Train Whistle Sounding Again in Chenango County
The County of Chenango Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) recently announced that for the first time in nearly a dozen years, commercial freight was shipped on NY Susquehanna and Western Railroad's Utica Line. That officially marks the completion of the restoration project that began over a decade ago. The train consisted of a locomotive pulling two flat cars that were carrying hollow steel beams. The journey originated in Elkhart, Indiana and was destined for New York Mills.
In 2006, after floodwaters severely damaged the line in more than 20 locations in the county, NYSW suspended service, and later filed papers to abandon the line. CCIDA objected, saying the line was a vital transportation infrastructure, and began laying the groundwork for restoration. They were awarded a $772,000 grant from New York State Department of Transportation, and that funding plus a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2013 meant the restoration project would go on.
In 2015, work began on nearly 45 miles of track, including washout repair, new culvert and drainage installation, and the placement of new rail cross ties. Work was completed this month and the restored freight system is now being marketed to potential customers in Chenango County and elsewhere on the NYSW system.