I am following up with a closer examination of the New York Central Railroad. This railroad only lasted until 1968 when it merged into Penn Central. I picked 1950 because the Great Depression was done, World War II was done and Steam was done.
But, what was it like in 1950?
What better source than the 1950 Annual Report! I have scanned the most interesting pages and included below. You can also see the entire 1950 Annual Report on-line.
You will also be interested in “What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen”
First of all, the highlights of 1950:
Revenue passengers 20,004,513 versus 40,025,946 in 1946
Average number of employes 110.950
Amount of d i v i d e n d per share $1.00
The mileage operated by the Company
M a i n line and branches 3,623
Lines operated under lease or contract 6,300
Trackage rights 803
You will find more statistics on the exhibits below.
Now for some of the stories, both big and small, from the Annual Report/
Application was filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity permitting the abandonment of the portion of the Cape Vincent Branch extending from Limerick, New York, to the end of the line at Cape Vincent, New York, a distance of about 15.75 miles. From historian Russ Nelson: Line From Rome to Cape Vincent Was Completed in April, 1852. First shipment of silk via Canadian Pacific came over the line. A ferry at Cape Vincent, The Lady of the Lake, connected the village with Kingston, Ont., and the trains were operated to connect with the ferry. Extensive docks and piers were built and a great wooden-covered passenger station was erected. This was built in 1852. It resembled a great barn with a huge gap of an entrance where the trains ran through. This old station stood from 1852 until 1895. The end of the station was a tale of tragedy. On the night of Sept. 11, 1895, the train from Watertown arrived on time to connect with the Kingston boat. Suddenly a violet storm swept over Cape Vincent and passengers on the dock sought shelter inside the great station. The wind swooped down on the ancient structure, lifted it off the ground and then dropped it, smashing the whole building in a great crash. Two person were killed and many more were injured. The Eastern Greyhound lines announced that the regular bus service will be maintained on the route.
The new passenger station known as the Central Union Terminal at Toledo, Ohio, was placed in service with appropriate dedication ceremonies.
The Trustees of the N E W Y O R K , O N T A R I O A N D W E S T E R N
R A I L W A Y C O M P A N Y advertised for bids for the sale of the property in its entirety or by sections. This Company submitted a bid for the purchase of the 13 mile section between Fulton and Oswego, New York, which bid, however, was rejected by the Trustees.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, in Finance Docket No. 16693, on July 19, 1950, approved and authorized trackage rights over the line of railroad owned by the
N E W Y O R K , O N T A R I O A N D W E S T E R N R A I L W A Y C O M P A N Y between Fulton and Oswego, New York, on more favorable terms than had been granted heretofore. This makes feasible the handling of freight traffic via this trackage section which affords a shorter distance than the route previously used via Pulaski, New York. Agreement was made with the N E W Y O R K , O N T A R I O A N D W E S T E R N R A I L W A Y C O M P A N Y in regard to these trackage rights on September 6, 1950.
I M P R O V E M E N T S O N L E A S E D O R C O N T R O L L E D P R O P E R T Y
Amsterdam, Chuctanunda and Northern Railroad $21,448 66
Beech Creek Extension Railroad 1,472,611 27
Beech Creek Railroad 9,988 21
Boston and Albany Railroad 727,396 54
Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Railway 4,148 22
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St Louis Railway 1,070,674 87
Detroit, Hillsdale and South Western Railroad 157,537 58
Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Railroad 540 6 0
Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad 160,668 34
Fort Wayne and Jackson Railroad 354,895 25
Grand Central Terminal Improvements, New York 52,233,188 10
Hudson River bridges at Albany 1,505,900 73
Hudson River Connecting Railroad 188,579 03
Improvements on leased piers, New York 654,211 88
Improvements to ticket office, Chicago, Illinois 98,331 15
Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad 169,780 17
Kalamazoo, Allegan and Grand Rapids Railroad 17,324 82
Lake Erie, Alliance & Wheeling Railroad 2,630,481 81
Mahoning and Shenango Valley Railway
Mahoning Coal Railroad 284,872 53
Michigan Central Railroad 101,179 43
Mt. Gilead Short Line Railway
New Jersey Junction Railroad 610,449 45
New York and Harlem Railroad 31,584,969 83
New York State Realty and Terminal Company 3,198,896 33
Shenango Valley Railroad
Stewart Railroad „
