Penn Central to Montreal

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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3rdrail
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Penn Central to Montreal

Post by 3rdrail » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:41 am

I hadn't realized how large a system that the Penn Central was until looking at a system map today. I was surprised to see a line up through New York state to Montreal. Was that a passenger carrying line ? Were they on their own tracks or did they have a right of access ? Where did the line originate ?
~Paul Joyce~
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Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.

shlustig
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Post by shlustig » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:36 pm

This was a former New York Central line that in PC days was comprised of 2 former routes.

The original route ran from Utica and Herkimer north via Lake Clear Jct. to Malone and into Canada. This was known as the "M&M" and was operated as the Adirondack Division. Access into Montreal was over the CP from Adirondack Jct. into the CP's St. Luc Yard.

At one time, the Ottawa Division connected to this route and had a separate crossing of the St. Lawrence into Canada.

The present day Adirondack RR operates over the southern portion of the line.

The route was modified with the abandonment of the Lake Clear Jct. to Malone portion. The through route for freight became Dewitt Yard / CP-JG / Woodard / Watertown / Potsdam / Norwood / Massena; thence via the CN to Huntington, and back to the original route into Montreal.

Syracuse to Massena was part of the St. Lawrence Division which was HQ'd at Watertown. This became the combined Adirondack / St. Lawrence Div., which was subsequently merged into the Mohawk-Hudson Div.

At one time, NYC offered through passenger service Utica to Montreal as well as a very small commuter operation, but this ended in the 1950's.

3rdrail
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Post by 3rdrail » Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:33 pm

Interesting. Thank you. Was a connection made at the border to a CN or CP train, or did the PC run right into Montreal ?
~Paul Joyce~
Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam
Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.

AgentSkelly
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Post by AgentSkelly » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:12 pm

I'm guessing PC undecided to not just offer connecting passenger service with the D&H from Albany to Montreal?

Noel Weaver
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Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:09 am

The line between Lake Clear Junction and Malone was abandoned by the
New York Central well before the Penn Central came into being.
Here is an idea of what existed on this line in by-gone days:
All of the information is from New York Central, Adirondack Division, local
passenger timetables, dated September 24, 1950:
two round trips Utica - Lake Placid with through cars on one of them to
and from Malone, three round trips Malone - Montreal one of which the
cars continued on to Utica as a through movement. The night train had
sleepers to Placid and weekends to Malone.
September 28, 1952 the service between Montreal and Malone was down
to two round trips one of which continued on to Utica and the weekend
sleeper to Malone was gone.
April 26, 1953 the service was cut some more with only one round trip
between Malone and Montreal and no northbound connection at Malone
from Utica to Montreal, you would have to wait for the next morning's
commuter train in this case, the southbound train from Montreal to Malone
did arrive in Malone before the train to Utica departed but it was no longer
a through train operation The sleeping car business on this line at this
time was very heavy in the summer so they ran a second train at night
each way between Utica and Lake Placid with the sleepers and through
coaches and this train only made a very few stops on the Adirondack
Division. Sometime during the early to mid 1950's this particular train
came off and the one train made the stops with all of the coaches and
sleepers, don't know exactly what year this change took place.
October 27, 1957 timetable shows no more bedroom/lounge cars on this
line at least during the off season.
April 27, 1958 timetables shows no more passenger service between Lake
Clear Junction and Malone but the two trains still operated between Utica
and Lake Placid with a good number of sleepers The local still operated
between Malone and Montreal a distance of 66 miles and took a little bit
over two hours for this trip making a lot of stops enroute.
Next timetable that I have is dated October 25, 1959 and this shows two
round trips between Utica and Lake Placid but the day train is now a Budd
Car (Beeliner on the New York Central). The night train still had a through
sleeper between New York and Lake Placid but coach passengers had to
change trains at Utica in the middle of the night, at least that is what it
looks like to me in this and other timetables. The Montreal - Malone train
is no more by this time.
April 24, 1960 still two round trips but fewer sleepers, the bedroom/lounge
car is back for the summer. The summer of 1961 is still the same except
that the lounge car only ran north on Friday and south on Sunday.
By April 29, 1962 the day train each way with Budd RDC equipment has
been removed and only the night train remained with only a 10-6 sleeper
and a coach.
I believe the last trips with the passenger train took place in April, 1965 as
the October 25, 1964 timetable shows operation while the October 31,
1965 shows no operation and I think I have the information somewhere
that set the time of the last trips as April, 1965.
I hope this provides the answer to your questions.
Noel Weaver

3rdrail
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Post by 3rdrail » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:31 pm

Thanks Noel. You outdid yourself ! :-D
~Paul Joyce~
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Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.

TB Diamond
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Post by TB Diamond » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:43 pm

3rd:

New York Central track abandonments, Adirondack Division:

Gabriels- two miles south of Malone, 35 miles, 1961
In Malone, 2 miles, 1965
Lake Clear Jct.-Gabriels, 5 miles, 1965

Penn Central:

Remsen-Lake Placid, 118 miles, 1972 (saved by various entities)

New York Central train-offs:

Tr. 4 Malone-Lake Clear Jct. 12-14-57
Tr. 5 Lake Clear Jct.-Malone 12-14-57
Tr. 162 Lake Placid-Utica (Beeliner) 10-08-61
Tr. 163 Utica-Lake Placid (Beeliner) 10-08-61
Tr. 164 Lake Placid-Utica 04-25-65
Tr. 165 Utica-Lake Placid 04-25-65

Information from FRA and ICC files.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe

Dieter
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Post by Dieter » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:07 pm

Somewhere in my stuff, I have one or two Adirondack Division passenger timetables I found at a trainshow some 20 years ago.

