Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Railfanning in Utica, NY

Engine 703 heading up train 232 from Niagara Falls to New York  pulls into Utica at the same time as train 63, the Maple Leaf from New York to  Toronto pulls in on Track 2 in the background.

Lots of Train Action in Utica....by Don Janes

    On Day 2 of our trip to the Model RR EXPO in Pittsfield, MA back in November,  George and I stopped in at Utica NY to check out the train action. Utica is located on the former New York Central Water Level Route between Chicago and New York.  The station has been beautifully restored both inside and out and the canopies along Track 1 date back to the original NYC days including the cast name plate at each end.  The main line is now owned by the CSX and besides their many freight trains each day Utica is an busy Amtrak stop hosting several trains each way every day.  It was also the junction where the branch line to the Adirondacks started.  This line is now operated by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and their equipment is stored in the yard across from the depot, those tracks once being part of the many Utica station tracks.  I believe there were other lines that ran into Utica also judging from the old DL&W freight house just down the tracks from the station.  
    In the two hours or so that we spent in Utica we saw quite a few CSX freight trains with a mixed bag of power, two Amtrak trains and the Adirondack Sceneic RR in action.  The platforms are quite accessible via the overhead walkway and photography is quite easy due to a good view in each direction and lack of restrictive fences, a rarity around railroad tracks these days.  We freely explored the Adirondack yard and when approached by one of their employees we were expecting to be evicted but instead were offered a tour of the locomotives, a train ride and a ride back to our car.  It was tough to pass up that opportunity but our schedule just didn't allow that extra time.
     I am off to Arizona for about 7 weeks so will be photographing BNSF trains along Highway 40 on the way out and Union Pacific trains on the Sunset Route in the Arizona desert and enjoying not having to shovel snow every other day. 
Above is the front of the old NYC depot and below the beautifully restored interior
EX NYC 0-6-0 on display next to the station
This old ACLO RSD 4/5 is on display at a Children's Museum across the street from the station
A CSX freight head up by two UP units rolled through right ahead of the Amtrak
Here we see Amtrak train 284 accelerating away from Utica with an old ex New Haven FL-9 in the background
Another view of the FL-9 sitting in the Adirondack RR yard.  I suspect it is a source for parts now
A westbound CSX freight with a bunch of garbage cars on the head end followed the westbound  Maple Leaf 
Adirondack RR private car NEHASANE was on the rear of the train.  We were offered a ride in this car
EX CPR RS-18 1845 as seen beyond the tender of NYC 0-6-0 6721. She was  the leader on the extra Adironcak RR train
Here we see the extra departing Utica for the Adirondack Branch.  Those RS-18's look good in that colour scheme
Another view of the NEHASANE departing north up the branch
A closer look at the RS-18's
A nice surprise was this restored Boston & Maine 24 ft steel caboose in the Adirondack RR yard.  It is used on some of their excursion trains.
This old Lackawana freight house is located just down the tracks form the Utica Station.  


  1. Good afternoon. Any chance you have available dimensions of WRJ station? In particular, a floor plan. (I already have some elevations and sections.) Thanks! jwchenard -at- yahoo -dot- com

  2. Hi Jason:
    In the January 2002 issue of Model Railroader there is an article on scratch building the WRJ station. There also is a set of plans and photos included. I used those plans to build a reduced version of the station...hope this helps...George Dutka