INVENTORY OF ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHTS OF WAY REGION 3 NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RAYMOND T. SCHULER, COMMISSIONER

INVENTORY OF ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHTS OF WAY Egiw NEW YORK (STATE) DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION a ::2 REAL PROPERTY DIVISION. REGION #3 CAYUGA, CORTLAND, ONONDAGA SENECA, TOMPKINS, WAYNE 1974

GLOSSARY BALLAST - Crushed rock or gravel, used in railroad beds to provide ground stability for laying ties and tracks. BERM - A longitudinal mound of earth used to deflect water; a narrow ledge or shelf. CULVERT - Any structure not classified as a bridge which provides an opening under any roadway. PRISM - As applied to canals, the entire area encompassing the sides which are parallelograms. TRESTLE - A braced framework of timbers, piles or steelwork for carrying a railroad over a depression. ABBREVIATIONS R.R. - Railroad Rte. or Rt. - Route R.O.W. - Right of Way E/S - East Side W/S - West Side B & M - Boston and Maine D & H - Delaware and Hudson P. C. - Penn Central

G. E. - General Electric Company

C. R. - County Road T/O - Termination/Origin II

TABLE OF CONTENTS GLOSSARY AND ABBREVIATIONS |^-R. II LIST OF MAPS |^-R. V REGION #3 CASE STUDIES OF ABANDONMENT LOCATION MAP CODE PAGE 3 - 1 New York Central |^-R.1 |^-R. 3 - 1 Oswego to Mexico City Line 3 - 2 New York Ontario and Western (Main Line) . . 3 - 3 Fulton to Cleveland 3 - 3 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western |^-R. 3 - 5 Cortland to Cincinnatus 3 - 4 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western |^-R. 3 - 7 Ithaca to Tioga County Line 3 - 5 Lehigh Valley |^-R. :|^-R. 3 - 9 Aurora to Millican - 3 - 6 Lehigh Valley |^-R. 3 - 11 Auburn to Moravia 3 - 7 Lehigh Valley |^-R. 3 - 13 Canastota to Cortland 3 - 8 Lehigh Valley |^-R. 3 - 15 Geneva Junction to Ithaca (Via Trumansburg) 3 - 9 Lehigh Valley |^-R.. |^-R. 3 - 17 Geneva Junction to Lehigh Valley Junction 3 - 10 West Shore (Later New York Central) |^-R. 3 - 19 Syracuse to Fairport 3 - 11 New York Central (Formerly West Shore) . . . 3 - 21 Madison County Line to City of Syracuse 3 - 12 Lehigh Valley |^-R. 3 - 25 Auburn to Fairhaven (Via Weedsport) III

LOCATION MAP CODE PAGE |3 - 13 Lehigh Valley |^-R. -3 - 27 Cayuga Junction to Auburn 3 - 14 Williamstown and Redfield and Forest Co. |^-R.| 3 - 29 Williamstown to Redfield 3 - 15 Richland to Camden |^-R. 3 - 31 Richland to Oneida County Line 3 - 16 Penn Central (Chenango Branch) |^-R.N. 3-- 33 Fayetteville to Manlius 3 - 17 Lehigh Valley Railroad |^-R. 3 - 35 Spencer-East Ithaca 3 - 18 Lehigh Valley Railroad |^-R. 3 - 36 Sage-Freeville-Genoa 3 - 19 Central New York Southern Railroad |^-R. 3 - 37 Auburn to Ithaca 3 - 20 Lehigh Valley Railroad |^-R. 3 - 38 Ovid-Hayts Corners-Willard 3 - 21 Skaneateles Short Line Railroad |^-R. 3 - 39 Skaneateles to Mottville 3 - 22 Marcellus & Otisco Lake Railway |^-R. 3 - 40 Otisco Lake (Martisco to Otisco Lake) 3 - 23 Syracuse Northern Railroad |^-R. 3 - 41 Pulaski to Lacona 3 - 24 Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Railroad Co. . . . 3 - 42 Rochester & Syracuse 3 - 25 Auburn & Syracuse Electric Railroad Co|^-R. 3 - 43 Syracuse & Auburn 3 - 26 Auburn & Northern Electric Railroads . . |^-R. 3 - 44 Auburn to Port Byron 3 - 27 Empire State Railway |^-R. 3 - 45 Syracuse to Oswego 3 - 28 Geneva,-Seneca Falls & Auburn Railroad |^-R. 3 - 46 Geneva to Cayuga Lake Park IV | I

LOCATION MAP CODE PAGE 3 - 29 Cortland & Homer Traction Company |^-R. 3 - 4 Cortland-Homer-Preble-McGrawville - 3 - 30 Syracuse Northern Electric Railway |^-R. 3 - 41 Syracuse to South Bay 3 - 31 The Syracuse & Suburban Railroad |^-R. 3 - 4! Syracuse-Manlius 3 - 32 The Rochester & Sodus Bay Railway |^-R. 3 - 5( Rochester-Sodus Point 3 - 33 Penn Central |^-R. 3 - 51 Newark - Seneca Castle LIST OF MAPS 1. REGIONAL OFFICES AND BOUNDARIES |^-R. V] 2. REGION #3 ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHTS OF WAY LOCATIONS |^-R. 3 -


New York Central

Termini: Oswego to Mexico City Line Location Map Code: 3-1

A. Approximate length 15 mi.

B. Approximate width 70' - 100'

C. General Conditions

The abandoned portion of this line runs from just west of County Route 29 at Lycoming, New York through the Village of Mexico, then Northeasterly to Pulaski, New York. The Right of Way has a length of approximately 15 miles and ranges 70 to 100 feet in width.

The roadbed is in good condition over the entire length. It is clearly visible, but somewhat overgrown with brush in spots. However, there is no evidence of landslides, flooding or other deterioration of the roadbed.

Most bridges and overpasses are out along the entire length of the Right of Way. There are 2 bridges that remain intact on the Right of Way. One is located just north of the Right of Way intersection with Manwaring Road (off County Route 41). The other is north of the Right of Way intersection with County Route 28. This is a trestle type structure, which appears to be quite sound.

