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New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway

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New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway
Map of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway train lines in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
HeadquartersCooperstown, New York, U.S.
Reporting markNYSW
LocaleNew Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania, U.S.
Dates of operation1881–present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map
New York, Susquehanna
and Western Railway
Susquehanna Transfer
North Bergen
New Durham
CSX North Bergen Yard
CSX Northern Branch
Edgewater Branch
Little Ferry Yard
Little Ferry
Ridgefield Park
Prospect Ave
Lodi Industrial
Rochelle Park
Passaic Branch
East Paterson
Vreeland Ave
North Hawthorne
Midland Park
Crystal Lake
West Oakland
Pompton Lakes
Smith's Mills
Green Pond Jctrdt
Oak Ridge
Beaver Lake
Hanford/Middletown Branch
South Ogdensburg
Limecrest Industrial
Paulinskill Valley Trail
(former Mainline)
New Jersey
New York
Sugar Loaf
Orange Heritage Trailway
former Erie Main Line
Campbell Hall Junction
Otisville Tunnel
Port Jervis
New York
Mill Rift
New York
Gulf Summit
New York
Great Bend
New York
Binghamton Yard

New York, Susquehanna
and Western
Passenger service 1939–1966
Butler Yard
Pompton Junction
Pompton Lakes
West Oakland
Crystal Lake
Midland Park
North Hawthorne
Riverside – Paterson
Paterson City Branch
Vreeland Avenue – Paterson
East Paterson
Passaic Branch
Passaic Junction
Passaic Junction Yard
Rochelle Park
Lodi Branch
Prospect Avenue
River Street
Ridgefield Park
Little Ferry Yard
New Jersey Turnpike Shield.svg
N.J. Turnpike
New Jersey Turnpike Shield.svg
N.J. Turnpike
New Durham
North Bergen
Susquehanna Transfer Bus interchange
West End Yard
(Landbridge Terminal)
Erie Yards
Pavonia Terminal ferry/water interchangePublic Service RailwayHudson and Manhattan Railroad

The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (reporting mark NYSW), also sometimes referred to as New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad, Susie-Q or the Susquehanna, is a Class II American freight railway operating over 400 miles (645 km) of track in three Northeastern states, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.[1][2]

The railway was formed in 1881 from the merger of several smaller railways ("railroads" in American English).[3] Passenger service in North Jersey was offered until 1966.[4] The railway was purchased by the Delaware Otsego Corporation in 1980,[5] and saw success during the 1980s and 1990s in the intermodal freight transport business.

A southern division of the railway runs from Jersey City, New Jersey to Binghamton, New York, and a northern division, formed by two branches north of Binghamton, serves Utica and Syracuse.[6]


19th century[edit]

New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway streamlined locomotive constructed by the American Car and Foundry company, c. 1940
NYS&W freight SU-99 in Bogota, New Jersey, on June 2, 2021
A NYS&W suburban train at Hackensack station in Hackensack, on September 3, 1965; the following year, on June 30, 1966, the NYS&W ended all passenger operations.[7]
Map of the NYS&W under the Erie Railroad

The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway traces its roots back to the failed New Jersey, Hudson and Delaware Railroad (NJH&D), chartered in 1832 to connect industrial Paterson, New Jersey in the east to the ports in the Hudson Waterfront in Hoboken near New York City, to Pennsylvania at the Delaware Water Gap in the west.[8]

In 1867, several competing companies emerged to develop routes through this corridor. The New Jersey Western Railroad (NJW) was the most successful, constructing westward from Paterson and Hawthorne.

In 1866, the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad (NY&OM) was chartered to connect the Great Lakes port at Oswego, New York, with New York City.

In 1868, construction on the NY&OM began, and progressed rapidly. The creation of this company prompted the NJW to shift its focus towards connecting to this route. Cornelius Wortendyke, president of the NJW, signed a lease agreement with DeWitt Clinton Littlejohn of NY&OM, offering his road as a route into New Jersey. Construction on the NJW had stretched from Hackensack to Hanford.

In 1870, it changed its name to the New Jersey Midland Railway (NJM), and consolidated with three other competing companies, including the NJH&D.[9]

The NY&OM reached Middletown, New York, and leased the connecting Middletown, Unionville and Water Gap Railroad (MU&WG), which reached the NJM at Hanford. The last stretch of construction from Hackensack to Jersey City completed the NJM in 1872. The first train from Oswego, New York to Jersey City operated on July 9, 1873.

While the goals of the two partners had been reached, the Panic of 1873 caused financial ruin for both companies. The NY&OM suspended lease payments, and the agreement was broken. The NY&OM was reorganized as the New York, Ontario and Western Railway in 1879, and went its separate way. The NJM also took over the lease of the MU&WG. Unable to weather the financial storm, the NJM was put into receivership in 1875.[9]

In 1880, the NJM was reorganized as the New Jersey Midland Railroad (NJM), which sought to transport lucrative anthracite from the Coal Region of eastern and northeastern Pennsylvania.

