• NYS&W double tracked?

  • 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 airman00
I saw some old pictures of maywood station and notice that there were two tracks, plus a freight siding to the station. I noticed as late as the mid 70's all the tracks were still there. When did the second track get removed and what was it for? Why did they remove it? And when/why remove freight siding?
  by Statkowski
When did the second track get removed and what was it for?
That's two questions. Can't answer the first. The second track, however, was a main track. The NYS&W was double-track all the way to Patterson or North Hawthorne, automatic block signals and all that stuff (right-hand, upper-quadrant, three-aspect semaphores if I remember correctly.
Why did they remove it?
Didn't need it any more. Second track costs money to maintain. Radio dispatching is cheaper.
And when/why remove freight siding?
Again, two questions. Can't answer the first. Removed because it wasn't needed any more. Track maintenance is a drain on the railroad's bottom line.
  by Noel Weaver
I can't answer for the whole railroad but in so far as Ridgefield Park is concerned the second track was still in place there
along with semaphores as well in 1974 when I started working the West Shore. I can't recall just when it came out at that
Henry, I am pretty sure the railroad was two tracks to Riverside which locates between Paterson and North Hawthorne. I
think the line was signaled all the way to North Hawthorne and I seem to think that they had an interlocking machine in the
station at that location. It is oh so many years ago and I did not follow the Susquehanna that much during that period.
Again, Henry, did you take any of the rides on the "Butler Day Express in the early to mid 60's that were quite popular at the
time? Only bad thing about this was that it required a ride on the bus back to New York and I think we rode to the GWB
bus terminal at that time. I think you rode at least one of these trips, I still have the slides I took then too.
Noel Weaver
  by Statkowski
Yes. Noel, I rode on a few Butler Day Express runs, the last few runs even had a "Butler Day Express" sign hung on the rear gates of the Stillwell car, courtesy of Paul Kutta and Company. Still looking for it, but I think I have one of the railfan-produced timetables, with names for all the trains, that were made available to the public after the Susie Q stopped printing their own. The good old days, aluminum painted RS-1s and yellow GP-18s. Don't know about the slides, though. Many moves and two floods has a somewhat negative effect on one's belongings.
  by cjvrr
The bridge between Paterson and Hawthorne has always been single track, so the double track ended on the west side of Paterson. It may have picked up again for the North Hawthorne shops but I am not sure.
  by RichM
I've been lurking here with the expectation someone had better information... I believe in "The Next Station Will Be... Volume 1" it's indicated that the double tracking ended at Paterson but from the photos, just about every larger station to Butler looks like it had a siding or passing track as part of the design.

My assumption is that some form of automatic signaling wasn't installed until at least the '30's, and with the sheer volume of passenger, general freight and coal traffic up until the late 1920's directional running was absolutely necessary from Paterson east, and that the station agents in the manned locations west of Paterson controlled the passing sidings and signals as needed via telegraph communications between their locations.
  by cjvrr

You are correct. West of Paterson stations had passing sidings, not double track. Even in Hawthorne proper there was only one track in front of the station. Just west of the station a siding began as well as a two track yard. Double track definitely ended someone on the west side of Paterson but prior to reaching the bridge over the Passaic.
  by Steve F45
wasn't it double tracked in Butler?
  by trainwayne1
Not in Butler. The original track set-up was a siding on the south side starting just past Park Place that ran to the west end of the yard, ending before the bridge over the Pequannock River. There used to be 2 tracks at the Park Place crossing....the main line, which was adjacent to Main St., and the lead, just east of Park Place, that went into The American Hard Rubber Co. In the late 60's or early 70's, the town of Butler wanted to widen Main St., and bought the part of right of way that the main line was on, and the railroad shifted the main to the alignment of the siding from Park Place to about 100' east of the station. The original siding was also used for access to the leads for the ash track, the turntable and engine house tracks, and what I always heard my Dad refer to as the "race" track, which was a long coach storage siding between the south side of the river, and the race that carried water from the river to the Amerace Hard Rubber mill. (see pages 95,96, and 97 of James C. Schmitt's book "Historic Rails of the NYS&W for detailed map drawings.)

Also see page 68 of the same book for a good drawing of Riverside Paterson where the main line went from 1 to 2 tracks eastbound.
  by SooLineRob
End of Double Track, Paterson Riverside "RD" ~MP 21.8, equipped with a Spring Switch; normal route was lined from Single Track to Eastward track (diverging route). 20MPH speed restriction. Switch located between 6th Ave and 5th Ave.
  by RichM
Please tell my wife that I was right about something...

  by ExCon90
Just ran across this thread. I lived near North Hawthorne when I was a kid (early 1940s), and the station, while it did not have an interlocking plant, did have 7 armstrong levers controlling signals (there were no interlocked switches). I asked the day agent-operator why one of the levers was painted green, and he said it was the master lever, which of course told me nothing. Years later I got hold of an Erie ett from a year or so before the NYS&W became independent, and it showed Rule 261 from the end of double track at Riverside to North Hawthorne, controlled from North Hawthorne, which explained the mystery: that was the traffic lever for reversing the direction of traffic. There was manual block west of North Hawthorne, with the block normally extending to Butler, although I believe Wortendyke could be opened as needed. (A possible trivia thread: how much Rule 261 with semaphores was there in the US? I know the NP had some in Washington in 1962.)
  by ErieLimited2914
Steve F45 wrote:wasn't it double tracked in Butler?
One can dream!
  by MickD
The second track was still there at least early on into the DO takeover.