There is evidence of any encroachment along the entire length of the Right of Way. All tracks, ties and signal facilities have been removed. The only station house on the abandoned portion of the Right of Way is located at the intersection of the Right of Way with State Route 3 in the Village of Mexico; This building is boarded up and is not being used.

The only evidence of private ownership of a portion of the Right of Way exists adjacent to the old station house in Mexico on Route 3. The railroad company sold 2.8 acres to the Ontario Feed and Grain Corporation in June, 1964. The deed is recorded in the Oswego County Clerk's Office, Book 672, Page 1149. Since the sale, the Feed Company has erected a retail sales outlet store on the property. A further check of the Court House and correspondence with Harry Wiedeman, real estate manager for the Penn Central, shows no other known sell-offs to private individuals on this Right of Way.

The terrain through which the Right of Way travels is generally flat to rolling. The principal land use being agricultural, with some residential and commercial development.

The Right of Way could be used for any outdoor activity that would lend itself to a linear section of land. With a certain amount of rebridging, the entire Right of Way could be utilized for recreational purposes.

The Right of Way is in close proximity to Routes 104, 104B, and County Route 41. It also intersects several other County and Town Roads. At its terminus in Pulaksi, it is within l mile of access to Interstate Route 81.

Grantor: New York Central
Liber: 672 - Page 1149 Consideration: $6,000; Conveyance Date: March 23, 1964


New York Ontario and Western (Main Line)

Termini: Fulton to Cleveland Location Map Code: 3-2

A. Approximate length 26 mi.

B. Approximate width varies 75' to 100'

C. General Conditions

The portion of this Right of Way covered in this study begins outside Fulton and runs generally parallel to State Route 49, east of the Oneida County line. This section of the Right of Way is presently owned by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The abandoned Right of Way begins with its intersection with the operating Phoenix Branch of the New York Central System near County Route 9 just outside Fulton, New York. It runs in a south-easterly direction through Pennelville and Caughdenoy to its intersection at Central Square with Interstate the Right of Way continues toward Constantia where it intersects State Route 49 and then runs North of Route 49. The Right of Way passes north of the Village of Cleveland and continues on toward Rome.

The approximate length of the Right of Way within Region 3 is 26 miles. The width of the Right of Way ranges from 75 to 100 feet.

The general condition of the roadbed is good. There appears to be little evidence of deterioration along the entire length. It is, however, partially overgrown with brush and small trees in certain parts. The heaviest such overgrowth will be found on the portion of the Right of Way, West of Interstate Route 81. No apparent encroachments were noted on the Right of Way and all tracks, bridges, ties and other equipment have been removed.

NOTE: A bridge that once spanned a body of water known as Pennelville Pond in the Village of Pennelville has been removed. A large bridge would be required to re-span this pond and make the Right of Way a continuous facility.

The terrain through which the Right of Way passes is generally flat to gently rolling. The principal land use of abutting property is agricultural, with some scattered commercial and residential development. This Right of Way has excellent potentials as a recreational facility. The condition of the roadbed and the location of it make it ideally suited for outdoor activities. The Right of Way is in close proximity to several state and county highways and, therefore, would be easily accessible to the public.


Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (Later Erie Lackawanna)

Termini: Cortland to Cincinnatus Location Map Code: 3-3

A. Approximate length 19 mi.

B. Approximate width 65' to 100'

C. General Conditions

The condition of the roadbed varies in all extremes. There are areas which are well preserved and easily defined and other areas of many landslides and washouts. The Right of Way runs through a hilly area and crosses a branch of the Tioughnioga River perhaps a dozen times. Much of the Right of Way is overgrown and other areas are being encroached on by abutting farmers for cattle grazing. There were abandoned cars on several portions of the Right of Way.

D. All the rails have been removed except between Cortland and Route 41, Polkville, New York. Most of the ties had been removed on all other areas. All signals are gone. Every bridge structure is gone. We counted at least eight removed bridges.

E. SELL OFFS: 1. Gordon R. Phillips--December 18, 1957; book 254, Page 415; 210 feet long x 25 feet wide; South and Center Streets; Village of McGraw. Consideration $500. 2. Higgens Supply Company, Inc.--October 27, 1957; Book 253; Page 503; 246 feet long x 20 feet wide; Elm and South Streets, Village of McGraw. Consideration $150. 3. Iran Peake and Cecile Peake--April 8, 1942; Book 189; Page 284; 1,537 feet long x 82.5 feet wide, Town of Cincinnatus. Consideration Seoo. 4. L. Warner Davis--July 31, 1942; Book 190; Page 50; 1,503 feet long x 82.5 feet wide; Town of Cincinnatus. Consideration $1,000. 5. Agway, Inc.--September 5, 1962; Book 286; Page 73; irregular shaped parcel (depot property): 1.47± acres; Town of Cincinnatus; Railroad reserved out 20 foot driveway from east to west side of sell off to get to railroad track. Consideration $1,000. 6. Agway, Inc.--April 5, 1962; Book 286; Page 78; approximately 4,834 square feet, 78' x 66' x 62' (East Court Street, City of Cortland). Consideration $2,000. 7. Robert N. Cain--January 23, 1964; d/b/a Gardner & Cain Oil Company; Book 290; Page 659; 6,398.5 square feet, 218' x 213' x 60'; East Court St.; City of Cortland. Consideration $2,000. 8. Agway, Inc.--February 25, 1964; Book 290; Page 831; 18,562.5 square feet, 125' x 148.5'; South Street; Village of McGraw. Consideration $1,000. 9. The State of New York has made appropriations from this right of way in City of Cortland and Town of Cortlandville. 10. It is also unofficially reported that some of the buildings have been rented to private individuals by unrecorded instruments.

F. This area is all rural.

G. By and large the abutting use is agriculture.

H. Much of this right of way could be and apparently has been used for snowmobile trails and for riding minibikes.

I. Parallels Route 41 over most of its length.


Delaware, Lackawanna and Western

Termini: Ithaca to Tioga County Line Location Map Code: 3-4

A. Approximate length 20 mi.

B. Approximate width 50' to 100'

C. General Conditions The width of the right-of-way ranges from 50 to 100 feet. The general condition of the roadbed is good and there is no evidence of washouts, landslides, flooding or other deterioration. The right-of-way is somewhat overgrown with brush and trees in certain parts.

