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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Yard near Corning NY


Date: 04/22/05 11:46
Yard near Corning NY
Author: Enginecrew

As you drive into a little town in NY named Painted Post (close to Corning) on U.S. Route 15 there's a rail yard off to the right. It's now owned by NS but can someone tell me what railroad owned it before Conrail? I'm thinking perhaps it was the Erie but not sure.

Thanks for any help.
Larry



Date: 04/22/05 11:51
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: toledopatch

That's the ex-Erie Gang Mills Yard.



Date: 04/22/05 12:17
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: Enginecrew

Thanks for the reply Patch. I thought it was the old Erie but since I'm not from that area I wasn't sure.



Date: 04/22/05 16:56
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: KevinD

Aaaah! Ye ole collegiate stomping ground. Visited practically every weekend, rain or shine!

Making a Gang Mills crew change is the very first Conrail stack train I witnessed. April 7, 1984. Since I later read in a Conrail Annual Report that stacks began in April 1984, this very well may have been the first westbound movement out of New York. GP40-2s 3343, 3277 and 3358 do the honors, with (ex-EL) GP35 3669 looking on. I chased this train to Hornell, and in that 30 miles, the train met 2 eastbounds, the ELOI and BUOI. I recall the dispatcher requesting that both eastbounds "find a stretch of straight track and stop". I guess at the beginning, lacking any operational familiarity, these were considered 'dimensional' movements, thus the need to hold opposing traffic.






Date: 04/22/05 17:09
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: KevinD

I was watching the BUOI doing its work at Gang Mills on this day. It pulled in via track 2, and made a cut leaving the rear half of its train (the Allentown cars being handed off to CGAL) on track 2, and then backed into the controlled siding to pick up the ELOI cars (ELOI terminated here) before continuing on to New Jersey. While the switching was happening, I heard someone shout "TV301 red board at East Glass" over the scanner. The DS then chimed in, telling TV-301 "I got an eastbound on track 1 that just hit the bell at Gang Mills, and he'll be out of your way shortly." Within a few minutes, this D&H coal train behind a dog's breakfast GP39-2/GP40/GP40-2/U23B/U33C cruises into the scene alongside the departing BUOI. The D&H hogger turned on the ditch lites just for the photographer :)






Date: 04/22/05 17:12
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: KevinD

Typical Guilford garbage leading a Mt Tom coalie eastbound.





Date: 04/22/05 17:20
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: KevinD

Back when the D&H first started operating their DHT-4 stacks via the B&O/Pittsburgh routing, they also operated a single-level Chicago-New Jersey container train via the C&O/Pere Marquette/Canada routing, the DHT-8. Here a "wrong railing" DHT-8 behind D&H 7414 and B&M 323 overtakes BUOI on track 1 at Gang Mills.





Date: 04/22/05 17:30
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: KevinD

D&H 7410, MEC 238 and B&M 321 infuse lots o' color on a crappy rainy day!





Date: 04/22/05 21:00
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: Jim Kosty

Hey Kevin, remember me? Jim Kosty? I still live in Corning and still frequent Gang Mills after work nights and on weekends. I remember hanging out with you and my buddy Lin Snyder and others on the Lumber St. bridge quite a bit back then. Sadly, due to the new highway project, the bridge we always took our photos from will soon be demolished, and I am not sure where there's going to be a better place from which to watch trains near the Gang Mills Yard once it's gone.
Still a relatively busy railroad - it may not approach the traffic density of the old Pennsy or NYC sides, but NS runs a lot of trains in, out and past Gang Mills every day. They now run the CP trains for them, and they still have CP power, but now have NS symbols and crews. NS has kept the line in good condition, actually much better than Conrail did, the difference being all the single track main and sidings instead of the old Erie Lackawanna double track main.
Hope all is well with you and good to see you are still enjpying the hobby as we are.
Jim Kosty



Date: 04/22/05 21:44
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: toledopatch

Jim Kosty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Sadly, due to the new highway project, the bridge
> we always took our photos from will soon be
> demolished, and I am not sure where there's going
> to be a better place from which to watch trains
> near the Gang Mills Yard once it's gone.


Jim, do tell about the "new highway project." What's being done and how will access be provided to the yard (and, for that matter, the transfer station) if the Lumber St bridge is removed?



