Webb’s Wilderness Railroad

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Welcome to our Adirondack Railroads WebSite

William Seward Webb‘s building of the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railroad was a notable achievement. Although educated as a physician, he built two hundred miles of railroad in a short period of time and opened up wilderness where others had failed.


Webb’s ancestors came to this country in 1626. His grandfather was a general in the Revolutionary War. His father was a newspaper editor who coined the name “Whig” for the political party of that name. He also served as ambassador to Austria and Brazil. William Seward Webb was born in New York City on January 31, 1851. He went to Rio with his parents in 1861 and returned to the United States in 1863 to attend a military academy at Sing Sing, New York. There he spent five years, after which he went to Columbia University until 1871. This was followed by two years of medical studies in Paris and Vienna, then more medical school at Columbia. He interned for two years, set up a private medical practice, then got interested in business.

He became a partner in a Wall Street firm. In 1885 he was elected president of the Wagner Palace Car Company and remained in charge of that corporation until it was merged with the Pullman Company in 1899. He used his executive talents to make Wagner into a strong and profitable enterprise. He increased the rolling stock from 170 to 800 cars.

In 1881 Dr. Webb married Lila Osgood Vanderbilt, youngest daughter of William H. Vanderbilt, by whom he had four children.

“Adirondacks” means “tree eaters” to the Indians, so named because a tribe who lived there had to eat bark because it was so tough to find food sometimes. Geographically, the region is bordered on the east by Lake Champlain; on the south by the watershed of the Hudson and Mohawk; and on the north and west by the St. Lawrence valley and Lake Ontario. The region stretches about one hundred miles east-west and seventy-five miles north-south. It consists of rugged mountains, virgin forests and numerous streams and lakes. The New York State Legislature established the area as a forest preserve and as a park. Dr. Webb made the Adirondacks a practical reality to the people of New York and the whole United States.

While several railroads touched the borders of the Adirondacks ( Delaware & Hudson from Albany to Rouse’s Point for example), none really went into the Adirondack Park until between 1868 and 1874 when the Whitehall & Plattsburgh (later D&H) extended to Ausable Forks.

The Sacketts Harbor & Saratoga struggled with the Adirondacks for twenty-three years beginning in 1848. In 1863, Dr. Thomas C. Durant acquired the floundering company, changed its name to the Adirondack Company, changed the proposed terminus from Sacketts Harbor, and built as far as North Creek. The D&H acquired the road in 1889.

Other railroads entered portions of the Adirondack Park. The Chateaugay Railroad ran from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake by 1887. A railroad was built from Carthage to Benson’s Mine near Cranberry Lake to haul out iron ore. John Hurd’s lumber road (later Ottawa Division of the New York Central) ran from Moira to Tupper Lake.

To give some idea of the traveling conditions in 1890, it took twenty-four hours to get to the Fulton Chain of Lakes from Utica. First there was a railroad trip from Utica to Boonville and a stay there overnight. Then a stage ride to Moose River Village. Then a ten-mile trip over a wooden railroad with horse-drawn cars to Minnehaha followed by a little steamboat through the winding channel and last a hike of three miles to Old Forge.

Aside from opening the Adirondacks to the public, an Adirondack route represented the only route not already preempted for trade between the Port of New York and Canada. Canada has winter problems and everything becomes ice-bound except Halifax and St. John. Therefore, New York is a better winter alternative from the Canadian Northwest which can ship to Montréal and Québec in the summer.

The New York Central had no direct entry into Montréal and was at the mercy of the roads which did. The Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburgh avoided the Adirondacks by a long haul to the west. The Delaware & Hudson monopolized the Champlain Valley. A combination of the Fitchburg, Rutland and Central Vermont ran to the east of Lake Champlain. By 1890, the New York Central planned to confront the RW&0 and was considering a parallel route, possibly from Rome to Boonville and on to the St. Lawrence over an old line which had been partially graded previously.

Dr. Webb had always been an Adirondack enthusiast. He hunted and fished a lot. He thought a lot about building a railroad through the Adirondacks and was encouraged by the New York Central.

Dr. Webb planned that his railroad would start in Herkimer and follow the West Canada Creek into the Adirondacks. He acquired the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railroad with the plan to standard gauge it. He hired George C. Ward to lay out a line from Remsen to Paul Smiths and on to Malone.

By 1891, the RW&O had sold out to the New York Central. The Central now had no interest in another route through the Adirondacks, but Webb proceeded with his railroad anyway.

The route he selected was to be from Poland to Remsen and then north by way of the Moose River. At Remsen, there was a junction with the RW&O. Later on, traffic would go through Utica to Remsem and then north. Finally the Herkimer-Poland-Remsen route would dry up. Webb tried to buy John Hurd’s road to Moira from Tupper Lake but couldn’t reach a deal.

With the northern terminus fixed at Malone, Webb acquired a partially complete route and trackage rights to the St. Lawrence and a connection to Montreal via the Grand Trunk.

Construction of the line was carried out with earnest, and with all the energy that was characteristic of Dr. Webb. A number of companies were organized to cover different portions of the line. Summer rains made bogs of the roads over which supplies had to be hauled, and the winter cold froze the ground to be graded. Some of the contractors brought in black laborers from Tennessee, but the cold was very difficult for them and many quit. Newspaper articles were unjustly critical of Webb. Although the contractors brought the blacks in, Webb personally did a great deal to improve their working conditions.

There were some dark moments because the route was blocked by state land which could not be sold since the land was in a forest preserve. Where possible, Webb bought private lands. The D&H lobbyists in Albany made sure no rules were broken. At length, a way was found out of the difficulty. A court ruling determined that Forest Preserve land could be exchanged for property of equal or greater value.

By mid-1892, the railroad was complete to Thendara (Fulton Chain) from the south. From the north, it was complete to Saranac Lake (later Lake Clear Junction), Tupper Lake Junction and Childwold. Sleeping cars ran into the northern points that summer via a circuitous route: Utica to Norwood on the RW&O; Norwood to Malone on the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain; then over the Adirondack & St. Lawrence. Even so, this route was faster than the D&H and Chateaugay route from New York which involved a train change at Plattsburgh because the Chateaugay was narrow gauge until 1903.

The summer of 1892 saw a race to close the gap before another winter. It was sort of like building the first transcontinental railroad, except instead of Irish vs. Chinese, it was blacks vs. St. Regis Indians. By mid-October, the two lines met near Twitchell Creek Bridge. A one hundred and ninety-one mile railroad had been built in eighteen months!

While trains immediately began running to Montréal, much ballasting, widening, etc. had to be done over the next several months. A branch from Lake Clear Junction to Saranac Lake connected with the tail end of the Delaware & Hudson‘s former narrow gauge line from Plattsburgh which reached Lake Placid. The completed project was reincorporated as the Mohawk & Malone Railway Company (but still called the “Adirondack & St. Lawrence Line”) and was leased to the New York Central in May 1893. Webb stayed involved with the line between Malone and Montréal for several more years.

Dr. Webb was a community builder as well as a railroad builder. Although much of the Adirondack land was owned by the state or by large tract holders like the Adirondack League (a private hunting and fishing club), Webb purchased 147,000 acres. He sold a lot of this land in the Fulton Chain and Big Moose area at moderate prices for camps. Permanent settlements were established which have grown into thriving communities. Webb succeeded where others, like John Brown of Providence, failed. Chauncey M. Depew characterized this work as “the fairy tale of railroading”.

In 1898 Dr. Webb joined with a number of other large land owners in the construction of the Raquette Lake Railroad. Collis P. Huntington of the Southern Pacific Railroad purchased a large camp on Raquette Lake. When traveling to his camp, he had to park his two railroad cars at Old Forge and take a series of small steamers through the Fulton Chain of Lakes. On one trip he had to ride all the way sitting on a keg of nails. He decided the time had come to build a railroad. Some of his neighbors that joined him in this venture were J. Pierpont Morgan, William C. Whitney and Harry Payne Whitney. Nehasane Lodge was built in 1893 on the shores of Lake Lila. The Webbs kept open house for relatives and friends during the hunting and fishing seasons for many years.