In 1881, the New Jersey Midland Railroad was consolidated with five other railroads to form the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway. The new New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway extended west to Gravel Place, Pennsylvania, and connected with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W). The NYS&W also had a connection to the DL&W at Knowlton Township, New Jersey via the Blairstown Railway. Due to the increased volume of traffic, the railroad was double-tracked from Paterson to Jersey City in 1887. To reach the port on the Hudson River waterfront, traffic was handed off to the Pennsylvania Railroad at Marion Junction via the Hudson Connecting Railway. To keep more of the line haul revenue for themselves, the Susquehanna extended their line from their Little Ferry Yard through the new Palisades Tunnel to a new terminal at Edgewater where they had constructed coal docks for transfer from train to boat in 1892. The NYSW reached west of the Delaware River, and leased the Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad to access the Scranton area directly and divert traffic away from the Lackawanna.[10]

J. P. Morgan, the influential American financier, began noticing of this rapidly expanding coal-hauler, and quietly bought up its stock on behalf of the Erie Railroad. The railroad was leased in 1898 by the Erie, which soon after took over complete operation of the line.[8][11][12]

20th century[edit]

RDC M-5, used on NYS&W's passenger service in Syracuse, now on display at the Conway Scenic Railroad[13]

The NYS&W was reported as the first Class I railroad in the U.S. to completely replace its steam locomotives with internal combustion motive power, in the form of diesel electric locomotives, in early June 1945.[14] By that time the railroad was profitably operating a suburban commuter passenger service across New Jersey, as well as being a bridge line for freight connecting to several regional carriers.[15] Motorailers were employed for passen/ger service.

The NYS&W fell on hard times during the economic recession of 1957. In 1961, the NYS&W lost its western connection to the Lehigh and New England Railroad when the L&NE ceased operations, resulting in the NYS&W pulling up all its track west of Sparta Junction, which now comprises what is now known as the Paulinskill Valley Trail. The NYS&W subsequently sold its nearly new Budd passenger cars and replaced them with second-hand used equipment. Desperate to close its money-losing commuter service, the railroad's trustees offered its commuters $1,000 each to stop using the trains. Permission to end commuter service was granted in 1966. In 1971, Tropical Storm Doria cut off other connections, and the railroad was instead connected through Butler, New Jersey.

The NYS&W declared bankruptcy in 1976 after failing to pay New Jersey state taxes, though managed to stay out of Conrail, which had surrounded it. The bankruptcy court ordered that the railroad be abandoned and its assets sold. By then, the NYS&W was down to a 43-mile (69 km) line from Croxton and Edgewater through Paterson to Butler. The State of New Jersey, aware of Delaware Otsego Corporation's reputation at rehabilitating short lines, asked it to take over the railroad.

In 1966, Delaware Otsego was founded to operate a 2.6 mi (4.2 km) section of the former New York Central Railroad Catskill Mountain Branch outside Oneonta, New York. This was the first of many cast-off short line acquisitions. Between 1971 and 1986, D.O. acquired several other branches and short lines, including the Cooperstown Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railway in 1971, the Richfield Springs Branch of the Erie Lackawanna Railway (EL) in 1973, the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad in 1974, and The Stourbridge Line in 1976.[11]

In 1980, the Delaware Otsego Corporation purchased the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway.[11]

In 1988, Guilford Transportation Industries, now Pan Am Railways, which owned the Delaware and Hudson Railway, declared that road bankrupt and abandoned it after two labor strikes. The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway was ordered by the federal government to operate the D&H until a new buyer could be found.

In 1990, CP Rail, now Canadian Pacific, bought the Delaware and Hudson Railway System.

In 1990, NYS&W end service on its Edgewater Branch, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) long line connecting its former Hudson River terminal with the mainline in Fairview at Undercliff Junction. As of 2008, the tunnel carries a pipeline owned by the Amerada Hess Corporation.

In 1994, Onondaga County, New York purchased the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W) line into Syracuse, with the provision that the NYS&W operate RDC service in Syracuse between Syracuse University, Armory Square, and the Carousel Mall, with the option for further routes, leading to the creation of OnTrack. With operations on this segment, the Syracuse branch was rehabilitated and the Conrail interchange relocated. Regular steam excursions were offered and RDCs refurbished for OnTrack use. Intermodal trains rolled beyond Binghamton to Syracuse for interchange with Conrail. After a few years, regular excursions were halted.

With the impending break-up of the Conrail system to Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation, the NYS&W was a ripe target for acquisition, as it could potentially siphon lucrative traffic away from either road.

