Mileposts question.

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Mileposts question.

Postby Jason W » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:19 am

I can't find any information on the Cooperstown Division mileposts and stations anywhere on the internet and my e-mails to several historical groups have gone unanswered. I'm hoping to find my answers here.

Were the mileposts on the Cooperstown division originated at Cooperstown or from Cooperstown Junction? What were the mileposts at the principal stations along the route (Cooperstown, Hartwick Seminary, Milford, Portlandville, etc)?

Also, what are the mileposts between Cooperstown Junction and Oneonta (such as at Colliers, Emmons, and Oneonta itself)?

Thanks for any replies.
Jason W
 

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:48 pm

Seems to me years ago the mile posts on the Cooperstown Branch
indicated the miles from Albany.
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Postby Railjunkie » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:37 am

Hope this will help, the mile post on the Cooperstown branch were from Cooperstown Jct. northward and Cooperstown southward. On the Susquehanna Subdivision mile posts as followes Cooperstown Jct 75.5, Colliers 76.9, MU cabin 76.9, RA cabin 80.6, CM cabin 81.6, and Oneonta 81.7 measured from ALB. This was as of timetable #1 effective 10/26/69
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Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:51 am

Railjunkie wrote:Hope this will help, the mile post on the Cooperstown branch were from Cooperstown Jct. northward and Cooperstown southward. On the Susquehanna Subdivision mile posts as followes Cooperstown Jct 75.5, Colliers 76.9, MU cabin 76.9, RA cabin 80.6, CM cabin 81.6, and Oneonta 81.7 measured from ALB. This was as of timetable #1 effective 10/26/69


At the time of the above mentioned timetable, the mileposts on the
Cooperstown Branch started in Cooperstown.
It is a little tricky to figure but when looking at various special instructions,
that is what I was able to come up with.
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Cooperstown Mileposts

Postby ChiefTroll » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm

The mileposts between Albany and Binghamton were triangular, with miles from Binghamton on the north side, and from Albany on the south side. The "magic number" was 143 - that is what the two numbers came to when added together.

IIRC, the mileposts on the Cooperstown Branch only had C numbers on them, for miles from Cooperstown. The railroad was originally built by Cooperstown interests, and they numbered their miles away from their home town.

Cooperstown - 0.0
Milford - 8.3
Portlandville - 12.8
Cooperstown Jct. - 15.9

By the way, the "magic number" between Nineveh and Wilkes-Barre was 211, and between Albany and Rouses Point it was 191.

You have to be careful with the timetable mileages north of Albany. After the New Connection (QG to BW) was built in 1965, the distance to Rouses Point was increased by about six miles. The D&H timetables after that showed "Miles from Albany" and "Miles from Rouses Point" but the miles from Albany did not correspond with the physical mileposts north of Ballston Spa, and south of there the miles from Rouses Point was off by the same amount. Willsboro was at milepost A-142, but it showed in the timetable as 148.1 miles from Albany.

Now, CP has not changed the mileposts but they have corrected the timetable figures. I tried mightily to get that corrected 38 years ago, because it gave us trouble when we had to put out speed restrictions. If I put out a slow order between A-145 and A-146, someone looking at the timetable would have thought it was south of Willsboro when it was actually to the north, up in the rocks.
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"Magic Number"

Postby Jason W » Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:03 pm

Thanks for all the great replies. Now I won't have to take my Olds for another gas guzzling road trip where I have to best guess the tenths of a mile between old stations while dodging traffic.

Chief Troll,
Thanks for explaining the "magic number" mileage. Such a simple thing as trying to figure out where exactly one is on the line shows what a huge undertaking railroading actually is.
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Magic Numbers

Postby ChiefTroll » Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:10 pm

<< Thanks for explaining the "magic number" mileage. Such a simple thing as trying to figure out where exactly one is on the line shows what a huge undertaking railroading actually is.

>> It's even worse when you are out with a Sperry Car trying to mark the miles and tenths on a rail defect with nary a milepost in sight. GPS is a blessing that was unknown to us in the 1960's.
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Postby rhallock » Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:26 pm

A couple questions: 1) were the mileposts changed north of Ballston Spa when the relocations were done at that point and around Saratoga Springs in the 50's?
2) Didn't Guilford paint over the mileposts and put on them the milage from Boston? I seem to recall seeing some like that remaining on the Pennsylvania division bike trail.
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Milepost Changes - Q&A

Postby ChiefTroll » Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:13 pm

A couple questions:

< 1) were the mileposts changed north of Ballston Spa when the relocations were done at that point and around Saratoga Springs in the 50's?

> No. The original mileposts and numbers remained in their original locations. Differences in distances were made up with equations and long miles. The mileposts between GV and JS were numbered from Schenectady and Rouses Point, and they didn't change, either. The mileposts north of JS were still based on Albany/Rouses Point miles via Mechanicville and Round Lake.

I think CP is using the actual milepost numbers in the timetable.