Bridges, overpasses, tracks, ties and other facilities have been removed.

The terrain through which the right-of-way passes is rolling to flat; The principal land use of abutting properties is agricultural with scattered residential properties.

This right of way has excellent potential for recreational use. Due to its location in a rural setting, it would be ideally suited for many outdoor activities. The right-of-way is in close proximity to several major state highways.

RECORDED TRANSFERS: Abandonment & Sale Tompkins County Clerk's Office Book 429 Page 220 To Lehigh Valley Railroad (entire right-of-way) Consideration Unknown


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Aurora to Millican Location Map Code: 3-5

A. Approximate length 15 mi.

B. Approximate width 66' to 100'

C. General Conditions

Ties and rails have been removed and most of the railroad right of way is being used by private cottages and trailers.

No sales have been recorded and people using the area for recreation have a lease year to year revocable with the railroad that can be terminated at any time by the railroad.

This country is hilly and in some instances, sheer cliffs.

This land use is entirely for recreation as the right of way by the railroad is along Cayuga Lake and New York State Highways Route 90 parallel with the railroad between Aurora and King Ferry and Route 34B between King Ferry and Millican Station.


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Auburn to Moravia Location Map Code: 3-6

A. Approximate length 19 mi.

B. Approximate width 66' to 100'

C. General Conditions This right of way is heavily overgrown in many places and there are numerous evidences of encroachments by cottagers along the lake shore.

D. The tracks, ties and signals are removed in the areas inspected. (Some areas are practically inaccessible due to swamp and overgrowth.) Tracks extend a short distance north of Moravia to the beginning of abandonment and pick up again in the City of Auburn.

E. No evidence found in the deed books of private ownership. As mentioned before, there are many evidences of encroachment. It is possible some of these areas are leased on unrecorded leases. The State has appropriated several parcels for highway purposes.

F. Hilly but right of way is on water level route.

G. Agricultural and recreational use.

H. Rather limited due to terrain and built-up cottage areas.

I. Parallels State Route 38 for most of its length.


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Canastota to Cortland Location Map Code: 3-7

A. Approximate length 20 mi.

B. Approximate width 75' to 100'

C. General Conditions

The portion of this right of way covered in the study begins in the City of Cortland and runs generally parallel with Route 13 to the Cortland-Madison County line west of DeRuyter, New York.

The approximate length of this right of way within 100 feet.

The general condition of the roadbed is fair. It appears to be heavily overgrown over most of its length, and shows signs of deterioration from washouts and flooding. There appears to be some encroachment around the Village of East Homer. Farmers in the vicinity appear to have a corn crop planted on the right of way. Also a family on Bells Mills Road has taken a portion of the right of way as part of their yard.

All tracks, ties, and signal facilities have been removed. Bridges with the exception of three have been removed. Two of these are located on the southerly edge of Cuyler, the other is an overpass spanning Highbridge Road, south of DeRuyter. Also, two depot buildings were noted. One is in East Homer, the other in Cuyler.

The terrain through which the right of way passes is generally flat to gently rolling. The principal land use of abutting property is agricultural with scattered rural residential.

In its present condition, the right of way would be limited to such recreational activities as hiking or nature study. It is, however, in close proximity to several state and county highways making it readily accessible to the public.

RAILROAD FIELD STUDY (LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD, CANASTOTA TO CORTLAND) CONTINUED RECORDED TRANSFERS: 1. Book 202, Page 106, July 24, 1946 - consideration $1,000. LEHIGH RAILROAD TO L. & B. PIERCE 0.8 Acre in Village of Cuyler 2. Book 191, Page 149, March 4, 1943 - consideration $1,500. LEHIGH RAILROAD TO BROOKS .6 Acre South Main Street, City of Cortland 3. Book 221, Page 161, November 30, 1951 - consideration $2,000. LEHIGH RAILROAD TO WICKWIRE BROS., INC. 17,267 square feet in City of Cortland 4. Book 281, Page 930 - consideration $500. LEHIGH RAILROAD TO ESTATE OF R. STITSON 0.144 Acre on South Main Street, City of Cortland


Lehigh valley

Termini: Geneva Junction to Ithaca (Via Trumansburg) Location Map Code: 3-8

A. Approximate length 37 mi,

B. Approximate width 50' to 75'

C. General Conditions

The general condition of the right of way is good particularly from Ithaca to Trumansburg. There is no evidence of washouts, flooding or encroachments, or other deterioration of the roadbed. It is, however, slightly overgrown with small brush and trees from Trumansburg to Geneva.

Most bridges and over passes have been removed. There is one bridge still intact located south of the Village of Interlaken, New York, on Potter Road. Tracks, ties, and signal facilities have also been removed. It was noted during the survey, the depot in Interlaken was still in existence. The building has a for sale sign on it with the following address:

Lehigh Valley Railroad Real Estate Department 425 Brighton Street Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Telephone: 215-868-1461

It should be noted that the portion of the right of way from Ithaca to Trumansburg apparently has been sold to the New York State Electric & Gas Company for overhead power lines and an underground gas pipe. Also of note is the fact that the right of way passes through the Seneca Army Depot near Romulus, New York.

The terrain through which the right of way passes is varied. From Ithaca the right of way runs north along the west shore of Cayuga Lake. At this point the terrain is quite steep, as the right of way follows a steady upgrade toward Trumansburg. North of Trumansburg the terrain is generally level or slightly rolling.

The principal land use of properties abutting the right of way is agricultural. There is, however, a scattering of residential development particularly in the small villages through which the right of way passes.

The right of way has excellent recreational possibilities. With the exception of the selloff to the New York State Gas & Electric Company and the portion within the Seneca Army Depot, the right of way could be used as a continuous facility.

The right of way would lend itself to hiking, snowmobiling, and many other outdoor activities.

The right of way closely parallels Routes 13 and 96.

It would be easily accessible to the public at just about any point along the entire length.