Nehasane Park Association was a private park and game preserve built by Webb. The name Ne-Ha-Sa-Ne is an Indian term meaning “beaver crossing river on log”. Any reputable sportsman could obtain a free permit to hunt and fish on certain portions of the preserve providing game laws, park rules and fire prevention measures were observed. At one time, a portion of the park was fenced in and stocked with big game like moose. That experiment ended when forest fires burned the fence.

Forest conservation was an important concern of William Webb. He was opposed to the destructive methods of lumbering currently in use. He sought the advice of Gifford Pinchot, later United States Forester and later still Governor of Pennsylvania. He was also advised by Henry S. Graves, later the dean of the Yale Forestry School. In addition, every effort was made to see that the railroad did not set any fires. Extra screens were installed on locomotive smokestacks. Firefighting equipment was placed along the right-of-way.

“Ninety Nine” and “Nehasane” were observation engines on which Webb was fond of taking friends for rides. “Ninety Nine” was originally a construction engine Webb had converted to a “Pony engine”. When it proved too small, he had American Locomotive build him the “Nehasane”.

The Adirondack Division continued to operate as long as there was a New York Central Railroad. However, passenger service ended in 1965 Just like it was doing elsewhere, and the Lake Clear Junction to Malone track had already been torn up. In 1972 storm damage caused the Penn Central to abandon the line.

The New York State Department of Transportation purchased the right of way and track in 1975. The Adirondack Railway was incorporated to rehabilitate the line and restore service by the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The AR used Conrail track between Utica and Remsen. Although the track had been rehabilitated, derailments were common and the line shut down in 1981.

In addition to everything else, Webb was President and Chairman of the Rutland Railroad and held directorships on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway, the Pullman Company, the National Life Insurance Company of Vermont, the Fulton Chain Railroad, the Fulton Navigation Company, the Raquette Lake Transportation Company and many others.

For many years he was a resident of Shelburne, Vermont, where he had a 4,000 acre estate on Lake Champlain. He bred prize-winning Hackney horses there. He was in the Vermont Legislature for two terms. He had four brothers, one of whom was Henry Walter Webb, former Operating Vice President of the New York Central. He died in Shelburne on October 29, 1926 at seventy-six years of age.

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Group Backs Improvement of Adirondack Railway Line
On March 27, 2006, the
Utica Observer-Dispatch reported that a coalition of about 40 Adirondack-area groups said it has launched a campaign to try to get New York State help to improve the railway corridor from Remsen to Lake Placid.

Adirondack On Track Partnership launched the effort at the Saranac Lake train station. Rehabilitation and modernization of the line would cost an estimated $20 million, according to the partnership.

The priority should be the Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake segment, at a cost of about $6.7 million, the coalition said.

The line currently supports tourism train services between Lake Placid and Saranack Lake and also has had operations in the Old Forge area.

The state Transportation Bond Act was approved by voters in the fall and contains unallocated funding for upstate rail projects.

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bigmoosestation

Big Moose Station

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Summary of Dates for how New York Central (now CSX) got to Montreal:
1889 – The 1st connection of a future NYC line to Montreal. The United States & Canada RR (under Grand Trunk Ry lease) connected at Massena to the Norwood & Montreal RR (leased by the RW&O). The US&C line became Canadian National Ry while the N&M merged into the RW&O, which in turn became the NYC. The route out of Massena crossed into Canada at Fort Covington, through Huntingdon and ended at Brossard on the GTR line that went from St-Lambert (bridge to Montreal) to Rouses Point.

1893 – The 2nd future NYC connection to Montreal. This was when the Mohawk & Malone Ry (NYC operated) opened throughout from Herkimer to Malone Junction, where the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Ry (leased by NYC) started to continue north. That company crossing into Canada just north of Constable and went through Huntingdon, Cecile Junction (Valleyfield) , Beauharnois, Chateaugauy and connected to Canadian Pacific Railway at Adirondack Junction, just south of the St. Lawrence Bridge. NYC had running rights on CPR to get into Montreal. The M&M would merge into NYC while the SL&A remained under lease until the Conrail years.

1937 – With the abandonment of the Ottawa Division between Tupper Lake Junction and Helena, NYC is granted running rights over CNR from Massena to Helena.

1961 – NYC abandoned the Adirondack Division between Gabriels and Malone Junction. They received extended running rights on CNR from Helena to Huntingdon.

1980 – SL&A is abandoned from Malone Junction to Huntingdon.

1986 – SL&A merged into Conrail.

1993 – Conrail purcahsed from CNR the line from Massena to Huntingdon, making a continuous Conrail line from Syracuse, Watertown, Massena, Helena, Huntingdon, Cecile Junction, Beauharnois, Chateaugauy and Adirondack Junction. The CNR is abandoned east of Huntingdon to St-Isidore Jct.

2001 – Due to breaking an existing agreement with the Kahnawake Reserve, CSX places the section of track from Beauharnois to Adirondack Junction into Non-Service. This section is not abandoned. Instead, CSX gained running rights for their through trains over CNR from Cecile Junction, through Valleyfield to Coteau Station, where CSX then switches to CNR’s main line to reach Montreal.

2004 – CPR and CSX agree to temporarily disassemble the junctioning track at Adirondack Junction.

2005 – After a few weeks of workers using a hi-rail truck and rail tools, Chateaugauy arrest these people for stealing the rails to sell the steel. CSX did not contract anyone nor abandoned that track. Kahnawake Council is later absolved from having any participation in the removal while those arrested were released but charged with “theft over $1000”. Not sure what they received as punishment.

2007 – With talk of the Montreal Maine & Atlantic RR being a potential purchaser of the CSX line from Adirondack Junction through Massena to at least Watertown, the Kahnawake Band Council express a welcome of a new operator for the rails. AMT expresses interest again to operate trains over that stretch to Valleyfield if a new owner/operator gets the tracks.

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oldforge

Old Forge

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New York Central tracks reached into the Adirondacks. One line even went across the Canadian border to Ottawa

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Ever stop to realize how many railroads either were built or contemplated in the Adirondacks? If every railroad was ever built that was proposed, the region that currently sees very little activity would be criss-crossed from end to end.

Way back in 1834, a company named the Manheim and Salisbury Rail-road Company was chartered by the Legislature to run from Little Falls to Raquette Lake. It changed its name to the Mohawk and St. Lawrence Rail Road and Navigation Company and actually was surveyed (but not built). In 1846, a group of investors proposed a combination railroad and steamboat route from Lake Champlain to Oneida County.

By 1853, the Sacketts Harbor and Saratoga Railroad Company was surveyed. Its unfinished route, called the Adirondack Railroad, was sold to the Delaware and Hudson in 1889. It was built between 1865 and 1871 by Dr. Thomas Clark Durant. Although it terminated in North Creek, its 1848 charter provided for service to the Adirondack Iron Works. This objective was finally reached in 1943 in order to mine titanium. The line never came within 100 miles of its original objective of Lake Ontario.

1866 saw a charter being issued to the Schenectady and Ogdensburg Railroad. This was not built, but the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg was built and ran on into Montreal.

The early “superpower” in the race to develop Adirondack railroads was the Delaware and Hudson which completed its linkage of Albany and Montreal in 1876. It also had spearheads into the Adirondacks: Plattsburgh to Ausable Forks; and Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake.

In 1890, Dr. W. Seward Webb, son-in-law of William H. Vanderbilt, began construction of a railroad from Herkimer (on the New York Central mainline) to Malone and on to Montreal. This touched off a battle with the D&H which then considered building from North Creek to Malone. It did not because it would have had to cross public forests and could not obtain the necessary permissions. The New York Central acquired control of the Mohawk & Malone from Webb in 1893 and shifted its southern terminus to Utica. At its greatest extent, the Adirondack Division (sometimes still called the M&M) ran 224 miles from Utica to Adirondack Junction (nine miles south of Montreal).

