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Susquehanna Valley Railway Historical Society
Susquehanna Valley
Railway Historical Society
Binghamton, New York -- Home of Malfunction Junction

 

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2017 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017

    Railfanning with the Bednars Volume 5
    In Volume 5 of Railfanning with the Bednars, we looked at the last 10 months of operation before Conrail. Deteriorated facilities, uncertainty and turmoil made for some of the darkest days on the railroads. Derailments and other issues were common place. But even with these challenges, operations continued as usual.

    But before we looked at the last 10 months, we took a brief look back at found footage taken between 1973 and 1975, including footage of the wreck at Parryville. Locations from Allentown to Sayre were featured as well as wrecks in Allentown and Lockport.

    This 58-minute color DVD, provided by Bob Gongleski, was narrated by Mike Bednar.

  • Thursday, February 9, 2017    <<== Meeting CANCELLED due to weather

    The program is a motion picture from Paramount Studios released in 1952, Denver & Rio Grande. This is the story of two competing railroad companies and their quest to be the first road to traverse the Royal Gorge in central Colorado. It was the Santa Fe vs. the Denver & Rio Grande Western and it certainly was not a friendly competition. The movie contains what many people say is the best head-on rail collision ever recorded. The movie was filmed in full Technicolor which was very rare for the period and even more rare for a grade "B" western. The movie is based on actual facts that occurred during the railroad wars of the late 1870's. Presentation by John Mersereau.

  • Thursday, January 12, 2017

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2016 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2017.

2016 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016

    The program was a Member's Night open program presentation with presentations limited to 10 minutes. Time permitting, we did another round for those who had additional material to present. A digital and slide projector were available. Those with a PowerPoint type program were asked to bring their own computer. The special presentation on Drone Photography by Tony Stillittano and Bob Pastorkey did not happen and will be scheduled for April 2017.

  • Thursday, November 10, 2016

    The Kid from Freeville/Growing up on the Railroad, a lecture and slide program presented by Danny Armitage, covered the people and operations on the Lehigh Valley Railroad from a very unique perspective. Dan grew up in Freeville, NY where two branches of the Lehigh Valley Railroad crossed. From the age of 5 he hung out at the freight station behind his house getting to know all of the trainmen. This led to an unusual childhood of literally growing up on the railroad. From 1963 until the mid-1980's he rode the locomotives and cabooses over 400 times and was accepted by the crews as one of their own. Residing in the Ovid area and working 30 years at the Willard Psychiatric Center and Willard Drug Treatment Center afforded him time to study both the Willard Asylum and US Army Depot railroads. Dan now resides in Marathon, NY with his wife, Joan Portzline.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2016

    We took a look at the last two years of mainline steam in the east as we looked at the 2015 and 2016 trips with Nickel Plate #765 and Norfolk & Western #611 in two videos filmed by long time chapter member Sam Botts.

  • Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Jack and Todd Humphrey from Syracuse returned to reprise their NYS&W slide show from two years ago, this time with a new installment that focused on the Syracuse Branch for its entire length. The time frame covered was from 1982 up to the present day, with scenes from all locations along the way, featuring the entire spectrum of the Susquehanna's locomotive and rolling stock roster on both freight and passenger trains.

  • Thursday, June 9, 2016

    April 1, 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of Conrail. Our June program featured a special look back at Conrail operations along the Erie Lackawanna's Southern Tier line beginning on C-day and shortly after Conrail's start up. The presentation was a DVD featuring the 8mm films shot by Dave Deyo some 40 years ago.

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    We enjoyed another fine slide program presented by Steve Stewart featuring exciting views from Cumberland, Maryland to Sand Patch, Pennsylvania showcasing the B&O, the Chessie System, and CSX.

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016

    Along the Line of the Lehigh Valley Railroad from New York to Niagara Falls - a postcard view of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, presented by member Bob Gongleski. This PowerPoint program consisted of 280 scanned postcard views of the LVRR, which included images from the eastern terminal near the Hudson River, all the way to Buffalo, with many glimpses along the branch. Bob also had his collection of 850+ Lehigh Valley postcards on display at the meeting.

  • Thursday, March 10, 2016

    A look back at 2015 highlighting the 21st Century Steam program featuring N&W J611 and Nickel Plate 765 excursions and exciting events at Steamtown Railfest 2015. The program was presented by member Bob Pastorkey.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016

    THE HARD COAL ROADS: What Went Wrong from the collection of member Bert Prohaska.
    This DVD was a look back in time to the "Anthracite Roads" that once made the eastern rail scene more interesting and colorful. These principal roads were the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Reading, D&H and the Erie Lackawanna Railroads.

  • Thursday, January 14, 2016

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2015 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2016.