RECORDED TRANSFERS: None, known, other than sale to New York State Gas & Electric Company. ADDENDUM TO RAILROAD FIELD STUDY

I. Geneva Junction to Ithaca (Lehigh Valley Railroad) Granter: Lehigh Valley Railroad
Liber: 458 - Page 439 Consideration: $25,000. Conveyance Date: August 20, 1965


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Geneva Junction to Lehigh Valley Junction Location Map Code: 3-9

A. Approximate length l2 mi.

B. Approximate width 50' to 75'

C. General Conditions

The general condition of the roadbed is good. There is no apparent evidence of any major deterioration of the right-of-way. It is slightly overgrown in spots, but is visible. No apparent evidence of encroachment was noted over the entire length of the right-of-way.

All bridges and overpasses appear to be intact. However, all ties, tracks and signal facilities have been removed.

The terrain through which the right-of-way passes is generally flat and level. It generally follows the Barge Canal from Geneva to its terminus near Seneca Falls.4 The principal land use of abutting properties is a heavy mixture of commercial and residential properties.

The recreational potential of this route is felt to be limited due to the heavy concentration of development around it.

It should be noted, however, that the right-of-way is in close proximity to major existing transportation facilities.


West Shore (Later New York Central)

Termini: Syracuse to Fairport Location Map Code: 3-10

A. Approximate length 60 mi.

B. Approximate width 75' to 200'

C. General Conditions

Around the Village of Solvay in the vicinity of Allied Chemical, the right-of-way is not visible. There are so many operating tracks in the area that it is impossible to pinpoint the right-of-way. The right-of-way is evident, however, from Warners, New York west.

The roadbed is in good condition and there is little evidence of flooding, landslides, or encroachments over the entire length. Portions of the right-of-way are slightly overgrown, but generally it is visible and in good condition.

Most tracks, ties, signal facilities, bridges and depots have been removed. It was noted that some overpasses remain around Palmyra and Newark. These were put in by farmers to get to adjacent fields.

It should be noted that the right-of-way is still in operation near Newark, Macedon and Egypt. This is to serve local customers on the line.

The terrain through which the right-of-way passes is generally flat. This is in part due to the fact that the right-of-way parallels the old Erie Canal.

The principal land use of abutting properties appears to be varied. From Syracuse to Warners it passes through commercial and residential development in the villages and towns.

The right-of-way appears to have excellent potential for recreational use, and could be developed in conjunction with the proposed restoration of the Erie Canal for historical purpose.

The right of way is in close proximity to Several major highways including Route 31.

RECORDED TRANSFERS Discussion with Harry Wiedeman, Real Estate Manager of the Penn Central Railroad, indicates that the right-of-way remains intact west of Warners, New York. The following transfers were noted in the Onondaga County Clerk's Office: 1. Book 1951 Page 20 - New York Central Railroad to Allied Chemical Corporation dated May 25, 1959. 6.27 acre; I.R.S. Stamps $14.30 actual consideration unknown. 2. Book 2103 Page 515, New York Central Railroad to Allied Chemical. Dated May 12, 1959 recorded May 25, 1959. I.R.S. Stamps $14.30. 3. Book 2167 Page 319 location of property - Amboy Road near canal; dated September 27, 1963 Recorded October 3, 1963. I.R.S. Stamps $8.80.


New York Central (Formerly West Shore)

Termini: Madison County Line to City of Syracuse Line Location Map Code: 3-11 i A. Approximate length 12 mi.

B. Approximate width 100' to 200'

C. General Conditions Those few portions of the roadbed which have not been sold off are in fairly good condition with no noticeable washouts, etc.

D. All facilities have been removed.

E. There are many evidences of private ownership and the known sell offs are as follows: Town of Manlius: l. Madison County Line west to North Kirkville Rd.-- Niagara Mohawk has title to northerly 50 feet of this 100 foot right of way. 2. From a point 1,800 feet east of west lot line of Lot 36 to said lot line--Louis Vespa, 425 Glenwood Avenue, Syracuse, New York 3. Town Isle Road west to North Manlius Road-- William Grygiel, Town Isle Road, R.D.#l, Kirkville, New York 4. North Manlius Road west to Costello Parkway-- Cyrus D. Roberts, 6296 Costello Parkway, Minoa, New York 5. Costello Parkway west to South Main, northerly 50 feet and power house to Agway--remainder is in the street (South Main and Costello). 6. Minoa Village line west to Richmond Road-- Bernard Race, 7232 Richmond Road, East Syracuse, New York 7. Richmond Road west to Town of Dewitt line-- Manlius Center Road Corp., Fisher Road, East Syracuse, New York. Town of Dewitt:. 1. Manlius Line west to 418 feet west of Fisher Road--Manlius Center Road Corp. and/or Patrick Covino. 2. West for 330 feet-Niagara Mohawk 3. From above point to a point 570 feet west of a Penn Central spur--Dewitt Industrial Park Corp., 925 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, New York. 4. From Route 3 west to East city line of Syracuse--State of New York for highway purposes.

F. Area is flat to gently hilly.

G. This right of way runs through industrial and residential areas in Town of Manlius and industrial in Dewitt.

H. The few small pieces left could be used (and are being used) as snowmobile, mini-bike, motorcycle, etc. trails.

I. The Penn-Central main line and New York Thruway parallel the right of way to the north and Routes 5 and 20 parallel to the south. The Barge Canal also parallels this right of way.

Deed Data on Selloffs

West Shore Railroad

1. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2227 - Page 460 - P.E. Agreement Consideration: $25,000. Conveyance Date: September 30, 1965 2. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2269 - Page: 191 Consideration: $200,000. Conveyance Date; August 30, 1965 3. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2272 - Page 396 Consideration: $4,000. Conveyance Date: October 20, 1965 4. Grantor: Penn Central Railroad
Liber: 2402 - Page: 1158 Consideration: $2,000.- Conveyance Date: May 1, 1969 5. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2168 - Page: 334 Consideration: $1,500. Conveyance Date: August 10, 1962 6. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2229 - Page: 260 Consideration: $17,000 Conveyance Date: November 23, 1964 7. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2083 - Page: 526 Consideration: $1,000 Conveyance Date: May 29, 1961 8. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2059 a Page 454 Consideration: $17,000 Conveyance Date: November 20, 1961


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Auburn to Fairhaven (Via Weedsport) Location Map Code: 3-12

A. Approximate length 31 mi.

B. Approximate width 40' to 70'

C. General Conditions

The roadbed is generally in good condition. However, in several spots the right of way is hardly visible, if at all. It is heavily overgrown with brush and trees over the entire length. All bridges and overpasses are out on the right of way, and all tracks, ties and signal facilities have been removed.

