Susquehanna and New York Railroad

Susquehanna and New York Railroad

The Susquehanna & New York Railroad (S&NY) was a short-line railroad connecting the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Towanda, Pennsylvania with the Pennsylvania Railroad at Marsh Hill allowing freight and passengers to travel between West Williamsport and Towanda by rail rather than using the Susquehanna River. [Kaseman, Edward L., Story of the Susquehanna & New York, 2nd Printing (Williamsport, PA: 1963)]

The road runs over Barclay Mountain (also called the South Mountain range of the Alleghenies). The trip was called "harrowing" by many undertaking the journey.

As with many railroads, the S&NY formed from an earlier company, absorbed companies during its heyday, and was later itself absorbed. The story of the S&NY starts in 1794 when Robert Barclay of London, England came to own 21,000 acres (85 km²) in the region. Little development occurred until coal was discovered on the land. Professor Johnson or Richard Taylor (or possibly both) surveyed the land for a railroad about 1835, but no road was cut and access to the coal was still limited.

In 1856 the Pennsylvania Canal (North Branch Division) was built, improving access into the area and led to renewed interest. The "Towanda and Franklin Railroad Company" was formed in 1853 to create a railroad to the coal mines but no rails were laid.

In 1854 the Barclay Railroad and Coal Company formed, and work on the road began. The North Branch Canal opened in Spring 1856 and the railroad began hauling coal in July of that year. The new railroad delivered over 7,000 tons of coal in the first year. The coal was brought the 16 miles to Towanda where canal boats moved it to markets.

In 1868 the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad and Canal Company (later part of the Lehigh Valley Railroad) (LV) opened a line from Towanda to Waverly, Tioga County, New York.

In time the coal was mined out. Then a flood in 1900 damaged bridges and the roadbed. The lumber industry was just starting build so there was interest and money available to rebuild.

The Barclay Railroad was bought by the Binghamton, Towanda & Western Railroad then absorbed in the Susquehanna & New York Railroad Company. The railroad hauled coal, lumber, passengers, and freight between Williamsport and Towanda. The railroad was administered by the Lehigh Valley RR during World War I. It was dismantled during World War II, and the track was pulled up for use by a factory in Williamsport.

Susquehanna & New York RR #109 (Shay S/N 792)

Communities or stations

North to south:
* Towanda - connected to Lehigh Valley Railroad with destinations to Buffalo or New York City
* Monroeton - connected to Lehigh Valley branch to Dushore
* Powell
* Weston
* Long Valley
* Barclay Station
* Cold Spring
* Laquin
* Wheelerville
* Ellenton
* Masten
* Short Run
* Crandellton
* Ralston (north coal spur) - connected to Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) leading toward Elmira, NY
* Marsh Hill (south) - connected to Pennsylvania Railroad leading to West Williamsport

At Williamsport, passengers and freight could connect to the Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading Railroad or New York Central Railroad.


* 1794 - Robert Barclay of London, England came into possession of the land now called Barclay Mountain.
* 1835 - Professor Johnson, Richard Taylor or both surveyed the area for a railroad to the coal mines.
* 1853 - Towanda and Franklin Railroad Company organized but nothing came of it.
* 1854 - Barclay Railroad and Towanda Coal Company organized by Edward Overton, Sr.
* 1854 - 16 miles of track from Towanda to the coal mines finally opens the region.
* 1856 - North Branch canal Company builds canal on the Susquehanna River to move goods, including the Barclay coal, to market.
* 1868 - Pennsylvania & New York Railroad and Canal Company opens a line between Towanda, PA and Waverly, NY, which connects to their main line.
* 1900 - Flood severely damages the roadbed and bridges.
* 1902 - Susquehanna and New York Railroad formed; absorbs the Barclay Railroad and Gray's Run Railroad.
* 1917 - USRA established to run U.S. railroads during World War I.
* 1917 - S&NY placed under Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV) management.
* 1920 - With the war over, railroads returned to private ownership.
* 1939 - S&NY operating in the red.
* 1942 - S&NY track removed to a munitions plant near Williamsport to support the World War II war effort.

ee also

* [ 1914 Work Journal for S&NY Worker]


2) The Anthracite Railroads of Pennsylvania, Scenes Along The Rails, Vol.1, Part 2 (Article), (Photos).

3) Trains, January 1943 p.14 (Article),(Photos)

4) Triumph VII,p.95-100 (minor reference, diagrams of Westernport yards)

5) for Towanda, NY see Lehigh Valley by Archer

6) Pennsylvania Logging Series, Central Pennsylvania Lumber Co., Book 3 and scattered later books, see index for S&NY.

7) Classic Trains, Fall 2005 p.80 (Photo)

8) Railroads of Pennsylvania Encyclopedia and Atlas p.51,345

9) Chasing Trains, R.W.Richardson, p.87-88 (Photos and Captions)

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