• Quebec Operations

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Cactus Jack
Anyone ever seen a photo of NYC trains / power at Windsor Station, Montreal ?

Any sources of information on NYC Quebec operations, engine servicing at St. Luc and commuter trains into Huntingdon or Malone ?
  by edbear
NYC issued a Montreal Suburban public timetable in both English and French.
  by Engineer Spike
Is it true that the CPR and NYC jointly owned the portion of the Adirondack Sub. between Adirondack Jct., and South Junction?
  by R Paul Carey
In the late 1980's, Conrail had a productive relationship with the CP, operating a daily freight service that originated / terminated at CP's St. Luc Yard. CR's ownership extended to, but not through, Adirondack Junction. After CP purchased the D&H, CN became CR's Montreal "anchor", with changes in routing that curtailed operations via Adirondack Jct.

At various times I had served as Division Supt. and GM for this territory, and later had responsibility for CR's joint (w/other RR's) facilities. Nowhere do I ever recall evidence of CR ownership, joint or otherwise, on CP lines beyond Adirondack Junction.
  by Cactus Jack

Thank you for the insight on CR operations into Montreal. I kind of figured they would have had to Adirondack Jct but nothing else unless there was some arrangement with the big St. Lawrence bridge which would seem unlikely. I recall one time trying to get CR to quote rates off CPR at Montreal and CR rate people said they did not interchange with CPR at Montreal but rather at Windsor. I suspect long haul on the rates but the eqpt was at St. Luc, but CPR said they were not going to haul the stuff to Windsor. We never did get that move to go.

CJ (Doug Ellison)
  by Engineer Spike
I have a few questions which I hope Mr. Carey can answer. He stated that CR's relationship soured with CP, since the D&H purchase made the two roads direct competitors. How was CP able to dictate that future Albany-Montreal traffic with CR was to be routed via the D&H/NJ/CPR? Could Conrail said, screw you CPR, we don't want to loose the linehaul, so you will still be getting those cars at Adirondack Jct.? This may be a bad example, since the D&H is a faster, more direct route.

A better example might be between the B&M and Conrail. If the route was not customer specified, which railroad would choose the route? B&M would prefer the longer haul to Rotterdam Jct., While Conrail would like to haul the car all the way to Springfield, or better yet, Worcester. Does the originating carrier decide?
  by R Paul Carey
These are good questions concerning traffic flows over two unrelated connections of Conrail in the late 1980's and early 1990's. In each case, the commercial decision as to routing of traffic is a customer decision; notwithstanding marginal considerations or "inducements", the commercial routing decision is always the customer's. The circumstances of the D&H and the B&M arrangements were different and unrelated to each other...

As to CR and CP, with CP's acquisition of D&H, CP acquired a more direct route via Albany for traffic destined to points between NY and DC, including newsprint (and other commodities) from on-line origins in Quebec. CP+D&H substantially increased its length of haul on this and other traffic, placing CR in a very difficult - if not quite impossible - competitive situation. The impact of CP's acquisition of D&H was not difficult to foresee. Prior to the assimilation of D&H by CP we enjoyed a long-term and mutually productive business relationship on traffic over Adirondack Jct. After these changes had taken effect CR and CP continued to maintain a cordial business relationship on operational matters for many years.

The B&M (GTI) was a very important connection of CR's, for which we (CR) identified an opportunity to improve service, to our mutual benefit. CR had completed a clearance improvement project, a TCS project, and had fully installed welded rail across its Boston Line east of Selkirk, NY. On the other hand, the B&M had limited clearances through their Hoosac Tunnel, plus a great deal of track and signal work to be completed, if their route were to become fully competitive.

CR acquired trackage rights over the P&W in Worcester, enabling finished vehicles in enclosed multi-levels to reach Ayer on the B&M. Other traffic was moved by CR between Selkirk and Ayer under a haulage arrangement, eliminating torturous reverse movements and delays at Rotterdam Jct. while expediting traffic with preblocking to CR points (WB) and to GTI (B&M, MEC) points (EB). Service on all traffic improved significantly. As a haulage arrangement, and consistent with shipper-specified routing, the haulage traffic remained in B&M's account while on CR between Selkirk and Ayer. In this case, it was a simple matter of two roads cooperating to share their respective natural advantages, to their mutual benefit - and that of their customers!
  by Engineer Spike
Thanks for explaining the routings. My examples where not the best. I knew of the GTI/CR deal. My question was focused on interline movements where both cariers are parallel for part of the route, hence the example of B&M and CR.

If the GTI/CR deal was not in place, let's try this example : A car is routed from Portland, ME, to Chicago. You are then saying the customer would decide whether the interchange happens in Worcester, Springfield, or R.J.?
  by R Paul Carey
Without the CR/GTI haulage a car moving via CR from Portland to Chicago would have physically moved over the "official" GTI/CR interchange, Rotterdam Jct.

