at Campbell Hall.

Jan 82 : Campbell Hall, NY : WJMI-11 : 10:00 : Sat & Sun : Walden, Graham Line, Main Line, Middletown, and return.


April 82 : Delaware Otsego (NYS&W) purchases the Warwick to Franklin trackage from Conrail.


July 82 : Campbell Hall, NY : WEMI-11 : 10:00 : Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries, Crawford Branch, Walden, Main and Graham Lines, Middletown, and return : Conrail abolishes WA-14, leaving the former EL Middletown Drill (MI-11) to handle all work on alternating days. In addition, the former EL west of Suffern, NY is split off the New Jersey Division and becomes the Southern Tier District, "E".


October 83: Conrail files to abandon the Hudson Secondary (former L&HR main line) from Belvidere to Franklin to Ogdensburg. Sussex County, NJ eventually purchases a portion of this line, from Franklin to Sparta.


June 84 : Phillipsburg "PB", NJ : WJPB-16 : 12:00 : Sat & Sun : Franklin and return.

June 84: Campbell Hall, NY : WEMI-11 : 07:30 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries, Crawford Branch, Walden, Main and Graham Lines, Middletown, and return.


Nov 84 : Phillipsburg, NJ : WJPB-16 : 11:00 : Sat & Sun : Mon and Wed one way to Franklin, Tue and Thu return to Phillipsburg, Fri Belvidere Turn.


Mar 85 : Allentown, PA : WJAL-16 : 13:00 : Sat & Sun : Mon and Wed one way to Franklin, Tue and Thu return to Allentown, Fri Belvidere Turn : Delaware Otsego (NYS&W) begins local service between Warwick, NY, and Sparta, NJ on March 26, 1985, ending Conrail's presence in Sussex County, New Jersey.


4/1/85 : Allentown, PA : WJAL-16 : 13:00 : Sat & Sun : Mon, Wed, and Fri Belvidere Turn. Tue and Thu Flemington Turn : AL-16 is reassigned working limits on other Conrail lines, officially ending scheduled local service on the ex-L&HR west end.


July 86 : Campbell Hall, NY : WEMI-11 : 08:30 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries, Walden, Middletown, and return.


Fall 86 : Conrail operates it's last train (a work train) from Sparta to Belvidere, salvaging the track materials.


Feb 87 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-01 : 08:00 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return : Conrail drops the old "MI" Middletown alpha code and begins using "CH" for the two new assignments out of Campbell Hall.

Feb 87 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-20 : 16:45 : Sat & Sun : Walden, Middletown, and return.


Nov 87 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-11 : 11:59 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return.

Nov 87 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-20 : 16:45 : Sat & Sun : Walden, Middletown, and return.



Nov 88 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-11 : 11:59 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return.

Nov 88 : Campbell Hall, NY : WECH-20 : 18:00 : Sat & Sun : Walden, Middletown, and return.


Jan 89 : Campbell Hall, NY : WACH-11 : 11:59 : Sat & Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return : Conrail combines the Southern Tier District with the newly created Albany Division "A".

Jan 89 : Campbell Hall, NY : WACH-20 : 18:00 : Sat & Sun : Walden, Middletown, and return.



Jan 90 : Campbell Hall, NY : WACH-11 : 10:00 : Sun : Maybrook and Hudson Secondaries and return.

Jan 90 : Campbell Hall, NY : WACH-20 : 18:00 : Sat : Walden, Middletown, and return.



Beyond 1990, the Campbell Hall jobs were abolished and reinstated as business fluctuated. The on duty times and days off varied, but their underlying missions remained the same. Provide service to the former L&HR between Maybrook and Warwick, as well as the many other area businesses. And as far as the post '85 NYS&W Stack Pack era, that's a whole 'nuther story...

Additions/corrections welcome!
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby philipmartin » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:05 am

Thanks for the answers to my questions. I worked second trick, and don't remember much about Rader. However I used to see Joe Spranger, Jr. and Kenny Spranager going by on cabooses, on a frequent basis. Joe Spranger, Sr. was a conductor too; but I didn't see him, working second trick at G.
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby Marty Feldner » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:40 pm

Rob-

Great post, and terrific information. Thanks.

What you have fills in many holes in my normally flakey memory; I don't have much post-3/31/76 paperwork, and note-taking on operations was just about non-existent.

L&HR engineer Tom McGovern held down the Campbell Hall local job (WACH-11, WECH-11) for CR for a number of years before he retired.

As for your timeline "Fall 86" entry, it was October. The NYS&W (parent company, Walter Rich's Delaware Otsego) had just started running its stack trains- accomplishing a surprising and successful end-run around CR for a cut of the New York business. Conjob had absolutely no use for the L&HR between Sparta and Belvedere (they'd left it in place, rusting, for a decade), but suddenly decided that nobody else would have any chance of using it. They almost literally sneaked in without warning and began pulling up the rails. "We don't want it, but you ain't gonna get it"; another reason CR is NOT one of my favorite entities...
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Re: Last day, last run.

Postby gravelyfan » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:39 am

Great archive of Conrail Freight Schedules (and lots of other stuff) can be found here:

http://www.multimodalways.org/archives/rrs/CR/CR.html

This may help with some of the dates in that very comprehensive list. Good job!
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Re: L&HR's last day, last run - 1976

Postby SooLineRob » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:07 am

Brushing the dust off this topic...

Does anyone know when Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg last received rail service from Conrail?

I've read various dates as to when the mine was shut down, but the dates are in conflict. I would venture a guess something made Conrail decide to start the abandonement process in October 1983; whether that had anything to do with Sterling Hill or NJ Zinc in Palmerton, PA is unknown.

In a related question, does anyone know which customers were still using Conrail for rail service between Spring 1979 and March 1985 between Ogdensburg/Franklin and Belvidere?

It would be interesting to know what kept Conrail's interest in keeping the track between Belvidere and Franklin/Ogdensburg between Spring '79 and October 1983. Where customers still receiving regular rail service during this time, did Conrail simply keep the inactive track because of "potential" customers, or did Conrail lose a rail customer(s) which deemed the line a loss in the ledger book?

Thanks in advance.
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