On October 3, 1997, DOCP Acquisition LLC announced it had completed the short-form merger of Delaware Otsego Corporation (NASDAQ:DOCP) with a wholly-owned subsidiary via a stock tender offer of $22 per share.[16]

Chinese steam operations and history[edit]

NYS&W#142 pulling an excursion train in Cortland, New York, in May 1992

In the 1990s, NYS&W President Walter Rich wanted a China Railways SY-type steam locomotive.[citation needed] The engine purchased, SY 1698M, was to be NYS&W #141, delivered eventually to Syracuse, New York. Transport was to be by cargo ship from the Tangshan Works in China via the Indian Ocean. Due to the Gulf War, shipment was delayed for several months.[citation needed] Then, the Norwegian freighter M/V Braut Team encountered a major cyclone in the Indian Ocean, flooded and sank on June 7, 1991, in the Bay of Bengal, and all cargo was lost.[17][18]

After the loss of #141, NYS&W made an offer to the Valley Railroad to purchase their Tangshan-built SY #1647 steam locomotive, which the Valley Railroad accepted in 1992.[19] The engine, altered and painted to look like a 1920s-era engine, was lettered and renumbered to #142, the next locomotive after the lost #141. The engine made runs throughout the NYS&W system, participating in the Steamtown National Historic Site opening in 1995,[20] the Dunellen Railroad Days and Lincoln Park Railroad Days. The engine also has double-headed with other steam locomotives, such as Chesapeake & Ohio 614 and Milwaukee Road 261. The engine is now operated by the Belvidere and Delaware River Railway for tourist excursions along the Delaware River. In late 2017, the locomotive was pulled from service to be rebuilt, which had not yet been completed as of late 2023.[21]

21st century[edit]

The deal brought the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYS&W), under control of Norfolk Southern and CSX, as DOCP Acquisition LLC, 10% of which was owned by Norfolk Southern, 10% by CSX, and 80% by Walter G. Rich of the Delaware Otsego Corporation.[22]

In 2005, the NYS&W leased the former Erie Main Line from Port Jervis to Binghamton from Norfolk Southern. Leased and operated under the name Central New York Railroad (CNYK), the CNYK is a "paper" railroad and all train operations and line maintenance is performed by Susquehanna personnel, while Norfolk Southern Railway retains overhead trackage rights. As of July 2023, there are only four trains a week operated by the NYS&W on the line, two in each direction. The Stourbridge Railroad (SBRR) depends on the NYS&W for interchange at Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania.

In 2006, NYSW's Utica Main Line had major storm damage. The storm damage washed out sections of track in Chenango County putting the branch to Utica out of service. NYS&W continued serving customers on the line in the Utica area and south to Sangerfield from the CSX connection in Utica. In 2011, a project to restore the line was started by the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency with funding by the agency, Chenango County, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the federal Economic Development Administration.

On August 9, 2007, Delaware Otsego founder Walter Rich died of pancreatic cancer.[23] After Rich's death, the new president, Nathan Fenno, canceled all passenger operations and excursions and the fleet used on them was sold-off. Many older diesel locomotives were sidelined, retired and sold during this time as well.

In July 2011, NYS&W took possession of five leased CEFX locomotives, to ease the railroad's continually worsening power shortage. These five locomotives were used as a supplement to its current EMD 645 fleet in road train service, and occasionally on local duty. It was not uncommon to see road train line-ups consisting of entirely-leased power.

In October 2015, U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell joined state legislators in creating a coalition to revive the project,[24] and in January 2016 the local governments of the involved municipalities passed concurrent resolutions to restart the project.[25]

New FRA-compliant diesel multiple unit rail cars will be used.[26][27][28] The project has been promoted via social networking blogs and Facebook,[29] resulting in Kinnelon officials publicly voicing support for the project.[30]

In March 2016, work began clearing brush along the 45.5-mile (73.2 km) right-of-way in Chenango County. Subsequent work included filling in washouts, replacing ties, resurfacing bridge decks, repairing and reactivating crossing signals, and other repairs. The restoration project was completed and rail service restored in May 2017.[31]

In 2021, the railway formally abandoned the Lodi and Passaic branch lines.[32]

The Bergen-Passaic Rail Line was a New Jersey Transit initiative in the mid-2000s, studying restoration of passenger service on a segment of NYS&W trackage between Sparta and Hackensack, New Jersey to alleviate traffic congestion on Route 23. The project encountered delays when a suitable location for a NJ Transit rail storage yard in or near Sparta Township could not be agreed upon.