There appear to be several instances of encroachment or sell-offs on the right of way. The location of these can be pinpointed by reference to the right of way intersections with State and County highways.

The right of way begins at approximately York Street on the North City Line of Auburn. From this point to just south of Weedsport, the right of way is marked with no trespassing signs in the name of New York State Gas & Electric Company.

In the Village of Weedsport at the intersection of the right of way with Route 31, there is an abandoned railroad station building. The land around the building is covered with house moving equipment owned by Turhill Moving Company.

The right of way continues in a northerly direction and intersects the New York State Thruway outside Weedsport. Just north of the Thruway, the right of way is interrupted by bridge out on the Seneca River near Ditmar Road. These two intersections would cause great difficulty in developing the right of way as a continuous facility with a moderate expense of funds.

The right of way continues north, generally paralleling Route 34. It remains heavily overgrown with brush and trees.

As the right of way passes through the Village of Cato and Intersects Route 370, there is an apparent sell-off of the station building to a feed store.

There is also an apparent sell-off or encroachment where the right of way intersects Ira Station Road (Route 39A) one of the old railroad buildings is used as a garage.

The right of way continues to Martville where there is a sell-off to the Queens Farm Dairy for a processing plant.

The right of way ends in the Village of Fair Haven at which point there appear to be several sell-offs or encroachments: ice cream stand, bakery, and gift shop.

The terrain through which the right of way travels is generally flat to rolling. The land uses in the area are mostly agricultural with scattered residential and commercial development in the small towns and villages.

The recreational potential of the right of way is great. However, as was mentioned, development as a continuous facility may be difficult because of natural and man-made obstacles coupled with sell-offs and encroachments.

The right of way is in close proximity to several state, county and town roads. Access to it from any direction is not a problem.


Lehigh Valley

Termini: Cayuga Junction to Auburn Location Map Code: 3-13

A. Approximate length 9 mi.

B. Approximate width 66' to 100'

C. General Conditions This roadbed is in better condition than any of the others inspected. No landslides or washouts were noted- In fact, this right of way can be driven all the way from Route 90 to the Auburn City Line. Troop 70 of the Boy Scouts of America have barricaded the right of way just west of Route 90. There is a truck crane, License 75-951, Special Commercial 1969 which appeared to be abandoned just west of State Highway 326, where it crosses closest to Auburn. Other than that the right of way is clear.

D. All tracks, ties and other structures are removed except two wooden bridges made of ties. E, No evidence of private ownership other than Boy Scouts of America. All sell-offs noted on deed books were in the Village of Union Springs or the City of Auburn. Boy Scouts of America may have an unrecorded lease next to Cayuga Lake.

F. Generally level.

G. Generally agricultural.

H. Excellent for any kind of riding or hiking trails.

I. This right of way runs generally Northeast-Southwest and the roads run generally North-South or East-West with numerous crossings.


Williamstown and Redfield Railroad and Forest Co.

Termini: Williamstown to Redfield Location Map Code: 3-14

A. Approximate length 4.5 mi.

B. Approximate width 15' to 20'

C. General Conditions

As nearly as can be determined this railroad was in operation from the mid l880's until approximately 1920. Its right of way length was slightly over 4 ½ miles with a width varying from 15 to 20 feet. It ran from just west of the present Town of Williamstown through the town then northerly up into the timberlands. Its apparent function was solely that of hauling lumber down and supplies up to the logging camps.

Where breaks in the thick overgrowth permitted inspection the right of way appeared firm and dry. However, there were many stretches where it was impossible to determine the exact path the right of way formerly ran on. All that can be accurately stated is that there are no evident tracks, ties, signal devices, bridges or railroad facilities of any kind existing on this right of way. Further, persons long familiar with the area could yield no information concerning original railroad facilities.

Mr. Frank Rogers, Town Supervisor for the Town of Williamstown, claims that Oswego County owns the right of way having acquired it through the nonpayment of taxes by the original owners. No indication or evidence of this was uncovered in a search of the records of the Oswego County Clerk's Office. Mr. Rogers further indicated that in all likelihood the county would be most willing to sell this right of way to the State of New York for recreational or highway purposes if the matter ever arose.

Mr. Rogers is in possession of a map, a copy of which is attached, showing the original railroad roadway. The map appears to have been drawn about the turn of the century.

The character of abutting land is mostly brush and pasture as the overall terrain of the area is hilly and wooded.

No indication of ownership by private individuals was uncovered nor were any apparent encroachments noted.

The right of way crosses County Route 19 twice but the exact points of intersection are almost indistinguishable. Further, these two points and one stretch in the Town of Williamstown, the exact location of which is undetermined, are the only public means of ingress and egress that are known.


Richland to Camden

Termini: Richland to the Oneida County Line Location Map Code: 3-15

A. Approximate length 16 mi.

B. Approximate width 40' to 70'

C. General Conditions

The approximate length of this section is 16 to 17 miles beginning at the Town of Richland, Oswego County and continuing to the Oswego-Oneida County Line. The approximate width varies from 40 to 70 feet depending on the location of the roadbed in relation to populated areas, siding points and the terrain it passes through. The overall condition is good, the majority of the right of way being firm, dry and partially graveled. There is very little overgrowth on the roadbed and no evidence of washouts or severe occasions of flooding. Encroachment has noticeably occurred in the form of sportsmen temporarily erecting tents and camp trailers on the right of way and one instance where an addition to a building has been erected across the right of way.

All bridges have been removed as have all tracks. Some ties remain in remote areas but nowhere are there any existing signal devices or railroad communication lines.

Concerning selloffs and the indication of ownership by private individuals, the railroad station at Richland is occupied by Glen Olin, a used car and salvage dealer. An investigation of the records of the Oswego County Clerk shows a sale dated July 13, 1965, recorded on August 4, 1965, in Book 683, Page 817, from the New York Central Railroad to Glen Olin. The sale included two parcels of land, one of 1.95 acres and one of .93 acre; the first parcel including a station building, watertank, pumphouse and blacksmith shop.

