• Adirondack Division - Quebec Question

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Cactus Jack
About 16 - 17 years ago I was following a train and taking pictures (since lost or misplaced) of a Conrail train on the old NYC coming south out of Montreal. At some place north of Cecile Jct. ? there was a nice old NYC passenger station and freight house that were painted grey and very much resembled Thendara down the line in the New York State ADKS where the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates now. Rail was 105# Dudley and the train was headed for Syracuse. It very much had a NYC RR feel to the whole place.

Now years later looking at Google Earth I can't figure out where I was at. Anybody have any suggestions ?

I recall Valleyfield and the New York Central Hotel but this piece of track was tangent and for some reason I don't think far from Beauharnois. Did such structures still exist in Beauharnois in 1995 era ? Whereever it was when did they disappear and where exactly might they have been.

How busy is this line now through Valleyfield, St. Stan into Huntingdon ?

Where did the train take off for Massena leaving the old ADK Division ?
  by Noel Weaver
So far as I Know here is what happened in years past. I will have to do some digging for dates and even after digging I might not have all the dates. Original route to Montreal was via Utica (maybe even Herkimer at one time but that is way before my time) through Thendara to Lake Clear Junction and on to Malone, cross the border to Canada to Huntingdon and Adirondack Junction where they joined the Canadian Pacific for trackage rights beyond to St. Luc and to Windsor Station for passenger trains. I believe it was in the mid to late 50's when the New York Central re-routed the Montreal traffic to run via Syracuse and up the St. Lawrence. When this first took place the route was Syracuse Norwood then trackage rights on the Rutland to Malone and then the Adirondack Division into Canada from there. The strike in 1961 terminated operations on the Rutland and at that time the Central was at least somewhat interested in acquiring the Rutland trackage between Norwood and Malone to maintain that route but in the meantime after the strike began they negiotated a trackage rights agreement with the Canadian National between Massena and Huntingdon where they rejoined their own trackage. This is the route these trains today use but Conrail purchased the line between Massena and Huntingdon sometime in the late 80's or early 90's (I might have the date here somewhere but that will be difficult for me to try to find). Operation into St Luc ended sometime back and today the line is out of service south out of Adirondack Junction to Beauharnois but I think they still have considerable local business in Beauharnois which is handled out of Massena. Massena was never an Adirondack Division point but always a St. Lawrence Division station. In the past these trains were handled by Central/Penn Central/Conrail crews all the way to St. Luc but today's operation is conducted by the CN north of Massena. I hope this helps.
Noel Weaver
  by Cactus Jack
Thanks Noel

Sure was an interesting piece of the NYC RR.

I still wonder where the heck I was that had the old depot and freighthouse still standing. I recall lensing a train on the bridge by Beauharnois and also at St. Stan. No idea where those shots went, lost long ago. I missed the shot at the unknown depot but like I said it smelled totally of NYC with a bit of a French accent and Conrail blue. Totally cool.

I think the old semaphore was at Cecil Junction. A fixed home signal where the CN? crossed at diamond.

This seems to be a forgotten part of the NYC much like the line into Ottawa.
  by Engineer Spike
The line to Adirondack Jct. Was torn up in about 2005 or so. When I used to run over CPR Adirondack Sub.
  by rlsteam
I have the CR Albany Division employees' timetable for January 15, 1989, that shows the "Montreal Secondary" as far as Massena, and the "Montreal Branch" from Huntingdon to Adirondack Jct., with the CN connecting between them. So as of that date CR had not yet acquired the CN line.

BTW I have that timetable for sale here: http://www.railarchive.net/rriana/tt_a-m.htm . It consists of a set of loose leaf pages. (I am not a dealer, just passing along some of my surplus railroadiana to someone else who might want it.)
  by R Paul Carey
I was on the Albany Division between 1987 and 1990, and believe the acquisition of their line between Massena and Huntingdon PQ was completed in 1989 - on a date obviously later than January 15. At the time, we (CR) were accommodating CN at our Frontier Yard (Buffalo), switching and preblocking and thereby expediting their Buffalo traffic in a manner that eventually allowed them to close their Fort Erie yard. Further, CP was acquiring the D&H and we knew that much of the traffic we had been seeing over Adirondack Junction would be at risk (i.e., diverted to D&H) and we needed to become prepared for an increase in our dealings with CN in Montreal, which in turn led to the rearrangement of interchange of CR/CN traffic from Huntingdon, where there were many road crosssings and a good deal of inconvenience was suffered by the "locals".

And so, the acquisition of this line by CR was related to a "swap" of services - all to the benefit of both parties. For several years through the mid-1990's the new arrangement with CN served CR well.
  by Cactus Jack
I have discovered the answer to my original question. I was apparently in Beauharnois.

Can anyone point me to photos on the internet or photo sources for Beauharnois depot and freight house in the 1940-1996 time period ?

I don't seem to be able to dig much up doing an internet search.
  by Jim Kaufman
I know I'm replying to an year old post, but here goes.
I recall a few times seeing southbound CR freights on the CNR betetween Montreal and the junction of CN's Rouses Point Sub and Massena Sub at Brossard, Que. Brossard was also where CN had signals Brossard and Cannon Junction on the RSP Sub (note: from Cantic, Que to Brossard at the time it was timetable and train orders territory). Brossard was governed by home signals protecting the diverging Subs.
I recall being held by the signal (north) at Brossard, so a southbound CR Frt could go south on the Massena Sub a few times (sitting on the head end of Amk#69/CN 695 having coffee with the head end crew waiting for the signals and frt to "clear"). Also being on the head end of Amtrak going over the Victoria Bridge and a CR Frt again heading south over the bridge (from CN's Teachereau Yard?).
In all sightings, all CR power and cabooses (one time an unpainted NYC green, "Road to the Future" cab! PC and CR didn't get that one!)
Now the Massena Sub is the Massena Spur (and is "cut" about 6 miles south of Brossard). It is "OCS" terrritory on The RSP sub Mile 0.5 to Cannon Junction (RSP Sub and St Hyacinthe Sub to Montreal) now, signaled no more Brossard to Cannon Jct.