• Train UM-1 Utica - Montreal

  • 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
Maybe this is one for RPC or Mr. Lustig or other Upstate NY operations experts.

Train UM-1 was fondly known as the Banana Train from Utica to Montreal.

Question being; Where were the banana reefers blocked and at what Port area did they arrive for rail shipment ?

What other freight was found on trains UM-1 and MU-2 and the origination / destinations ?

Thanks as always for any help.

I heard the convention in Utica was a good time. I registered but other obligations kept me from attending.
  by Jack Shufelt
Bananas came out of Weehawken. Using 1955 as a basis train WB-3 from Weehawken leaving at 8.45 PM would drop the bananas and other traffic for Malone and Montreal, perishable, Utica merchandise and perishable at Selkirk for connection with train VD-1. WB-3 was due Selkirk at 12.45 AM. VD-1 was scheduled out of Selkirk at 2.30 AM with an arrival in Utica at 5.45 AM. At Selkirk VD-1 took cars from train WB-3 and connected to train UM-1 at Utica. UM-1 was scheduled out of Utica at 6.30 AM. Tupper Lake at 10.15 AM and Malone at 1.30 PM. Out of Malone at 5.00 PM with a scheduled arrival in St. Luc Yard Montreal at 10.15 PM.

UM-1 set off at Tupper Lake for switcher cars for Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.

UM-1 no doubt handled all types of traffic including bananas, coal, lumber, grain, cement and merchandise.

The above schedules from the New York Central Through Freight Schedule book were all dated August 1, 1955.
  by R Paul Carey
In response to the question, I have obtained the following information from a highly authoritative source:

"NYC bananas were all handled from Weehawken. United Fruit's were all loaded into MDT reefers at the banana terminal there, where its ships docked. The stems were handled by conveyors to the cars. The cars were then placed along the icing platform, either to be iced, or to have heaters installed (in winter). Each car was weighed empty and then loaded - making for a lot of switching. (I know, because I was a conductor there, during a Longshoremen's strike).

"Bananas from other companies were loaded into reefers which were taken to shipside on platform car-floats, and put into trains at Weehawken.

"The cars moved from Weehawken in solid blocks - one trainload for Montreal, and another for Utica, Syracuse, and Buffalo, as I recall. The empties came back in the regular trains from Dewitt.

"There was other traffic in UM-1 as well, but I can't recall just what. As I recall, the banana trains were about three per week.

"UM-1 originally ran north from Utica via Tupper Lake and Malone. Later it was shifted to run via Syracuse, Watertown, and the Rutland RR (between) Norwood and Malone. Finally it was shifted to run via Syracuse, Watertown and the CN, as it is today (more or less)."
  by Cactus Jack
Thanks guys !

I really appreciate the detailed answers !!