New York, Susquehanna & Western (NYSW)

Susquehanna-Cortland-New-York (14)

The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway (NYSW) is a Class 2 regional that operates over 500 miles of track in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Its network consists of three main routes with one running from Northern New Jersey to Binghamton and the other two branching north from Binghamton to Utica and Syracuse. Since 2006, the Binghamton to Utica segment has been out of service but work to restore service on this route is expected to begin in 2016. (On a personal note, it’s a beautiful route to railfan in the summertime!)

It was formed in 1881 by merging smaller railroads and was operated by the Erie railroad around the turn of the 20th century with passenger service being offered between North Jersey and New York until 1966. By 1976 the Susie-Q (a.k.a. the Susquehanna) had declared bankruptcy but managed to avoid Conrail despite being an island in an ocean called “Big Blue.”

And despite Conrail’s dominance, the Susquehanna became a regional player in the intermodal business when it was taken over by the Delaware Otsego Corporation in 1980. In 2005, after the Conrail breakup, the NYSW leased and operated the former Erie Main Line from Port Jervis to Binghamton from NS under the name of Central New York Railroad (CNYK). Although, no NS traffic runs on the line, NS still retains overhead trackage rights.

There are only about 6 trains a week operated over the line; one in each direction, three times a week with the newly reactivated Stourbridge Railroad (SBRR) getting its interchange traffic from the Susie-Q at Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania.

In July 2011, NYSW got five leased CEFX locomotives to help with the railroad’s power shortage and for a while it wasn’t unusual to see road trains with all leased power. Today road power is primarily 6 EMD SD60 diesels (nee GMTX Oakway Leasing) numbered #3800, #3802, #3804, #3806, #3808 and #3810.

Susquehanna-SD60-10-4-2015 (23)
New York, Susquehanna & Western (NYSW)