Catskill and Tannersville Railway

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The Catskill and Tannersville Railway was a historic 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad operating in New York.

Also known as "The Huckleberry", the C&T operated tracks that were laid to a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge. The railroad commenced at the Otis Summit station in Kaaterskill at the top of the Wall of Manitou, which was the terminus of the Otis Elevating Railway, and ended 5.2 miles away at its headquarters in Tannersville. The C&T faced competition from the parallel Stony Clove and Kaaterskill branch of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad.

History[edit]

The Catskill Mountain Railway didn't always have the Catskill & Tannersville to connect the Otis Elevating Railway to Tannersville. Instead, the Kaaterskill Railroad served that purpose, as it was the same 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge as the Otis Elevating and the Catskill Mountain Railway, and connected by a shorter C&T from the Otis Summit Station, too. But the C&T was also present in the area, and was very close to the Kaaterskill. In fact, the two lines were so close that the C&T ran trains on the KRR from 1893-1898. This stopped when the Ulster and Delaware converted the Kaaterskill Railroad to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge in 1899, and the connection was no more. So the CMR president solved that problem by lengthening the C&T to Tannersville in 1899.

It was built on a tight budget, and used 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge track so it could interchange freight cars with the Otis, and because it was cheaper. It only had two locomotives in its roster, both eventually being replaced by outside-frame engines. This railroad was the Ulster & Delaware's narrow gauge competitor; it did offer an alternative route, but this "alternative route" was right next to the U&D, and most of the C&T stations were right across from the U&D stations. There were downfalls to using this railroad, and that included the fact that the railroad barely ever ran on time. This was probably due to the frequent stops to let passengers get out and see the Kaaterskill Falls, the mountain laurel in full bloom, and even to pick blueberries, which the locals called "huckleberries", hence the railroad's nickname, and was probably enjoyed by the fellow passengers.

The railroad was somewhat profitable, and managed to survive for quite a while, but it couldn't stave off bankruptcy. It went bankrupt in 1918, and was torn up and sold for scrap, along with the rest of the Catskill Mountain Railway system in 1919. The two locomotives that were previously owned by the C&T were shipped to the Bellevue and Cascade Railroad in the State of Iowa.

Stations[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

Number Name Builder Type Date Shop No. Remarks
1st #1 Brooks Locomotive Works 2-6-0 Sep. 1882 783 Ex-Colorado & Southern Ry. #20, previously Denver, Leadville & Gunnison Ry. #165, originally Denver, South Park & Pacific R.R. #38. Purchased in June 1899. (The transfer from the C.&S. Ry. to the Otis Co. may have been via F. M. Hicks & Co. The photo of 1st #1 at Otis Summit, reproduced in the Helmer (1970) reference, identifies it as one of the D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 / 156-165 series locos, particularly the driver axle spacing, the location of the right boiler check valve, and the shape of the tops of the cab windows.[1][2][3][4][5][6] C.&S. Ry. #20 was the only ex-D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 / 156-165 series loco to have left Colorado before July 1899.[7]) Retired in 1907.
1st #2 Dickson Manufacturing Co. 2-6-0 Feb. 1883 411 Originally Chateaugay Ore & Iron Co. #8 (Dannemora). Purchased by the Kaaterskill R.R. from New York Equipment Co. in July 1893 (#3). Redesignated U.&D. R.R. # 4 in 1894. Resold to F. M. Hicks & Co. in August 1899.[8] Acquired by the Otis Co. for C.&T. Ry. later in August 1899. Became stationary boiler at Otis Summit, New York between July 1, 1901 and June 30, 1902.
2nd #1 Isaac Pruyn Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 Feb. 1908 32715 Purchased new. Sold to Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific R.R. in March 1926 (CMStP&P #2). Became Bellevue and Cascade Railroad #2 in July 1933. Scrapped in 1934.[9]
2nd #2 Alfred V. S. Olcott Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-6-0 Apr. 1901 18884 Purchased new. Sold to Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific R.R. in July 1928 (CMStP&P #3). Became Bellevue and Cascade Railroad #3 in July 1933. Scrapped in 1934.[9]

Rolling stock[edit]

Number Type Capacity Remarks
1 combine car 38 seats Ex-Worcester & Shrewsbury R.R.[10] Purchased in 1899. Sold to a South American in September 1919.[11]
2[12] coach 58 seats Ex-Worcester & Shrewsbury R.R.[10] Purchased in 1899. Sold to a South American in September 1919.[11]
coach 58 seats Purchased used in 1909 or 1910.[13][14] Sold to a South American in September 1919.[11]
3 freight car 10 tons[15] Obtained as a flat car in 1899. Converted to boxcar in 1904 or 1905.[13][14]
flat car 10 tons[15] Obtained in 1901 or 1902.[13][14] One of the two C.&T. Ry. freight cars may have been temporarily configured as an open observation car.[16]

Freight Car Interchange[edit]

In 1904, a freight car interchange was installed between the C.&T. Ry. and the Otis Ry. at Otis Summit. The Catskill Mountain Ry. built the following freight cars for use through this interchange, and through the interchange with the C.M. Ry. at the foot of the Otis Ry.[17]

Owner[13][14] & Car No. Type Capacity Remarks[13][14]
Otis Ry. 1 boxcar 8 tons[15] Built in 1904
Otis Ry. 2 boxcar 8 tons[15] Built in 1904
Otis Ry. 3 gondola 8 tons[15] Built in 1904
Otis Ry. 4[18] gondola 8 tons[15] Built in 1904
C.M. Ry. 15 gondola 8 tons[15] Built in 1906 or 1907
C.M. Ry. 16 gondola 8 tons[15] Built in 1906 or 1907
C.M. Ry. 17 boxcar 8 tons[15] Built in 1907 or 1908
C.M. Ry. 18 boxcar 8 tons[15] Built in 1907 or 1908

