Massena Terminal Railroad

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Massena Terminal Railroad
The company's current and former bridges over the Grasse River
HeadquartersMassena, New York
Reporting markMSTR
LocaleMassena, New York
Dates of operation1900–present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length4 miles (6.4 km)
WebsiteOfficial website
Route map
Massena Terminal Railroad

The Massena Terminal Railroad (reporting mark MSTR)[1] is a Class III terminal railroad operating in the U.S. state of New York. It operates over 4 miles (6.4 km) of track from the CSX Transportation yard in Massena north to the Alcoa plant, the railroad's only customer. It was built in the early 20th century, beginning operations in 1900.[2] In 2005, the railroad was purchased by holding company RailAmerica. Shortline holding company Genesee & Wyoming acquired the Massena Terminal Railroad in 2012 as part of its purchase of RailAmerica. The railroad's traffic comes mainly from aluminum and petroleum products. The MTR hauled around 4,300 carloads in 2008.


A 1950 map shows part of the Massena Terminal Railroad's route, labeled "N.Y.C. R.R. - Massena Terminal R.R.".

The Massena Terminal Railroad was incorporated in May 1900, to connect a power plant of the St. Lawrence Power Company to the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad and Grand Trunk Railway at Massena.[3][4][5][6] The New York Central Railroad took over rail operations for the MTR in 1915, with the latter remaining owner of the physical infratstructure.[7]

Significant traffic was carried by the Massena Terminal Railroad during the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway; new tracks were laid to support the project, and then removed upon its completion.[7] When the company had its bridge across the Grasse River replaced in 1946, it included an Alcoa-designed all-aluminum bridge span that was reportedly the first in the world.[8]

The New York Central Railroad acquired the MTR in 1966 from Alcoa, which cited "improved operating efficiencies" as the reason for the sale.[7] Shortline holding company RailAmerica purchased the MTR in 2005, eventually assigning it to the company's Northeast Region in 2008.[1][2] RailAmerica was itself purchased by fellow shortline holding company Genesee & Wyoming in 2012, which became the Massena Terminal Railroad's owner.[9] The railroad received a $1.6 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation in 2013 for infrastructure improvements.[10]


The company's primary customer is an Alcoa facility in Massena. The MTR connects this facility with a CSX Transportation line also in Massena.[10] In 2008, the company reported approximately 4,300 carloads.[2] As of 2019, the Massena Terminal Railroad has a total of 4 miles (6.4 km) of tracks.[11]


  1. ^ a b Johnston, John (April 26, 2007). "RailAmerica reorganizes; five smaller regions". Boca Raton News. p. 4. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "RailAmerica's Empire". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing. June 2010.
  3. ^ "Terminal Company Chartered". New-York Tribune. May 3, 1900. p. 2. Archived from the original on November 14, 2022. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  4. ^ New York (State) Board of Railroad Commissioners (1903). Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioners of the State of New-York. C. Van Benthuysen. pp. 1532–1533.
  5. ^ Allen, W. F. (July 1902). The Official Railway Guide. National Railway Publication Company. p. 42.
  6. ^ United States Federal Trade Commission (1928). Utility Corporations: Letter from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission Transmitting, in Response to Senate Resolution No. 83, a Monthly Report on the Electric Power and Gas Utilities Inquiry. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 607.
  7. ^ a b c "Central to Purchase Alcoa Railroad Line". The Post-Standard. October 14, 1966. p. 39. Archived from the original on October 6, 2022. Retrieved October 2, 2022.
  8. ^ "Aluminum Bridge Span Installed". The Berkshire Eagle. Associated Press. September 28, 1946. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 1, 2022. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  9. ^ Ananthalakshmi, A; Roumeliotis, Greg (July 23, 2012). "Genesee & Wyoming to buy RailAmerica for $1.4 billion". Reuters. Archived from the original on November 28, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Rail News - New York, Susquehanna & Western, Massena Terminal Railway receive state funds for freight-rail projects". Progressive Railroading. January 9, 2013. Archived from the original on November 14, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  11. ^ "Massena Terminal Railroad – A Genesee & Wyoming Company". Archived from the original on October 6, 2022. Retrieved October 1, 2022.

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