Tourists, lumbermen and developers followed the advance of Webb`s railroad. Branches were built to Old Forge and Raquette Lake. This physician-turned-financier was one of the leading forces in the development of the Adirondacks. He ended up selling most of his land holdings to NY State and just kept his large estate at Ne-ha-sa-ne. Although shown on the timetables, this was a private station (87 miles from Utica) and not just anybody could use it. Trains needed prior permission to stop. Webb’s sale agreement with the New York Central provided that the railroad would not sell a ticket to Ne-ha-sa-ne unless the purchases could prove he had an invitation from Webb.

In addition to Utica-Montreal freights, Adirondack Division freights ran to Tupper Lake from Remsen, between Tupper Lake and Malone, and between Adirondack Junction and Malone. In 1910 freights ran six days a week. By 1915 there were two freights daily each way between Tupper Lake and Malone, as there were south from Tupper Lake to Remsen. Over the years, service dwindled. Service between Lake Clear (north of Tupper) and Malone ended in 1960. Malone was then reached by trackage rights over the Rutland and later over the Canadian National. At the end of passenger service in 1965, only one freight a week ran between Remsen and Lake Placid. Through passenger service from Utica to Montreal had ceased in 1953 however commuter runs from Malone to Montreal ran until 1958. By the time Penn-Central ceased operation in 1972, a lone peddler freight ran every other week.

The territory that the railroad passes through was very scenic and beautiful. It was also thickly forested and subject to fires. Being part of the State Forest Preserve Territory, much care had to be exercised by train crews and maintenance employees. Employee timetables gave very specific instructions on what to do in the event of spotting a forest fire.

Diesels on the division were usually ALCO road switchers. Before dieselization around 1950, Class K Pacifics (4-6-2) were the predominant power.

In 1897, the New York and Ottawa Railroad Company was formed by a group of investors allied with the Delaware and Hudson. Acquiring the Northern New York Railroad from Moira to Tupper Lake, it built from Moira to Cornwall on the St. Lawrence River. The Northern New York began construction in 1883 as the Northern Adirondack Railroad Co. and was completed in 1889. It was headed by a John Hurd who had a large mill in Tupper Lake. It built two bridges (the first collapsed in 1898) and reached Ottawa. The intent was to reach the D&H at North Creek, but the Forest Preserve Board never let this happen. This forced the road into bankruptcy and it was bought by the New York Central in 1904. In 1913 the New York & Ottawa was merged into the New York Central as the Ottawa Division. The Ottawa Division contained numerous logging branches. One of the largest concentrations of “forest-related” industries was St. Regis Falls (12 miles south of Moira). At its busiest time from 1909 to 1912, the line had two passenger runs each way daily plus the freights. By the 1930’s, passenger service had dwindled to once a day and a freight served the line three times a week. Service was cut between Moira and Tupper Lake in 1937.

Moira to Ottawa passenger service even included sleepers that went on to Grand Central Terminal via the St. Lawrence Division. Passenger service between Helena and Ottawa continued as late as 1948. A piece of the branch from Helena to Rooseveltown survived and is connected to Massena via trackage rights over the Canadian National.

There was a junction with the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain at Moira. Both roads shared the depot but had separate yards. In the early 1960s, while going to school in the North Country, I remember one of the popular restaurants was called The Crossroads in Moira. I also remember there wasn’t really much in the town to indicate that it had been quite a rail center. The Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad ran to Rouses Point and Vermont. By 1901 it was the Rutland Railroad. It was built between 1848 and 1858 as the Northern New York Railroad (the title should not be confused with John Hurd’s railroad). Passenger service was discontinued in 1953 and freight in 1963.

While it is sometimes assumed that the New York Central (or a predecessor) built the line to Lake Placid, it may surprise many readers to learn that this line was operated by the Delaware & Hudson as an 83 mile branch from Plattsburgh between 1903 and 1946. The New York Central had trackage rights between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. In 1940, the segment of the D&H line between Plumadore and Saranac Lake, which closely paralleled the New York Central was abandoned. A connection was built at Plumadore so D&H trains could use NYC trackage from there to Lake Clear Junction and on to Saranac Lake. In 1946, the D&H cut back its branch as far as Lyon Mountain and sold the 9 miles between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to the New York Central.

This brief outline only touches on the history of the Adirondack railroads. I’m leaving gaps in this story to be filled and the modern-day plight of these railroads for another day’s story.

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ogdensburgbridgeportauthority

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority
The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority owns two shortline railroads that are operated by a private contractor d/b/a the New York and Ogdensburg Railway Company. This railroad serves the Port of Ogdensburg and connects with CSX, thus providing total intermodal service for industries of Northern and Central New York, as well as Eastern Ontario, Canada

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adirondacktimetablemapsmall

Map of Adirondack, St Lawrence and Ottawa Divisions
From New York Central 1948 Employee Timetable