In Williamstown, near the eastern terminus of the investigated roadway, there is a defunct milkplant with an addition that encroaches completely across the original railroad right of way as was mentioned in a previous paragraph. A check of the Oswego County Clerk's records reveals a sale of this milkplant from the Dairymens League to Labribee Realty Company, Hardin Boulevard, Camden, New York on June 26, 1962 for $2,500. This sale is recorded in Deed Book 658, Page 1047 but does not mention the inclusion of New York Central land or right of way.

Residents of the area stated that the addition was constructed after the tracks were removed.

The nature of the terrain through which the roadbed passes is generally one of rolling hills, pasture, tilled land, pine forests and other large softwood stands. The roadbed crosses numerous small streams and the Salmon River just north of the Town of Altmar. The principal land use of abutting properties is largely agricultural, some limited, small commercial ventures such as a scrapyard, gravelpit or manufacturing concern and undeveloped woodland.

As such the recreational possibilities appear to be unlimited for snowmobiling, hiking use as a nature tract, etc.; in some instances these activities are already taking place on this right of way.

This existing railroad right of way crosses approximately nine town and county roads and State Highway 13 three times. It is very accessible from the aforementioned roads both from where they intersect it and where they parallel it.


Penn Central (Chenango Branch)

Termini: Fayettville to Manlius Location Map Code: 3-16

A. Approximate length 2.4 mi.

B. Approximate width 66'

C. General Conditions

This section of railroad is about 2.4 miles long and runs from Salt Springs Road behind Tracy Lumber Company to Senesa Street in Manlius at Whistle Stop Building Supply Corporation which concern owns and occupies the former railroad station and adjacent track right of way. I have not checked further, but was told this right of way continued on to Cazenovia from Manlius. (Syracuse to Earlville). Our map does not show this.

The right of way appears to be about four rods wide. The condition of the roadbed is generally quite good. It is constantly used by pedestrians, bicycles, motor bikes, riding horses and snowmobiles. Trees and brush have grown in on both sides but the actual roadbed (appears to have been one track) is generally free of overgrowth, washouts, landslides, flooding, etc. Considerable fill has been removed adjacent to a bridge over McDermott Street (paper street).

D. All tracks and sign facilities have been removed. Also, most of the ties have been taken up and taken away or piled at the sides. I would guess the ties were removed by the bike and snowmobile riders. There were no overpasses and all bridges are intact.

E. There are evidences of private ownership between Salt Springs Road and Hoag Lane and for a short distance south of Hoag Lane and at Seneca Street. The known sales are: 1. Most of the right of way from Salt Springs to Hoag Lane is owned by Immaculate Conception Church of Fayetteville. 2. Immediately south of Hoag Lane: a. John A and Patricia A. Ware b. Charles W. and Stella K. Johnson c. Marion F. Callahan 3. At Seneca Street the right of way including the Station is owned by Whistle Stop Building Supply Corporation.

F. The terrain is generally rolling with the right of way running at times along the southwest side of a hill. The entire area is mostly built up to homes on both sides of the right of way.

G. Except for the lumberyard, the abutting land is residential. The lumberyard is industrial.

H. The recreational possibilities of this right of way are already being exploited as set forth in the third paragraph of this study.

I. As mentioned, this right of way runs through a built up area which is crisscrossed with streets. The only public transportation is by bus over Fayette and Seneca Streets which parallel this right of way to the west and south.

Chenango Branch-Penn Central Railroad, Fayetteville Manlius

A. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2364 - Page 806 Consideration: $1.00 Conveyance Date: January 26, 1968

B. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2315 - Page 256 Consideration $3,500. Conveyance Date: July 18, 1965

C. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2345 - Page 585 Consideration: $1,000. Conveyance Date: May 26, 1967

D. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2309 - Page 429 Consideration: $6,000. Conveyance Date: July 22, 1966

E. Grantor: New York Central Railroad
Liber: 2317 - Page 503 Consideration: $2,000. Conveyance Date: July 18, 1965


Lehigh Valley Railroad

Termini: Spencer to East Ithaca Location Map Code: 3-17

A. Approximate length 22 mi.

B. Approximate width 66' to 110'

C. General Conditions

This investigation encompasses 10 miles from East Ithaca to Tioga County Line.

The roadbed is quite apparent for most of the ten mile section, although it is overgrown with trees and brush. No evidence of operational facilities remain.

The right of way is situated along a steep hillside paralleling Route 79 for about half its length, at which point it turns south and follows a creek valley.

The entire right of way appears to be in private ownership with the exception of a town road and a parcel owned by the Brooktondale Lighting District in the Town of Caroline. Land use is primarily agricultural and residential.


Lehigh Valley Railroad

Termini: Sage - Freeville - Genoa Location Map Code: 3-18

A. Approximate length 15 mi.

B. Approximate width 66'

C. General Conditions

The roadbed of this long-abandoned railroad is barely discernible as a hedgerow of trees. The line follows a long grade up a side hill from Sage, at the intersection of Route 34 and Bowers Rd., Town of Lansing, and continues along level, marshy ground into Freeville. No remains of the railroad's operational facilities are to be seen. The lands bordering the roadbed are given to agricultural and residential use.

Title apparently rests in adjoining owners and no portion is assessed as a separate entity. The right of way crosses Route 34 and County Roads 107 and 108. It then parallels County Road 108 into Freeville.

The portion of this railroad extending from Sage north to Genoa was acquired by the Central New York Southern Railroad and is included under Location Map Code 3-19.


Central New York Southern Railroad

Termini: Auburn to Ithaca Location Map Code: 3-19

A. Approximate length 36.4 mi.

B. Approximate width 66'

C. General Conditions

The roadbed, although overgrown with vegetation, is quite visible for nearly its entire length, being marked by a line of trees. No rails or other operational facilities remain except the station at Mapleton, which is now a vacant store, and the Venice Center station, which has been converted to a town highway storage building.