Stockyards, New York—West Side 1,220,954 15
Toledo and Ohio Central Railway 333,866 76
Troy and Greenbush Railroad 238,925 55
Wallkill Valley Railroad 224,696 94
West Shore Railroad 27,703,960 02
Investments in affiliated companies
The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company—
—common scrip 47,028,800
Detroit Terminal Railroad Company 2,000,000
The Hudson River Bridge Company at Albany 500,000
The Hudson River Connecting Railroad Corporation 250,000
Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company 7,600,000
T R U S T E E S :
Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago (formerly Illinois Trust and Savings Bank)
Guaranty Trust Company of New York
Central Hanover Bank and Trust Company, New York (formerly Central Union Trust Company)
Manufacturers Trust Company, New York (formerly Metropolitan Trust Company)
Irving Trust Company, New York (formerly Knickerbocker Trust Company)
United States Trust Company of New York
Bankers Trust Company, New York
The Chase National Bank of the City of New York
The First National Bank of the City of New York
J. P. Morgan & Co., Incorporated
A S S I G N E E :
Public National Bank and Trust Company of New York
The National City Bank of New York
(note: only Chase and JP Morgan remain today)
REVENUES FROM TRANSPORTATION for 1950
Anthracite coal $10,734,623
Bituminous coal 106,400,190
Iron ore 8,352,352
All other freight 413,736,269
Total freight $544,621,430
Parlor and chair car 347,738
Other passenger-train 1,622,986
Water transfers.—freight 207,886
Water transfers.—passenger 253,001
Water transfers—vehicles and live stock 237,876
Water transfers—other 82,347
T O T A L $730,760,442
|This quiz appeared in the January 1950 New York Central Headlight
Take a try at it and check your here
1950 NY Central Railroad Billboards
All the locomotives in service on the NY Central at the end of 1950 and the change during the year.
All the passenger and freight cars in service on the NY Central at the end of 1950 and the change during the year.
1950 Dividend Income from investments of the NY Central Railroad.
1950 Management Structure of the NY Central Railroad.
1950 Table of tracks of the NY Central Railroad
1950 Table of tracks of the NY Central Railroad
1950 Table of tracks of the NY Central Railroad
1950 Table of tracks of the NY Central Railroad
|Boston & Albany Railroad.
Revitalized Boston Yard in 1950.
Commuters got an order of new cars in 1950.
(Photo clipped from an old New York Central Headlight)
1950 Outlook from New York Central’s Executives
1951 Annual Meeting (review of 1950)
Directors of the New York Central Railroad
Robert F. Loree
Mr. Loree, a Director since 1933, is President, Treasurer and Director of Florham Park Dairies, Inc., the development of a life-long interest in farming. After graduation from Yale University in 1912, he entered upon a banking career in the Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company, New York. He transferred to the Guaranty Trust Company in 1915 and rose to the position of Vice President in 1925. During World War I, he was financial advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury on the Inter-Allied Council for War Purchases and Finance-and was assistant to American financial advisors at the Presidential Peace Conference in Paris in 1918-19.
Edward B. Greene
William G. Mather
William E. Levis
Malcolm E. Aldrich
Raymond D. Starbuck
Lawrence N. Murray New York
Alexander C. Nagle
William H. Vanderbilt
Winthrop W. Aldrich
|1950 Directors of the NY Central Railroad.
From Utica Observer-Dispatch
In 1950, Thomas E. Dewey was still Governor of New York State. When he left office, he entered private law practice. One of his clients was the New York Central Railroad. He presided at Central’s annual stockholder meetings. In 1957, Dewey told stockholder rights advocate Lewis Gilbert to “SHUT UP”.
In 1950, a train moves through the station at Poughkeepsie. Note all the “head end” cars. See the New Haven’s “Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie” in the background. Picture complements of Wayne Koch.
Less-than-carload freight was big money in 1950. This classic picture outside the Utica freight house shows the colorful “Pacemaker” paint scheme on both box car and truck.
All the great train stations of the New York Central System. Grand Central Terminal, Buffalo Central Terminal, Utica Union Station, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Harmon, Beacon, Oneonta, Saranac Lake, Malone, and others. Even some not owned by NY Central but a destination for Central trains: like Montreal
|1950 saw the New York Central putting new diesel switchers to work. These little Lima-Hamiltons went to the Big Four in Indianapolis and Cincinnatti; and to the Indiana Harbor Belt|
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Way back when, Utica had three railroads besides the New York Central.