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1836 Herkimer & Trenton Railroad created to built between those places. The line was never built.
1850 Potsdam Railroad created to link Potsdam to the Northern Railroad.
Watertown & Rome Railroad opened from Rome to Camden.
1851 Watertown & Rome opened into Watertown.
1852 Watertown & Rome opened from Watertown to Cape Vincent.
Potsdam & Watertown Railroad created to build from Watertown to the Northern Railroad at Norwood.
1853
Black River & Utica became the Utica & Black River Railroad and was to be built to Philadelphia.
Watertown & Rome merged with Potsdam & Watertown to become the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
1862 Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg opened from DeKalb Junction to Ogdensburg.
Grand Trunk Railway began to operate a car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott.
1863 Dr. Thomas C. Durant acquired the Sacketts Harbor & Saratoga, changed its name to the Adirondack Company, changed the proposed terminus from Sacketts Harbor, and built as far as North Creek.
Oswego & Rome Railroad created to link Oswego to the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad. Leased to RW&O.
1866 Oswego & Rome Railroad opened from Richland to Oswego.
1868 Syracuse Northern Railroad created to build a rail line north from Syracuse.
1869 Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor Railroad created to link those places.
1870 Utica & Black River created the Black River & Morristown Railroad to connect their railroad to Morristown.
1871 Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor opened from Watertown to Sackets Harbor.
Utica & Black River created the Clayton & Theresa Railroad to connect those two points.
Utica & Black River created theOgdensburg & Morristown Railroad to connect those two points.
Syracuse Northern Railroad opened from Syracuse to Pulaski.
1872 Utica & Black River Railroad opened into Carthage.
Utica & Black River leased the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbour.
Black River & Morristown opened from Philadelphia to Theresa.
1873 St. Lawrence & Ottawa Railway took over the car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott.
Utica & Black River opened from Carthage to Philadelphia.
Clayton & Theresa opened from Rivergate Junction to Lafargeville.
Clayton & Theresa opened from Lafargeville to Clayton.
Black River & Morristown opened officially.
Syracuse Northern was built to Pulaski and Lacona. The Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad leased it shortly thereafter.
1874 Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor opened from Watertown to Carthage.
Black River & Morristown opened from Theresa to Redwood.
1875 Black River & Morristown was leased by the Utica & Black River.
Syracuse Northern Railroad became the Syracuse & Northern Railroad and was merged into the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
1878 Ogdensburg & Morristown opened from Morristown to Ogdensburg.
1879 Black River & Morristown opened from Redwood to Morristown.
1880 Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway was created to build the line that the Herkimer & Trenton Railroad did not build.
1881 Canadian Pacific Railway gained control of the St. Lawrence & Ottawa.
Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway opened from Herkimer to Middleville.
1882 Canadian Pacific created the Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company to operate the car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott. They began a car ferry between Morristown and Brockville.
The Ontario Pacific Railway was created to build from Cornwall to French River with branches from Cornwall to Smiths Falls and Cornwall to Moira.
Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway opened from Middleville to Poland.
1883 Northern Adirondack Railroad created to build from Moira to St. Regis Falls.
Carthage & Adirondack Railway created to build a railway into the Adirondacks to reach mines.
The Ontario Pacific was allowed to extend from French River to Sault Ste. Marie and the branch line to Smiths Falls would leave the main line at Newington and end at Almonte with a third branch from Douglas to Pembroke.
Northern Adirondack opened from Moira to St. Regis Falls.
Black River & Morristown merged into theUtica & Black River.
1884 Norwood & Montreal Railroad created byRome, Watertown & Ogdensburg to link Norwood to Massena where a Canadian company was to link up.
1885 Northern Adirondack completed laying rail between St. Regis Falls and Santa Clara, but was to transfer this section to a different company.
Utica & Black River leased by the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
1886 Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad created by Northern Adirondack. The trackage from St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara was transferred to this new company and was to extend to Tupper Lake.
Clayton & Theresa and Ogdensburg & Morristown merged into Utica & Black River.
Utica & Black River merged into Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
Northern Adirondack Extension opened from Santa Clara to Brandon.
Norwood & Montreal opened from Norwood to Massena and was leased by the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
1887 Carthage & Adirondack opened from Carthage to Jayville.
Chateaugay Railroad ran from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake
The Elmira, Cortland & Northern (later part of the Lehigh Valley) had extended from Canastota to Camden in 1887. Camden was on the Rome to Watertown section of the RW&O. The EC&N chartered the Camden, Watertown & Northern. Although some construction was started, it never really had a chance and just died.
1888 Canada Atlantic Railway created the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway to build from Valleyfield to Malone.
Canadian Pacific Railway created South Western Railway to build from Caughnawaga to Dundee.
1889 Northern Adirondack Extension opened from Brandon to Tupper Lake.
Carthage & Adirondack opened from Jayville to Benson Mines.
Norwood & Montreal merged into Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
Delaware & Hudson acquires Adirondack Company to North Creek.
1890 Northern Adirondack Extension merged into Northern Adirondack.
Saranac & Lake Placid Railroad created to link Saranac Lake to Lake Placid.
Northern Adirondack officially began to run to Tupper Lake.
Herkimer, Poland & Jock’s Lake Railroad never took control of the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway, which meant that the line was now ready to grow on its own by Dr. W. Seward Webb.
Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway was created to build from Poland to Noblesborough.
1891 Mohawk & Adirondack Railroad created to link Poland to Malone.
Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg leased by the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad.
Malone & St. Lawrence Railroad was created to build from Malone to the international border and was leased by the Central Vermont Railroad.
Mohawk & Adirondack was split into two separate companies, the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad was to build the section from Remsen to Malone.
Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway merged into the Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway which became the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway.
1892 Malone & St. Lawrence opened from Malone Junction to the international border where the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway opened to Cecile Junction and used Canada Atlantic and Grand Trunk to reach Montreal.
Gouverneur & Oswegatchie Railroad created and leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad merged with Herkimer, Newport & Poland Extension Railway and Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway (Herkimer – Poland) to become theMohawk & Malone Railway.
Mohawk & Malone opened from Malone Junction to Childwold Station with a branch from Lake Clear Junction to Saranac Lake.
Mohawk & Malone opened south of Childwold Station to connect to their southern part, becoming a whole line.
Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway standard gauged its line.
Mohawk & Malone Railway opened from Poland to Thendara, as well as a branch from Prospect Junction to Hinckley.
1893 New York Central & Hudson River leasedMohawk & Malone and Carthage & Adirondack.
Gouverneur & Oswegatchie opened in from Gouverneur Junction to Edwards and passenger service inititated.
Saranac & Lake Placid opened from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. Mohawk & Malone had running rights over this.
Through trains on the Mohawk & Malone Railway were moved to the Utica & Black River Ralroad between Utica and Remsen.
1894 Northern Adirondack went into receivership.
Malone & St. Lawrence ended their lease with Central Vermont and was leased byNew York Central & Hudson River.
1895 St. Lawrence & Adirondack began to use Canadian Pacific’s Windsor Station in Montreal.
Northern Adirondack was and became theNorthern New York Railroad.
Malone & St. Lawrence merged into St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
1896 Carthage & Adirondack opened from Benson Mines to Newton Falls.
Fulton Chain Railroad opened from Thendara to Old Forge.
Grand Trunk Leased the St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company ended ferry service between Morristown and Brockville.
Canadian Pacific released South Western and it was leased by St.Lawrence & Adirondack. South Western leased Grand Trunk’s line from Beauharnois to Valleyfield.
South Western. merged into St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
Saranac & Lake Placid leased by Chateaugay Railroad.
1897 St. Lawrence & Adirondack opened a new route from St-Stanislas-de-Kostka to Valleyfield and from Beauharnois to Adirondack Junction, where they used Canadian Pacific to enter Montreal. The original Cecile Junction trackage was made into a spur.
The Ontario Pacific became The Ottawa & New York Railway and was to build from Ottawa to Cornwall and cross the St. Lawrence River to link to an American railroad.
New York & Ottawa Railroad was created to build from Moira to the St. Lawrence River to connect with The Ottawa & New York.
Cornwall Bridge Company created to build the south span bridge over the St. Lawrence River.
Northern New York merged into the New York & Ottawa.
1898 New York Central & Hudson River became the operators of the St. Lawrence & Adirondack and leased it.
The Ottawa & New York was purchased by the New York & Ottawa and dropped “The” from their title.
Ottawa & New York opened from Cornwall to Ottawa.
Cornwall Bridge Company’s bridge collapsed, killing 15 workers.
New York & Ottawa opened from Moira to Nyando (Rooseveltown).
1899 New York & Ottawa Bridge Company created to operate the St. Lawrence bridge crossing.
Racquette Lake Railway opened privately from Carter to Racquette Lake.
1900 New York & Ottawa was in receivership.
Racquette Lake opened to the public.
Cornwall Bridge Company opened the bridge crossing between Nyando and Uscan.
Ottawa & New York opened from Cornwall to Uscan.
New York & Ottawa Bridge Company leased the St. Lawrence River bridge crossing at Cornwall.
New York & Ottawa/Ottawa & New York bridges opened officially.
1901 Delaware & Hudson Company took overChateaugay Railroad.
