Webb's Wilderness Railroad opened up the Adirondack wilderness

New York Central map of Adirondacks and St. Lawrence

Lake Placid Whiteface Mountain

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Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:


Our feature article is "Webb's Wilderness Railroad".

Other features you won't want to miss are the railroad to Ottawa and an Adirondack timeline of railroads.

Summary of Dates for how New York Central (now CSX) got to Montreal .

The New York Central Railroad was important to the Adirondacks. See a timetable map from 1948 of the Adirondack, St Lawrence and Ottawa Divisions . Find out about the head end equipment that the New York Central ran through the Adirondacks. We have some great New York Central Railroad Pictures. too.

There are plenty of pictures on the site. See trains in snow . Find pictures of Big Moose Station , Old Forge and Malone .

Recently, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has reopened much of the line. Find out more about improvement of the Adirondack Railway Line .

and Railway Historical Society of Northern New York former Lowville-Beaver River Railway .

Summary of Dates for how New York Central (now CSX) got to Montreal .

Finally, don't leave without seeing our Adirondack/St Lawrence reference material .
See KC Jones BLOG about Railroad History
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WEBB'S WILDERNESS RAILROAD



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.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com

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Snow Belt in New York State Boonville Station

There is a "Snow Belt" in New York State that runs above Syracuse and Utica. It goes East from Oswego to at least Boonville. Here's the station at Boonville.



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Several years ago I wrote a story on the major railroads of 1950 and what happened to them.

Now 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.

But, what was the NY Central Railroad like in 1950?

You will also be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen"

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Penn Central New Haven Railroad New York Central Railroad

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Railway Historical Society of Northern New York

For about a century, the railroad was a part of not only economic growth and stability, but a window on the world. As old tracks and rail facilities are used less and less in many rural areas, volunteers get together and ensure they do not fade from memory.

That's what happened in Croghan, New York, as the members of RHSNNY have turned the old train station into a museum teeming with artifacts of life in the old days.

Our home was once the Croghan Depot for the Lowville-Beaver River Railway (L&BRR) and is full of memorabilia from days gone by.
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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.

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.

Head End

Railway Express and Railway Post Office
REA RPO Header On passenger trains, railroads operated lots of equipment other than sleepers, coaches, dining cars, etc. This equipment was generally called 'head-end' equipment, these 'freight' cars were at one time plentiful and highly profitable for the railroads. In the heyday of passenger service, these industries were a big part of the railroad's operations, and got serious attention.
We have text and pictures not found elsewhere on the Web.
Big Moose Station

Located at the highest elevation on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, it is now a restaurant and has been for sale.



Real Estate Features: This 1926 Train Depot was renovated into a cozy rustic Adirondack restaurant. Those efforts were rewarded in being chosen award winner of the Adirondack Architectural Heritage Award for restoration. The main dining area and the casual porch dining have an approximate seating for 90. A full service bar, commercial kitchen, storage rooms, walk in cooler as well as a full basement make up just a few of the amenities. Upstairs there is a 2 bedroom apartment. The “Station” Restaurant prides itself with a strong repeat clientele, both locals and tourists. Big Moose Station is renowned for the roll it played in the famous murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in 1906. Theodore Dreiser wrote “An American Tragedy” a novel about the murder and in 1951 that novel was the basis for the Motion Picture “A Place in the Sun” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Shelly Winters and Raymond Burr which earned 6 Oscars. The restaurant is being offered completely furnished and ready for turnkey operation providing all the necessities to operate the business including an automatic electric generator. The building and property are in very good condition. Recent investments include and are not limited to: Central Hot Water Heating System, Full Basement installed under Bar/Kitchen, Enclosed Deck on Trackside, Exterior Painting. The restaurant has an established clientele and is considered one of the finest dining experiences in the Central Adirondack Mountains. This Historic Property could easily be converted to a private residence, clubhouse for sports/snowmobile club or other commercial use. The Big Moose Station Restaurant is located in the hamlet of Big Moose Station in the heart of the central Adirondack Mountains of NY State. This area including Old Forge and surrounding towns is a favorite tourist destination as well as hosting numerous vacation homes many of which are utilized year round. It is easily accessible from the NY Thruway (Rt. 90) from the south(Utica) and from the Northway (Rt. 87) from the North (Warrensburg). The restaurant is located approximately 7 miles west of Eagle Bay on the Big Moose Rd. The Big Moose Station Restaurant is situated on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad which will ultimately be open from Utica NY to Lake Placid NY. The railway was part of the former and famous NY Central Railroad. Big Moose Station prides itself as being located in one of the most ideal spots on the Town of Webb 500 mile snowmobile trail system. It is a junction for 5 snowmobile trails providng access to the entire Adirondack and Tug Hill snowmobile trail systems. Access to Big Moose Station via snowmobile includes a variety of snowmobile trails, highways and the railroad bed. Big Moose Station is very accessible to area visitors and locals who find the short drive to the restaurant a very pleasant experience.
Big Moose Station
Old Forge, New York
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New York Central Railroad by king5021
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Joint Winter Olympics for Montreal and Lake Placid? New York Central Adirondack Division Railroad