Connections with other railroads[edit]

  1. CSX Transportation - Syracuse, New York; Utica, New York; North Bergen, New Jersey
  2. Norfolk Southern Railway - Binghamton, New York, Marion Junction (New Jersey) and the Passaic Junction (rail yard) rail yard in Saddle Brook, New Jersey
  • The railroad has connections with five other railroads:
  1. Morristown and Erie Railway and New Jersey Transit - Passaic Junction (rail yard), Saddle Brook, New Jersey
  2. Middletown and New Jersey Railroad - Warwick, New York
  3. Finger Lakes Railway - Syracuse, New York
  4. Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad (MHWA) - Utica, New York
  5. Stourbridge Railroad - Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania


State Location Station Miles (km) Date
NJ Jersey City Pavonia Terminal 0.0 miles (0 km) December 1, 1911[34] December 12, 1958[35] Until December 1, 1911, the railroad used the Pennsylvania Railroad's Exchange Place Terminal.[34]
North Bergen Susquehanna Transfer August 1, 1939[36] June 30, 1966[37] From December 13, 1958 – June 30, 1966, Susquehanna Transfer served as the southern terminus of the railroad. The station shared service with the Erie Railroad Northern Branch.
North Bergen 6.0 miles (9.7 km) June 30, 1966[37] Shared service with the Erie Railroad Northern Branch
New Durham 6.9 miles (11.1 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Shared service with the Erie Railroad Northern Branch
Northern Branch forks off at Granton Junction
Babbitt 8.5 miles (13.7 km) June 30, 1966[37]
Ridgefield Park Little Ferry 11.1 miles (17.9 km) June 30, 1966[37] Name of station (and associated freight yard) derived from Little Ferry, the ferry service that formerly operated across the Hackensack River here; the municipality of Little Ferry on the other side of the river was also named for the ferry service.
Ridgefield Park 11.8 miles (19.0 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Station co-served with the West Shore Railroad of the New York Central Railroad until they discontinued passenger service on December 10, 1959.[39] The original wooden passenger station was replaced by an ornate brick structure that opened on August 20, 1927.[40]
Bogota Bogota 13.2 miles (21.2 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Hackensack Hackensack 13.9 miles (22.4 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Prospect Avenue 14.6 miles (23.5 km) June 30, 1966[37]
Lodi Branch forked off west of Prospect Avenue
Maywood Maywood 15.3 miles (24.6 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Rochelle Park Rochelle Park 16.1 miles (25.9 km) June 30, 1966[37]
Saddle Brook Passaic Junction 17.4 miles (28.0 km)
Passaic Branch forked off at Passaic Junction
East Paterson East Paterson 18.6 miles (29.9 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] The station was known as Dundee Lake until October 1928, 12 years after the borough changed names to East Paterson.[41] Damaged in a fire on October 13, 1969, the railroad demolished the station soon after.[42] East Paterson changed its name to Elmwood Park on January 1, 1973.
Paterson Vreeland Avenue 19.3 miles (31.1 km) June 30, 1966[37] The railroad demolished the original wooden Vreeland Avenue station in 1949 and replaced it with a brick structure that opened in September.[43]
Broadway-Paterson 20.5 miles (33.0 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] The station served as junction to the Paterson City Branch, which discontinued service on January 8, 1960.[44] The station, abandoned for 12 years, burned on June 24, 1978.[45]
Paterson City Branch forked off to Paterson City station.
Riverside 21.9 miles (35.2 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Hawthorne Hawthorne 22.8 miles (36.7 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
North Hawthorne 23.4 miles (37.7 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] The station at North Hawthorne was first known as Van Winkles, named after a local family who donated the land for the new station and railway. Despite protests from the family, the Susquehanna moved the station to its modern location on May 24, 1891, when the railroad changed the name to North Paterson. The name changed again in 1923 to North Hawthorne.[46]
Midland Park Midland Park 25.2 miles (40.6 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Midland Park station burned on August 28, 1985, while serving as a furniture stripping company building.[47]
Wortendyke 26.5 miles (42.6 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Wortendyke served as the home of the car repair shops until a fire on December 27, 1891. The shops were not rebuilt at Wortendyke, but moved to North Paterson station in 1892.[46]
Wyckoff Wyckoff 28.0 miles (45.1 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Franklin Lakes Campgaw 29.7 miles (47.8 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Crystal Lake 30.7 miles (49.4 km) March 11, 1872[38]
Oakland Oakland 32.0 miles (51.5 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Oakland station came down on November 25, 1957, to be replaced by a post office that included a small area for a railroad office.[48]
West Oakland
Pompton Lakes Pompton Lakes 35.0 miles (56.3 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37]
Pompton Junction 35.6 miles (57.3 km) January 1, 1873[49][50] This station marked a junction with the Erie Railroad's New York and Greenwood Lake Railway. The abandoned station burned to the ground on May 8, 1941.[51]
Riverdale Bloomingdale 36.8 miles (59.2 km) March 11, 1872[38] Despite being named after the borough of Bloomingdale, the station was actually in nearby Riverdale.
Butler Butler 38.0 miles (61.2 km) March 11, 1872[38] June 30, 1966[37] Formerly known as West Bloomingdale, Butler served as the northern terminus of commuter passenger service until its discontinuation on June 30, 1966.[37]
West Milford Smiths Mills 39 miles (63 km) March 11, 1872[38]
Wharton and Northern Railroad merges with the railroad at Green Pond Junction
Charlotteburgh 43.4 miles (69.8 km) March 11, 1872[38]
August 7, 1942[52][53]
March 21, 1941
September 1944[54]
Macopin Lake Branch forks off at Macopin Lake Junction
Newfoundland 45.1 miles (72.6 km) March 11, 1872[38]
August 7, 1942[52]
March 21, 1941
September 1944[54]
Oak Ridge 47.0 miles (75.6 km)
August 7, 1942[52]
March 21, 1941
September 1944[54]
Hardyston Township Stockholm 50.4 miles (81.1 km)
August 7, 1942[52]
March 21, 1941
September 1944[54]
Beaver Lake 53.9 miles (86.7 km)
August 7, 1942[52]
March 21, 1941
September 1944[54]
Hanford Branch forked off at Beaver Lake station
Ogdensburg South Ogdensburg 57 miles (92 km)
Sparta Sparta 60.2 miles (96.9 km) Sparta station burned in an early morning fire on September 3, 2012.[55]
Sparta Junction 63.1 miles (101.5 km)
Lafayette Township Hyper-Humus 65.9 miles (106.1 km) Junction with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad's Sussex Branch
Hampton Township Halsey 68.4 miles (110.1 km)
Swartswood 71.3 miles (114.7 km)
Stillwater Township Emmaus
Stillwater 75.3 miles (121.2 km)
Frelinghuysen Township Paulina
Marksboro 79.8 miles (128.4 km)
Blairstown Blairstown 82.9 miles (133.4 km)
Kalarama 84.7 miles (136.3 km) Citing low sales, the station at Kalarama was to be moved to Vails in a similar fashion to North Hawthorne. The station fell off the rail platform it had been moved to, tumbled down an embankment, and fell apart.[56]
Vail 86.5 miles (139.2 km)
Knowlton Township Hainesburg 89.1 miles (143.4 km)
Hainesburg Junction 89.4 miles (143.9 km)
Warrington 91 miles (146 km)
Delaware Branch forked off after Warrington station
Columbia 91.7 miles (147.6 km)
Pahaquarry Township Howeys Howeys station was a summer flag stop east of Dunnfield.[57]
Dunnfield 95.3 miles (153.4 km) February 16, 1941[58]
Delaware River
PA Smithfield Township Water Gap 97.9 miles (157.6 km) February 16, 1941[58]
Stroudsburg Stroudsburg 101.2 miles (162.9 km) February 16, 1941[58]
Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad forked off west of Stroudsburg
Gravel Place 103.6 miles (166.7 km) February 16, 1941[58] Western terminus of NYSW

