New York, Ontario and Western Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
New York, Ontario and Western Railway
Nyow1.png
New York Ontario and Western EMD freight locomotive 1947.JPG
A pocket calendar image of New York, Ontario and Western Railway diesel locomotive built for freight service in 1947
Overview
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Reporting markNYOW
LocaleNorth Jersey, Upstate New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania
Dates of operation1884–1957
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length541 mi (871 km)
Route map
New York, Ontario & Western
Oswego
Central Square
Oneida
Rome
Utica
Clinton
Randallsville
Norwich
Sidney
Delhi
Walton
Cadosia
Hancock
Carbondale
Mayfield Yard
Scranton
Sibley
Livingston Manor
Ferndale
Fallsburgh
Monticello
Valley Junction
Port Jervis
Summitville
Kingston
Middletown
Campbell Hall
Maybrook
(NH)
Cornwall
Weehawken Terminal
(NYC)
 
Running
rights
(Owner)

NYO&W N'n Div
325.27
Oswego
319.45
Minetto
317.40
Bundy's
315.69
Arrowhead
312.91
Fulton (Oneida St)
312.60
Fulton (Bdway)
311.69
NYC Jct
309.54
Ingell's
305.24
Pennellville
302.24
Caughdenoy
298.88
Ctrl Sq
295.13
W Monroe
291.34
Constantia
287.81
Bernhards
285.13
Cleveland
281.29
Jewell (W Vienna)
278.20
N Bay
276.44
Sylvan Beach
Sylvan Jct (LVRR)
Beacon Beach Landing
Fish Creek Tower
275.43
Fish Creek (Sylvan)
271.99
State Br
269.89
Durhamville
267.74
Oneida
266.53
Castle (Oneida Castle)
264.21
Kenwood
260.50
Valley Mills (Cooks Corners)
258.80
Stockbr
258.47
Munns (Munnsville)
253.80
Pratts
253.67
Whites Corners
280.19
Rome
276.50
Dix
275.81
Utica (Genesee St)
Utica (Wash St)
274.20
Bartlett
273.42
Canal Branch
272.10
Westmoreland
271.96
New Hartford
269.95
Clarks' Mills
269.05
Kirkland
Rome Branch
Utica Branch
266.84
Clinton
265.36
Franklin Springs
262.09
Deansboro
257.72
Oriskany
254.19
Solsville
251.93
Bouckville
Utica Branch
N'n Div Mainline
N'n Div Mainline
Eaton Line
251.81
Morrisville
249.98
Pecksport
249.25
Eaton
246.88
Hamilton
Eaton Line
N'n Div Mainline
244.66
Randallsville (Smith Valley)
240.75
Earlville
235.42
Wilbers
233.67
Sherburne 4 Corners
231.14
Galena (N Norwich)
227.21
Woods
225.38
Norwich
221.31
Barbers
216.93
Oxford
212.17
Summit
210.06
Guilford
208.58
Parker (Guilford Ctr)
232.16
Edmeston
230.56
Ambler
227.96
Pittsfield
225.36
New Berlin
222.42
Sages Corners
221.24
New Berlin Ctr
220.23
Davis Xing
217.59
S New Berlin
216.12
Holmesville
214.08
White Stone
212.21
Latham's Corners
211.33
Rockwell's Mills
209.69
Upton (Mt Upton)
206.04
Rockdale
New Berlin Branch
N'n Div Mainline
203.21
New Berlin Jct
Sidney D&H Tower
200.55
Sidney
D&H to Binghamton
N'n Div Mainline
S'n Div Mainline
S'n Div Mainline to Weehawken, Delhi,
Scranton, Kingston, Prt Jervis
[1][2][3][4][5]

