• Finger Lakes Railway (FGLK) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by blackbearford
 
The end of the track servicing Victor Insulators has been torn up as of Friday 10/25/19. Looks like fresh ballast right next to Rt 444 going back to rail-less ties where it had been becoming quite overgrown. Excavator on site. Most startling to me was the Ontario Central plow and LV wooden boxcar weren’t in their usual positions. Usually I just check for activity at V.I. on the chance I get to pass by (which is fairly often but I was running out of hours; stay tuned). Anyone heard what the plan is here or know where the antiques went?
Evan J. West
  by CPSmith
 
They're still there, just tucked around the corner on the lower lead. The construction is for a water line along a portion of the Auburn Road, which (for whatever reason) necessitated removal of the trackage close to Maple Ave. Service to VI is unaffected.
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  by Ironhorse27
 
All the rail is there, so I'm guessing that they will put the track back once the water line is in?
  by blackbearford
 
Well that’s never going to work.. the plow goes on the front! Thanks for the pix.
  by BR&P
 
Ironhorse27 wrote: Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:23 pm All the rail is there, so I'm guessing that they will put the track back once the water line is in?
If I understand correctly, the south track ( the old Auburn Road main) will be removed for a water line and hiking trail. The north track - the siding - will remain at least partway. Although with about 2 cars a month, it's unlikely they will be hurting for room.

While Ontario Central Railroad may seem "new" when compared to NYC tenure, back in ONCT's early days 40 years ago the Insulator plant received between 15 and 20 cars a month, all boxcars. Even after covered hoppers arrived on the scene, boxcars continued to be used for some of the traffic. It really was a page from the past. Although wheelbarrows and shovels had made way for a skidsteer loader, the process remained the same. Bulk material was taken from the boxcar, transported across the roof and dumped into a hatch leading to concrete-walled material bins below. Each different material had its own hatch.

Even more interesting was the arrangement for plaster. That was shipped in large paper bags - I'm not sure of the weight but maybe 70 pounds. Compass east of the loading dock was a small structure with a door about level with the floor of a boxcar. From that structure, an enclosed, steep ramp - quite similar to a kid's slide - extended all the way down the steep bank and into the building. When a car of plaster was spotted at the structure, a couple men would be inside the car and more guys inside at the bottom. The bags of plaster were manually carried to the chute, and slid down into the plant one at a time, where they were re-stacked onto pallets and moved away for later use.

Inbound cars arrived randomly, and there were times when one day's run would see a half-dozen cars coming in, to be added to those already on hand. In theory they would unload the oldest car first, but in real life there was almost ALWAYS some product they urgently needed. Some interesting switching had to be done to line the cars up in the order desired. Those two tracks were often occupied by several cars each, and back then it was almost unheard of for the place to be without ANY cars. Time changes everything.
  by lvrr325
 
Apparently what killed this business was the flux and delays in the Conrail split forced them to use trucks and they get better service from trucks.

But even when I chased an Ontario Central train years ago, it was a whopping two cars.
  by BR&P
 
lvrr325 wrote: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:03 am Apparently what killed this business was the flux and delays in the Conrail split forced them to use trucks and they get better service from trucks.
That is certainly a factor. The way things were set up they were pretty much locked into rail delivery. After the split, service delays threatened to shut production down, and in desperation they cobbed up some hoses and piping to allow a few truckloads to be brought in. Lo and behold, it worked and worked well, and opened the door to trucking on a much larger scale than originally planned. They had to order less product at a time than by rail, transit time was quicker, and instead of having a VI employee out hooking up hoses and attending to the unloading, the truck driver oversaw that function.

However other factors are also at work, including the depletion of some of the sources product was previously shipped from. I'm told their feldspar now comes from Germany, instead of Georgia or South Dakota.
  by BR&P
 
Probably nothing moving on that line today. Get your time machine and go back 9 years and watch an 80 car freight rumble by.

Photo by Bernie Beikirch
FGLK 11-03-2010 - Copy.JPG
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  by BR&P
 
I might add that on that occasion, there were 110 cars west of Victor to be taken out. It was decided to take 80, due to the grade from MP 368 to about 365.25. The train had to maintain 10 mph until the rear end cleared Maple Avenue in Victor, at which point it was Run 8.

The lead unit hit McMahon Road at 26 mph, the photo is at MP 367, and it went up and over the hill at 22 mph. Damn - should have taken them all! :-)
  by CPSmith
 
That's a great shot of 567s doing what God intended. Of note on the right is a line of ballast next to the building - that's all that's left of the spur off the main that served (among others) DeKalb Corn in that location. Eventual removal of the unused spur enabled the reconfiguration of Plastermill Rd. to its present shape.
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  by BR&P
 
Yup, that Dekalb spur was a big deal which never materialized. They were predicting 40 carloads a year. I think they only received cars for 2 years, maybe 3, and it was never near 40 of them. The building later changed hands several times but Dekalb was the only one who ever used rail.

When that siding was removed, some of the material was used to construct the spur to the new Agrilink Foods warehouse in Shortsville, just west of the interchange. That place was active longer, and received far more carloads, before it too went dormant.
  by BR&P
 
And since CPS has brought up discussion of that place, here's a news clipping. Unit is ONCT 46, later renumbered 14, former BCK 46 and Conrail 9662.
img273.jpg
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