References[edit]

  • A. Ham, John M.; Robert K. Bucenec (2004). Light Rails and Short Ties Through the Notch: The Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain Railroad and Her Steam Legacy (revised ed.). Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain Press. ISBN 978-0-9720709-0-4. 
  • B. Ulster and Delaware Railroad Historical Society
  • C. Helmer, William F. (1970). Rip Van Winkle Railroads. Howell-North Books. ISBN 978-0-8310-7079-3. 
  1. ^ The peculiar pancake shaped spark arrestor on the smokestack, the “UNION PACIFIC” embossed on the valve chest, and the general appearance of the locomotive, indicate that this Brooks locomotive came from a narrow gauge once controlled by the Union Pacific R.R., namely (a) the Denver, South Park & Pacific R.R., (b) the Utah & Northern Ry., (c) the Kansas Central R.R., or (d) the Colorado Central R.R. Closer examination of the driver axle spacing, the location of the right boiler check valve, and the shape of the tops of the cab windows on the loco in the photo eliminates all but the D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 / 156-165 series locos.
  2. ^ (a) D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 / 156-165 had the same driver axle spacing as the loco in the photo, namely, the spacing between the second and third drive axles was no greater than the spacing between the first and second drive axles. Unless rebuilt, D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 had the check valve on the right side of the boiler in the same location as the loco in the photo, namely, above the lead drive axle. Unless rebuilt, the tops of the cab windows on D.S.P.&P. R.R. ##29-38 were the same as the tops of the cab windows on the loco in the photo, namely, straight and horizontal. Ferrell, Mallory H. (2003). The South Park Line. Hundman Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0-945434-58-0. , at pp. 102, 105, 281.
  3. ^ (b) The loco in the photo was not originally built for the Utah & Northern Ry. Unlike the loco in the photo, the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the U.&N. Ry. (##23-44 / 80-101) had a spacing between the second and third drive axles that was greater than the spacing between the first and second drive axles. (D.S.P.&P. #101 was originally U.&N. Ry. #101.) In addition, unlike the loco in the photo, the tops of the cab windows on the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the U.&N. Ry. were curved. Ferrell, Mallory H.; et al. (1966). Colorado Rail Annual No. 15: Idaho Montana Issue. Colorado Railroad Museum. ISBN 978-0-918654-15-1. , at pp. 42-43, 52, 68-69, 76.
  4. ^ (c) The loco in the photo was not originally built for the Kansas Central R.R. Unlike the loco in the photo, the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the K.C. R.R. (##7-13 / 102-106) had a spacing between the second and third drive axles that was greater than the spacing between the first and second drive axles. In addition, unlike the loco in the photo, the tops of the cab windows on the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the K.C. R.R. were curved. Quastler, Imre E. (1999). Kansas Central Narrow Gauge. South Platte Press. ISBN 978-0-942035-48-3. , at pp. 53, 69, 82-83.
  5. ^ (d) The loco in the photo was not originally built for the Colorado Central R.R. The check valves on the right side of the boiler on the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the C.C. R.R. (##8-13 / 150-155) were further to the rear than the right side check valve on the loco in the photo. In addition, unlike the loco in the photo, the tops of the cab windows on the Brooks 2-6-0’s that were originally built for the C.C. R.R. were curved.Wagner, F. Hol, Jr. (1970). The Colorado Road. Intermountain Chapter, National Railway Historical Society. LCCN 70-133955.  , at page 46.
  6. ^ Contrary to early speculation, the loco in the photo was not the Brooks locomotive that was sold to the Kaaterskill R.R. in the 1890s.
  7. ^ Grandt, Robert L. (editor) and George L. Coleman (1986). Narrow Gauge Pictorial Volume 6: Motive Power of the Colorado & Southern. Robert L. Grandt. ASIN B000RRMS9W. , at pp. 222, 224.
  8. ^ Based on the appearance of the locomotive acting as a stationary boiler, which appears on a postcard published about 1910. This postcard shows C.&T. Ry. Loco 2nd #2 and one passenger car waiting to leave the station at Otis Summit. The stationary boiler locomotive appears to the left of the passenger car. The appearance of the stationary boiler locomotive resembles the Kaaterskill R.R.'s Thomas Cornell. Coincidentally, the sale of the Thomas Cornell occurred in the same month (August 1899) as the appearance of C.&T. Ry. 1st #2. In any event, the stationary boiler locomotive does not appear to be an ex-Colorado & Southern Ry. locomotive.
  9. ^ a b Tigges, John; Jon Jacobson (1985). Milwaukee Road Narrow Gauge. Pruett Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-87108-694-5. , at pp. 192, 195.
  10. ^ a b Ham & Bucenec (2004) reference, at page 257.
  11. ^ a b c Helmer (1970) reference, at page 135.
  12. ^ Ham & Bucenec (2004) reference, at pp. 257, 263.
  13. ^ a b c d e [[Standard & Poor's|Poor, Henry V.; Henry W. Poor (various years). Poor’s Manual of Railroads. H.V. and H.W. Poor Co.  Check date values in: |date= (help)]], various dates.
  14. ^ a b c d e Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York. New York State Legislature. , various dates.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Helmer (1970) reference, at page 137.
  16. ^ Ham & Bucenec (2004) reference, at page 256.
  17. ^ Helmer (1970) reference, at page 83.
  18. ^ Ham & Bucenec (2004) reference, at page 264.

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