In 1967, two freight trains ran south from Rouses Point (RO) each day. RW-6 was the "Paper Train," which handled mostly newsprint from both CN (CN train 432) and CP (NJ train 102). The Rouses Point yard engine made up RW-6 in the evening, so it would be ready to depart as soon as WR-1 (the train of empty paper cars) arrived and the power was serviced. Newsprint cars were normally loaded with two stacks of rolls on end, and any impact would make the rolls go out of round and become useless. The Rouses Point Yard Crew had six trainmen so they could ride every cut to an easy coupling.
RW-6 was a "per diem job" in the days when car hire (per diem) was charged to the railroad that had the car at midnight. If he got away from RO in good time, like 10:30 p,m., he could usually arrive at Wilkes-Barre for interchange to CNJ before midnight.
WR-1 was also a hot "per diem job," with the objective of getting the MT's off line by midnight, both to CN at RO and CP at Delson via NJ 105. If there was no chance of getting the headlight of 105 past the home signal at Delson by 11:59 p.m., NJ 105 would often be annulled.
The other southward train from RO was SC-20, a "local" to Whitehall that handled almost everything else between RO and Port Henry. That job departed RO in the morning, after daylignt. He usually picked up at Plattsburgh, including Lyon Mountain iron ore, worked at Willsboro and picked up iron ore at Port Henry. He did not handle Ticonderoga paper, because that local ran to and from Whitehall and brought in his own cars. He handled any "short" paper cars from RO and southbound paper and empties from Plattsburgh. When ore was running, up to the closure of Lyon Mountain mines in July 1967, SC-20 could run with 120 cars. It was a fairly long "local."
A lot of the outbound specialty paper from Plattsburgh went north to RO and west via CP to midwest US destination. We didn't really like that, but CP published a low rate and that's how the game was played.
SC-20 turned into RO-2 (Rouses Point - Oneonta) at Whitehall, and handled most of the ordinary traffic south of Whitehall to Oneonta, where it was placed into other Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre trains.
The northward counterparts were WR-1, mentioned above, and WR-3. WR-3 became SC-19 at Whitehall and handled most of the ordinary traffic between Port Henry and Rouses Point, including MT hoppers for iron ore.
RW-6 had a Saratoga-Champlain Division (R&S) crew headquarted at RO, and they laid over at Whitehall. The R&S crew for SC-19/SC-20 was headquartered at Whitehall, and they laid over at RO.
Between Whitehall and Oneonta all four trains were operated by either R&S or Susquehanna Division (A&S) crews on a mileage equalization agreeement. I don't recall which side normally owned which job. Same between Oneonta and Wilkes-Barre, between A&S and Penn Division crews.
- Gordon Davids