NYO&W Southern Division
Legend
  •  NYO&W owned and operated tracks
  •  Station
  •  Tower
  •  NYO&W tracks leased from other companies
  •  Flag stop
  •  Interchange station
  •  Other tracks
  •  Non-passenger station
  •  Switch
N'n Div Mainline to Oswego, Utica
200.55
Sidney
D&H to Binghamton
N'n Div Mainline
S'n Div Mainline
D&H to Montreal
197.56
S Unadilla
196.23
Youngs
193.57
Niles (Niles Switch)
193.08
Sidney Ctr
189.71
Franklin
187.94
Merrickville
186.65
N'field (Zig Zag)
182.62
Ogdens
196.06
Delhi
192.88
Frasers
190.17
Delancy
188.46
Hamden
187.20
Hawleys
183.12
Colchester
180.01
Br St
Delhi Branch
S'n Div Mainline
179.45
Walton
174.58
Beerston
171.58
Rock Rift
167.25
Apex (Cadosia Smt)
164.16
Kerry's
213.91
Scranton (CNJ)
213.47
Scranton Mulberry St
213.04
Diamond Xing Tower
212.61
Pk Pl
212.00
Von Storch Jct
211.65
Providence
210.33
Throop
D&H Pancoast Cxn
Coxton (Lehigh Valley)
Pittston Jct
Austin Jct
218.69
Sibley Jct
Pyne Breaker
215.59
Luzerne
213.85
Capouse Ext
213.79
Cayuga Jct Tower
212.82
Farrell Coal Co & McCormicks' Coal
212.70
Taylor's Mine
211.45
Leggett's Crk Branch & Mine
Capouse Branch
Scranton Div Mainline
209.79
Capouse Jct
209.40
Dickson Yd
209.40
Dickson
208.95
Johnson Branch
208.20
Olyphant
206.40
Peckville
209.46
Hackley's Slope
209.05
Raymond Mine & Shaft
Sturges Mine
R'side Mine
Ontario Breaker
R'side Branch
Scranton Div Mainline
205.07
R'side Jct
204.87
Winton
204.11
Archibald Washery Jct
203.70
Archibald
201.97
Jermyn Trans
201.17
Jermyn
199.39
198.50
White Br
196.98
Carbondale
196.12
Carbondale Yd
Belmont (Erie Cxn)
Richmondale Mine
NW Mine
Elk Crk Mine
NW Branch
Scranton Div Mainline
193.66
NW Jct
191.31
Grays
190.75
Forest City
183.81
Pleasant Mount
178.18
Orson (Belmont)
176.11
Poyntelle (Preston Summit)
172.92
Lakewood (Winwood)
170.27
Preston Park
168.82
Holbert's Switch
167.30
Starlight
162.92
Delaware Switch
161.91
Hancock
Scranton Div Mainline
S'n Div Mainline
159.90
Cadosia (Hancock Jct)
Wheeler Tower
Delaware Tower
154.33
Fish's Eddy
150.31
E Branch
148.24
Trout Brook
144.78
Chiloway
143.24
Horton's
140.82
Cook's Falls
135.38
Roscoe (Rockland)
129.13
Livingston Manor
123.86
Parksville
118.58
Liberty
116.34
Ferndale (Liberty)
111.34
Luzon (Hurleyville)
109.28
Brown's Pond
107.97
Fallsburgh
Neversink Tower N Portal
105.94
Neversink
104.36
Woodridge (Centerville)
101.79
Mountaindale
96.97
Adam's
95.76
Red Hill
128.16
Kingston
125.39
Hurley
123.72
Monticello
119.99
Cottekill
118.22
St Joseph's (Gilman's)
117.58
High Falls
115.57
Prt Jervis Erie Sta
115.52
Hartwood
114.63
Prt Jervis Main St
114.53
Kyserike
112.41
Oakland
112.39
CJI Camps
111.67
Mountain Spring
111.54
Accord
110.40
Huguenot
108.25
Godeffroy's
Monticello Branch
Prt Jervis Branch
107.77
Kerhonkson
107.56
Valley Jct
106.57
Cuddebackville
104.82
Prt Orange
104.38
Wawarsing
103.45
Westbrookville
103.18
Napanoch
101.01
Ellenville
100.21
Haven
96.93
Wurtsboro
96.65
Spring Glen
94.58
Phillipsport
Prt Jervis Branch
S'n Div Mainline
Kingston Branch
S'n Div Mainline
93.11
Summitville
89.78
Mamakating
N Portal Tower (Hi View)
88.16
Hi View (Bloomingburgh)
S Portal Tower (Hi View)
85.72
Winterton
82.21
Fair Oaks
81.30
Crawford Jct Tower
79.22
Sands
78.22
Middletwn Yd Office
77.78
Wickham Ave (Middletwn)
RR Ave Tower
74.76
Mechanicstwn
72.79
Crystal Run (Ireland)
70.69
Stony Ford
Campbell Hall Tower
Tracks owned by NYNH&H
Maybrook
68.29
Campbell Hall
Burnside Tower
65.91
Burnside Sta
64.64
Rock Tavern
62.15
Bulls Switch
60.99
Little Britain
57.81
Meadow Brook
56.26
Orrs Mills
55.53
Firthcliffe (Montana)
53.05
Cornwall Jct Tower
52.28
Cornwall Sta
Tracks owned by NYC
0.00
Weehawken
[6][7][8][9][10]

