This is just the start. Dick Palmer, noted railroad historian, shamed me into creating this page. He asked me why I was fiddling around with the Sackets Harbor & Ellisburg when there was the whole RW&O to cover? I thought "He's got to be kidding", but no, there is not one web page exclusively devoted to the RW&O anywhere that Google can find. And there's even just one print book (Hungerford) covering the RW&O; fortunately, Google has Hungerford's RW&O book scanned.
Okay, so you're reading this page. How about contributing some information? I can't be everywhere, know everything, and have access to every possible historical resource along the whole length of the RW&O.
[Clarke L. Kidder reports reading in an old Jefferson County history book that the date of formation was 1832, not the 1852 from railroadextra.] This Company was formed April 17, 1832 as the "Watertown and Rome Railroad." It was clothed with powers to build a road from Rome to Watertown, and thence to the St. Lawrence, or Lake Ontario, or both, with a capital of $1,000,000 in shares of one hundred dollars. Work was to commence within three, and end within five years.
This act was never allowed to expire, but for various reasons, construction languished until March 1847 when sufficient stock had been taken to build from Rome to Watertown. This work was completed on September 5th, 1851, "when the first engine reached Watertown...at eleven o'clock in the night".Work continued and in April, 1852 the road was completed to Cape Vincent with regular service initiated on the first of May. [private email, Kidder]
In April, 1852, just twenty years after the formation of the company, the railroad was completed and put in operation from Watertown to Cape Vincent, twenty-five miles. The total length of the entire line was seventyseven and a half miles, and its total cost $1,957,992. The road is now known as the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railway.Bib.
Local copy of the Norwood Museum's Rails into Racquetville. It covers the building of the RW&O and the Rutland through Norwood.
The Webster line was built by the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad, which was chartered in 1858. That line was sold to the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg in 1875, and the following year it became part of a through route from Lewiston, near Niagara Falls, to Oswego. RW&O became part of the New York Central and this line earned the nickname "The Hojack Line". OMID service started October 1, 1979. Most of the Hojack was abandoned west of Webster by Conrail in 1979. Bib.
The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company leased the railroad and property of the Rome Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad Company on March 14, 1891. Consolidated April 16, 1913.