Rolling stock[edit]

Road Number(s) Photo Manufacturer Model Powertrain Notes
3010, 3014 EMD SD40T-2 Diesel–electric In 1978, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad ordered 12 EMD SD40T-2s (order #776098) numbered #5386 to #5397. The same year the Southern Pacific Railroad ordered 15 SD40T-2s

(order #776069) numbered #8307 to #8321. The engines in the order featured extended "snoot" noses for radio control equipment. Around the early to mid 1990s, D&RGW #5397 was painted in the SP "bloody nose" paint scheme after the D&RGWs Consolidation with SP but kept its original number. In 1996, after the merger into Union Pacific Railroad, #5397 was renumbered to #8589 but kept its paint scheme. After the Merger, SP #8321 stayed nearly the same having not been repainted or renumbered. Around 2002, #8589 and $8321 were sold to the Susquehanna and were renumbered to #3002 and #3014. Not long after #3002 was renumbered to #3010. In 2007 both engines were sent to American Motive Power in Dansville, NY to be repainted and rebuilt. Both engines were rebuilt to meet the 2007 EPA diesel engine emission standards. Unlike #3012 and #3016, they kept their car bodies but, #3010 was reclassified by the Susquehanna as a SD40-2. Around late 2011 to early 2012 #3010 was put out of service along with nine other locomotives (#2062, #2064, #2066, #3618, #3634, #4050, #4052, and #4054). To this day #3010 sits in storage at Binghamton yard while #3014 is operational.