1902 Norwood & St Lawrence Railroad opened
1903 Saranac & Lake Placid merged withChateaugay Railroad and Chateaugay Railway to become Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway.
Delaware & Hudson rerouted parts of the Chateaugay & Lake Placid and made it standard gauge. It was leased long term as the Chateaugay Branch.
1904 Grand Trunk purchased the Canada Atlantic.
New York & Ottawa was sold at an action in Utica.
1905 Grand Trunk sold the St. Lawrence & Adirondack to New York Central & Hudson River, who kept the name.
New York & Ottawa became the New York & Ottawa Railway.
New York & Ottawa and Ottawa & New York leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
1906 New York Central & Hudson River began to operate the New York & Ottawa andOttawa & New York.
1908 The swing span of the north channel bridge for the Ottawa & New York collapsed when the Cornwall Canal broke open.
A temporary swing span was put in place for the Ottawa & New York.
1909 A new swing span was in place for theOttawa & New York.
1913 The following railroads merged into theNew York Central & Hudson River: the New York & Ottawa as the Ottawa Division; theMohawk & Malone as the Adirondack Division; the Carthage & Adirondack as the Carthage & Adirondack Branch; and theGouverneur & Oswegatchie as the Edwards Branch. The Oswego & Rome Railroad.
The following railroads merged into theNew York Central & Hudson River: the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg, the Utica & Black River and Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbour as the St. Lawrence Division (Ogdensburg – Carthage); the Clayton Branch (Clayton – Rivergate Junction); the Carthage Branch (Carthage – Watertown); the Watertown Branch (Massena – Watertown); the Ogdensburg Branch (Ogdensburg – DeKalb Junction); Cape Vincent Branch (Cape Vincent – Watertown) and the Sackets Harbor Branch (Sackets Harbour – Watertown).
1914 New York Central & Hudson River became New York Central Railroad; then became New York Central Lines.
1917 Old Forge and Racquette Lake merged intoNew York Central as its Old Forge Branch and Racquette Lake Branch.
1920 New York Central opened the Balmat Branch from Emeryville on the Edwards Branch to Balmat.
1930 New York Central purchased half of theCanadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company.
Delaware & Hudson Company became Delaware & Hudson Railroad.
1931 New York Central Lines abandoned the Hinckley Branch.
1932 New York Central abandoned the Old Forge Branch.
New York Central ended service on the Racquette Lake Branch until next summer.
1933 New York Central abandoned the Racquette Lake Branch.
1934 New York Central opened the Piercefield Spur from Piercefield Station to Piercefield.
1935 New York Central became New York Central System. All Divisions and Branches stayed the same except the St. Lawrence Division was now from Massena to Watertown and the Lyons Branch was from Ogdensburg to Carthage.
1937 New York Central abandoned the Ottawa Division from Tupper Lake Junction to Helena. The trackage from Tupper Lake Junction to Tupper Lake became a spur and access to Helena was by running rights on Canadian National Railways from Massena.
1940 Delaware & Hudson Railroad abandoned 22 miles Plumadore to Lake Clear Jct. Reached Lake Placid via trackage rights over New York Central.
1943 New York Central relocated the trackage of the Carthage & Adirondack Branch in Benson Mines.
Delaware & Hudson reaches mines at Tahawus
New York Central System abandoned the Adirondack Division between Prospect Junction and Poland.
1946 New York Central agreed to purchase and took possession of Delaware & Hudson’s line between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid as part of the Saranac Branch.
Delaware & Hudson abandoned Lyon Mountain to Plumadore.
1949 New York Central abandons Sackets Harbor to Watertown.
1952 New York Central abandoned the Cape Vincent Branch from Cape Vincent to Limerick.
1953 New York Central abandoned the remainder of the Cape Vincent Branch.
1956 New York Central abandoned the Lyons Branch from a point west of Ogdensburg to Redwood. The track in Ogdensburg became a spur.
1957 New York Central ran its last train over the Ottawa Division and officially abandoned the Ottawa Division from Rooseveltown to Ottawa. The remaining track became the Rooseveltown Spur.
Ottawa & New York was dissolved.
New York Central System abandoned the Rome Branch from Richland to Camden, leaving a spur in Richland that would be taken up in years to come.
New York Central System was paid $2,280,000 as an incentive to abandon the Ottawa Division, so that the Seaway Project would not have to pay for a costly reroute plan for the railway.
1959 New York Central System double tracked from Pulaski to Richland.
1961 New York Central abandoned the Adirondack Division from Malone Junction to Gabriels. The line to Lake Clear Junction became a spur and the Saranac Branch became part of the division. Access to the St. Lawrence & Adirondack was made over Canadian National’s line, continuing running rights from Helena to Huntingdon.
New York Central abandoned the Lyons Branch from Redwood to Theresa.
1963 New York Central abandons Watertown to Roots.
1964 New York Central began negotiations to buy the abandoned Rutland Railway from Ogdensburg to Rouses Point.
New York Central abandons Lyons Falls to Lowville, cutting line between Utica and Watertown.
1965 New York Central abandoned the Gabriels Branch and purchased ex-Rutland Railway’s line from Malone Junction to Morton Siding in Malone for the St. Lawrence & Adirondack. They also provided service over the trackage from Norwood to Ogdensburg for the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority.
Lake Placid – Utica passenger service ends.
1966 New York Central abandoned the Carthage Branch from Watertown to Great Bend.
Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority purchased the ex-Rutland line from Norwood to Ogdensburg, maintaining New York Central as an operator until they could get another company.
Delaware & Hudson Railroad abandoned Lyon Mt to Dannemora
1967 New York Central stopped operating the Norwood to Ogdensburg line since a new operator was ready to take over.
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA), owners of the then abandoned Rutland line between Ogdensburg and Norwood, created the Ogdensburg & Norwood Railway
1968 New York Central merged with Pennsylvania Railroad to become Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company then became Penn Central Transportation.
1970 Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company ended ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott.
Penn Central abandoned the remainder of the Carthage Branch.
Penn Central Transportation decided to remove the Lyon Branch track between Remsen and Snow Junction since that and the Adirondack Division tracks ran parallel. They connected the Lyon Branch to these tracks.
Penn Central went bankrupt.
1972 Penn Central abandoned the Adirondack Division and the Tupper Lake and Piercefield Spurs.
Penn Central abandoned the Lyons Branch north of Philadelphia and to Clayton.
1974 Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company was dissolved.
1975 The State of New York took possession ofPenn Central’s abandoned Adirondack Division.
Assets of the Norwood & St Lawrence Railroad were donated to the OBPA as it was to the benefit of the St. Regis Paper Co., owners of the N&SL, to help continue rail operations between Ogdensburg and Norwood
1976 Penn Central abandoned the last running portion of the Adirondack Division, that of the original line between Poland and Herkimer.
Penn Central merged with other companies to create Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). The Ogdensburg Branch and Spur were placed under the operation of the Ogdensburg & Norwood Railway.
Conrail abandoned Cape Vincent Branch Watertown to Limerick.
1977 Ogdensburg & Norwood abandoned the Ogdensburg Spur.
Ogdensburg & Norwood became St. Lawrence Railroad.
Conrail abandoned the Edwards Branch from Edwards to Emeryville.
Conrail abandoned the Rome Branch from Camden to McConnellsville.
1978 St. Lawrence Railroad returned the Ogdenburg Branch to Conrail.
1979 After years of restoration, the Adirondack Railway opened over the former Adirondack Division to Lake Placid as well as the Tupper Lake Spur.
1980 Conrail gave the Ogdensburg Branch to North Country Railroad to operate.
Conrail ( St. Lawrence & Adirondack) abandoned from Morton Siding to Malone Junction and all the way to Huntingdon.
Adirondack Railway closed to in August to fix their trackage. They reopened in September and in November closed for the winter.
1981 Conrail reclaimed the Ogdensburg Branch and sold it later to St. Lawrence Industrial Development Authority, but still operated it.
Adirondack Railway declared bankruptcy and was abandoned.
Ontario Eastern Railroad took over the Ogdensburg Branch.
Delaware & Hudson abandoned the remainder of the Chateguay Branch from Dannamora to Otis Jct.
1983 Conrail abandoned Camden Secondary (from Rome).
1985 Ontario Eastern abandoned.
1986 St. Lawrence & Adirondack was absorbed into Conrail as its Montreal Branch.
1989 Conrail reorganized its lines. Those changed were : Watertown to Massena was the Montreal Secondary, Helena to Rooseveltown was the Rooseveltown Industrial Track, and Carthage to Newton Falls was the Newton Falls Secondary.
Mine at Tahawus closes. Delaware & Hudson sells track to NL (National Lead)
1991 Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad purchased Conrail’s Lyons Branches and Newton Falls Secondary. They rejoin the track between Lowville and Lyons Falls.
1992 Adirondack Centennial Railroad began operating 4 miles from Thendara to Minnehaha.
1993 Conrail purchased Canadian National’s line from Massena to Huntingdon and made it part of their Montreal Branch.
1994 Adirondack Centennial Railroad becomesAdirondack Scenic Railroad.
1995 Adirondack Scenic Railroad opened from Thendara to Carter.
1998 St.Lawrence & Norwood Railroad ceased operation of the line from Norwood to Ogdensburg
The Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority, owners of the line from Norwood to Ogdensburg, leased operation to The New York & Ogdensburg Railway Company, Inc. (NYOG).
Adirondack Scenic Railroad opened from Minnehaha to Snow Junction and had trackage rights over Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad between Snow Junction and Utica.
1999 Conrail is jointly purchased by Norfolk Southern Corporation and CSX Transport. CSX got the Northern New York lines.
2000 CSX made a deal with Canadian National to use their line from Cecile Junction to Coteau Junction and on to Montreal. CSX stops running trains east of Beauharnois.
CSX was contracted by New York & Ogdensburg Railway to operate their line from Norwood to Norfolk and Norwood to Ogdensburg.
Adirondack Scenic Railroad opened from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. Opened south from Thendara to Snow Junction where trains go to Utica over the Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad.
2002 CSX stopped operating the New York & Ogdensburg.
Sources of Data Basic structure from Chris Granger of theNew York Central Adirondack Division Forum
Other data from my own research on Internet and research at Yale University Library.
See random dates in railroad history .

