Former LV trackage in Cortland

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Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:59 pm

Does the former Lehigh Valley line in Cortland currently see much traffic? If so, how often is it utilized?
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Re: Cortland

Postby amoreho1 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:14 pm

not as much since gutchess lumber stopped using the railroad to ship there products,now its just used as an overflow for suit kote except they tend not to put cars past pendelton
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Re: Cortland

Postby TB Diamond » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:17 pm

Thank you very much. Heard some time ago that the ex-LV line in Cortland was going to be rebuilt as traffic was to increase due to a new industrial park being constructed. Appears not.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby NYSW3614 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:05 am

I've heard two things- Gutches doesn't want to ship/receive or NYS&W has put a high per car charge too make it not worthwhile. I've heard talk of the industrial park too, plus a new siding for Bestway. Wait and see...
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby lehigh310 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:42 pm

Also, there is a small washout across the road from Gutchess, where a culvert pipe got clogged, and roadbed has been removed around the Route 281 crossing, for installing new sewer pipes before they add more lanes. Not sure how they plan on getting track to the industrial park...to me it looks like Gutchess has built on top of the old LV grade past the current end of track.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:20 am

I'm not sure how the original land aquisition went for this line, but in a lot of places between Freeville and Cortland the ROW is just plain gone - one trestle above Freeville has no apparent reason to exist, the only traces of the ROW are that and a hump in the road. So it's very likely the ROW past the current end of track belongs to the lumber concern. Where would the industrial park be located?
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby TB Diamond » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:53 pm

If recall is correct, ConRail operated the ex-LVRR in Cortland from the connection with the former E-L (DL&W) to the Cortland Overhead Door facility west of NY Rt. 281 under the NYS LDL subsidy program. The NYS&W served this line segment after CR transferred to them operations on the ex-E-L Binghamton-Syracuse.

Questions:

1.) Is the Cortland Overhead Door facility still in operation?

2.) Where is Gutchess Lumber located?

lvrr325:

The former Lehigh Valley Railroad Elmira & Cortland branch Freeville to just west (compass) of the Cortland Door switch remained the property of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Estate after 01 April 1976. The estate thereafter contracted to have the rails removed and disposed of the real property to various land owners.

I, too am curious as to the location of the proposed Cortland industrial park.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby lvrr325 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:44 am

TB Diamond wrote:
1.) Is the Cortland Overhead Door facility still in operation?

2.) Where is Gutchess Lumber located?


Don't know about Cortland Overhead Door. Google shows me Overhead Door of Cortland, but it's located on the east side of the former DL&W, not far from the I81-NY13 interchange. (where it is could be close or on the old LV ROW, but so far as I know the segment east of the DL&W, about a mile, did not go to Conrail either).

Gutchess is located on both sides of where the former LV crosses McLean Road. This is the next grade crossing west of the NY-281 crossing. I once lucked onto the NYS&W switching down here and got some nice pictures with good sunlight. You can probably use that Local Live maps to see the details of the facilities. There's a large warehouse visible from 281.

Were I to guess about an industrial park, I'd venture the former Smith Corona plant area, as there's not a lot of room elsewhere. But the LV didn't come in very close to it, although if the ROW is intact up to .. I forget the name of the road, but it runs fron 13 over to McLean Road... anyways once across that there's not much to stop the construction of a line into the former Smith Corona property.

Edit: Now that I think about it, it's possible the track into Gutchess was a re-lay of about ... 1/2 of a mile at the most.. I seem to remember reading that in one of the magazines ages ago. If the overhead door plant was the place visible from 281, I don't think it's gotten a car in years, don't remember ever seeing one there even though there was a siding, but the track always seemed to go past that a ways. Never explored to see how far.

Edit #2: I looked over the sattelite photos on Google. There is some kind of structure built across the ROW; there would probably have to be a culvert built to continue further but the ROW is intact all the way to the point I mentioned before. But the area to the north of McLean road is very industrial and has some vacant land which may be more suitable for an industrial park. It would be fairly easy to add a siding into new customers in this area.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby TB Diamond » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:53 pm

lvrr325:

Thank you for the valued information.

