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New York Short Line Railroads

Published: April 17, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Guide Information

Albany Port Railroad

(reporting mark, APD):  This terminal road, jointly owned by CSX/CP, is located at the Port of Albany and primarily switches a grain facility. 

Arcade & Attica Railroad

(reporting mark, ARA):  The historic Arcade & Attica has been in operation since 1917 when acquired the assets of former bankrupt companies serving Arcade and Attica dating as far back as the Attica & Sheldon Railroad of 1836 (which was ultimately never built). 

Rail service finally commenced in 1881.  Today, the A&A operates only between Arcade and North Java as the rest was abandoned in 1957.  

Freight currently consists of agricultural products, lumber, dairy feed, and other freight.  The railroad also offers excursion service to the general public.

Batten Kill Railroad

(reporting mark, BKRR):  This short line has been in operation since 1982 operating roughly 34 miles of former Delaware & Hudson branch lines between Eagle Bridge (and a connection with the Pan Am Railway) and Salem via Greenwich Junction.  Its traffic consists of grain, fertilizer, logs, and wood pulp.

B&H Rail Corporation

(reporting mark, BH): This historic short line, a division of the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville was formerly known as the Bath & Hammondsport from 1872-1996.

As its name implies, it originally linked Bath with Hammondsport, New York and for many years was under the Erie Railroad's control (later Erie Lackawanna).  After 1976 it was a component of Conrail and the line to Hammondsport was abandoned after 1994.

It was acquired by the LA&L in 1996.  Today, only about a mile north of Bath remains active with interchange provided there via the parent road.

Brookhaven Rail Terminal

(reporting mark, BRT):  This terminal line began operations in 2011 on Long Island.  Using a pair of GP38's it serves at transload facility in Yaphank with interchange provided via the New York & Atlantic, which handles freight traffic on the Long Island Rail Road.

Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad

(reporting mark, BPRR): This regional is part of the Genesee & Wyoming's large family of railroads, operating 368 miles of trackage in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York.

The history of the property dates back to the B&O/BR&P, acquired from CSX in 1988.  It currently serves a multitude of customers moving aggregates, brick/cement, automotive, chemicals, coal, food/feed products, forest products, metallic ores/minerals, and steel/scrap.

Buffalo Southern Railroad

(reporting mark, BSOR):  The Buffalo Southern began operations in 1982 between Buffalo and Gowanda, interchanging there with the New York & Lake Erie.  

The history of the line dates back to the Erie Railroad and was sold by Conrail.  The road's current traffic consists of petroleum products, lumber, concrete, agriculture, animal feed, fertilizer, manufacturing products, and paper.

Central New York Railroad

(reporting mark, CNYK): This medium-sized short line operates about 123-miles leased track between Binghamton and Port Jervis owned by NS.  

The railroad began in 1972 operating trackage purchased from EL between Cassville and Richfield Springs.  The road went dormant after abandoning this line in 1995 but was brought back in 2004 under Delaware Otsego by leasing from NS the former Erie's Southern Tier (Binghamton-Port Jervis).

Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad

(reporting mark, CLP):  A division of the Vermont Railway since 1972 this short line's history can be traced all of the way back to 1885.  It serves a limestone processing plant near Florence, Vermont.

Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad

(reporting mark, DLWR):  This short line is a Genesee Valley Transportation (GVT) property that has been in service since 1989, operating two disconnected lines of Lackawanna and Lehigh Valley heritage; one operates between Lancaster and Cheektowaga and the other between Lockport and Brockport.  Combined the trackage totals 14 miles with freight including fertilizers, plastics, metals, petroleum products, forest products, oraw materials and finished products.

Falls Road Railroad

(reporting mark, FRR):  Another GVT property, the Falls Road has been in service since 1996 operating 45 miles of former Conrail trackage in western New York.  The road's freight is based primarily in bulk commodities, agriculture, food products, petroleum, and chemicals.

Finger Lakes Railway

(reporting mark, FGLK):  The Finger Lakes began in 1995 when it acquired 118 miles of former NYC, LV, and PRR disconnected trackage south and west of Syracuse known as the "Geneva Cluster" by Conrail.  Today, the system operates a total of 154 miles and moves more than 18,000 carloads while serving some 54 customers.  

Housatonic Railroad

(reporting mark, HRRC): See Connecticut.

Ithaca Central Railroad

(reporting mark, ITHR):  This Watco-owned short line began service in 2018 over 49 miles of leased Norfolk Southern trackage between Sayre, Pennsylvania and Ludlowville, New York via Ithaca.  The line is former Lehigh Valley trackage that originally extended to Auburn and Fair Haven, New York.

