Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.

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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby gpp111 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:01 pm

I visited the Sherburne station in the late 1970s, a local resident commented that there was a derailment on the main somewhere and long freights were diverted to this line, said one train had UP engines and sparks were shooting from the wheels as the train struggled up the northbound grade. That must have been a sight.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby Cactus Jack » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:11 pm

Commenting on several recent posts:

On March 17, 1970 a plow extra was called out of Utica to clean up the Richfield Springs branch. Power was two GP-7's.
Coming south on Schuyler Street Engineer Leo Kawa asked Jim Dundon of they were going to clear a car on Dundon's side. Jim looked down and saw the plow clip the door handles off a '63 Ford I think. he turned back to Leo and said "nope, but we are now".

Another time they came through with a plow or spreader, can't recall which at the moment and scooped up the Utica Club Brewery Trolley and threw it over the fence.

In February 1977 during the big blizzard the Utica Branch took all the main line trains due to the ex NYC line between Utica and Buffalo shut down. Trains were detoured Buffalo - Hornell-Utica-Selkirk. One D&H detour, due to a derailment on their line, had UP 2839 a U30C. Maybe this is what the poster is referring to. It was a northbound about 3pm at Sherburne. Not sure about sparks flying on a northbound grade. Possibly the grade up to Earlville which is where I saw it, but everything looked normal.

* - Also as a quick note, the passenger depot was torn down a few days after the Conrail takeover in April 1976. The freight office remained open for a while as a satellite of Norwich - manned by the Norwich agent a few hours / day. It was closed by 1978 but I recall being in there in late 1979 and the phone still worked to call the dispatcher although we used lanterns for light as there was no electric. Why we were inside instead of the phone box on the outside I do not recall. The building was slowly being dismantled at the end of Conrail in 1982 and gone in the early days of NYSW.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby gpp111 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:57 am

You are correct, it wasnt Sherburne, it was Earlville! Good catch.

I attended Colgate University in nearby Hamilton NY 1976-1980 and took interest in the line then.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby Cactus Jack » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:52 pm

That is pretty cool !
I saw that train just as it was cresting the grade at Earlville. Boy was I pissed I didn't have my camera loaded and ready and had no way to chase it.

I had a fantastic view of it and did not notice any wheel slip / sparks but it may have been down at South Earlville crossing.

Did you ever take any photos in that time period ?
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby gpp111 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:33 pm

I have a couple of pics but none of trains on the line. A couple of the station when I stopped at Earlville and a neighbor told me about his seeing the rerouted big freights, just like you described seeing......
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby lackman » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:24 pm

There are a few pictures by a photographer named Sal Suppa Jr. whose work is on George Elwood's web site. These might be detour train related.

I had the pleasure of talking with him while preparing my presentation for the 2017 Erie Lackawanna Railroad Historical Society in Utica, NY. He gave me permission to use some of his photos. I did a brief look and here are 4 possibilities.

The one attached is of a U33C and a Penn Central Unit dated 9/76. In all my years walking and watching the Utica branch, I don't remember seeing so heavy power. Maybe one of the detour trains?? Not sure if the picture will go with this note since I was having issues loading it, but you can find it on the Elwood web site.

Go to Erie Lackawanna, locomotives, and click on U33C/U36C and look for the location "Utica."

There is an additional picture of 3 GP35's in the Utica yard with what appears to be a heavy train dated 11/74. I have seen, but cannot find, a picture of these units pulling up the grade by the old turntable working flat out heading south. Certainly not the local to Sherburne!

There is a picture of a U25B in Utica, (7/72) which might be typical Utica-Binghamton power for the day, but again to me it was unusual. There is a picture in one of my Morning Sun books of a u25B in a consist heading to Utica.

Lastly there is a picture of an SDP45 in Utica dated 9/76. Again, in all my years, I have seen GP7's and GP7's and GP7's etc but never an SDP 45.
I did however, see the E-8's on the troop trains in 1956(?) and maybe F units. Did not know much then, and I could not get out of my car seat!!

Sal Suppa Jr. has taken a lot of pictures in Utica of engines and rolling stock. Maybe not a house hold name, but I appreciate what he took and captured from my old home town.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby ut-1 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:01 pm

Here's a video showing the Susquehanna at work clearing the Utica main on March 6th, four days after a major snowstorm hit the Utica area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpjJimxcCqA&t=1s

Also, a pic as the train neared Washington Mills:
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby Cactus Jack » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:16 pm

The photo above with EL 3305 is not a detour train but a eastbound on the CR mains, probably train PXSE.

There were many detours, the longest run was May 1974 to March 30, 1976 with Trains NE 97 - 74 due to the burning of the Poughkeepsie Bridge.

Other detours happened under Conrail in 1977 and later under NYSW.

Some six axle units ran on early NE74 / 97 trains such as PC SD40's. Conrail detours had U33C's, SD40/-2's and other assorted power.

The EL Scranton Bull sometimes had C424's and U25B's - these were pool jobs operating Scranton to Utica and return and usually changed out big power in Binghamton before returning north, many times with Alco RS-3's and ex ERIE GP-7's. The locals usually using ex DL&W GP-7's. Once the Scranton Bull had a C424 / E8 combo all the way to Utica. D&H power was also frequent - the 5000's and sometimes the 4100's (RS-3's).

Google can help and more in Railroad Forums under Erie Lackawanna / DL&W.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby ut-1 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:41 am

The Susquehanna ran a plow extra on the Utica line yesterday, the last full day of winter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S04T1Xl_gSs

Also, two photos:

1) Paris Station.

2) Passing Durant Farms, Waterville.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby milkman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:24 am

I see that the NYS&W maintenance crew has been working on the railroad crossing signals in the Norwich area, hopefully this means we will be seeing trains soon!
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby milkman » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:20 pm

A NYS&W engine went thru Norwich today heading south.My wife saw it and I saw a video of it.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby ricky » Mon May 07, 2018 12:51 pm

i heard they ran a train or light engine threw norwich today does anyone knows if they did ran a train or light engine threw norwich today
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby milkman » Mon May 07, 2018 2:16 pm

ricky wrote:i heard they ran a train or light engine threw norwich today does anyone knows if they did ran a train or light engine threw norwich today



A engine went thru Norwich today heading north.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby ut-1 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:44 am

Here are a few pics of 3040 heading back to Utica on May 7th:

1) North Brookfield.

2) In southern Oneida County, approx 2 miles south of Sangerfield.

3) On US Rt 20 overpass coupled on to UT-1 for return to Utica.
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Re: Utica Branch Discussion Thread

Postby ut-1 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:48 am

Here's UT-1 yesterday on Schuyler St, Utica.

Short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZt3mO8QSE8
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