No, ConRail did not take or operate over the former LVRR E&C branch MT (compass) east of the switch for the interchange connection with the former DL&W.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby lehigh310 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:23 pm

Cortland Overhead Door - if you look at the satellite feature on Google Maps, Cortland Overhead Door was in the building just to the left (west) of the Route 281 grade crossing. Not sure what's in there now. I believe the siding went into the building, but it was pulled up many years ago...it might have been removed before NYSW took over the line.

Industrial park - official name is Finger Lakes East Business Park; from what I've been able to find out about it on the internet, it sounds like the county is gearing it more for office/light industry rather than businesses that would require rail service. Location would be south of Cortland along the west side of Route 13, with Gracie Road as its south border and Cortlandville Sand & Gravel on its north. From the Cortland County BDC-IDA website, here's a 2005 site plan/aerial view of the park:

http://www.cortlandbusiness.com/eNews/art/2-6-15.jpg

The view is flipped, so Gracie Road is at the top. Compare this view with Google Maps, and you can see in the site plan that the LV ROW comes pretty close to the right border of the park.

As an aside, the ROW south of Gracie Road has been turned into a trail by the Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture, per their trail map:

http://www.limehollow.org/trails/trailmap.pdf
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby todnielson » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:08 pm

lehigh310 wrote:Cortland Overhead Door - if you look at the satellite feature on Google Maps, Cortland Overhead Door was in the building just to the left (west) of the Route 281 grade crossing. Not sure what's in there now. I believe the siding went into the building, but it was pulled up many years ago...it might have been removed before NYSW took over the line.


The building is now owned by Pall Corporation and used for manufacturing. The track to that building were removed before I started working there in 1990. Do remember seeing a switcher working the line to Gutchess a few times, tho.

There are still a few remnants of the LV around. The passenger station still stands off South Main Street on South Ave, but it is not in great shape. The freight house is a little further down South Ave. If you take South Ave to the end and turn left onto Owego Street (NYS Route 215), just as you cross the track is the remains of a roundhouse.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:03 am

Pall, I wasn't sure how to spell it.

It's been a long time, but I remember like three stalls of the roundhouse left in fairly decent shape.. in 1992. I have a partial of the valuation survey that shows the roundhouse, yard and so forth that was all there up into the 50's. Hard to tell any of it ever existed now.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:20 pm

lehigh310:

Yes, the Lehigh Valley Railroad served the Cortland Overhead Door facility up to 01 April 1976 via a short spur off the E&C branch MT. Have some photos in my files of the job spotting a car at the factory.

Thanks, all for the information. Have not been in that part of the Cortland area for many years.
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby todnielson » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:44 am

I noticed today that the LV station is for sale.

Here is the listing: http://www.hagerealestate.com/listings/Other/o10.html
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Re: Former LV trackage in Cortland

Postby NYSW3614 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:53 am

Ok, are we ready for some real confusion? There were once three different Overhead Door sites on the Lehigh in the Cortland area. I'll do my best to explain.

Site 1:
In the city proper. Located off Huntington Street, which was east of Main Street. Site active c. 1928-1948.

Site 2:
They moved out of the city, c. 1948 , to just west of Route 13/Tompkins Street. Only in the past few years did I discover this location. There was one siding that ran along the side of the building. The are even remnants of the switch that went into the place (former switch timbers were visible a few years ago). When SUNY Cortland expanded c. 1968, this building became a services building for the college.

Site 3:
The already mentioned site west of Route 281/West Road crossing, which by the way will be reinstalled next spring per the NYS&W email list. Two parallel sidings entered the building. When Conrail said they wanted nothing to do with the servicing the plant, OD threatened closure so the Industrial Development Agency bought it. By 1982 they were closed, and Pall expanded into the building, no rail service. I remember the switch off the "main line" being intact in the 1980s but gone today.

Hope this helps, I have done much research on area customers of both railroads.

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