During the steam days and for some time afterards, Oneonta was a busy yard for trains both out of Binghamton and Wilkes Barre. It was also an engine change point and crew change point and had a huge roundhouse. The roundhouse fell into disuse after the Alco RS-3’s took over. Eventually, traffic patterns changed and the yard at Oneonta was more or less replaced by a rebuilt facility at Binghamton and the crews were run through between Binghamton and Saratoga or maybe Mohawk Yard in Schenectady and Binghamton. The last major activity in Oneonta was probably the car shop which after the CP takeover was shut down and replaced by facilities elsewhere.
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Cooperstown Train Station……Now a private residence
Not much railroad activity in Cooperstown, but the New York, Susquehanna & Western has offices and dispatcher there. I believe a visit or tour can be arranged if you call them. Closest railroad activity is Oneonta (D&H).
Cooperstown is no longer really on an active rail line although the Leatherstocking Line runs between Cooperstown and Milford with tourist trains. Their stopping point is south of the village on NY 28 south of the former crossings at Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
The NYS&W headquarters is in the old freight station in Cooperstown which lies between Main Street and Glen Avenue (NY 28) on Railroad Avenue and this structure has been altered a number of times to make it more suitable for the NYS&W offices. At one time, there was also a trolley/interurban line into Cooperstown from Index which is south of Cooperstown on route 28. This line was a branch off the line which ran between Oneonta and Mohawk and the line into Cooperstown lasted until the very early 1940’s as a freight railroad. The Delaware & Hudson used to serve Cooperstown from Oneonta every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They had a water tower with a standpipe, a decent electric turntable and a very nice passenger station which had been converted to a residence. For a long time, the local freight train came in with a combo (coach and baggage car) rather than a caboose. I think this was because they still carried Railway Express shipments to the station at Cooperstown and the job probably had an express messenger on it too. They still did a reasonable amount of freight business in Cooperstown with lumber, coal, grain and feed being the big items but local LCL stuff too. Both Milford and Cooperstown at the time still had full time agents too. This was in the late 1940’s. Shortly after the arrival of the diesels, the turntable and water plug came out but Cooperstown still had three day a week service for a long time after that.
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This is the spot where the two NY State Guardsmen were killed in the First World War.
They were walking on the track and hit by a NY Central M&E Train and died instantly
Shown above is an overhead view of the New York Central Railroad bridge over East Creek. The location is on the New York Central Mohawk Division between Little Falls and Amsterdam.
Then Google Maps had an actual picture of the bridge
We found a “street view” of the bridge view” of the bridge from the parallel State Route 5. The railroad bridge looks to be a two truss bridge. It would have carried four sets of tracks in 1917 (only 2 now).
We had an inquiry from the New York Guard concerning this incident. The New York Guard is compiling its history and requested our help.
Elsewhere, the New York Guard had a First Provisional Regiment guarding the aqueduct to NYC, one man was struck by a train and lost his legs and died. That was down near NY City. The Second Provisional Regiment guarded the Erie Canal, bridges, Niagara power houses and munition plants all upstate. These were the State active duty part of a NY Guard reserve force statewide of 15,000 during WWI replacing the National Guard when it was activated.
The New York Guard has the complete history of the First but nearly nothing on the Second and they are trying to piece things together from news articles, etc.
Of course, that was just WWI. The NYG was again organized in WWII, and finally stayed in place starting in the 1950s.
There was also have a train incident on a bridge 9 miles east of Elmira, and a sniper incident on that same bridge.
The New York Guard is the State Defense Force of New York State. The New York State Guard is one of the largest and best organized State Guards in the United States and is historically derived from Revolutionary and Civil War era State military units that were reorganized several times in American history in response to various international and domestic crises.
Organized under the Military Law, State of New York, the New York Guard cannot be federalized and cannot be deployed outside New York State without the consent of the governor.
