• Research Help Cortland NY

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by nscaler
I am in the final stages of research and designing an n-scale layout which will include a section which will represent the EL and LV lines in Cortland New York in spring of 1968. I am looking for anyone that might be willing to share any photographs of trackside structures or other building from Cortland that were in existance in 1968. These could either be contemporary photographs or current photographs of structures. They could also include photographs where the structures were behind the main focus, the train engines and cars.

I am also interested in knowing what engines and numbers might have been seen in Cortland at that time. Also, any reminises about Cortland in the surrounding years would be appreciated. I grew up in that area and unfortunately, was not really interested in trains at that time. My main memory was being a Cub Scout and going on a trip to see the old EL station. I left that area in 1970 and now reside in SC, so I don't get much chance to be lucky enough to see old EL rolling stock come through here.

Thanking members in advance,

Jim Bryan
  by Matt Langworthy
As with the LV side of the operations, I am dependant on books for assistance on EL operations in Cortland. None of them point directly to 1968, but given the pictures I've seen from the early '60s into the '70s, there are some easy deductions.

First, you can't go wrong with any EL GP-7s in the 1277-1283 series. Lackawanna bought them to dieselize the Syracuse/Utica branches, and those Geeps stayed there (mostly) until CR. They usually operated solo or in pairs, although I do have one shot of tripleheaded GP-7s from 1975. RS-3 #1049 also shows up in a few pictures during this same time period ('60-'70s), even MUd to a GP-7 in some shots! Later EL pictures show SD45s, GP35s and U25Bs in the Cortland area, but I don't know if this was a common practice in 1968.

Ops are a harder problem, so I hope someone else can help with that aspect...

P.S. EL did run three trains (in each direction) per day between Syracuse and Binghamton in the early '60s, but this dropped to two (in each direction) by 1970.
  by SooLineRob
Can't help with personal experience as I was born in '71; but I can relay the info I have from EL Scranton Division Employee Timetable #3, effective 3/21/71. May be a little later than you need, but FWIW...

Binghamton to Oswego is NORTH
Rule 201 Train Orders in effect Chenango Forks to Oswego.
Max Speed was 40 MPH except: Cortland, within City Limits and LVRR Crossing, 10 MPH; Yard Limits indicated by signs. (Additional restrictions/info omitted as not relevant to "Cortland", PM me if further info needed)

BD Binghamton MP 190.72
Chenango Forks MP 202.78
Cortland Jct MP 234.18
Cortland MP 234.72
Syracuse MP 271.16
Oswego MP 306.14


BS-21; Monday thru Friday, Dp Binghamton 00:15, Ar Syracuse 05:00
BS-51; Daily, Dp Binghamton 08:45, Ar Syracuse 11:45


SB-50; Daily, Dp Syracuse 02:15, Ar Binghamton 06:30
SB-24; Monday thru Friday, Dp Syracuse 19:00, Ar Binghamton 22:45


SOUTHBOUND #1950: Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays
Dp Syracuse 05:01, By Cortland 06:42, Ar Chenango Forks 07:30
SOUTHBOUND #1924: Sundays and Holidays
Dp Syracuse 19:45, By Cortland 21:05, Ar Chenango Forks 21:50

As a modelling note, virtually every locomotive used on the S&U Branches was recently available or is due to be released by Atlas in N scale. The RS3's (1000 series) are due out 2007, and the Geeps were released within the last year or two. You should have very good luck finding EL N scale locos at retailers anywhere west of the Mississippi River...best wishes with your project!

  by Cactus Jack
In 1968 the Bing-Syr through freights would typically have had two or three GP-7's in a mix of EL Y/M/G colors or EL hour glass black & yellow.
Solid ex DL&W schemes may have still exixted in '68 but would have been rare.

Also it would have not been uncommon to see GP35's / U25B's and Alco Centuries and a few years earlier the 1800 series TM's (H-24-66) were up the line.
Syracuse Branch saw a much more mixed bag of power than the Utica side. F-units would also have been a possibility to see both A &B units.

Several years later CA 1970-71 D&H 5000 series Alcos would come through under a Dereco power pool. These would have been 5017, 5019, 5005 among others.

Traffic would have been boxcars or grain, coal, some TOFC and grain hoppers and also some smaller tank cars.

Cabooses generally were ex DL&W 800 series mainly.

Generally you can't go wrong with GP-7's (1270-1284) and ex Erie 1260-1265 (GP-9) also.

LV would have generally been RS-3's / or 2's in the 200 series like the 216. The diamond was in up till sometime after CR.

The Syracuse (Central New York Chapter, NRHS) has a good publication out on the line with a good representation of photos of that era. And check out the new book by Herb Trice on Lehigh Valley Operations which shows a few scenes in Cortland in the later days. "The Gangly Country Cousin" by Herbert V. Trice published by the DeWitt Historical Society of Tompkins County. Another LV RR source is Mike Bednar's Lehigh Valley Railroad Wyoming & Buffalo Divisions - a kick ass book (check Amazon) and has a few Cortland photos from the early 1970's showing what the trains looked like as well as the depot / yard area. The CNY Chapter Book is "The Syracuse, Binghamton & NY RR a soft cover history of the Syr and Oswego lines. Contact [email protected]

LV quit running north of town Dec 1967 towards DeRuyter and Canastota.

Hope this helps

Others may know if the 3600's were up the line as early as 1968. They may have been and certainly were later