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Railroads of the Adirondacks

Adirondack Company Dr. Thomas C. Durant acquired the Sacketts Harbor & Saratoga in 1863, changed its name to the Adirondack Company, changed the proposed terminus from Sacketts Harbor, and built as far as North Creek.
Delaware & Hudson acquires Adirondack Company to North Creek in 1889.
Adirondack Railway In 1979, after years of restoration, the Adirondack Railway opened over the former Adirondack Division to Lake Placid as well as the Tupper Lake Spur. They had running rights over Conrail from Snow Junction to Utica.
Adirondack Railway closed to in August of 1980 to fix their trackage. They reopened in September and in November closed for the winter.
Adirondack Railway declared bankruptcy in 1981 and was abandoned.
Adirondack Scenic Railroad In 1992, Adirondack Centennial Railroad began operating 4 miles from Thendara to Minnehaha.
Adirondack Centennial Railroad becomes Adirondack Scenic Railroad in 1994.
Adirondack Scenic Railroad opened in 2000 from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid. Opened south from Thendara to Snow Junction where trains go to Utica over the Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad.
Black River & Morristown Railroad Utica & Black River created the Black River & Morristown Railroad in 1870 to connect their railroad to Morristown.
Black River & Morristown opened in 1872 from Philadelphia to Theresa.
Black River & Morristown opened in 1874 from Theresa to Redwood.
Black River & Morristown was leased in 1875 by the Utica & Black River.
Black River & Morristown opened in 1879 from Redwood to Morristown.
Black River & Morristown merged into the Utica & Black River in 1883.
Black River & Utica Railroad In 1832, Black River Company Railroad created to build from Rome or Herkimer to Ogdensburg.
Created in 1853 to build between those places.
In 1855, Black River & Utica Railroad opened from Utica to Boonville.
Black River & Utica became the Utica & Black River Railroad in 1861 and was to be built to Philadelphia.
Canada Atlantic Railway Canada Atlantic Railway created in 1888 the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway to build from Valleyfield to Malone.
Grand Trunk purchased the Canada Atlantic in 1904.
Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company Canadian Pacific created the Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company in 1882 to operate the car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott. They began a car ferry between Morristown and Brockville.
Ended ferry service in 1896 between Morristown and Brockville.
New York Central purchased half of the Canadian Pacific Car & Transfer Company in 1930.
Ended ferry service in 1970 between Ogdensburg and Prescott and was dissolved in 1974.
Carthage & Adirondack Railway Carthage & Adirondack Railway created in 1883 to build a railway into the Adirondacks to reach mines.
Opened in 1887 from Carthage to Jayville.
Opened in 1889 from Jayville to Benson Mines.
New York Central & Hudson River leased in 1893.
Opened in 1896 from Benson Mines to Newton Falls.
Merged into the New York Central & Hudson River in 1913 as the Carthage & Adirondack Branch
Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor Railroad Created in 1869 to link those places.
Opened from Watertown to Sackets Harbor in 1871.
Utica & Black River leased the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbour in 1872.
Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbor opened in 1874 from Watertown to Carthage.
Merged into the New York Central & Hudson River as part of the St. Lawrence Division (Ogdensburg – Carthage) in 1913
Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway Saranac & Lake Placid merged in 1903 with Chateaugay Railroad and Chateaugay Railway to become Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway.
Delaware & Hudson rerouted parts of the Chateaugay & Lake Placid and made it standard gauge. It was leased long term as the Chateaugay Branch.
Chateaugay Railroad Ran from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake by 1887
Saranac & Lake Placid leased in 1896 by Chateaugay Railroad.
Delaware & Hudson Company took over Chateaugay Railroad in 1901.
Saranac & Lake Placid merged with Chateaugay Railroad and Chateaugay Railway to become Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway.
Delaware & Hudson rerouted parts of the Chateaugay & Lake Placid and made it standard gauge. It was leased long term as the Chateaugay Branch.
Clayton & Theresa Railroad Utica & Black River created the Clayton & Theresa Railroad in 1871 to connect those two points.
Opened in 1873 from Rivergate Junction to Clayton.
Clayton & Theresa merged into Utica & Black River in 1886.
Conrail Conrail abandoned Cape Vincent Branch Watertown to Limerick in 1976.
Conrail abandoned the Edwards Branch from Edwards to Emeryville in 1977.
Conrail (St. Lawrence & Adirondack) abandoned in 1980 from Morton Siding to Malone Junction and all the way to Huntingdon.
Conrail abandoned Camden Secondary (from Rome) in 1983.
Conrail reorganized its lines in 1989. Those changed were : Watertown to Massena was the Montreal Secondary, Helena to Rooseveltown was the Rooseveltown Industrial Track, and Carthage to Newton Falls was the Newton Falls Secondary.
Conrail purchased Canadian National’s line from Massena to Huntingdon and made it part of their Montreal Branch in 1993.
Conrail is jointly purchased in 1999 by Norfolk Southern Corporation and CSX Transport. CSX got the Northern New York lines.
Cornwall Bridge Company Created in 1897 to build the south span bridge over the St. Lawrence River.
Cornwall Bridge Company’s bridge collapsed in 1898, killing 15 workers.
Cornwall Bridge Company opened the bridge crossing between Nyando and Uscan in 1900.
The swing span of the north channel bridge for the Ottawa & New York collapsed in 1908 when the Cornwall Canal broke open.
A temporary swing span was put in place for the Ottawa & New York.
A new swing span was in place in 1909 for the Ottawa & New York.
Merged into New York Central in 1917.
Delaware & Hudson In 1940, Delaware & Hudson Railroad abandoned 22 miles Plumadore to Lake Clear Jct. Reached Lake Placid via trackage rights over New York Central.
In 1946, Delaware & Hudson abandoned Lyon Mountain to Plumadore; and sold Saranac to Lake Placid ro the New York Central.
Delaware & Hudson Railroad abandoned Lyon Mt to Dannemora in 1966
Delaware & Hudson abandoned the remainder of the Chateguay Branch from Dannamora to Otis Jct. in 1981
Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway In 1880, Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway was created to build the line that the Herkimer & Trenton Railroad did not build.
In 1881, opened from Herkimer to Middleville.
In 1882, opened from Middleville to Poland.
Herkimer, Poland & Jock’s Lake Railroad never took control of the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway, which meant that the line was now ready to grow on its own by Dr. W. Seward Webb.
In 1891, merged into the Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway ehich became the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway.
Grand Trunk Railway Began to operate a car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott in 1862.
Leased the St. Lawrence & Adirondack in 1896.
Purchased the Canada Atlantic in 1904.
Fulton Chain Railroad Opened in 1896 from Thendara to Old Forge.
Old Forge (Fulton Chain) merged in 1917 into New York Central as its Old Forge Branch.
New York Central abandoned the Old Forge Branch in 1932.
Gouverneur & Oswegatchie Railroad Created in 1892 and leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
Gouverneur & Oswegatchie opened in 1893 from Gouverneur Junction to Edwards.
In 1913, merged into the New York Central & Hudson River as the Edwards Branch.
Malone & St. Lawrence Railroad Malone & St. Lawrence Railroad was created in 1891 to build from Malone to the international border and was leased by the Central Vermont Railroad.
Malone & St. Lawrence opened in 1892 from Malone Junction to the international border where the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway opened to Cecile Junction and used Canada Atlantic and Grand Trunk to reach Montreal.
Malone & St. Lawrence ended in 1894 their lease with Central Vermont and was leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
Malone & St. Lawrence merged in 1895 into St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad purchased Conrail’s Lyons Branches and Newton Falls Secondary. They rejoined the track between Lowville and Lyons Falls. They are a division of Genesee Valley Transportation.
Mohawk & Adirondack Railroad Mohawk & Adirondack Railroad created in 1891 to link Poland to Malone.