The right of way passes through generally rolling terrain and the use of adjoining land is primarily agricultural. This inter-urban railroad was located west of Bluefield Rd. in the Towns of Aurelius and Fleming and east of Cork St. in the Town of Scipio. It roughly paralleled Route 34 through the Towns of Venice, Genoa, and Lansing and was located in the city streets of Ithaca.

The mortgaged property of the Central New York Southern Railroad was sold to Ernest A. Smith by foreclosure sale February 3, 1923 and recorded in the Cayuga County Clerk's office (Book 225, Page 429). The right of way is occupied by power lines of New York State Electric & Gas Corporation between Auburn and Mapleton. Signs indicating an underground cable of the New York Telephone Company were observed along the right of way between Venice Center and Genoa.


Lehigh Valley Railroad

Termini: Ovid-Hayts Corners-Willard Location Map Code: 3-20

A. Approximate Length 4 mi.

B. Approximate width 40'

C. General Conditions

The roadbed is situated on level terrain and is overgrown with trees and brush. Rails and ties have been removed. The Hayts Corners station remains standing but is in disrepair.

Several deeds to the Hayts Corners, Willard and Ovid Railroad Company, predecessor to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, contained reverter clauses. No evidence of private use was observed. Land uses of abutting properties are primarily agricultural and residential.

The right of way crosses Routes 96, 96A and the Lehigh Valley Railroad main line at Willard.


Skaneateles Short Line Railroad

Termini: Skaneateles to Mottville Location Map Code: 3-21

A. Approximate length 2 mi.

B. Approximate width 40'

C. General Conditions

The roadbed of this abandoned section is in good condition, although weeds and brush have begun to envelope it. Some of the rails and ties have been removed outside the Village of Skaneateles. The freight station and general office at Skaneateles remains standing. The abandoned portion continues to be the property of the Skaneateles Short Line Railroad except that part which lies within the public streets and roads of the Village and Town of Skaneateles.

The right of way follows the valley of Skaneateles Creek. The surrounding terrain is comprised of steep hills developing into a broad plain as Skaneateles is approached from the north. Land uses in the vicinity are residential and agricultural with some light industry.

Route 20 passes through Skaneateles one block from the southern terminus of the railroad. Many people consider this to be one of the finest residential and resort areas of the state.


Marcellus & Otisco Lake Railway

Termini: Otisco Lake (Martisco to Otisco Lake) Location Map Code: 3-22

A. Approximate length 9 mi.

B. Approximate width 66 feet

C. General Conditions

The roadbed of this short line railroad is visible and intact almost its entire length from the junction with the Penn-Central Railroad at Martisco to its southern terminus at Otisco Lake. An exception is that portion occupied by Route 174 near Marcellus Falls.

The right-of-way from Slate Hill Road, south of Marcellus, to Otisco Lake is owned by the Onondaga County Water Authority, which has constructed underground water conduits within its boundaries. OCWA also has an easement to construct and maintain a water pipe line north of Marcellus to Martisco.

Onondaga County has taken title to that portion of the right-of-way which crossed Marcellus Park. Other portions have been sold to individuals in the Village of Marcellus. A village sewer line occupies the right-of-way for a short distance.

The terrain in the northern section is steep hillside, becoming generally rolling south of Marcellus Land uses of abutting properties are primarily residential and agricultural.

Three steel bridges crossing Nine-Mile Creek were observed. All other operational facilities have been removed.


Syracuse Northern Railroad (New York Central)

Termini: Pulaski to Lacona Location Map Code: 3-23

A. Approximate length 8 mi.

B. Approximate width 80 feet

C. General Conditions

The abandoned portion of this railroad extended from the Penn Central Railroad tracks west of Route 11 in the Village of Pulaski northward to the Village of Lacona where it rejoined the Penn Central. The railroad passed through the streets and backyards of Pulaski and paralleled Route 11 to the Village of Sandy Creek, where it crossed Route 11 and the present Interstate Route 81 before reaching Lacona. The right-of-way passes through gently rolling terrain, largely wooded with some open fields. Cuts and fills for the original grade are apparent, but the only structure observed was one stone arch and the abutments of the Salmon River Bridge in Pulaski.

Ownership of the right-of-way was acquired by the New York Realty and Terminal Company which resold it to adjoining owners. Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation and the New York Telephone Company have easement rights over various portions and a Niagara Mohawk transmission line extends along the right-of-way for a considerable distance. The Blount Lumber Company is located at the junction in Lacona and uses some trackage as a siding. Other than this, land use is primarily agricultural and residential.

Inventory of Abandoned Railroad Rights of way

Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Railroad Co.

Termini: Rochester & Syracuse Location Map Code: 3-24

A. Approximate length 86 mi.

B. Approximate width 100'

C. General Conditions

The former Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Roadbed crosses Wayne & Cayuga Counties and terminates at Lake Shore Junction (New York State Fairgrounds) in Onondaga County. In Wayne County, Route 31 occupies the former bed. In Cayuga County, Niagara Mohawk and New York State Electric and Gas Company have power lines on the railbed.

In Onondaga County the bed is occupied by Niagara Mohawk as a power line and pipe line Right-of-Way. The easterly 2± miles in Onondaga County is occupied by a Mobil Oil Company Pipeline.

The roadbed is largely intact and readily visible. All bridges have been removed, but abutments remain.

The railbed is severed in Onondaga County by the New York State Thruway at Warners and Peru but the remaining sections are readily accessible from numerous intersecting public roads.

Reference: Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Travelectric By: william R. Gordon & James R.McFarlane.


Auburn & Syracuse Electric Railroad Company

Termini: Syracuse & Auburn Location Map Code: 3-25

A. Approximate length 24 mi.

B. Approximate width 70'

C. General Conditions

The Auburn & Syracuse Electric Railroad ran from downtown Syracuse to Auburn via Split Rock Quarry, Marcellus & Skaneateles. The entire length in Onondaga County is owned by the County of Onondaga.

The railbed from Syracuse to Split Rock is now occupied by Onondaga Blvd. From Split Rock to Marcellus the bed is unoccupied but Onondaga County is contemplating extending the boulevard over this route. From Marcellus to Skaneateles the railbed is occupied by the Lee-Mulroy Highway.

From Skaneateles to Auburn, the railbed was on Franklin Street Road by franchise. All evidence of this section is now gone.