Date: 04/23/05 10:27
Re: Yard near Corning NY
Author: mjbobb

Is this the bridge that crosses over the yard there? How will the crews and the garbage trucks get in and out of there?



Date: 04/23/05 14:55
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: Enginecrew

Here's a follow up question on Gang Mills Yard: Where do the track lead in each direction leaving the yard? I'm not familiar with the old Erie as to which way is which in regards to this particular yard. I worked for N&W/NS in VA and so don't know the road in this area.

Thanks for the extra help.



Date: 04/23/05 18:57
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: KevinD

I drew up a quick and dirty track diagram for the city of Corning.

Basically the north end of the yard is eastbound on the Erie to Binghamton, and the south end is westward to Buffalo.

After the coming of Conrail, the NYC through downtown Corning was abandoned in order to make way for the new Corning Glass headquarters and visitors center (NY Congressman Amo Houghton is related to the Corning Glass dynasty, so there was political pressure to rip it out). This resulted in a Jump-on, Jump-off arrangement for the NYC corridor traffic as they used the Erie through town.

The connection at Gang Mills was designed for northbounds off the NYC to head east on the Erie. The east leg was a signalled connection, the west leg was not. A north-to-west move was possible, but not practical, since doing so required direct use of the yard tracks. This lack of a better north-to-west connection at Gang Mills was the saving grace that kept the PRR Buffalo Line in use as a thru route for as long as it was.

Southbounds off the Corning Secondary could head either way on the Erie easily (both legs were a signalled connection). The NYC originally passed under the Erie and DL&W, and the new wye tracks were built on an uphill grade, and the construction of said wye resulted in the need for a temporary shoo-fly which bisected the west leg of the wye. Jim Kosty told me once about his first-hand observations of the last train to use the NYC thru town and the earthmoving/track cutover activities needed to use the new wye, including the use of a lite power set to repeatedly "compress" the new fill after they quickly pulled out the shoo-fly track and bulldozed shut the gap in the west leg embankment.

The connection to the westward stub of the DL&W was built by the infant EL in the early 1960s, during its post-merger track rationalization. Conrail used to own the DL&W out to Bath, where the B&H took over, but the LAL empire owns all of it now.

The NYC Corning Secondary was a thru-route for trains running between Syracuse and Harrisburg up until 1988, when the south end was abandoned between Jersey Shore and Wellsboro Jct. Today, the Wellsboro & Corning operates the remaining NYC south of Gang Mills to Wellsboro.






Date: 04/23/05 19:11
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: toledopatch

A few other things worth noting. When Conrail single-tracked the Canisteo Valley, it established CP-ERWINS at the west end of Gang Mills Yard. CP-ERWINS is several miles away from the actual community of Erwin, N.Y., and the second track that continues west from CP-ERWINS ends at a hand-thrown switch near Erwin. Eastbound trains arriving at Gang Mills sometimes head in at the hand-thrown switch to tie down if the yard can't take them or they otherwise need to get out of the way.

Eighteen years ago, when I was cutting my railfan teeth along the Southern Tier while attending Cornell, the wye north of Corning had control points at each point of the triangle that were called CP-EAST GLASS, CP-WEST GLASS, and CP-NORTH GLASS. When Conrail ripped out the second track between EAST GLASS and Horseheads during the 1990s, EAST GLASS was renamed CP-GIBSON and WEST GLASS was renamed CP-CORNING. Once again, CP-GIBSON is several miles from the actual community of Gibson, N.Y. NORTH GLASS was renamed CP-GLASS and shortly thereafter it was retired altogether, with all switches demoted to manual-throw -- probably at about the same time Baker Street Yard was deactivated.

There used to be a fairly neat-looking Erie-style signal bracket at East Glass. Is it still there, with one track's worth of signals still on it, or has a ground-mast finally replaced it?

Oh, and BTW, when I was over that way in mid-March, there were bases for new signals next to the Erie mast up at CP-LINDEN, near Attica. Just thought I'd pass along word of another distinctive structure's pending demise.



Date: 04/23/05 20:53
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: KevinD

Baker St yard was abandoned over the winter of 90-91 on account of a highway project which preceeded the deactivation of the signals at CP-North Glass.