The Ontario & Western ran north through Clinton and followed the route of the current highway arterial into a connection with the NY Central Main Line. O&W had an industrial branch serving industries along Campion Road in New Hartford. At one point in my life it even crossed over Campion Road to serve factories along Genesee Street. This last section was out of service by 1957 (the coal tipple they served burned). 1957 saw the demise of the O&W. The New Hartford branch and some customers along Fay Street in Utica went to the DL&W. Everything else was torn up. An old roundhouse where Burrstone Road crossed on a bridge had previously been sold. It burned in 1960. Fay Street was active through the end of Conrail operations in April, 1982. After Sunset Lumber went out and the new Scheidleman Warehouse was built on the Canal Branch service down the Fay Street line was only a few times / year. Part of this O&W line was severed between Canal Branch and the West Shore diamond about 1971 and Erie Lackawanna trains routed over the West Shore from the DL&W diamond to the former O&W / West Shore diamond to access O&W again and back down into “Mohawk Containers” on the spur. The O&W was a very busy piece of industrial trackage in Utica into the 1970’s with thousands of carloads. Doeskin went out about Nov 1971 and it has been all down hill since. Regarding the O&W, the yard office was still standing I believe until the late 1960’s, well after the arterial was built and the new Scheidleman warehouse built. Nearby in Clinton there are some historical markers near the old O&W yards and I think the O&W freight house may still stand.
Jefferson Smurfit (was Mohawk Container) closed in 2011: On an historical note, with the loss of this customer, the NYS&W will no longer use the former O&W trackage, a remnant of the “Old & Weary’s” Utica Branch. Smurfit was always THE major customer on this little spur (approx 2 miles long), which includes a bridge over the Sauquoit Creek. A building firm (Carparelli Bros.) used to receive an occasional boxcar and, occasionally, Niagara Mohawk received a shipment. The end-of-the-line trackage leading to Carparelli has been OOS for a long period too. As an old New Hartford resident, it is very sad to see the end of this line.
The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western came north from Binghampton and parallel the O&W through South Utica. It then headed slightly west and did a “street run” on Schuyler Street. It too had a branch (the “Blue Line”) that paralleled the former Erie Canal. DL&W then connected with the NY Central Main Line. (They even had passenger service from Union Station until 1950). DL&W / O&W diamond was taken out CA 1962 – 1963 as part of the arterial project whereby the Erie Lackawanna was relocated on the former O&W row and the southbound arterial lane occupied the former DL&W. The warehouse should have been a good revenue producer for EL but the damage claims were too high. Also just out of town south of New Hartford is the DL&W depot on Kellogg Road (removed from track side to the west 1/4 mile or so) and a little further south is the DL&W Chadwicks depot still at track side.
The DL&W Blue Line map (attached) only shows the branch going to the old trolley bridge that also carried Whitesboro Street. It extended beyond that at least two/thirds of the way to Main Street in New York Mills. It originally was just a short stub off the main and served a coal dumper trans loading coal brought up from Binghamton (Scranton area) for the Erie Canal and probably also local Utica business. About 1900 it was extended to serve the industrial sector along what is now Oriskany Street, formerly the canal. The Blue Line name comes from the fact that it followed the “blue line” of the canal as represented on survey maps. Not sure when it was torn out but guess in the early or mid- 90’s, just at one point it was gone. It was always in very poor condition. Driving along that area you will be amazed at all the brownfields where buildings once stood. A very sad sight. Now also contrary to popular opinion and misguided lore, the Blue Line NEVER connected with the West Shore Mills Branch which still ends in New York Mills by OW Hubbell and neither did it ever run west and connect with the NYC RR mainline. Sad to think back at all the freight in and out of the area “not so long ago”. According to the book “Railroad Days” by Louis Langone Jr, at one point there were about thirty rail-served businesses along the two miles of the Blue Line. If you look at a Utica map and follow the line west parallel to Erie and Oriskany Streets and keep heading towards New York Mills. Past Meyers Ave (end of Whitesboro St.) locate Calder Ave and then locate 2nd and 3rd streets. The Blue line was parallel and just off Oriskany Blvd but if you got to the end of track and walked perpendicular in a southerly direction you would end up just shy of where 3rd Ave intersects Calder Ave. Should make sense when you look at the map. The end of line was simply a dead end tail track almost immediately behind the Adult Book Store, maybe about 3 car lengths long. Just enough to clear and make the reverse move onto the siding to spot the refers. The customer at the very end of the Blue Line was called Griffiths, they received fruit. Next to them to the east was McCraith Beverages. McCraith had been at the south end of Schuyler Street then out on the Blue Line. Sometime after NYSW took over in 1982 McCraith built the present facility on the Mills Branch. I think the next place was a small team track near the lamp showroom store and might have gotten poles on flat cars. Niagara-Mohawk ? It was rare to see anything there and I can’t recall the track as being capable of holding more than one car. Next place going east was Foster Paper who was a big shipper outbound paper and Dunlop was near Foster but I never recall them being a customer by the late 1970’s.