Kodak Park Railroad

(reporting mark, KPRR): This privately-owned short line controlled by the Eastman Kodak Company services the Kodak Park in Rochester, New York.  It handles about 15,000 carloads annually moving coal, forest products, plastics, and chemicals.

Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad

(reporting mark, LAL):  This long-operating short line traces its history back to 1964 when it acquired 13 miles of former Erie trackage between Lakeville, Avon, and north of Industry.  

More trackage was acquired from Conrail in 1996 and the road now operates over 400 miles in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.  

Massena Terminal Railroad

(reporting mark, MSTR):  This terminal road is a property of Genesee & Wyoming since 2012, which acquired RailAmerica (the latter company had owned the railroad since 2005).  

Its history traces back to 1900 providing switching services.  Today, it serves the Alcoa plant near Massena and moves primarily aluminum and petroleum products.

Middletown & New Jersey Railway

(reporting mark, MNJ):  This short line operates 43 miles of disconnected trackage between Middletown and Slate Hill as well as between Walden/Montgomery and Warwick (with trackage rights between Campbell Hall and Hudson Junction).  

The road also services a short branch to Greycourt.  Its traces its history back to 1947 and currently serves several transload facilities.

Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad

(reporting mark, MHWA):  This short line is another GVT property, operating 124 miles of disconnected lines between Utica and Lyons Falls as well as between Lowville and Newton Falls (with a branch to Croghan operated by the Lowville & Beaver River). 

The road also serves the Griffiss Industrial Park in Rome.  Its traffic consists of steel, stone, ores, chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, paper products, forest products, and food products.

New York & Atlantic Railway

(reporting mark, NYA):  This short line is an Anacostia Rail Holdings property that began service in 1997 to provide freight service over the historic Long Island Rail Road trackage (that railroad now provides only commuter service).  The road is contracted to serve the entire 269 mile system and handles roughly 28,000 carloads annually.

New York & Lake Erie Railroad

(reporting mark, NYLE):  This short line has been in operation since 1978 when it acquired from Conrail former Erie trackage between Buffalo and Waterboro with a branch to Cattaraugus.  The railroad also provides excursion service to the general public.

New York New Jersey Rail, LLC

(reporting mark, NYNJ): See New Jersey.

New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway

(reporting mark, NYSW): See New Jersey.

Ontario Midland Railroad

(reporting mark, OMID): This railroad has been in operation since 1979 and operates former PRR and NYC lines; one between Hannibal and Webster, and the other between Hojack and Newark. Overall, the short line operates just under 60 miles of track.  It serves a handful of customers moving everything from food products to chemicals.  On September 16, 2022 the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville acquired controlling interest (55% stock control) in the railroad.

Providence & Worcester Railroad

(reporting mark, PW): See Connecticut.

RJ Corman/Owego & Harford Railway

(reporting mark, OHRY):  This Corman property was acquired in August, 2020 from Steve May. This short line leases nearly 27 miles of trackage from the Tioga County Industrial Development Agency between Owego and Harford Mills.  The road first began service in 1992 and handles over 4,000 carloads annually.  The property also hosts excursions as the Tioga Scenic Railroad.

Rochester & Southern Railroad

(reporting mark, RSR):  This G&W property is one of the company's earliest dating back to 1986 when it acquired former Baltimore & Ohio/Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh trackage from CSX east of Pittsburgh.  

Currently, the R&S operates between Buffalo, Irondequoit and Dansville, about 58 miles.  It handles aggregates, brick/cement, chemicals, coal, food/feed products, forest products, and steel/scrap.

SMS Rail Service, Inc.

(reporting mark, SLRS): See New Jersey.

South Buffalo Railway

(reporting mark, SBRR):  As its name suggests, this historic short line serves the southern region of Buffalo, New York.  It currently maintains 52 miles of main and yard trackage and connects with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and Buffalo & Pittsburgh.  It has been a division of Genesee & Wyoming since 2001.

Vermont Railway

(reporting mark, VTR): See Vermont.

Wellsboro & Corning Railroad

(reporting mark, WCOR): The Wellsboro & Corning Railroad, a G&W property, operates a 38-mile system connecting its namesake cities and serving several industries along the route. It interchanges with both Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific.  

The road first entered service in 1993 on former NYC trackage and current handles traffic related to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry such as fracking sand.  It also offers transloading and car repair service.

Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad

(reporting mark, WNYP):  This privately-owned short line began service in 2001 after acquiring from NS former Erie Southern Tier trackage, and later ex-PRR lines.  

It currently operates some 330 miles in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York, south of Buffalo.  The road serves numerous customers and is known within the railfan community for its use of Alco road-switchers.