Auburn & Northern Electric Railroads

Termini: Auburn to Port Byron Location Map Code: 3-26

A. Approximate length 8 mi.

B. Approximate width

C. General Conditions

The Auburn & Northern Electric Railroad went from downtown Auburn to Port Byron via Throopsville. The line occupied public streets in Auburn & Port Byron and was on an apparent revertible Right-of-Way on the remainder as many homes and a fire station (Throopsville) are on the roadbed.

The roadbed itself runs through a rural area but was poorly constructed and little evidence remains at its location. There is no evidence that it is now being used by anyone for any purpose.


Empire State Railway

Termini: Syracuse to Oswego Location Map Code: 3-27

A. Approximate length 38 mi.

B. Approximate width 100'

C. General Conditions

The empire State Railway ran from Downtown Syracuse to Downtown Oswego via Baldwinsville, Phoenix and Fulton. The railroad was on the beds of streets in the cities and villages by franchise and on private Right-of-Way for the remainder.

The bed of this line is now occupied by Interstate Route 690 from Syracuse to the Thruway and by a Niagara Mohawk Power Line from the Thruway to Baldwinsville. The area from Baldwinsville to Phoenix runs through the Three Rivers Game Management Area and is occupied by an abandoned natural gas line from a private gas well. The railroad bed is now reputedly owned by the various adjoining land owners.

The railroad bed from Phoenix to Fulton is occupied by Niagara Mohawk for a gas line and a power line and the northern four miles has a private water line to the City of Fulton.

The line crossed to the west side of the Oswego River at Fulton and is occupied from Fulton to Oswego by a buried

A. T. & T. Cable.

The road bed is mostly intact and in good condition mainly by Niagara Mohawk Maintenance. The bridge piers and abutments are standing in Baldwinsville and Phoenix but no evidence of the bridge at Fulton remains.

Reference: The Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Travelectric By: William R. Gordon & James R. McFarlane of Rochester, New York


Geneva, Seneca Falls & Auburn Railroad

Termini: Geneva to Cayuga Lake Park Location Map Code: 3-28

A. Approximate length 12 mi.

B. Approximate width None Specified

C. General Conditions This electric railway was located in the public streets of the City of Geneva and Villages of Waterloo and Seneca Falls. Between these populated areas, it was located within the right of way of Routes 5 & 20 and east of Seneca Falls within the roads of the Town of Seneca Falls. At the time of the abandonment, all stations, real estate and other tangible assets were sold. Today nothing remains except in the public records and in the memories of those who rode the trolleys.


Cortland & Homer Traction Company

Termini: Cortland-Homer-Preble-McGrawville Location Map Code: 3-29

A. Approximate length 16.3 mi.

B. Approximate width None

C. General Conditions The Cortland & Homer Traction Company operated an electric railroad in the beds of Routes 11, 41 and 281 by franchise from the City of Cortland and the County of Cortland. There was no private right of way and no evidence of the tracks remain.


Syracuse Northern Electric Railway

Termini: Syracuse to South Bay Branch: Watertown Junction to Brewerton Location Map Code: 3-30

A. Approximate length 1816 mi.

B. Approximate width 100'

C. General Conditions

The Syracuse Northern Railroad ran from downtown Syracuse North to the Northern Lights Traffic Circle via U.S. Route 11. This was by franchise. The line then proceeded to South Bay on Oneida Lake over a 100' Right of Way which is now an Onondaga County road known as South Bay Road.

There was a branch line from Watertown Junction (South Bay Road and Pine Grove Road) which went 6.2 miles north to Brewerton. This line is adjacent to the east side of A Interstate Route 81. It is a 100' wide Right of Way, now occupied by a Niagara Mohawk Electrical Transmission Line. Some evidence of the railroad bed is visible between Cicero and Brewerton.

Reference: The Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Travelectric By: William R. Gordon & James R. McFarlane of Rochester, New York.


The Syracuse & Suburban Railroad

Termini: Syracuse-Manlius Location Map Code: 3-31

A. Approximate length 15 mi.

B. Approximate width None

C. General Conditions

The Syracuse and Suburban Railroad ran from Downtown Syracuse to Manlius via Fayetteville over the beds of city streets, Route 5 and Route 257. The railroad occupied the streets by franchise from the City of Syracuse and Villages of Fayetteville and Manlius. Routes 5 and 257 were occupied by agreement with the toll road companies.

There was a four mile branch line from Dewitt to Jamesville which is now largely occupied by Interstate Route 481. This branch was on an easement Right of Way which terminate upon removal of the tracks in 1931. There is evidence of a short section of this line about one mile north of Route 5.

Reference: The Electric Traction Quarterly Spring & Summer 1967, Volume 5 Nos. 3 & 4 P.O. Box 52, Wheaton, Illinois 60187


The Rochester & Sodus Bay Railway

Termini: Rochester-Sodus Point Location Map Code: 3-32

A. Approximate length 41 miles

B. Approximate width None

C. General Conditions

The Rochester & Sodus Bay Electric Railway occupied the beds of roads by franchise in Wayne County. The line went from Union Hill to Wallington via Ridge Road and from Wallington to Sodus Point via Route 14.

There was a half mile curve at Wallington on private Right of Way, but title reverted to the adjoining owners when the line was abandoned.

Reference: Plan & Profile of the Rochester & Sodus Bay Railway Wayne County Clerk's Office Map 895, Drawer A-27


Region # 3

Penn Central (Sodus Bay Branch)

Termini: Newark to Seneca Castle Location Map Code: 3-33

A. Approximate length 11.9 miles

B. Approximate width 66 feet

C. General Conditions

This investigation encompasses 2.5 miles, from Mile Post 16.8 in the Village of Newark southward through the Town of Arcade to the Ontario County Line.

The ties and rails are in place although the roadbed is weed and brush covered. Penn Central Transportation Company has retained ownership. Electric transmission lines of the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation adjoin the right-of-way

The abandoned railroad extends through gently rolling land which is presently used for industrial, institutional and residential purposes. Road crossings south of Newark are County Route 334 and Silver Hill Road. The right-of-way parallels Sweed Road for a short distance before reaching the Ontario County Line.