< 2) Didn't Guilford paint over the mileposts and put on them the milage from Boston? I seem to recall seeing some like that remaining on the Pennsylvania division bike trail.

> The D&H painted over the Erie miles on the Jefferson Branch between West Carbondale and Jefferson Jct. around 1958. They were changed to Albany/Wilkes-Barre miles. The Nineveh Branch and the D&H Penn Division (West Carbondale - Wilkes-Barre) mileposts were already numbered in that series.

The current mile posts on the Freight Main Line between Mechanicville and Sunbury are based on Mile 0 at Mattawamkeag, Maine, the east end of the Maine Central.
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Postby rhallock » Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:15 pm

Thanks very much for clearing up all this about the mile posts.
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Mileposts on the North End

Postby ChiefTroll » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:07 pm

That 6 mile difference between the timetable column "Miles from Albany" and the actual milepost numbers gave me fits when I was at Plattsburgh. I tried to convince the Transportation Dept to add a second column showing actual mileposts for each station, but I think they never understood the problem.

I'm glad to see that CP resolved it.
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Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:54 am

Between GV (AKA CPF 480) and JS (aka CPC31) the miles count down from JS. MP A22 is just about 1/10 th of a mile north of GV and MP A30 is just south of Zepko's (a crossing just south of JS).
On the mileposts, the distances from Rouses Point have been painetd out. The north side of the mileposts have been repainted with the distance from Albany (Via Round Lake). When orders are issued, the mile number includes "A" .
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Mileposts on the North End

Postby ChiefTroll » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:49 pm

Spike -

That's good. We always referred to the Albany mileage anyway, and it was a pain to have to do the subtraction when you were headed the wrong way. That was a common problem on a Sperry Car, and on top of that we had to interpolate to get rail defects located to the nearest 1/10th mile. Some wild guessing took place if we were far from a landmark. GPS is a blessing.

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Re: Mileposts question.

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:29 pm

Gordon,

How were the miles done on the Schenectady Branch?

What about Mechanicville to GJ, or even Schenectady? Another engineer who is active in the Bridgeline H. S. pointed out what looks like a D&H milepost under the Northway bridge, by Pierce Road, on the D&H side of the R. O. W. It sill exists because the industrious B&B attached the Pierce Road whistlepost to it. The mileposts that we use are the B&M ones, which have been renumbered by Guilford, from Mattawamkeak, ME, MEC Back Road, B&M Western Route, Lowell Branch, New Hampshire Div.to N. Chelmsford,Stony Brook to Willows, and Fitchburg-> Mechanicville.

MP 467 is on the B&M, just east of XO, and 477 is at Crescent. Between Crescent and the milepost in QG's limits, there is a short mile, where it goes from B&M to D&H mileposts.

One more point is about the track crews. I was told by an old timer trackman that the 2nd. and 3rd. sub seniority got swapped when the line through Round Lake was abandoned. Now the 3rd. sub has Kenwood to GJ, the connector and GJ to MP 79, division point with the 4th. Sub crews. Did this happen while you were here?
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Re: Mileposts question.

Postby ChiefTroll » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:46 am

Spike -

Did you mean GV instead of GJ? We had "M" mileposts (Mechanicville) from WY to Schenectady. A virtual M-0 was somewhere around Mechanicville station, I believe, but the physical "M" mile posts began at WY, with M-2/B-147. The M series continued to Schenectady, where there was a short mile between M-17/B-132 and S-0/B-131. From Schenectady the "S" miles ran up to S-14/B-117 at DJ. South of DJ (A-26/B-117) they were Albany mile posts.

To make things even more confusing, the bridges between DJ and WY were numbered by mileage from Albany via DJ, so those numbers didn't correspond with the mile posts, either. Same with the Nineveh Branch, except the bridge numbers showed mileage from SW Cabin. Bridge 3.15 crossed the Susquehanna River at Center Village.

The employes' time table only showed miles from DJ and WY for the Schenectady Main and the Mechanicville Branch, so none of those time table miles corresponded with the actual mile posts. Also, since the B&M owned the "inward" track between QS and WY, they had Boston mile posts on their side of the railroad. The D&H maintained both tracks between QS and Mechanicville West, and the B&M maintained the signals even though they were D&H style equipment.

During my time, up to August 1972, the Susquehanna (2nd) Sub track seniority district extended from WY (exclusive) all the way through Schenectady to Binghamton and Jefferson Jct., and KN (exclusive) through DJ. Saratoga Sub extended from KN (inclusive) to WY (inclusive), the New Connection north of QG, and the Ballston Branch north of GV, to MP 79.20, the former division boundary with the Champlain Division. If they gave the Mechanicville Branch to the Saratoga Division, it was after 1972.

My territory as Track Supervisor at Oneonta corresponded with the Susquehanna Sub seniority district, so all of my people could work anywhere on the subdivision, and nowhere else. Crane and bulldozer operators had system seniority, and track machine operators were a special case.

- Gordon Davids
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