The West Shore (really New York Central) cut diagonally through East Utica (numerous grade crossings), continued across Genesee Street, crossed the DL&W and the O&W and headed to Clarks Mills, Vernon, etc. It had a branch serving the factories in New York Mills. West Shore connected with the New York Central Main Line at Harbor. It also had a branch running along Broad Street. The West Shore / EL (was Lackawanna) consolidation was completed in August of 1971. This allowed for Penn Central to use the EL Schuyler Street trackage to access the Mills Branch eliminating the tracks through Utica / South Utica. This also allowed the EL to abandon the O&W trackage from Canal Branch to the O&W/West Shore diamond and routed the EL crews serving Mohawk Containers and Sitrue / Doeskin onto the West Shore from the former DL&W (EL) diamond with the West Shore to the O&W. This project eliminated the DL&W / O&W diamond and the O&W / West Shore diamond. Harbor – NY Mills branch about 1971. The line through South Utica to a junction with the NYC mainline at Harbor was out of service sometime after 1965. This section featured at least 16 unprotected grade crossings that required a flagman to cross. Industrial trackage which served the old textile mills in New York Mills remained. In 1949, Harbor line West was double tracked and had a 35 MPH speed limit. By 1961, it was single tracked and had a 15 MPH speed limit (some 10 MPH). My 1967 NYC ETT shows only Clark Mills-Vernon abandoned as of that date. It also shows a scheduled freight #1194/#1195, going from Canajoharie to New York Mills, daily except Sunday. 17 stop and flag crossings in South Utica per the chart in the book (notes they’re 6AM-6PM only). Speed appears to be limited to 15 MPH west of MP 180. Checking my 1974 PC ETT shows nothing for the West Shore between South Fort Plain and Waynesport, however I know segments of West Shore remained as industrials in Warners, Newark and Clyde past that date, and of course NYS&W still operates the West Shore branch in Utica. The West S
New York Mills Branch was active in the early 1960’s. It ran to Hubbell’s and then dead-ended at a supermarket. Hubbell received wood in double-door box cars and scrap railroad rail (from Unadilla Valley Railway) on flat cars. Up until about September 1981 the former EL crews still did the work on the O&W and the ex PC crews still ran over to the Mills Branch. Then CR executed some sort of a pooled equity agreement and the Sangerfield Local began running over to the Mills as needed and PC engine crews and brakemen began to bid into the former EL territory. At times if work was heavy an extra called UT-95 would be called in to perform yard work on the Mills Branch, O&W or Blue Line as needed to free the road crew up to concentrate on the Sangerfield work. All the PC / EL stuff became moot for this territory after Susquehanna took over in April 1982. What is left out on the Mills Branch ? I recall that line being very slow in the later 1970’s with a PC crew working down the EL to get to it after the 1971 track realignment but only occasionally. Then about 1979 Conrail sent out a production gang and rebuilt it. Never touched the ex-EL trackage. Never figured that out. Then about late 1980 the seniorities and jobs were restructured and the Mills Branch became a regular part of the ex-EL Sangerfield Local’s work instead of a UT-95 or whatever that traveling switcher was designated that was a PC crew. I recall it was slow even in early NYSW days with SCI and another customer I now can’t recall being about the only business there at the time served regularly. O.W. Hubbell receives an occasional flatcar of steel. Covered hoppers at another plant (used to be Bonide Chemical) number about 4 per week. McCrath Distributors receives a couple of boxcars of beer per week.
Broad Street Industrial Branch, which connected to former West Shore appears to have ended at intersection of Park Ave and Broad St. Last train was in March, 1982. A few days later the line was OOS and the EL side sold off to NYS&W.