The Denmark Hill residential section of the city of Corning was accessed using that rickety north-south oriented bridge which crossed the Erie right near CP-East Glass. This old bridge, which was about to drop on its own, was also in the path of the yet-to-be-completed gap in the Rte 17/I-86 expressway. When the state finally got around to replacing the bridge, they built a new east-west oriented highway bridge over the NYC at the south throat of Baker St yard instead of building a new north-south oriented bridge over the Erie. This new highway bridge was built directly in front of the CP-North Glass signal bridge, and thus directly fouled the line of sight for the signals mounted up on top of the signal bridge. As a result, the signal bridge had to be decommissioned and replaced with ground mast signals. Conrail physically cut and removed some of the Baker St yard trackage in order to install the new ground mast signals. Essentially, the yard was sacraficed in favor of just a controlled siding in order to keep the resignalling effort simplified.

As for the renaming of the control points, Conrail had sorta been on the warpath since the early 1990s to eliminate any North, South, East or West prefixes from the control point names. They hit the Meadville line just prior to its shutdown, renaming CP-West Cuba to CP-Hinsdale, and CP-West Olean to CP-Ally (Allegany). Also, CP-East Hornell was renamed CP-Horn before the single track project, and CP-West BD was renamed CP-Johnson (for Johnson City). CP-Erwins was the old CP-West Gang Mills, and CP-East Gang Mills was renamed CP-Gang Mills. The other examples cited by Patch also were done to remove the North, South, East or West prefixes from those respective names as well.




Date: 04/23/05 23:02
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: Jim Kosty

One interesting note on the old NYC Baker St. yard - NS has installed a new third siding the length of the yard on the westerly side of what was called the Gibson Runner and the Corning Runner. The track isn't quite up to being used yet, but will be soon. The old signals at what was once CP North Glass are all gone, taken out recently.

NS has so much cars to handle here in recent times, they quickly run out of room for them and sometimes park coal trains or cuts of cars on the eastern half of the controlled siding (old EL track 2) between CP Gang Mills and CP Corning, or they park them between CP Erwins and CP Corning. One of the running tracks at Baker St. often holds extra cars or a coal train with power while waiting for when it is needed or a crew.

An interesting aside - today I went to Buffalo area to railfan CSX main traffic and saw a lot of interesting power at Frontier Yard, including 4 CN units, 3 Amtrak GP40TCs, several UP units, one of the new CSX SD70-2AE units, an NS SD70 coupled to a still - warbonnet painted yellow and blue Santa Fe SD40-2, among others. On the way down the Canisteo Valley, there was a three train meet at CP Cam, between Hornell and Addison, with the NS 206 in the siding. The NS 205 van train came first westbound, with the NS 39T close behind (39T is what was a CP train, still with CP SD40-2s, but NS crews and now an NS train. The 206 left the siding eastward and the chase was on. It had two grey primered NS D9-40CW units for power, one a high 9800 series and the other a low 9900 numbering. Paced the power to Addison, and then never saw the untis again east of there. It is not as easy as it once was to keep pace with these trains anymore as the speed is consistent and they do the 50 MPH limit wherever permissable.

This morning, on the way west, an empty NS 889 coal train went towards Buffalo with a BNSF C44-9W, a new UP SD70ACE and another UP unit. Seems like UP units are all over the place everywhere one goes anymore, even here on the Tier.



Date: 04/24/05 19:56
B&O Stacks through Pittsburgh
Author: JUTower

KevinD mentioned the DHT-4 stacks that ran via the BPRR and Pittsburgh. Where did these things go west of New Castle, PA? I was never 100% clear on the routing of the pre-Buffalo routing.
Thanks,
-Alex



Date: 04/25/05 05:42
Re: B&O Stacks through Pittsburgh
Author: KevinD

I said Pittsburgh, but really meant Edineau. Chicago to Edineau via B&O, then up to Buffalo via B&O/B&P.

Sometime around 1990-91, the routing was changed to Conrail and/or NKP west of Buffalo due to the B&P running times falling apart.




Date: 04/25/05 14:28
Re: Yard near Corning NY (Follow up question)
Author: Enginecrew

Thanks to all you guys for responding to my questions on Gang Mills Yard. My son's in-laws live in Beaver Dams but I rarely get up that way. The info given clears up many questions I've had for years and is most appreciated.

Larry



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