The New York, Ontario and Western Railway, more commonly known as the O&W or NYO&W, was a regional railroad with origins in 1868, lasting until March 29, 1957. The last train ran from Norwich, New York to Middletown, New York, after which it was ordered liquidated by a U.S. bankruptcy judge. It was the first notable U.S. railroad with its mainline entirely abandoned.[11][better source needed]

The railroad began life as the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad, organized by Dewitt C. Littlejohn of Oswego, NY in 1868. Its mainline extended from Weehawken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, to Oswego, New York, a port city on Lake Ontario. It had branch lines to Kingston, Port Jervis, Monticello, Delhi, Utica and Rome, New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania. The part south of Cornwall, New York, was operated over the New York Central Railroad's West Shore Railroad via trackage rights.

History[edit]

An O&W passenger train at Weehawken Terminal in Weehawken, New Jersey
O&W Engine 201 crossing Cadosia Trestle in Hancock, New York

In 1866, the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad was chartered under the direction of Dewitt C. Littlejohn, who envisioned a railroad serving a direct connection from the docks opposite New York City to Lake Ontario at Oswego. Construction on the line north of Middletown began in 1868 and was completed in 1873. Branches were also constructed to Ellenville, Delhi and New Berlin, New York; a branch was begun to Auburn from Norwich, but it only was constructed to Scipio Center before being sold to the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad in 1876.[12] Access to New York City was provided by the Middletown, Unionville and Water Gap Railroad and the New Jersey Midland Railway beginning in 1872. On September 3, 1869, the NY&OM began using the Pennsylvania Railroad's station at Exchange Place in Jersey City, New Jersey, which provided its passengers with ferry access to the Cortlandt Street Ferry Depot in lower Manhattan and the Desbrosses Street Ferry.[13] With the Panic of 1873, the company began to fold, and it severed its ties with the NJM and the MU&WG.

In 1880, the O&W inherited the New York & Oswego Midland's lines. The O&W improved the main line by providing a new route to the New York City area from Middletown, New York which extended to Cornwall on the Hudson River and then to Weehawken Terminal. This development was made possible by negotiating trackage-rights from the New York, West Shore & Buffalo Railway,[14] later part of the New York Central system.

In 1886, the O&W acquired the operations of both the Utica, Clinton & Binghamton and the Rome & Clinton railroads from the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. By acquisition of these assets and construction of a new line to Sylvan Beach on the east shore of Lake Oneida, the O&W extended its operations into new market areas, and the Sylvan Beach Loop became a seasonally-significant corridor by providing transportation to central New York's recreational resort area. By 1889, the O&W added two new branches, New Berlin to Edmeston, and Port Jervis to Monticello, connecting to the main line at Summitville, New York.