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

.
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.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
New York Central Home Page Timeline of Railroads in the Adirondacks

See the Railroads of the Adirondacks too!!!
Rutland Station at Malone, NY

Malone, New York was where the New York Central crossed the Rutland's route from Ogdensburg to Rouses Point. Rutland station at the left and the Central on the right.

New York Central station at Malone, NY
Rome Watertown and Ogdensburg Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority

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

REFERENCE

List of New York Railroads
From 1883 till today,
other companies were involved in creating the
Ottawa - Tupper Lake route
Adirondack & St Lawrence Steam Locomotives
Camping in the Adirondacks
Short Lines
All about short lines we have not covered elsewhere. Some were New York Central properties.
Interesting Railway Stations
Map of Adirondack, St Lawrence and Ottawa Divisions

Map of Adirondack, St Lawrence and Ottawa Divisions



From New York Central 1948 Employee Timetable

Click here or on map to enlarge.

Follow a new railroad into the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. They run tourist trains, dinner trains, and even a ski train from Saratoga to North Creek. They want to reactivate the railroad to a mine that was closed over 20 years ago. New technology and a new attitude maybe just the right combination.

Fallen Flags Photos Rails Around New York State A trip around New York State with stories about the railroads encountered.
Albany to Utica was an important piece of the original New York Central and is now just as important to CONRAIL and to AMTRAK.
The Schenectady to Saratoga railroad reached the small town of Ballston Spa in 1832. Soon the Rensselaer & Saratoga would also pull in. Eventually, these would fall under the Delaware & Hudson. Several street car lines also ran into the spa too.
Mechanicville: Rail Town.

Find out about accomplishments and Fair Promise

Hojack Swing Bridge at Charlotte on the Genesee River from a postcard found in St Joseph, Michigan)

Special Research Section on the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad.


This section contains information that is unpublished elsewhere!
In the early 1870's, the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad had been built from Oswego along the shore of Lake Ontario to the Niagara River (Suspension Bridge). It bypassed Rochester, had no manufacturing industries and first became part of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburgh which was acquired by the New York Central.
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Track 61
Here is a picture of Track 61. See what is so mysterious about Track 61 at Grand Central Terminal.. Also find out about a railroad that did NOT make it to Conrail: The New York & Harlem. Find out about Metro-North.
New York Central Branch from DeKalk Junction to Ogdensburg, In 1861, the Potsdam & Watertown line merged into the Watertown&Rome, the name of the new railroad was changed to Rome, Watertown&Ogdensburg, and a 19-mile line built from DeKalb Junction to Ogdensburg. It lasted until the 1980's. Read the whole story.
On June 13, 1845 the Troy & Greenbush Railroad opened between Troy and Greenbush, NY. It is the last link in an all-rail line between Boston and Buffalo. See more random dates in railroad history.
Isn't it amazing how much we all remember (and have forgotten about the NY Central)? 40 plus years? OMG, we rode parlors to Chatham and sleepers to the Adirondacks. Geez, we remember a lot. Why is all this stuff gone? Why did we have a PC and a Conrail.
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New York Central station in Ogdensburg New York Central station in Ogdensburg

Take a look at my blog about railroads in Ogdensburg, New York.


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