Members of the New York Guard are entitled to many of the benefits accorded members of other components of the ‘Organized Militia of the State of New York,’ the legal collective term describing the New York Army and Air National Guards, New York Naval Militia and New York Guard. These include ‘military leave’ for employees of state or local governments and many private employers.
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Here comes the big “John B” locomotive rolling down the track and attracting hundreds to every depot along the way. They’re there to get a close look at the new, powerful engine, one of the largest in the country at 31 tons.
The mail train from Schenectady now is drawn westward by the “John B,” named in honor of Utica’s John Butterfield. On both sides of the engine appears a good likeness of Butterfield and his name. Why Butterfield? Well, why not?
In 1857, he opened the west with his overland stagecoaches that were the first to carry mail from the Mississippi River to the West Coast in fewer than 25 days. He had signed a contract with the U.S. Post Office to deliver mail on regular runs to California. Many said it could not be done.
Butterfield built dozens of stations along the 2,800-mile route, equipped them with fast, fresh horses and hired the best stagecoach drivers in the country. His first stage between St. Louis and San Francisco completed the trip in 24 days, 18 hours.
Butterfield became known as the country’s “Mr. Transportation.” He also built and operated hotels and two years ago was elected mayor of Utica. In 1862, he opened a trolley line along Genesee Street from Broad Street to New Hartford. Utica thus became the only the fifth city in the country with trolley service – after New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Later, Butterfield, Henry Wells and William Fargo were among the founders of a company that evolved into American Express. His son, Daniel, was a major general in the Civil War and co-composer of the bugle call, “Taps.” (John Butterfield is buried in Utica’s Forest Hill Cemetery.)
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino.
At first sight it looks like a waste of money, a major act of pollution and a criminal act – but these New York subway cars being dumped into the sea are actually helping the environment. These truly remarkable photos detail just a small number of over 2,500 old subway cars from the Big Apple that have been used to create artificial underwater reefs on America’s Atlantic coast. Photographer Stephen Mallon of the Front Room Gallery snapped the images over a period of three years, and the photos are now are being shown in an exhibition in New York.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York has been running this project for over 10 years, and ensures that on being decommissioned, the cars are cleaned, and every part which can be removed (seats, straps, windows, doors, wheels) are either recycled or sold. They are then loaded onto barges and dumped into sea to form artificial reefs. Click read more for some truly fantastic photographs…
An estimated 95 per-cent of the seabed off the US eastern seaboard is bare sand, a relatively inhospitable home for fish and crustaceans. But reefs provide protection from predators and so are attractive to fish, which inturns help build an eco-system with mussels, shrimps and crabs and eventually marlin and dolphins. And in addition to the envoronmental benefits, US corals are estimated to boost the economy by $200 million (£131 million) per year. The depositing of man-made structures to become artifical reefs is not uncommon, with tanks, armoured personnel carriers, oil rigs and even an aircraft carrier, the USS Oriskany being used.
In New York State, a significant portion of the trackage north of the New York Central main line was once part of the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburgh. At one point it had 643 route miles. The Watertown & Rome was chartered in 1832 to connect northern New York with the Erie Canal, but it took 17 years before ground was broken near Rome. The territory between Rome & Watertown was and is sparsely populated and difficult to build a rail line through. However, upon approaching Watertown the territory changes. It is somewhat more populated and easier to penetrate. Furthermore, it is close to the busy St. Lawrence River. Midway between Rome and Watertown was the once-important depot at Camden. Rome (Signal Station 34) to Richland (45 miles). This was cut back to Camden by 1961. 22 miles from Richland to Camden was abandoned in 1957. Camden to Rome was abandoned in stages from 1977 to 1983.Camden to Rome survived until CONRAIL. A Utica to Massena passenger ran over this route in 1956. Now Camden has no railroad. 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. With aid from some Watertown businessmen, Austin Corbin of the EC&N chartered the Camden, Watertown & Northern. Although some construction was started, it never really had a chance and just died. Later on, the Canastota to Camden line was abandoned. Now Camden has no railroad.