An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad


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The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYS&W), also known as the Susie-Q, or simply the Susquehanna, is a Class III American freight railway operating over 500 miles (800 km) of track in the northeastern states of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It was formed in 1881 from the merger of several smaller railroads. Passenger service, including commuter service from Northern New Jersey to New York City, was offered until 1966.The railroad was purchased by the Delaware Otsego Corporation in 1980, and became a regional player during the 1980s in the intermodal freight transport business. This saw the railroad hauling containers including Sealand and Hanjin units as part of a land bridge with Delaware and Hudson and CSX railroads. After losing the intermodal traffic in the late 1990s to CSX and Norfolk Southern (as a result of the Conrail breakup), the freight operations continue into the 21st Century with contracts to haul commercial waste, corn syrup, and other materials . (wik). The Susquehanna was not a long haul passenger operator but it did provide significant suburban train services to New Jersey suburbs west of New York City. In the early 30's t he Susie Q ran many trains between the Hudson shore and Butler 38 miles, several as far as Beaver Lake 54 miles and one as far as Stroudsburg 72 miles. It also provided branch line services to Sanford and North Hawthorne. By 1950 the suburban services had been cut back to Butler only (rp).
Short history of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad
1866 -The Hoboken, Ridgefield and Paterson Railroad was chartered in 1866 to connect Paterson with the ports along the Hudson River at Hoboken.


New York Susquehanna>& Western

New York Susquehanna
& Western
November 22, 1932
1867 - The New Jersey Western Railway (NJW) worked westward from Paterson and the Sussex Valley Railroad was laying track from the New York state line at Hanford, New Jersey south to the Delaware Water Gap.
1869 -The NJW began operating at Hawthorne, and signed an agreement to give the NY&OM trackage rights over the NJW to reach New York City.
1870 - NJW and SV (NY&OM?) merge to form the New Jersey Midland Railway (NJM).
1872 - The line was complete from Hackensack to Hanford. Engine shops were located at Newfoundland.
1872 - NT&OM leased a small railroad called the Middletown, Unionville and Water Gap Railroad (MU&WG) which connected it to the NJM. The MU&WG fed into the Erie Railroad. By the summer of 1872 the line was complete to Jersey City.
1873 - NY&OM goes into bankruptcy/
1876-1880 - NJM reorganized as Midland Railway of New Jersey and NY&OM reorganized as the New York Ontario and Western Railroad.
1881 - The New York and Scranton Construction Company wished to create rail routes from New York to the coal-rich Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. Coal needed to be transported to New York City and beyond. At least four railroads were chartered to build inland routes. These roads were then, after consideration, merged with the Midland Railway of New Jersey to form the New York, Susquehanna and Western.
1882 - Line opened to Stroudsburg to connect with the Delaware Lackawanna and Western for the balance of the run to the Scranton, Pennsylvania coal areas.
1882 - Passenger service Stroudsburg to NYC started.
1882-1896 - Westward connection to Wilkes Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania completed as the Wilkes Barre and Eastern Railroad. Also ore docks at Edgewater, New Jersey completed.
1898 - Erie Railroad gains majority stock interest in NYS&W.
1918-20 - USRA runs NYS&W.
post 1920 - Erie back in control updates Susie Q locomotives and rolling stock.
1930-1936 - Depression, flood damage of 1936 and reduction of coal traffic (due to oil and gas use) affect NYS&W/
1935 - Main line passenger service west of Beaver Lake discontinued. Mixed train Butler to Hanford remains
1937 - MYS&W files for bankruptcy.
cir 1937 - Lease of WB&E is terminated by trustee.
1938 - One third reduction of commuter trains.
1939 - Mixed train to Hanford discontinued.
1940 - Ties with Erie severed and shops and facilities shared with NYO&W at Middleton.
1941-42 - Lines west of Stroudsburg abandoned and rails given to war effort. ACF railcars and old Erie railcars used in suburban service.
1942-46 - Business picks up during war years, new RDC and Alco RS1 diesels replacing steam. Road is completely dieselized by 1946, and may be the first railroad to do so.
1950 - Budd RDC cars replacing ACF cars.
1951-53 - Last diesels purchased and road fully reorganized.
1957 - NYO&W abandoned and torn up. NYS&W begins reduction of assets. RDC cars sold; Hanford branch abandoned.
1961 - Nearby railroad the Lehigh & New England folded.
1962 -With the L&NE gone, the track was cut back to Sparta Junction. Irving Maidman, a real-estate developer, bought control of the railroad and immediately secured a government grant for three new EMD GP18s. The older diesels were in disrepair and Maidman decided to cut back on maintenance to cut costs.
1968 - The final commuter train operated between Butler and New York was discontinued. The railroad was now solely dependent on freight revenue.
1968 - The NYS&W continued to shrink, when the line was embargoed west of Oak Ridge, NJ (part of Jefferson Township, NJ), thereby ending the L&HR freight interchange at Sparta.
1971 - Washout at Butler and closure of CofNJ branch causes NYS&W to abandon lines west of Butler.
1976 - Court studies feasibility of abandonment of the RR.
1980 - Delaware Otsego Corporations buys NYS&W.
The "New" New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad
1982 - DO (new NYS&W) assumed operations of the former Lackawanna Railroad's Syracuse and Utica branches. These new New York State rail lines were dubbed the "Northern Division". The disconnected original NYS&W main in New Jersey was dubbed the "Southern Division". Also purchased was a portion of the former Lehigh and Hudson River Railway (L&HR), from Franklin, NJ to the New York state line at Vernon, New Jersey/Warwick, New York.
1985 - Purchase of the remaining L&HR in New Jersey by acquiring the portion from Sparta to Franklin was completed. The NYS&W began an isolated service from Warwick to Sparta on this newly acquired line. They would receive cars from Conrail in Warwick and deliver them to customers in Sparta. Seeking to link their two operations, The Susquehanna Southern Division was extended north to Binghamton, New York via Conrail haulage rights and procurement of additional existing track.
1986 - The S&W rebuilds its line to Sparta. There was now a competitor in the northeast for Conrail's business for the first time since its inception a decade before.
1994 - NYS&W inaugurates Syracuse suburban service using RDC cars,
2005 - The NYS&W acquired the former Erie Main Line from Port Jervis to Binghamton from Norfolk Southern. This includes the historically important Starucca Viaduct.
2008 - The railroad started selling off its historical passenger rolling stock to various concerns


NYS&W map
New York Susquehanna & Western - 1950


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions
http://railfare.net/QuebecCentral.html-Derek Booth (db)
http://www.nakina.net/cdn/qc.html
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 30, 2009, fevised Sept. 17, 2011