3012, 3016 SD33ECO In 1978, the Southern Pacific railroad ordered 75 SD40T-2's from EMD (order #786174) numbered #8499 to #8573. The SD40T-2's were perfect for SP as they were designed for mountainous areas and tunnels. In 1980, they ordered 70 more units (order #786265) numbered #8230 to #8299. Around the late 1990s to the early 2000s, #8242 and #8542 were sold to the Susquehanna. They were renumbered #3012 and #3016 but kept their SP "bloody nose" paint scheme until they were repainted in 2003. In 2007, both units were sent to American Motive Power in Dansville, NY to be rebuilt. #3012 and #3016 were rebuilt into SD33ECOs to meet the 2007 EPA diesel engine emission standards. On Thursday August 9, 2018, #3016 and three other SD60s (#3800, #3802, #3806) pulling SU-99 hit a washed out section of track at mile marker 171.87 (near Deposit, NY) and derailed. Unlike the other engines, #3016 suffered minor damage and was later returned to service. In 2020, #3012 and #3016 were fitted with Operation Life Saver New Jersey decals on both sides of their long hood.
3018, 3022, 3024
SD40-2 In 1978, the Southern Railroad ordered 33 SD40-2 high hood units (order #776044) from EMD numbered #3255 to #3287. In 1982, after the merger into Norfolk Southern, #3267 was painted into the black and white NS paint scheme. In the early 2000s, Big Dog Lines purchased the locomotive. The Susquehanna leased #3267 from 2002 to 2003 and later bought it in 2004 from BDLX. It was renumbered to #3018 and was later sent to AMP in Dansville, New York to be rebuilt in 2006. #3018 was rebuilt and had its nose chopped for better visibility. In 1966, the Norfolk and Western Railroad ordered 30 SD40s with high hoods from EMD (order #5707) numbered #1580 to #1609. After the 1982 merger into NS #1605 was painted into the black and white NS paint scheme. In the early 2000s, BDLX bought the locomotive and leased it to the Susquehanna from 2002 to 2003. Like #3018 they bought #1605 in 2004 and renumbered it to #3022. In 2006 #3022 was rebuilt and had its nose cut. The Susquehanna reclassified #3022 as a SD40-2 but still kept its SD40 car body. In 1979, the Burlington Northern Railroad ordered 55 SD40-2's, 39 of which were built in the US (order #786294) numbered #7167 to #7205, and 16 in Canada (order #C422) numbered #8074 to #8089. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, Helm Financial bought #7200 but never painted it. In the early to mid 2010s, NS purchased #7200 repainted and renumbered it to #3553. In late 2020, the Susquehanna purchased the locomotive and renumbered it to #3024. They painted it into the "black jacket" paint scheme which is a modified version of the Norfolk Southern's with the "S-ball" logo on the nose and with "Susquehanna" written on the side. On Monday April 17, 2023, #3024 rolled out of the Butler shops wearing a maroon and grey heritage scheme.
3040 GP40 ex-CSX, commonly used on the NYSW's Utica Branch especially when switching at FX Matt Brewery.
3618, 3634 SD45-2 They were a bulk order of former BN SD45's. 3618 and 3634 are the only two engines that remain. 3634 was out of service up until recent years where they were put back in service.
4060, 4062, 4064, 4066 SD70M-2 In 2005, the Norfolk Southern railroad purchased 78 SD70M-2s from EMD (order #20046650) which were numbered #2649 to #2700. In early 2006, NS took delivery of 78 more units (order #20056710) numbered #2701 to #2778. After almost one and a half decades, NS started to sell the M-2s. The Susquehanna was one of the buyers, purchasing #2751, #2774, #2708, and #2684. From late 2020 to early 2021, each of the four units were delivered one by one. They were swiftly stripped of all their NS labeling and painted into the Susquehanna "Black Jacket" paint scheme and renumbered to #4060, #4062, #4064, and #4066. Each engine was painted into the "Yellow Jacket" scheme, starting with #4064 around March 5, 2023. The next engine to be painted was #4062, which was painted around the 2nd of April, 2023. The next engine, #4066, was painted nearly 10 days later around April 4, 2023. The last engine to be painted was #4060, it was painted around April 27, 2023. What separates this scheme from the rest that they have "Susquehanna" written out across the top of the nose which is a throwback to the GE B40-8 units which sported the same look nearly two decades ago. The M-2s are often seen at the head end of SU-99 and SU-100 and sometimes even local trains in North Jersey.




