• NYGL Jim Wilson's New Venture - Callicoon

  • 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

  by grumpyoldman
An article in the Sullivan County Democrat states that Jim Wilson has purchased the Olympia Hotel in Callicoon.
The Olympia Hotel – once a destination for passengers alighting from the cars at Callicoon Depot – died with the cessation of railway traffic through the hamlet. It’s only fitting that it will be reborn as the new home to not one but two railway companies, and once again welcome passengers off cars at the Callicoon train station. The decaying hotel – oft ridiculed in passing decades as an eyesore – was purchased two weeks ago by Jim Wilson, a part-time resident of Damascus, Pa. and owner of the Erie Lackawanna and New York & Greenwood Lake railway companies.
An earlier article stated that after renovations the hotel will "contain the offices of the Erie Lackawanna Railway and museum along with the headquarters of New York & Greenwood Lake Railway.

This great news but JW is the owner of the Erie Lackawanna Railway???

The full article is here:
http://www.sc-democrat.com/news/001Janu ... lympia.htm

Last edited by grumpyoldman on Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Otto Vondrak
It would be nice to see something happen in Calicoon... as for the names of railroads, some half-awake writer probably got confused as to what JW was trying to explain... former EL this and current NYGL that and whatever else he heard. Do you know how many people dont have a concept about how railroads run, and how there are different companies that operate different tracks?
  by grumpyoldman
JW is certainly a man of action. I passed by there last Monday and workers have already begun the cleanup/clean out process.

Incidentally, I came across an undated postcard showing a steam excursion to Callicoon. The quality is not very good. I can't read the printing on the tender. Perhaps someone has more info on the date and details of this trip.

The arrow on the right points to the Olympia Hotel (before it fell into disrepair). The arrow on the left points to the Western Hotel where, sadly, a waitress/barmaid was accidentally shot and killed by the owner last year. I've spent many pleasant afternoons and evenings at the bar and dining room at the Western over the last 20 years. The bar was a great vantage point for viewing the infrequent freights when they ran in daylight.



  by BR&P
The lettering says "Virginian" - what would a VGN steamer be doing there? I'm still not sure what we're looking at here - when I hit "reply" I could see more of the photo and the steam engine is at far right. Could the VGN be a hopper which is on an adjacent track and appears to be a tender due to the angle of the shot?

Judging by the cars on the right, I'd say that photo is somewhere in the 1960's.
  by grumpyoldman
There certainly could be cars on the adjacent track blocking the tender. I've done a little more digging since I posted and I see that there were some Hoboken - Bingo fantrips run by High Iron Tours using Berkshire NKP 759. It looks like they ran in the 69-73 time frame. The locomotive in the post card sure looks like #759.

  by O-6-O
Only a guess on my part but judging from the autos in the picture I'd say early 60's. Likely all Lackawanna and Erie steam is gone and they hauled a retired Virginian Lima job up for the power. Recreate that
scene today with lets say the C&O 614 and you'd find me in that crowd. Great photos, thanks.
  by BR&P
I think you have the answer - that does look like a NKP engine. The VGN car just happened to be there. On a side note, it's funny how to some of us ....can't bring myself to say the word....OLDER.... guys, the general layout and shape of lettering on rail cars of the past made identification easier. Many times I look at a photo from 50 years ago and can identify boxcars from PRR, CBQ, DL&W etc even though the actual lettering is not readable. In the case of this photo the lettering may have been fuzzy but "VIRGINIAN" popped into my head the moment I saw it, as I'm sure it did with others on here as well.
  by BR&P
The third car from the left MIGHT be a newer style Corvair (Monza?) which would make it at least 1965.
  by Marty Feldner
Definitely a late-body Corvair ('65 to '69), looks like a four door.

759 did make a run, summer of '71- fresh out of the Army, I chased it from Suffern up as far as Callicoon (in my '65 Corvair), where I broke off and headed back. Got some great shots, but lost them in a fire a couple of years later.

It might have been this run...
  by lvrr325
Varney, Tyco, and just about anyone who's made hopper cars in HO have all made about a billion or so each, painted that same way.

in 1971 the VGN had only been gone about 12 years; I saw a Southern box car today even though it's been NS since 1982. So it's not unreasonable the pictured car would be a hopper. So far as I know no Virginian steam was ever used for excursions - not even sure that many of their locomotives exist given the diesels and electrics they had prior to the N&W merger.
  by H.F.Malone
Not "on topic" I know, Otto, but just to put speculation to rest, that shot of NKP 759 was taken in August 1971, during a coaling and watering stop on the first day of a 2-day round trip from Hoboken to Binghamton-- up on the Erie, back on the Lackawanna. The VGN hopper was load of engine coal spotted there on a paralell track in advance. What you can't really see in the pic is the E-L 25-ton loco crane w/clamshell bucket, loading the coal into 759's tender. Yes, I was there. The Callicoon Hotel was doing a land-office business that day....
  by blockline4180
So what are the chances that JW will succeed with his venture in this troubling economic climate??

I'd say the dinner train has a much less chance of getting off the ground then the hotel/restaurant/BB.
  by cjvrr
blockline4180 wrote:So what are the chances that JW will succeed with his venture in this troubling economic climate??

I'd say the dinner train has a much less chance of getting off the ground then the hotel/restaurant/BB.
As much as I would love to see it, I think his chances are slim to none as long as NS holds it's position of requiring oodles of insurance.