• Sale of Richfield Branch ROW

  • 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 nydepot
No need to register:

http://www.thefreemansjournal.com/2009/ ... uired.html
2 Entrepreneurs Consider Options For 18.5 Mile Route


RICHFIELD SPRINGS - Two entrepreneurs have acquired the old 18.5-mile Richfield Springs railroad branch from Cooperstown’s Delaware Otsego Corp.
The Town of Richfield men, Ben Gotfried, who was previously involved in the railroad industry, and Ron Sadlon, a dairy farmer and Gotfried’s neighbor, closed on the property April 20.
The men are exploring recreational uses for the 66-foot wide strip – walking and snowmobiling – but also the possibility of enticing a narrow-guage railroad company to set up an excursion line.
The newly acquired rail bed – the tracks were torn up in 1995 – begins to the west of Route 28 just south of the Village of Richfield Springs, skirts the southwestern end of the village and proceeds to South Columbia, East Winfield, West Winfield and, finally, Bridgewater, where it ends at Mapledale Road.
North of Mapledale Road, the Central New York, the DO subsidiary, continues to operate freight trains today and, conceivably could be hooked into by the new enterprise.

  by N_DL640A
I came across an interesting articled in the Utica Observer Dispatch today - apparently the old Richfield Branch right of way was sold... Central New York Railroad Corp. (Delaware Otsego) sold it to Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley LLC, which according to the article was formed with the goal of acquiring the ROW. The two partners who formed the LLC say they plan to redevelop the ROW into some kind of rails to trails / tourism project. Althought the article implies that the tracks are still in place, the line was torn up in 1995 to within mile or two of the Richfield Junction wye.
Link to the article : http://www.uticaod.com/business/x702342 ... y-corridor
I never heard of a for profit company buying an abandoned ROW for a rails to trails purpose... anybody else? I always assumed the ROW had been sold to a snowmobile club or to adjacent land owners some time ago.
  by NYS&W142Fan
Usually when a For - Profit Organization purchases a railroad ROW, they have a profit minded idea in mind. I'm not saying this is the case here, but usually there is something in mind to turn a profit. It could be that they heard a industry wants to move in the area and will need Rail or it could be as simple as a tax write-off. Only time will tell what they have in mind for the ROW.
  by lehigh310
Here's Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley LLC's website:


How come the rails remain in place between the former Route 8 crossing south to Mapledale Road?
  by Otto Vondrak
Here's my favorite part:
We are currently in the exploratory phase of redeveloping our property for use as a new narrow gauge railway company to provide scheduled rail passenger service. We are seeking letters of interest from principals interesting in participating in the building and construction of a new American narrow gauge railway built for the conveyance of the general public.

UC&SV LLC owns adjacent parcels of land for the development of railway stations and terminal facilities. Please contact us to obtain further detailed information regarding our real estate options for interested parties in narrow gauge railway opportunities. We are seeking partners in narrow gauge railway equipment manufacturing, railroad equipment enthusiasts and operators with an interest in constructing and operating a new world class narrow gauge railway here in upstate New York.
  by TB Diamond

Sounds as if that quote was straight out of a circa 19th century newspaper.
  by Flat-Wheeler
Is this 4 real ? Based only on the angle presented here, seems like a highly unlikely success. Good luck to all. Doubtful it'll succeed, let alone become world class. What are these guys smoking ?
  by lvrr325
Actually it would be relatively cheap to build at least a short stretch; the ROW is already graded and wouldn't need a lot of work; you wouldn't need heavy rail - like 105# relay stick rail would do the job. Relay landscape quality ties would also do the job since they'd be handling much lighter equipment and at relatively low speeds. Equipment would be harder, although I don't think an older industrial 3' gauge GE diesel would set you back too bad, you might have to build the cars yourself. But in this economy it might be possible to buy a few surplus coaches from other narrow gauge tourist operation and not go broke, either.

The problem with a tourist line here is you're right between tourist lines running north out of Utica and south out of Cooperstown (Milford), so you have a bunch of nearby competition. What's the draw to ride this one? It would probably do good for the first year or so, but like every other tourist line, they tend to go stale after a while, unless they have a big hook to bring people in.

A steam engine would be the hook, even if you leased the one that they use at the Erie Canal Village in Rome and trucked it in on select weekends - that engine has been the only live, operating steam engine in upstate New York, when it's running. I think now Arcade & Attica has one up and NY&LE brings one in now and then - but those are both a long hike from Utica.

The other key would be to be sure to build your line so it runs through portions of ROW not readily accessable from public roads. I'm not sure how much of that there is along that line, I'm only familiar with the Richfield Springs end of the line as far as West Winfield or so.

Edit: I got a look at some footage of the restored Maine narrow gauge and that's how their track is done - relay ties with one rail in the original location and the other gauged to it, so the ties all stick out to one side a bunch. Looks like relay rail too, it's so big compared to the trains it's like how N-scale track is.
  by kinlock
The new owners gave me a couple of photos to research; specifically for locomotive type. They are also interested in getting as much history on the line as there is.



Thanks for your help

  by chen1234
If these guys had the money to buy and reactivate/rebuild the northern section of the old UVRR, they could connect to the Agro-Farma plant in South Edmeston and possibly gain a steady source of income. The NYS&W still maintains the section of the Utica Branch where the UVRR used to meet it at Richfield Junction, and plant is currently undergoing a major expansion. Agro-Farma already expressed a big interest in rail shipping, but the aid that NYS promised them so they could expand into the old Proctor & Gamble facility at Woods Corners (Norwich) has stalled, and it's looking more and more like the NYS&W isn't interested in saving the southern section of the Utica Branch. :(

Yeah, I know...wishful thinking. A guy can dream, right?