Photo Manufacturer Model Powertrain Notes
M-1, M-2,

M-3, M-4,

M-5, M-6,

M-7, M-8

Budd Company RDC1 Diesel–


The Susquehanna would receive two RDC1 demo cars from the Budd Company numbered #2996 and #2997. The RDC's were a success and the Susquehanna would order four of them. #2996 and #2997 would become M-1 and M-2, M-3 and M-4 would join them in October 1950. The RDC's replaced the older Motorailers as they were much more flexible in being able to run individually or in groups. Eight years later in April 1958, they were sold to the CNJ and operated through the Conrail era up until the end of the CNJ. In the 1990s, the Susquehanna acquired four RDC's from the Metro-North numbered #18, #11, #43, and #65. The new engines M-5 through M-8 would operate the On-Track shuttle service in Syracuse, NY. M-1, M-2, and M-4 survive today and are owned by the NYS&W Technical and Historical society. M-5 survives today on Conway Scenic Railroad as the #23. M-7 survives today on the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad as #9167. M-8 survives today in disrepair on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad as the #8.
100 N/A Buda Streamlined Inspection car Gas-mechanical In 1940, the Susquehanna purchased a four-wheel inspection car built by the Buda company. It was a small multi-person inspection locomotive used by the Susquehanna's MOW crew. In 1960, the vehicle was sold and later scrapped.
101, 104 ALCO RS-3 Diesel–electric In 1952, the D&H placed an order for 25 ALCO RS-3's, part of the order would include #4088 and #4117. #4088 served the railroad for 20 years before being retired. Right before it was about to be scrapped the, Central New York Railroad bought the engine renumbering it to #101. The engine would be later painted in the D&O's burgundy and gold paint scheme. Not long after the Susquehanna acquired the locomotive, it was later painted in their iconic yellow and black paint scheme. In a deal with the Rome Locomotive Works, they would do work on some of the Susquehanna's other locomotives in return for the #101 which they would use as a shop switcher. At the shops, the locomotive would regain its original number as #4088. The #4117 ran on the Delaware and Hudson Railway for nearly two decades before being sold to the United Railway Supply Co in April 1972. In October of 1937, the engine was sold to the Roberval and Saguenay Railroad as #29. Not long after, the Adirondack Railroad would buy the #29 to run trains between Utica and Lake Placid, New York for the 1980 Winter Olympics. With the poor financial state of railroad, they sold the engine to the Susquehanna where they renumbered it to #104 in April 1982. In the early to mid 1990s, the #4088 and #4117 were sold to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and were later scrapped in 1996.
116 EMD NW-2 In 1948, the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad placed an order for 21 EMD NW-2 switcher locomotives, one of those being #116. After many years operating on the NYO&W, the engine was sold to the New York Central Railroad and was renumbered to #9501. The Penn Central acquired the locomotive around the late 1960s, most likely through the PC Merger. It was renumbered to #8684 and served nearly a decade on the railroad until the creation of Conrail. Again most likely through the merger of Penn Central and multiple other failing railroads, the engine would join Conrail's fleet of locomotives being renumbered to #9264. Around the mid-1980s, #9264 was bought by Adelbert L. Button, a fan of the O&W and a member of the Delaware Otsego's board of directors. The engine regained its original number and paint scheme and was leased to the Susquehanna. In 2009, the #116 was, "willed to the Delaware and Ulster Railroad", where it still operates today, but is in poor condition.
120 SW-9 In 1953, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad placed an order with EMD for 35 SW-9 switcher locomotives. One of the 35 locomotives in the order was #5091. 32 years later the engine would be sold to the Susquehanna as #120. Around the late 1990s to the early 2000s, the locomotive was sold to the American Motor Power Inc as a shop switcher. The current whereabouts of the engine are unknown.
SY class


Tangshan Locomotive Works Steam In 1989, a 2-8-2 Mikado type steam engine was built for the Valley Railroad by the Tangshan Locomotive Works in Tangshan, China. It was numbered #1647 and only ran for two years. In 1991, the Susquehanna purchased a near identical locomotive numbered #141. On June 7, 1991, the Norwegian freighter (Braut Team) which was carrying #141, encountered a major cyclone and sank in the Bay of Bengal. Undeterred by the loss of #141, NYS&W President Walter Rich made an offer to buy the Valley Railroad #1647 in 1992. They excepted the offer, it was renumbered to #142 and painted to resemble a 1920s-era engine. It would pull multiple excursion trains attending events such as the Steamtown grand opening in 1995, the Dunellen Railroad Days, and the Lincoln Park Railroad Days. #142 has double-headed with Milwaukee Road #261, Chesapeake & Ohio #614, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad #807 and #808, and NYS&W #2400 and #2402. Today, #142 operates on the Belvidere and Delaware River Railway running excursion trains along the Delaware River.
150, 151
Whitcomb 20T Gas-mechanical The small four-wheel locomotives were originally built for the Army (#7720 and #7723) in 1942 by Whitcomb. The engines were later sold to the Susquehanna in 1946. They were used to switch Seatrain cars at the Susquehanna's Edgewater Terminal. In 1960, the two engines were sold, #150 is preserved today at the Whippany Railroad Museum. The whereabouts of #151 are unknown.
202, 203,

204, 205, 206, 208

ALCO S2 Diesel–electric At about the same time as the Susquehanna purchased the RS-1's (1941-42), they also received six S2 switchers (#202-206, #208) from ALCO. #203 and #205 are the only engines from the order that do not have M.U. capabilities. Every S2 switcher was scrapped where they sat at Little Ferry except for #206 which sits at the Maywood Station Museum.