A few things of interest in the area:
1. Utica Union Station – worth spending some time there
2. The NYO&W freight house still stands just to the west of Union Station and the Genesee Street overpass
3. Further west is the ex-DL&W / EL freight house, now part of the NYSW mechanical facility
4. Across the CSX main tracks from the NYSW is the old Utica & Black River RR (RW&O) roundhouse / car shop that is now a private industrial facility.
5. East of Union Station is one of the few remaining New York Central interlocking towers (Tower 30) long ago decommissioned and later a yard / crew office in Conrail days.
6. Follow the DL&W / NYSW tracks west (railroad south) and you may be able to see the remains of the post 1900 DL&W locomotive facility area. Last I knew down in the forest the turntable was still there. This is just north of Oriskany Street Crossing and east of the tracks.
7. After checking that out follow the DL&W south of Oriskany Street and you will see the old DL&W crossing tower. An elevated structure painted and restored by the U&MV Chapter, NRHS over the years wearing DL&W colors. This is at the foot of Schuyler Street. It was erected about 1952 when the Lackawanna abolished the multiple crossing watchmen down the street and the tower itself probably was the tower that originally protected the Erie Canal crossing in an earlier era (Oriskany Blvd being the route of the canal).
8. From the tower south is the approximately .62 miles of street running where in EL days 100 cars trains ran down the street twice a day (Trains NE97-NE74 from 1974 – 1976). Current operations end at Sangerfield about 22 miles south.
9. Follow the arterial (Route 12) south from Oriskany Street and on your right will be (if not recently removed) an old abandoned looking spur. This was the NYO&W from Clinton and Norwich and you can follow it south until just before the point it crossed (later tied into) the DL&W / EL).
10. Following Route 12 south from there you come upon Canal Branch the area where the old Scheidleman warehouse is located. This was the “new” NYO&W yard area and the yard office and roundhouse where torn down in the Mid- ’60’s to make room for the new warehouse. The NYSW is at this point on the O&W right of way due to the arterial construction in 1963.
11. Exit at French Road and make a left onto Chenango and you will pick up the O&W again which dead ends near the Yahnundasis Golf Course and serves as a tail track for backing into the area behind New Hartford Shopping Plaza. This was all industrial sidings and originally O&W, later DL&W and NYSW is the current operator.
12. Just past the old GE / Martin Marietta plant you will see the former West Shore that now comes off the DL&W/NYSW main. Originally this was a diamond with the West Shore heading east towards South Utica and Harbor. Much is still visible as a wide open empty corridor and it is not too hard to find the old Right of Way. The O&W / West Shore also had a diamond near where the West Shore “Mills Branch” takes off for New York Mills now operated by NYSW also.
13. Follow Oriskany Street west from where the DL&W crossed Schuyler Street and you will be following the “Blue Line” a DL&W industrial spur built out about 1900 to Yorkville area (the end of the line was a restaurant called the Red Barn but I think now it is an adult book store. This line was removed sometime in the ’90’s but there are a few remains to be seen.
14. East of Union Station about in the area of the Post Office facility and sewage treatment plant was the site of the big NYC RR roundhouse and locomotive service facility.
Going out 5S there are still a couple former West Shore bridges, one across the main road, and the ROW can be followed more or less on east as far as you want to go. In Mohawk (about 15 minutes east) is the closed Mohawk Station restaurant which has a boxcar and a former Bangor & Aroostook caboose along with some other things outside.
In addition to Rome Air Depot, which became Griffiss Air Force Base, the other major military presence in Oneida County during World War II was Rhoads General Hospital on Burrstone Road in Utica. It was served by the O&W. Started in 1942, 180 buildings holding 1,750 beds were built. Patients arrived on special medical trains on the New York, Ontario and Western tracks which came into a siding in back of the hospital. I suspect they came to Utica and O&W picked them up there. Rhoads Hospital was named for Col.. Thomas Leidy Rhoads, a career Army surgeon. He was a Pennsylvanian, being born in Boyertown in 1870. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1893. After the war he was posted to Fort Dix, New Jersey, and received the rank of full colonel in 1926. He retired in 1933 and died in 1940.
Serving over 25,000 soldier patients, Rhoads Hospital was important to their recovery and to the war time economy of the area in World War II. Additionally, many Uticans were employed there and others served as volunteers. Finally, while most of the buildings are history, the land has been developed extensively some sixty years later.
New Hartford Historical Society has published an article on the three railroads of New Hartford.
See a map of the Blue Line
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