• Penn Central expressed interest in purchasing NYSW?

  • 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 Otto Vondrak
I just got a copy of Carstens' excellent book on the NYSW (it really is an excellent collection of photos and data)... In the book, the author makes a passing mention that at one time Penn Central expressed interest in purchasing the NYSW. I've never heard this before, can anyone elaborate?

  by trainwayne1
Otto, I'll have to dig through some books and magazine articles to get you a definative answer. I do remember reading that there was an offer put on the table by PC that was rejected by NYS&W management at the time (Irving Maidman) as not being lucrative enough. Maidman bought the railroad more as a real estate investment than anything else and, I'm guessing, saw the value of the real estate holdings as much higher than that of the railroad itself.
  by njmidland
Yes, PC wanted to buy the NYS&W essentially to connect the West Shore to the PRR at Marion. The NYS&W (read Irving Maidman) wanted a ridiculus amount of money and PC dropped the idea. One would assume the west end of the NYS&W would have been taken out of service a lot sooner than it was.
  by Otto Vondrak
Wow, that's an interesting development that I never heard before. I imagine that the railroad scene would be quite different today, and we'd be down one very colorful carrier.
  by pumpers
Just stumbled on this thread. I believe at that time NYSW either owned the track or had trackage rights from the bridge over the entrance to Croxton yard south to Marion Junction as noted. That goes back roughly 100 years, I haven't been able to trace exactly how NYSW got it independent of the Erie. So with that section and the regular NYSW line north of the Croxton bridge, it could have been used as a bridge between PRR P&H as noted (at Marion Junction) and the New York Central West shore at Ridgefield Park. That was all Penn Central wanted - they might have abandoned or sold off the rest of the NYSW. They couldn't connect in North Bergen, where the West Shore came out of the tunnel under the Palisades (now Hudson-Bergen LIght Rail), because the Erie Northern RR was between NYSW and the West Shore there - but a few miles north at Granton, just south of Ridgefield Park, the Northern went under the West SHore and split away, so West Shore was then adjacent to the NYSW and in principle could connect to it (which is the case today where NYSW and the West Shore connect today - although the West shore is CSX).

The alternative for Penn Central, which they did in the end, was build the NAVE ("Newark Ave") connector on the east side of Jersey City, over by Rte 78, where the West Shore crossed the PRR P&H (the tunnel at Waldo) - the new section connecting the West Shore and P&H directly. So Penn Central wasn't willing to pay much I have read - basically up to the cost of that connector, and the deal didn't happen.

Somewhere along the line, maybe when NYSW went bankrupt in the mid 1970's, it did eventually lose ownership (or rights?) on the Marion-Croxton section, I believe, which ended up with Conrail. I don't know the details off hand. So Conrail eventually could make the P&H to West Shore link using the Marion Connection -- just 30 years or so (?) later than first planned. All lines were under different ownership, but the traffic still wanted to go coming into the northern NJ area from the south and west (ex Reading and LV lines now, not PRR any more), and then out north via the West Shore, and vice versa . Also, Conrail didn't have the problem of the Northern RR between the West Shore and NYSW any more since it also owned the Northern, so the connection was made to the West Shore at North Bergen. (With the line in the tunnel now the light rail, the West SHore line now has North Bergen as its northern terminus - and CSX ownership starts there.)

Whew! JS

PS. With the new Marion connection finally made, and with the West Shore abandoned east of the Palisades for the light rail, the NAVE connection no longer exists.
  by Zeke
My only brush with Susie in the Penn Central days occurred when I would catch the Waverly-Marion runner. It always ran over 100 cars almost all of them loads and would take 14 hours to do it. The twelve hour law didn't come in until late 1972. Anyway the Susie would come down and sit on their bridge for hours while the E-L would clean out the Marion yard and take in our train, the Susies and shove out the PC train and the Susies outbound interchange. What surprised me was the inbound Susie train would have over 150 cars our outbound would average 120 cars. The Marion yard was not equipped to handle that amount of interchange. On top of it St Pauls avenue had a manned crossing gate on one end so making doubles took forever. I guess my overriding impression was the Susie had a hell of a single car business to show up in Marion with over 100 cars every day.