232,233(2), 234, 236,

238, 240,

242, 244,

246, 248,

250, 252,

254, 256

RS-1 In 1941, the Susquehanna ordered two RS-1's, being #231 and #233. The model had just been introduced that year by ALCO only producing 13. The two engines only saw a few months of service before World War II broke out and the units were requisitioned by the government. #231 returned to the United States later as a Navy unit while #233 would end up on the US owned Alaska Railroad. When the government allowed ALCO to resume domestic production, a new #231 and #233 were produced for the Susquehanna. In 1944, the Susquehanna would order eight more units (#230-244, even only). In 1947, they would order an additional four engines (#246-252, even only). Again in 1953, the Susquehanna would order their last two RS-1's (#254 and #256). The Susquehanna's original two engines (#231 and #233, including the remakes) were their only RS-1's to have odd numbers as they did not have the M.U. feature. On Monday, April 19, 1976, #252 rolled out of the Little Ferry roundhouse wearing its new bicentennial paint scheme to commemorate the United States Bicentennial. #252 would keep its new look up until the early 1980s where it was painted back into the "yellow jacket" paint scheme. The #231(1) survives as the US Army #8000. The #246 survives today as the Atlantic Coast Line #1846.



ACF Motorailer Diesel–


Looking to cut costs the court appointed trustee of the Railroad, Walter Kidde ordered ACF Motorailers #1001 and #1002.Seeing the success of the Motorailers four more were bought second hand from the Illinois Central Railroad numbered #1003-1004 and #1005-1006. They were bi directional semi-permanently coupled two car sets. On January 20, 1946 #1001 caught fire at Passaic Junction and was completely destroyed. Every Susquehanna Motorailer is confirmed as scrapped.


EMD GP18 Diesel–electric In 1961 EMD sent the Susquehanna four GP20 demonstrator units (#5625-#5628). In 1962, they secured a Federal loan for the purchase of three GP18's instead of the GP20's as they did not have Turbocharger and were easier to fix. As per the Susquehanna's numbering system all three of the GP18's had M.U. capabilities. All three units survive today operating on the East Penn Railroad keeping the same numbers they had on the Susquehanna.
2400, 2402
E9 In 1954, six EMD E9's (#9990-9995) were built for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad as part of EMD order 2065A. A year later, the CB&Q placed an order for 10 more engines (#9985A/B-9989A/B). In March 1970, CB&Q #9991 and #9985 became BN #9921 and #9915 as part of the merger of several railroads into the Burlington Northern Railroad. In the early-mid 1990s, both engines were sold to the Susquehanna and were renumbered to #2400 and #2402. The two engines pulled multiple passenger and excursion trains including excursions with #142 and CP#2317 during the grand opening of the Steamtown National Historic Site. In mid 2000s, the two units were sidelined due to mechanical issues. Not long after they were sold to Larry's Truck and Electric and were moved to McDonald, Ohio. In 2013, #2400 and #2402 were sold to the San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad. They now sit on the Cape Cod Central Railroad in Hyannis, #2402 is currently being used for parts to repair #2400.
J. G. Brill Model 250 Gas– electric With the success of other Doodlebugs, the Susquehanna purchased #1171 from the Boston and Maine on November 23, 1940.
3002 N/A Purchased from the Cumberland & Pennsylvania RR, it was built in 1929 as #101. When the Western Maryland bought the C&P they shut down their passenger service the #101 was sold to the Susquehanna.
3636, 3638 EMD F45 Diesel–electric In 1971 the Burlington Northern ordered 20 EMD F45 locomotives (order #5774) which were numbered #6626-#6645. The reason why they went with the full-width body locomotives was to protect the crew and the engine from the harsh winter conditions. Because of the poor rear visibility almost all of the units were retired by1980s. #6640 and #6644 were later sold to the Susuqheanna. (to be continued)
5012 Electro-Motive/Bethlehem Steel Stillwell baggage coach


Gas– electric The car was part of a joint project between EMC and BSC as part of an order for 11 cars. It was put into service on the Erie as #5012 in the late 1930s. It was leased to the Susquehanna but was later returned in 1944 as they had acquired additional railcars and diesels. It survives today at the Ohio Railway Museum and is the only known surviving Susquehanna EMC Doodlebug.


See also[edit]


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Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]