The most significant addition occurred in 1890, when the O&W constructed a 54-mile branch from Cadosia, New York, to Scranton, Pennsylvania, through the rich anthracite coal reserves in Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley. Revenues from this new Scranton Division strengthened O&W's revenues and provided the means for future improvements to the railroad. The railroad's W-in-O logo first appeared in 1892.[15]

Revenue freight traffic, in millions of net ton-miles.
Year Traffic
1925 688
1933 830
1944 957
1956 353
Source: ICC annual reports
O&W Engine 405
Share of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, issued 7 October 1921

During the ill-fated "Morganization" of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NH), the railroad acquired control of the O&W and installed NH president Charles Sanger Mellen as president for a year. Regulatory difficulties frustrated Mellen's plans to barter the O&W to the New York Central Railroad for concessions elsewhere.

The 1940s saw a receding of passenger service. In the early years of the 1940s, the Summitville-Kingston branch was reduced to a Sundays and holidays, summer-only service.[16] Improved highways ended the O&W's passenger service to the resort areas of the lower Catskill Mountains (the "Borscht Belt") and lightly populated portions of Upstate New York, with the last train from Walton, New York to Weehawken operating in the summer of 1948. The O&W's Walton-Delhi branch service, all in Delaware County, was also eliminated in this period.[17] The last passenger train (from Roscoe, New York just north of Livingston Manor, to Weehawken Terminal) operated on September 10, 1953.[18]

Bankruptcy[edit]

The O&W began bankruptcy proceedings, from which it would never emerge, as early as 1937. Apart from total dieselization by 1948, it became antiquated. (It was known to locals as the "Old & Weary", "Old & Wobbly" or "Old Woman.")[11] The decrease of coal as a heating fuel for other than major power plants damaged its primary freight business, as did the end of rail transport of high-priority dairy products from Upstate New York to the Metro New York City area. The New Haven offered to purchase the company in 1952, but later withdrew its offer, citing its own financial problems.[19] Abandonment was loudly-protested by towns along the line, which considered unpaid back taxes as an investment in the railroad. The New York State legislature approved a $1 million aid bill, citing the O&W as essential for civil defense, but the state civil defense commission rejected it.[19]

The bankruptcy court finally ordered complete abandonment, and the last freight train ran from Norwich to Middletown on March 29, 1957. Liquidation proceeded shortly thereafter. Three large scrap dealers bought the entire right-of-way from the bankruptcy court soon afterward, and removed nearly all of the rails and bridges in 1958 and 1959. All O&W assets were auctioned. The diesel locomotives found new owners, but most of the other, antiquated rolling stock and equipment was scrapped.[19] Certain sections of track serving shippers, many of which were industrial factories, were transferred by the bankruptcy court to other railroads, allowing continued rail access to the plants. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad received track from Utica to New Hartford, New York, and track in Norwich, New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania. The New York Central took over sections of O&W New York track between Fulton and Oswego, as well as track in Rome, Oneida and Kingston. These transfers were approved before operations ceased at midnight on March 29, and the transfer of other sections to the Erie Railroad was approved later.[20] A section of the track in New Hartford was still in operation in 2018 by the Northern Division of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway.

Legacy[edit]

New York, Ontario and Western Railway 104, a General Electric 44-ton switcher preserved at the Southeastern Railway Museum, Duluth, Georgia

Rail historian George Drury later commented that the O&W "had always been sickly and should not have been built" at just "541 miles".[19]

Parts of the Summitville - Kingston division,[21] ending at Kingston, have become a rail trail. Some of the stations have been converted into residences, including the Alligerville station in High Falls, New York, owned by Gerry Leonard since 2001 and used as a recording studio.[22]

The "Flying Diesel Corps"[edit]

On September 27, 1955, a 50-car O&W train in Hamilton, New York traveling on a mainline approached a switch set for a siding which led to a coal trestle. Although the engineer fully-applied the brakes, the train continued up the siding at more than 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) and through the trestle. It was learned that the 213-ton EMD FT diesel locomotive at the head of the train "flew" a distance of 150 feet (46 m) beyond the coal trestle from an elevation of 15 feet (4.6 m). Two of the crew were seriously injured, but no crewmen were killed in the wreck.

