Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011 Road Trip – Railroad Depots (#9) NY

Continuing with our late summer-early fall 2011 road trip to New York and Pennsylvania…

While in the Cooperstown New York area, with Laurie's help, I had a chance to add a couple more old railroad depots and some rolling stock to my photo collection.

This is the Milford New York railway depot.  It was built in 1869 and it served as the freight and passenger depot for the Cooperstown & Susquehanna Valley Railroad...the predecessor to the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad.  The 16 mile long CACV railroad was in turn purchased by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad.  This depot now serves as the center of operations for the CACV now operating as a tourist line under the auspices of the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society.

At this time, the CACV/Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society operates tourist sightseeing trains on an 8 mile stretch of track running from Milford to the south end of Cooperstown.  Plans call for the other 8 miles of the old Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley, (CACV), line to be rebuilt or reconditioned and put back into mixed tourist and freight hauling service.

The photo above is of one of the CACV’s active locomotives.   Diesel locomotive #3051 was built by Montreal Locomotive Works under license to the American Locomotive Company.  This 55+ year old S4 model 1000 H.P. switcher first served with Canadian National Railways as locomotive #8181.  Atlas Steel was the next owner where it was renumbered as #9.  CACV/LRHS purchased the locomotive in 2003, adding its second S4 to the organization’s collection of engines and rolling stock.  They currently have 5 locomotives in use or in storage. 

This is one of the passenger coaches used by the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad for its tourist trains between Milford and Cooperstown.  Number 102 is a former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railway coach developed in 1930 for use as a ‘trailer’ unit for a MU/Multiple Unit commuter train.  Another coach, pulling this one, would be an electric powered unit with a pantograph connecting with the overhead electric lines.

Most of these coaches were built by the Pullman Company.  These multiple unit commuter trains operated from 1931 until 1984.  There are 97 ‘trailers’ and 59 motorized coaches still in existence around the country.

For some unknown reason, the tracks from Milford to Cooperstown stop at this old RPO coach at the south edge of town.  Why didn’t they leave the tracks in place so the trains could continue on to one of the old depots in Cooperstown?  It would have been much more in keeping with the overall Cooperstown experience!  In any case, this is now the passenger handling ‘depot’ for the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad at the north end of the line.

This Delaware & Ohio RPO (Rail Post Office) coach was built between 1928 and 1930 by American Car & Foundry.  These units used to be operated with scheduled rail passenger trains as a way to move mail quickly from one town to the next.  Railway Postal Employees would sort the mail as the trains rolled along the tracks.
At the height of their use, RPO cars were used on more than 9,000 routes and on more than 200,000 route miles of track in North America.  They operated for 113 years, with the last RPO ending its run between New York City and Washington D.C. on 6/30/77.  When the Post Office cancelled its contracts with the railroads, it spelled doom for most remaining railway passenger service.  The Santa Fe Railroad alone lost annual income totaling $35 million!

This is one of the remaining depots in Cooperstown.  It was raining and we neglected to check closely to determine what the building was being used for.  I suspect that it’s the current offices of the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad and its holding company, the Delaware Otsego Corporation.  Their corporate address is 1 Depot Street in Cooperstown.  It’s a little strange since the nearest active rail line for the NYS & W operates from Utica to Binghamton, completely bypassing this area. (

According to the information posted at, there are no less than 5 old depots still standing in Cooperstown.  They were the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley depot; both the freight and passenger depots for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, and; two depots for the Southern New York Railroad.  This is the only one that we found during our visit.

You probably noticed the old and very handsome passenger coach/observation car sitting next to the depot in the preceding photo.  This unit originally served both the Delaware & Hudson and the Erie Lackawanna Railways.  It’s now on static display sitting on a piece of track leading nowhere…

Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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