D&H and the West Shore

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D&H and the West Shore

Postby CPF363 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:36 pm

Does anyone know if there was ever an effort by D&H management to purchase the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railway prior it being purchased by the New York Central? The West Shore would have provided the D&H with considerable connections, especially with the Nickel Plate in Buffalo and direct access to the New York market. Did the Pennsylvania RR ever consider selling the West Shore to get it out of their hands with the objective of getting the NYC to give up on building the South Pennsylvania Railway? The D&H-West Shore effectively would become more of a neutral line and not in the hands and under the influence of either the PRR or the NYC.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:46 am

PRR built the West Shore to try to hurt the New York Central; so the New York Central tried to build a road paralell to the PRR who's name escapes me. It was never finished; before it could be some negotiations were made and the two properties essentially traded off. The NYC grading in central PA was later used to build the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the West Shore slowly rationalized into the NYC system. The PRR never wanted to get rid of the West Shore necessarily and there was no opportunity for the D&H to step in.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby chrisnewhaven » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:05 pm

It was called the South Pennsylvania Railroad. As the story goes, J.P. Morgan watched as the stocks and capital of both the PRR (investing in the money loosing West Shore) and the New York Central (investing money to build the South Pennsylvania) went up in smoke. As he had investments in both roads, he invited the Presidents of each railroad at the time onto his yacht, not telling either of them of the others arrival. As soon as they were both on board, he ordered his yacht to sail up the middle of the Hudson River, told each President of the other, and let the negotiations begin. The New York Central sold the South Pennsylvania RR to the PRR, while the PRR would stop funding the West Shore and let the NYC pick it up in bankruptcy. The Delaware and Hudson never had a chance to get it.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:42 pm

I don't think that the D&H had any reason to branch in that direction. Why compete with Central, LV, Lackawanna, and Erie? Coal was the first priority. Bridging cars from PRR at Buttonwood, and Erie and Lackawanna to the B&M were more profitable. There were never any other direct connections to New England except O&W in PA to the New Haven, which connected directly to the Erie. Throw in the paper and natural resources from Canada. The D&H has a great route to the Mid Atlantic region, on which to transport these products.
D&H also was the most direct extension of the Central north of Albany. They didn't want to offend Central for that reason. Yes the Central had lines into Montreal, but they went OVER the Adirondacks. The D&H 3rd. and 4th. Subs are the only logical, direct Albany-Montreal line.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby ChiefTroll » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:39 am

In "A Century of Progress," History of the Delaware and Hudson Company, pages 275-277, we find the official account of an interest of The D&H Canal Co. in supporting a railroad from Albany to New Jersey along the west shore of the Hudson River in 1880. The Erie had proposed a joint ownership. The D&H dropped the idea within a year. The D&H appears to not have been involved with the interests that eventually (1883+) built the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad.

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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby CPF363 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:15 pm

How would the NY Central have connected to the South Pennsylvania? Wasn't the Reading RR in the hand of the B&O at that time?
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby chrisnewhaven » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:36 am

Probably on its west end via the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie. There were no connections on the east end, especially since in the timeframe were talking about the Central is still only east of the Hudson River.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby ChiefTroll » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:32 am

To get the full story of the South Pennsylvania Railroad, read "The Railroad that Never Was," by Herb Harwood, 2010. Briefly, the South Penn wasn't really intended to feed the New York Central at the east end. It would have connected with NYC via the P&LE at its west end. It was really intended by its supporters and promoters to divert traffic from the Pennsylvania Railroad. It probably was not intended as retribution to the PRR for construction of the West Shore. In fact, the PRR involvement in the West Shore has never been proven.

The supporters of the South Penn were primarily Andrew Carnegie, who chafed at a PRR monopoly for his steel traffic at Pittsburgh; William Vanderbilt, who more than incidentally controlled the NYC and P≤ and Franklin Gowen, who was building a house-of-cards empire around the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.

The Reading had not yet come under control of the B&O. In fact, the B&O had to go through a bankruptcy in 1895 and a period of control by PRR before it reached out for the Reading and the CNJ.

D&H content - Leonor Fresnel Loree made his first mark on the PRR as a civil engineer and operating officer. When the PRR gained control of the B&O, it appears that some of the PRR clan were worried that Loree might overshadow them, so they shipped him off to take over their B&O as president. He spent so much capital rebuilding the B&O that it became a threat to its parent PRR, so the PRR again made a change and left Leonor out in the street. He landed on his feet at the Delaware and Hudson Company, and the rest is history.

So that all might put the West Shore and South Penn back into context. As I said before, the D&H once had considered involvement in a projected railroad on the West Shore of the Hudson, but by the time the New York, West Shore and Buffalo was organized, the D&H had no further interest.

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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby CPF363 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:18 am

Why would the PRR exchange a working competitive rail line for an unbuilt one? They connected to both ends of it also, unlike the South Penn only connecting on the west end of the line via subsidiary P&LE. Seems that if the PRR actually owned a significant share in the West Shore, they got did not get the best deal in in the end.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby Engineer Spike » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:52 am

Didn't J. P. Morgan, and his financial interests in both companies have something to do with calling off the Central/PRR "war"? Rumor has it that he didn't want the two to waste finances on this foolishness.

The D&H did own a line in central NY State, which was leased to the O&W.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby kinlock » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:12 pm

As the O&W mainline wound its way through out of the way places towards Lake Ontario, it spun off a branch from near Hamilton to Utica. As this branch went through Clinton, another branch went to Rome. The Utica, Clinton & Binghamton Railroad was owned by the Delaware & Hudson, leased to the O&W, and finally sold to the O&W in 1942 for $250,000. The Rome & Clinton Railroad was sold by the D&H to the O&W in 1944. The D&H owned these disconnected lines as a result of an 1873 loan to the NY & Oswego Midland that was defaulted. The D&H had made the loan in hopes that it would bolster coal traffic over the D&H.
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Re: D&H and the West Shore

Postby CPF363 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:29 pm

Did the NKP ever look at getting the West Shore RR before the NYC-PRR deal?
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