An investigation by New York state police as to why the switch had been thrown resulted in no arrests. A dinner was later given in honor of the crew, who each received a plaque proclaiming them to be members of the O&W's new "Flying Diesel Corps." Each plaque was topped with a cast presentation model of their F-unit locomotive; the castings were provided by EMD.

One of the freight cars involved in the accident was loaded with chocolate bars from the Nestlé plant in nearby Fulton, New York. It was said that when the younger residents of Hamilton learned of the spilled candy, they raced to collect what they could, and that as a result candy sales in the town were for some time afterward very low.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barberio, Douglas. "NYO&W Mileposts, Stations, Towers, Junctions and Telegraph Calls". Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  2. ^ "NEW YORK, ONTARIO & WESTERN RAILWAY AND CONNECTIONS". Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  3. ^ "DELAWARE AND HUDSON AND CONNECTIONS". OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE. Richard Parks. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  4. ^ The Matthew-Northrup Works (1918). "MAP OF THE NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES". Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  5. ^ "THE NEW YORK, NEW HAVEN AND HARTFORD RAILROAD CO., OPERATED AND CONTROLLED LINES". New Haven Railroad. NEW HAVEN RAILROAD HISTORICAL AND TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION, INC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  6. ^ Barberio, Douglas. "NYO&W Mileposts, Stations, Towers, Junctions and Telegraph Calls". Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  7. ^ "NEW YORK, ONTARIO & WESTERN RAILWAY AND CONNECTIONS". Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society, Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  8. ^ "DELAWARE AND HUDSON AND CONNECTIONS". OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE. Richard Parks. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  9. ^ The Matthew-Northrup Works (1918). "MAP OF THE NEW YORK CENTRAL LINES". Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  10. ^ "THE NEW YORK, NEW HAVEN AND HARTFORD RAILROAD CO., OPERATED AND CONTROLLED LINES". New Haven Railroad. NEW HAVEN RAILROAD HISTORICAL AND TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION, INC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b kodtrak.railfan.net
  12. ^ "An Old Time Excursion Over the Midland's Auburn Branch by Richard Palmer". nyow.org. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  13. ^ Railroad Ferries of the Hudson: And Stories of a Deckhand, by, Raymond J. Baxter, Arthur G. Adams, pg. 69 ,1999, Fordham University Press, 978-0823219544
  14. ^ "Light On Railroad Methods.; Asking An Investigation Of The Old New-York And Oswego Midland" (PDF). The New York Times. May 13, 1882.
  15. ^ Early 1890s O&W Annual Passes[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "New York, Ontario and Western Railway, Table 5". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 74 (1). June 1941.
  17. ^ "New York, Ontario and Western Railway, Table 2 -freight only". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 82 (3). August 1949.
  18. ^ American Rails, 'New York, Ontario and Western Railway' https://www.american-rails.com/nyow.html
  19. ^ a b c d Drury, George H. (1994). The Historical Guide to North American Railroads: Histories, Figures, and Features of more than 160 Railroads Abandoned or Merged since 1930. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. pp. 91, 229–231. ISBN 0-89024-072-8.
  20. ^ "Trackage is Assigned Lackawanna and N.Y. Central Named to Serve Shippers". New York Times. March 29, 1957. p. 33.
  21. ^ "New York, Ontario and Western Railway, Table 1". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 64 (9). February 1932.
  22. ^ "Legendary Rock Producer Lists His Converted Train Station in the Woods". Realtor.com. September 26, 2018 – via San Francisco Chronicle.
  23. ^ O&W history at www.nyow.org

External links[edit]