• Binghamton to Syracuse freight action

  • 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.
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.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, NJ Vike

  by riffian
Looking to do this piece of the Suskie for the first time and have a couple of questions I hope a knowlegeable fan will answer.

Does the train on this section (BH-1, SY-1??) run only on the days the SU-99 arrives in Binghampton? (Tues-Thurs-Sat) This train goes in to Dewitt yard in Syracuse, correct? What other trackage does the Suskie have in the Syracuse area? Is it worth going that far at all?? What other towns does this job typically stop and work?

I'm planing on spending the night in Cortland and hope to get a train on this section, but will raillfan this line, regardless. Thanks for any information or informed speculation.

Bill Root

  by lvrr325
All of the former Ontrack stations and platforms are in Syracuse, two of the RDCs and two coaches are stored at the end of track by Carousel Mall. There are a few customers in Syracuse, one near the CSX mainline, one just west of Geddes St. which used to be a yard. I've seen N/B trains stop in the middle of the former yard at a crossing, likely to make it easy for the taxi to get to them.

The line can be followed using 281 to just below Tully, cutting over to Route 11, then using Route 80 to Apulia Station. I'm not sure the name of the road but you'd have to backtrack to continue north, using non-numbered roads you can follow right up into Jamesville, grab a good shot off the Rock Cut Road overpass, then continue back down and the easiest way to chase into downtown is with I-81. People drive like idiots on I-81, so the only time I ever took pictures from there was when the Milwaukee Road 261 was in town.

There are original DL&W stations in Cortland, Homer, Tully, Jamesville (moved across tracks), and Syracuse (although you have to know what you're looking at to know what it is). One in Marathon, too.

While I'm not sure on schedules, it seems like I always hear a northbound on Sunday afternoon while I'm at Little York in the park - we go there for a car show once a year.

One tip, unless you get way behind with a chase, 79, 11, and 281 all follow the line close enough to let you chase easy, but have very little traffic most of the day compared to I-81, except when you're in Binghamton, Cortland, or actually in Syracuse.
  by henry6
There is no "p" in Binghamton!

  by riffian
Thanks gents for the directions and the spelling lesson.....both are appreciated! I'm guessing from the first reply that the Suskie interchanges with CSX west of downtown along the main line and not at Dewitt yard. Is this so? I have never been to Syracuse before, but is it safe to say that if I closely adhere to the Susquehanna tracks through Syracuse I will find everything Suzy Q there as well as Carousel Mall?

Is there a crew that goes to work in Syracuse, or is this always a turn from Binghamton? Thanks again.....

Bill Root
New Castle, Delaware
  by rrfoose
I'm also curious as to how much traffic is on this line? With the talk of the Utica branch shutting down, this line must be the money maker for Susie-Q in upstate New York. How many trains run per day? How many customers? Thanks!
  by lvrr325
Can't really access the tracks much between Jamesville and downtown Syracuse at Geddes St. - parts of it you don't want to hang out in the neighborhood, parts of it you can't get back ahead of a train fast enough, and parts of it are elevated or otherwise just plain not accessable.

Interchange is being done along the CSX main, it appears the pickup is left on their tracks east of CP-293, the setout is left on the siding at CP-296. Accessable but hard to chase. The track into the mall is used mostly for storage, between the mall and the I690 overpass you really can't get to the tracks. Once you're past Jamesville on Rock Cut Road, you may be able to use I-81 North to I-690 west, get off at West Street (a pain to do if there's traffic, have to cross two lanes in a couple hundred yards) or the next exit, and cut over to Fayette St. and along the yard. Erie Blvd. will let you follow pretty close into Solvay and a right at Willis Ave. takes you to CP-293. Or just take 690 to exit 7 and double back on State Fair Blvd. (turn left) back to Willis.

So far as I can tell, one train per day, arrives in Syracuse mid to late afternoon. Sunday it went through Little York about 2:00 and that's been regular the last couple years. That I know of the only customers between Syracuse and Binghamton are in Tully and Cortland. Someone else will have to fill in the blanks on how they get switched, if the road train does it (my guess, probably southbound) or if a local handles it.

There's more than talk on the Utica side, part of it is shut down now, locals run south out of Utica to several customers though.
  by verheyen
I'm new to this board, and really getting into railfanning in what is almost literally my back yard. Usually I hang out at the West end of East Syracuse yard and more recently by CP286 (under Burnett Ave). One of these days, before the snow falls I'll do a tour from Kirkville to the Fairgrounds.

But to the Syracuse Binghampton line... I live about a 2 miles from the tracks near Jamesville and work at SU. I have heard trains early in the morning around 7:15 when I get to work coming from what might be next to/near I-81. Could be wrong though and sound carries. Also hear them early and at night from home where I can differentiate between horns coming from East Syracuse and Jamesville. SU also has a facility next to I-481 opposite the incinerator and while working in there I've heard/felt trains going by mid-morning on weekdays. The last time I was there was earlier this year. I do have a scanner and occasionally and the lack of chatter is deafening...

So, ... there has got to be more traffic than one train/day. Question is just, when? I'd love to be able to chase down towards Binghamton (a place I visited for the first time yesterday with fair success).

Did chase their Syracuse to Binghamton train for a while and got this shot..., but not the same as a real working train.


Many thanks, Peter
  by sodusbay
People from downstate tend to say Bing-hampton (by analogy with East Hampton LI etc.)

Upstaters know it's Bingham-ton, i.e. Mr. Bingham's town (early settler who bought the location).

It's a nice way to tell if someone's a native... of course the accent gives it away.
  by oibu
So going back towards the original question, when DOES NYS&W usually run BH-SY and SY-BH trains these days, and what symbols do these jobs typically use?
  by ricebrianrice
SY-1 south from Syracuse 5 days a week, morning, works Cortland & vicinity, returns evenings
BH-X, north from Binghamton two or three times a week as needed, usually mid day, returns evenings
  by oibu
^ So I am inferring that they swap cars in Cortland and no longer run SY-BH and BH-SY trains like they did when they were getting more traffic from CSX?
  by lvrr325
I think you'll find the BH-X runs to Syracuse, swaps cars with CSX, and runs back to Binghamton.

But without fail the one time I'm next to that line on a Sunday in mid-September a train runs north in the early-mid afternoon (at least that's when it gets to Preble), the last 4 or 5 years straight -
  by tsteam
I know I'm 4 months behind on this topic, but I live right next to the line, and I'd be lucky to see 1 train a day either northbound or Southbound. This area is far from a behive of railroad activity.
  by neroden
They're actually very quiet if you're not near a grade crossing. And that route is largely grade-separated, believe it or not!
  by RussNelson
neroden wrote:They're actually very quiet if you're not near a grade crossing. And that route is largely grade-separated, believe it or not!
Once you get into Syracuse, sure. But there's no separation through Cortland or Homer, or anywhere else up to the top of the hill.