Penn Central's only conduit to Montreal was via D&H, and it was pretty decrepit. The biggest problem was in the winter because heating system failures were chronic, making for utterly wretched trips. You couldn't make the trip without long underwear and in most cases, you kept your coat on for the duration of the ride.

D/
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Noel Weaver
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Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:48 pm

Dieter wrote:Somewhere in my stuff, I have one or two Adirondack Division passenger timetables I found at a trainshow some 20 years ago.

Penn Central's only conduit to Montreal was via D&H, and it was pretty decrepit. The biggest problem was in the winter because heating system failures were chronic, making for utterly wretched trips. You couldn't make the trip without long underwear and in most cases, you kept your coat on for the duration of the ride.

D/
I assume that you are talking about passenger trains here. I don't ever
remember being cold on the D & H trains to Montreal. In fact this was and
still is very cold country and lack of steam could and would damage the
equipment to a point where it could not be continued in service. I rode
the D & H to Montreal from time to time and neve was I uncomfortable in
any respect.
Noel Weaver

Dieter
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Post by Dieter » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:28 pm

My mother and I didn't have your luck in 1969-1970. :(

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lvrr325
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Re: Penn Central to Montreal

Post by lvrr325 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:56 pm

3rdrail wrote:I hadn't realized how large a system that the Penn Central was until looking at a system map today. I was surprised to see a line up through New York state to Montreal. Was that a passenger carrying line ? Were they on their own tracks or did they have a right of access ? Where did the line originate ?
The two largest railroads in the country merged together, creating a huge system even after all kinds of abandonments.

The PC-Conrail-CSX route to Montreal is a combination of various pieces of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg - a line from Syracuse to Pulaski, a short section of the "Hojack line" to Richland, and the original RW&O main from there through Watertown to Massena. I don't have a map handy but at least part of the route beyond here used trackage rights on Canadian National to reach Montreal. By Penn Central's time, the line was freight only, I believe the "Beeliner" on this route came off by 1965.

Edit: I got out a 1974 PC Employee Timetable I have here.

The Massena Branch ran as noted above; at Massena trackage rights on CN were used to go about 40 miles where the line connected to the Malone Secondary Track and Montreal Branch. There was a connection at Helena to the Rooseveltown Secondary, whose mileposts were measured from Tupper Lake. Believe this trackage was part of the north end of the Adirondack route.

I believe since then during Conrail the route saw more changes, I recall reading articles about a movable bridge that wasn't being used needing to be altered for clearance under it.
Last edited by lvrr325 on Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

TB Diamond
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Post by TB Diamond » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:26 pm

NYC "Beeliner" Train Discontinuance, Adirondack/St. Lawrence Divs.:

Tr. 190 (Ex. Sat & Sun) Massena-Utica 20 May 1961
Tr. 182 (Ex. Sun) Massena-Syracuse 21 May 1961
Tr. 181 (Ex. Sun) Syracuse-Massena 21 May 1961
Tr. 163 Utica-Lake Placid 08 Oct 1961
Tr. 162 Lake Placid-Utica 08 Oct 1961
Tr. 193 Syracuse-Massena 15 Feb 1964
Tr. 194 Massena-Syracuse 15 Feb 1964
Tr. 185-61 (Ex. Sun) Utica-Watertown 03 Nov 1958

Ref: FRA files.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe

Noel Weaver
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Re: Penn Central to Montreal

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:02 am

lvrr325 wrote:
3rdrail wrote:I hadn't realized how large a system that the Penn Central was until looking at a system map today. I was surprised to see a line up through New York state to Montreal. Was that a passenger carrying line ? Were they on their own tracks or did they have a right of access ? Where did the line originate ?
The two largest railroads in the country merged together, creating a huge system even after all kinds of abandonments.

The PC-Conrail-CSX route to Montreal is a combination of various pieces of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg - a line from Syracuse to Pulaski, a short section of the "Hojack line" to Richland, and the original RW&O main from there through Watertown to Massena. I don't have a map handy but at least part of the route beyond here used trackage rights on Canadian National to reach Montreal. By Penn Central's time, the line was freight only, I believe the "Beeliner" on this route came off in 1965.
New York Central, Penn Central and Conrail had trackage rights over the
Canadian National between Massena and Huntingdon. This came to be
after the Rutland was abandoned between Norwood and Malone where
the New York Central had trackage rights dating back to when they
abandoned the Adirondack Division trackage south out of Malone.
Canadian National eventually downgraded the Massena Branch and after
that, they sold the trackage between Massena and Huntingdon to Conrail
but retained trackage rights for their through freight trains.
The last I knew there was still quite a bit of local freight business between
Massena and Beauharnois with locals working out of Massena taking care
of this work.
The line is out of service between the north end of Beauharnois and
Adirondack Junction. The through freight trains switch over to the
Canadian National at Cecile Junction (Valleyfield).
Noel Weaver
Last edited by Noel Weaver on Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

shlustig
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Post by shlustig » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:05 pm

The Roosevelt Secondary was the surviving remnant of the Ottawa Division line.

Engineer Spike
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Post by Engineer Spike » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:21 pm

In the last few years, CSX ripped up the line to Adirondack Jct. I have a early CSX timetable, from just after the Conrail take over. It showed this track out of service. It was ripped up. I have seen this from going by Adirondack Jct. on the train, when I go into St. Luc. CP and CR, now CSX must have changed their interchange agreements. This traffic now seems to go down the D&H, to be interchanged at Albany.

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