RJ required a shoving movement on to the CR Selkirk Branch, then the GTI (B&M) delivery was backhauled to Selkirk and classified to Elkhart (or another connection west of Chicago). The transit time in direct haulage via Worcester, compared with routing via RJ, was consistently one to two days faster in each direction.
  by Tommy Meehan
I have a question that maybe Mr. Carey can help answer. Although I'm more interested in the 'historical' nature of this.

Did P&W-CR (B&A) have a significant interchange at Worcester?

Going back, the New Haven seems to have used Worcester primarily for northern New England traffic interchanged to B&M or MEC via B&M at Worcester. I would guess the NYNH&H, having many more routes than P&W, would probably have preferred to route B&A traffic to interchanges further west than Worcester.

I don't think P&W can do that, at least not to the same degree.
  by R Paul Carey
Tommy, in response to your question, yes, indeed! CR and P&W had a significant volume of interchange business, enough to justify a daily train from Selkirk (with which we usually combined one or more blocks of "shorts").

Historically, prior to 1988 (when CR negotiated trackage rights with P&W), CR did NOT have direct access to B&M at Worcester. P&W, as successor to NYNH&H, interchanged with B&M at Garden Street Yard, about 2+ miles north of the B&A.

As to NYC (B&A) and NYNH&H, I had understood that at or about the time the NYNH&H abandoned its interchange connection at State Line, the parties negotiated a routing guide for interchange traffic destined to or via NYNH&H, in accordance with which traffic via B&A interchange points was routed as agreed and without regard to NH waybill Junction; in other words, the traffic was hauled by the parties in order to obtain the most efficient available route in lieu of State Line.

I hope this is responsive to your question.
  by Tommy Meehan
R Paul Carey wrote:Historically, prior to 1988 (when CR negotiated trackage rights with P&W), CR did NOT have direct access to B&M at Worcester. P&W, as successor to NYNH&H, interchanged with B&M at Garden Street Yard, about 2+ miles north of the B&A.
Paul thanks it is very interesting. I discovered from your comments -- and from a lawsuit P&W filed against CR-B&M (GTI) (lawsuit link) in 1981 -- that the B&A apparently did not have a direct interchange at Worcester with B&M. Any interchange was via a short stretch of New Haven track (that P&W tookover). I don't know if B&A favored this connection but once Penn Central tookover the New Haven they apparently did. It seems PC continued the use of the connection even after P&W became the operator of the former NH track in 1973. At some point after Conrail was formed, however, Conrail-B&M started routing interchange traffic away from Worcester, contending that other interchange points were more efficient. The P&W then filed a complaint with the ICC, contending it was being unlawfully discriminated against (as per existing ICC law) and deprived of about $5,000 in revenue per day. :)

However, the ICC (and a federal appeals court) ruled in favor of Conrail, agreeing that the Worcester interchange was an inefficient one (as Conrail stated). Apparently the 1988 track rights solved the problem.
  by Engineer Spike
Due to the cumbersome move at Rotterdam Jct., why weren't the cars run directly west? CR could have classified them in De Witt, or Frontier. A transfer could have picked up the cars headed south on the River Line for Jersey, or a southern connection with N&W, Sou, or RP&F.

I know that old B&M had a run through with NYC between DeWitt and E. Deerfield, sometimes shortened to Mechanicville.
  by Noel Weaver
I was in Montreal in the spring of 1959 watching and following the remaining Canadian Pacific steam operations there (they still ran plenty of steam in Montreal in the spring of 1959). I remember watching the AM rush into Windsor Station which had lots of clean and good looking steam locomotives. In the midst of all this a New York Central train appeared with an RS-3 and some dirty passenger cars, I wish I had used a little bit of 8 mm movie film on this one but it was diesel and I was watching steam and not diesel in 1959. At this time I think the Central only had one RT left in and out of Windsor Street Station, Montreal and that was a commuter local that ran between Malone, NY and Montreal five days a week and I don't think it lasted much longer after the summer of 1959.
Noel Weaver
  by R Paul Carey
The question was raised as to the CR/B&M interchange at Rotterdam Junction, namely: "Why not consider running the traffic via Dewitt?" This would seem to be a reasonable question, as this had been done in the past - before the 1980's.

By 1987, when I came to what then was the Mohawk-Hudson Division, B&M interchange was handled daily (once a day). At the time, much of their traffic was routed to points south, although there was still significant traffic for points west, as well. All B&M traffic was delivered mixed. By classifying B&M traffic at Selkirk (opposed to Dewitt), we minimized the "backhaul" and related delay. In addition, the classifications made at Selkirk effectively preblocked cars for foreign connections and distant points that would not have been feasible at Dewitt.

Eventually, when we began a "haulage" arrangement for B&M, the limited backhauling between Rotterdam and Selkirk ended and all traffic (other than coal) made a continuous progressive movement between the B&M and all points served on or via CR.