Malone & St. Lawrence Railroad was created in 1891 to build from Malone to the international border and was leased by the Central Vermont Railroad. Mohawk & Adirondack was split into two separate companies, the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad was to build the section from Remsen to Malone.
Mohawk & Malone Railway St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad merged in 1892 with Herkimer, Newport & Poland Extension Railway and Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway (Herkimer – Poland) to become the Mohawk & Malone Railway.
Mohawk & Malone opened in 1892 from Malone Junction to Childwold Station with a branch from Lake Clear Junction to Saranac Lake.
Mohawk & Malone opened south of Childwold Station to connect to their southern part, becoming a whole line.
New York Central & Hudson River leased in 1893
In 1913, merged into the New York Central & Hudson River as the Adirondack Division.
Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway In 1890, Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway was created to build from Poland to Noblesborough.
In 1891, Herkimer, Newport & Poland Narrow Gauge Railway merged into the Mohawk Valley & Northern Railway which became the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway.
New York Central Railroad In 1913, the following railroads merged into the New York Central & Hudson River: the New York & Ottawa as the Ottawa Division; the Mohawk & Malone as the Adirondack Division; the Carthage & Adirondack as the Carthage & Adirondack Branch; and the Gouverneur & Oswegatchie as the Edwards Branch. In addition: the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg, the Utica & Black River and Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbour as the St. Lawrence Division (Ogdensburg – Carthage); the Clayton Branch (Clayton – Rivergate Junction); the Carthage Branch (Carthage – Watertown); the Watertown Branch (Massena – Watertown); the Ogdensburg Branch ( Ogdensburg – DeKalb Junction); Cape Vincent Branch (Cape Vincent – Watertown) and the Sackets Harbor Branch (Sackets Harbour – Watertown).
In 1914, New York Central & Hudson River became New York Central Railroad; then became New York Central Lines.
Opened in 1920 the Balmat Branch from Emeryville on the Edwards Branch to Balmat.
In 1934, New York Central opened the Piercefield Spur from Piercefield Station to Piercefield.
In 1935, New York Central became New York Central System. All Divisions and Branches stayed the same except the St. Lawrence Division was now from Massena to Watertown and the Lyons Branch was from Ogdensburg to Carthage.
New York Central abandoned in 1937 the Ottawa Division from Tupper Lake Junction to Helena. The trackage from Tupper Lake Junction to Tupper Lake became a spur and access to Helena was by running rights on Canadian National Railways from Massena.
New York Central relocated in 1943 the trackage of the Carthage & Adirondack Branch in Benson Mines.
In 1946, New York Central agreed to purchase and took possession of Delaware & Hudson’s line between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid as part of the Saranac Branch.
New York Central abandons in 1949 Sackets Harbor to Watertown.
New York Central abandoned in 1952 the Cape Vincent Branch from Cape Vincent to Limerick.
New York Central abandoned the remainder of the Cape Vincent Branch in 1953.
In 1956, New York Central abandoned the Lyons Branch from a point west of Ogdensburg to Redwood. The track in Ogdensburg became a spur.
In 1961, New York Central abandoned the Adirondack Division from Malone Junction to Gabriels. The line to Lake Clear Junction became a spur and the Saranac Branch became part of the division. Access to the St. Lawrence & Adirondack was made over Canadian National’s line, continuing running rights from Helena to Huntingdon.
New York Central abandoned the Lyons Branch from Redwood to Theresa in 1961.
New York Central abandons Watertown to Roots in 1963.
New York Central began negotiations in 1964 to buy the abandoned Rutland Railway from Ogdensburg to Rouses Point.
New York Central abandons Lyons Falls to Lowville, cutting line between Utica and Watertown in 1964.
In 1965, New York Central abandoned the Gabriels Branch and purchased ex-Rutland Railway’s line from Malone Junction to Morton Siding in Malone for the St. Lawrence & Adirondack. They also provided service over the trackage from Norwood to Ogdensburg for the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority.
Lake Placid – Utica passenger service ends in 1965.
New York Central abandoned the Carthage Branch from Watertown to Great Bend in 1966.
New York Central merged with Pennsylvania Railroad to become Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company then became Penn Central Transportation.
New York & Ottawa Bridge Company Created in 1899 to operate the St. Lawrence bridge crossing.
New York & Ottawa Bridge Company leased the St. Lawrence River bridge crossing at Cornwall in 1900.
Corporation dissolved in 1917 when Cornwall Bridge Company merged into New York Central.
The New York & Ogdensburg Railway Company, Inc. (NYOG) In 1998, The Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority, owners of the line between Ogdensburg & Norwood, leased operation to The New York & Ogdensburg Railway Company, Inc. (NYOG).
New York & Ottawa Railroad Was created in 1897 to build from Moira to the St. Lawrence River to connect with The Ottawa & New York.
Northern New York merged into the New York & Ottawa in 1897.
The Ottawa & New York was purchased in 1898 by the New York & Ottawa and dropped “The” from their title.
New York & Ottawa opened in 1898 from Moira to Nyando (Rooseveltown).
New York & Ottawa was in receivership in 1900.
New York & Ottawa became the New York & Ottawa Railway in 1905.
New York & Ottawa and Ottawa & New York leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
In 1913, merged into the New York Central & Hudson River as the Ottawa Division
North Country Railroad Conrail gave the Ogdensburg Branch to North Country Railroad to operate in 1980.
Northern Adirondack Railroad Northern Adirondack Railroad created in 1883 to build from Moira to St. Regis Falls.
Northern Adirondack completed laying rail between St. Regis Falls and Santa Clara in 1885, but was to transfer this section to a different company.
Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad created in 1886 by Northern Adirondack. The trackage from St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara was transferred to this new company and was to extend to Tupper Lake.
Northern Adirondack Extension merged in 1890 into Northern Adirondack.
Northern Adirondack went into receivership in 1894.
Northern Adirondack became the Northern New York Railroad in 1895.
Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad created in 1886 by Northern Adirondack. The trackage from St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara was transferred to this new company and was to extend to Tupper Lake.
Opened in 1886 from Santa Clara to Brandon.
Opened in 1889 from Brandon to Tupper Lake.
Northern Adirondack Extension merged in 1890 into Northern Adirondack.
Northern New York Railroad Northern Adirondack became the Northern New York Railroad in 1895.
Northern New York merged into the New York & Ottawa in 1897.
Northern Railroad Built between Ogdensburg and Rouses Point.
Became part of the Rutland Railroad
Norwood & Montreal Railroad Created in 1884 by Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg to link Norwood to Massena where a Canadian company was to link up.
Norwood & Montreal opened from Norwood to Massena in 1886 and was leased by the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
Norwood & Montreal merged in 1889 into Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
Norwood & St Lawrence Railroad Opened in 1902
In 1975, assets of the N&SL were donated to the OBPA as it was to the benefit of the St. Regis Paper Co., owners of the N&SL, to help continue rail operations between Ogdensburg and Norwood
Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority (OBPA) In 1966, OBPA purchased the ex-Rutland line from Norwood to Ogdensburg, maintaining New York Central as an operator until they could get another company.
New York Central stopped operating in 1967 the Norwood to Ogdensburg line since a new operator was ready to take over.
In 1967, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA), created the Ogdensburg & Norwood Railway
In 1998, leased operation to The New York & Ogdensburg Railway Company, Inc. (NYOG).
Ogdensburg & Morristown Railroad Utica & Black River created the Ogdensburg & Morristown Railroad in 1871 to connect those two points.
Ogdensburg & Morristown opened in 1878 from Morristown to Ogdensburg.
Ogdensburg & Morristown merged into Utica & Black River in 1886.
Ogdensburg & Norwood Railway In 1976, The Ogdensburg Branch and Spur were placed under the operation of the Ogdensburg & Norwood Railway.
Ogdensburg & Norwood abandoned the Ogdensburg Spur in 1977.
Ogdensburg & Norwood became St. Lawrence Railroad in 1977.
Ontario Eastern Railroad In 1981, Conrail reclaimed the Ogdensburg Branch and sold it later to St. Lawrence Industrial Development Authority, but still operated it.
Ontario Eastern Railroad took over the Ogdensburg Branch.
Ontario Pacific Railway Created in 1882 to build from Cornwall to French River with branches from Cornwall to Smiths Falls and Cornwall to Moira.
The Ontario Pacific was allowed to extend from French River to Sault Ste. Marie and the branch line to Smiths Falls would leave the main line at Newington and end at Almonte with a third branch from Douglas to Pembroke.
The Ontario Pacific became the Ottawa & New York Railway in 1897 and was to build from Ottawa to Cornwall and cross the St. Lawrence River to link to an American railroad.
Oswego & Rome Railroad In 1863, Created to link Oswego to the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Leased to Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad in 1863
In 1866, opened from Richland to Oswego.
Ottawa & New York The Ottawa & New York was purchased in 1898 by the New York & Ottawa and dropped “The” from their title.
Opened in 1898 from Cornwall to Ottawa.
Opened in 1900 from Cornwall to Uscan.
New York & Ottawa/Ottawa & New York bridges opened officially in 1900.
New York Central ran its last train over the Ottawa Division and officially abandoned the Ottawa Division from Rooseveltown to Ottawa. The remaining track became the Rooseveltown Spur.
In 1905, Ottawa & New York leased by New York Central & Hudson River.
Ottawa & New York was dissolved in 1957.
Penn Central Penn Central abandoned the remainder of the Carthage Branch in 1970.
Penn Central went bankrupt in 1970.
Penn Central abandoned, in 1972, the Adirondack Division and the Tupper Lake and Piercefield Spurs.
Penn Central abandoned the Lyons Branch north of Philadelphia and to Clayton in 1972.
The State of New York took possession of Penn Central’s abandoned Adirondack Division in 1975.
Penn Central merged with other companies to create Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) in 1976.
Potsdam Railroad Created in 1850 to link Potsdam to the Northern Railroad.
Opened from Potsdam to Norwood in 1856.
Absorbed by the Potsdam & Watertown Railroad in 1857.
Potsdam & Watertown Railroad Created in 1852 to build from Watertown to the Northern Railroad at Norwood.
Opened from Watertown to Antwerp in 1855.
Opened from Antwerp to DeKalb in 1856.
Opened from DeKalb to Potsdam in 1857.
Absorbed the Potsdam Railroad in 1857.
Watertown & Rome purchased the Potsdam & Watertown in 1860, but maintains its identity.
Watertown & Rome merged with Potsdam & Watertown in 1861 to become the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Racquette Lake Railway Opened privately in 1899 from Carter to Racquette Lake.
Racquette Lake opened to the public in 1900.
Merged in 1917 into New York Central as its Racquette Lake Branch.
New York Central abandoned the Racquette Lake Branch in 1933.
Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad Watertown & Rome merged with Potsdam & Watertown in 1861 to become the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Opened from DeKalb Junction to Ogdensburg in 1862.
Syracuse Northern was built in 1873 to Pulaski and Lacona. The Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg leased it shortly thereafter.
Norwood & Montreal Railroad created in 1884 by Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg to link Norwood to Massena where a Canadian company was to link up.
Utica & Black River leased in 1885 by the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg and merged in 1886.
Norwood & Montreal merged in 1889 into Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg leased in 1891 by the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad.
Saranac & Lake Placid Railroad Saranac & Lake Placid Railroad created in 1890 to link Saranac Lake to Lake Placid.
Opened from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid in 1893. Mohawk & Malone had running rights over this.
Leased in 1896 by Chateaugay Railroad.
Merged in 1903 with Chateaugay Railroad and Chateaugay Railway to become Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway Canada Atlantic Railway created in 1888 the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway to build from Valleyfield to Malone.
Malone & St. Lawrence opened in 1892 from Malone Junction to the international border where the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railway opened to Cecile Junction and used Canada Atlantic and Grand Trunk to reach Montreal.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack began to use Canadian Pacific’s Windsor Station in Montreal in 1895.
Grand Trunk leased the St. Lawrence & Adirondack in 1896.
Canadian Pacific released South Western in 1896 and it was leased by St. Lawrence & Adirondack. South Western leased Grand Trunk’s line from Beauharnois to Valleyfield.
South Western merged into St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack opened a new route in 1897 from St-Stanislas-de-Kostka to Valleyfield and from Beauharnois to Adirondack Junction, where they used Canadian Pacific to enter Montreal. The original Cecile Junction trackage was made into a spur.
New York Central & Hudson River became the operators of the St. Lawrence & Adirondack and leased it in 1898.
Grand Trunk sold in 1905 the St. Lawrence & Adirondack to New York Central & Hudson River, who kept the name.
Conrail (St. Lawrence & Adirondack) abandoned in 1980 from Morton Siding to Malone Junction and all the way to Huntingdon.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack was absorbed into Conrail as its Montreal Branch in 1986.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad Mohawk & Adirondack was split into two separate companies in 1891, the St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad was to build the section from Remsen to Malone.
St. Lawrence & Adirondack Railroad merged in 1892 with Herkimer, Newport & Poland Extension Railway and Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway (Herkimer – Poland) to become the Mohawk & Malone Railway.
St.Lawrence & Norwood Railroad In 1998, ceased operation of the line between Ogdensburg and Norwood owned by OBPA
St. Lawrence & Ottawa Railway Took over the car ferry service between Ogdensburg and Prescott in 1873.
Canadian Pacific Railway gained control in 1881 of the St. Lawrence & Ottawa.
St. Lawrence Railroad Ogdensburg & Norwood became St. Lawrence Railroad in 1977.
In 1978, St. Lawrence Railroad returned the Ogdenburg Branch to Conrail.
South Western Railway Canadian Pacific Railway created in 1888 South Western Railway to build from Caughnawaga to Dundee.
Canadian Pacific released South Western in 1896 and it was leased by St. Lawrence & Adirondack. South Western leased Grand Trunk’s line from Beauharnois to Valleyfield.
South Western merged into St. Lawrence & Adirondack.
Syracuse Northern In 1868, Created to build a rail line north from Syracuse.
In 1871, Syracuse Northern Railroad opened from Syracuse to Pulaski.
Syracuse Northern Railroad became the Syracuse & Northern Railroad in 1875 and was merged into the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Utica & Black River Railroad Black River & Utica became the Utica & Black River Railroad in 1861 and was to be built to Philadelphia.
Created the Black River & Morristown Railroad in 1870 to connect their railroad to Morristown.
Created the Clayton & Theresa Railroad in 1871 to connect those two points.
Created the Ogdensburg & Morristown Railroad in 1871 to connect those two points.
Leased the Carthage, Watertown & Sackets Harbour in 1872.
In 1872 opened into Carthage.
Opened in 1873 from Carthage to Philadelphia.
Black River & Morristown was leased in 1875.
Black River & Morristown merged into the Utica & Black River in 1883.
Clayton & Theresa and Ogdensburg & Morristown merged into Utica & Black River in 1886.
Utica & Black River leased in 1885 by the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg and merged in 1886.
Note: this railroad never reached Utica except by trackage rights over the New York Central.
Watertown & Rome Railroad Created to build a railroad between those two points in 1832.
Opened from Rome to Camden in 1850 then to Adams.
Opened into Watertown in 1851 and to Cape Vincent in 1852.
Watertown & Rome purchased the Potsdam & Watertown in 1860, but maintains its identity.
Watertown & Rome merged with Potsdam & Watertown in 1861 to become the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Sources of Data Basic structure from Chris Granger of the New York Central Adirondack Division Forum
Other data from my own research on Internet and research at Yale University Library.

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