2015 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Members' and Guests' Night with theme focused on Norfolk Southern 21st. Century Steam Specials, Steamtown Railfest 2015, or any other special railroad related events held over the summer.

    • Member Bert Prohaska showed photos and videos of NKP 765 in Binghamton and on the Allentown to Pittston, PA, trip.
    • Member Bob Gongleski showed photos of a speeder trip from Athens to Mehoopany, PA.
    • Member Bob Gongleski showed photos of Steamtown's October 18 trip to the Delaware Water Gap. Bob and his wife rode in Lehigh Valley business car 353.
    • Guest Tony Stillittano, retired in October from the D&H, showed photos and videos of the Toys For Tots trains in the years 2008 through 2015. Included were locomotives from D&H, CP, Amtrak, and NS.
    • Member Bob Pastorkey showed photos and videos of the "Fire Up 611!" trip from Lynchburg to Petersburg, VA.
    • Member Bob Pastorkey showed photos and videos of the NKP 765 trip from Buffalo to Corning.
    • Member Bob Pastorkey showed photos and videos of the Nicholson, PA, celebration of the 100-year-old Tunkhannock Viaduct.

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015

    The program was a slide presentation by Charlie Newton. We start at Mohawk Yard and travel south to Bevier Street on the Susquehanna Second Subdivision to BD, then Liberty Street, and QD. We then follow the "new DL&W" Pennsylvania 1st. Subdivision south from East Binghamton to Scranton via former DL&W tracks. We will continue on to the Wilkes-Barre Connecting Railroad and the Gauntlet Bridge. While in Scranton we will take a peek at the Delaware-Lackawanna operations around Bridge 60. Turning northward we will diverge briefly to Honesdale, PA, the "cradle of American railroading."

    Next we continue north to Lanesboro and Nineveh Jct. via the original D&H Pennsylvania 1st Subdivision. Lastly we will travel west from Susquehanna, PA to BD interlocking on the former Erie main. With exception of the DL in Scranton, the years covered will be 1979-1986.

  • Thursday, October 8, 2015

    The program was a slide presentation by Dennis Gohl on Southern Tier Rail History. Plus there was a showing of some rare super 8 movies.

  • Thursday, September 10, 2015

    Hosted by Mr. Joe White, General Manager of the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp., our meeting was held at the NYS&W's New York Northern Division Offices located at the former D&H freight house across the tracks from the Binghamton Lackawanna Station adjacent to the Chenango St. viaduct.

    The program was a slide presentation NYS&W Utica Main - The Last Chapter? by Ben Martin. Journey "Through the eyes of the employee" with Ben's relocation to our area in 1999 and how of all he could see and do taking a fancy to this specific line. Program featured canvassing the customers and operations of everything that transpired in timeline sequence 2001 to 2006. Included was some photo documentation subsequent to those years, but only to provide closure to the operation to which he described.

  • Thursday, June 11, 2015

    Hosted by Mr. Joe White, General Manager of the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp., our meeting was held at the NYS&W's New York Northern Division Offices located at the former D&H freight house across the tracks from the Binghamton Lackawanna Station adjacent to the Chenango St. viaduct.

    John Mersereau showed several photos he took showing the results of a May brush file along the CP tracks between CPF-611 and MP 610. Our featured program was a DVD of photos provided by long time chapter member Sam Botts on Canadian Pacific Railway's tenure of ownership of the south end of the Delaware & Hudson.

  • Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Steve Stewart returned with another excellent slide program. As said by Jim Hediger, Editor of Model Railroader, "You don't show Milwaukee Road in Milwaukee." Likewise, Steve's presentation on the Erie Lackawanna did not dwell upon Binghamton. Steve's program showed E-L slides from Chicago to Portland, Pa. We saw the second most desirable destination for tourists in the late 19th century and early 20th century - The Poconos (the first was Niagara Falls). Steve's program concluded with an "amazing ending." You had to be there to see it!

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015

    "A Super-Thriller" Runaway Train starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts and Rebecca De Mornay. Tearing up the rails at 100 miles-per-hour with lots of action, suspense, and topped with a thrilling climax will keep you on your feet.

    Manny (Voight) as the toughest convict in a remote Alaskan prison with fellow inmate Buck (Roberts) made a daring breakout hopping a freight train for freedom. When the engineer died of a heart attack, they found themselves speeding toward certain disaster. They then discover a third passenger who is a beautiful railroad worker (De Mornay) who's just as desperate and determined to survive as they are. DVD movie from the collection of John Mersereau.

  • Thursday, March 12, 2015

    The program was a DVD The Toast of the Town (1937) from the collection of John Mersereau.

    In post-Civil War America, this fact based movie showed Jim Fisk as one of the greatest con men and entrepreneur in history. The movie concludes with his involvement with "Black Friday," the financial panic of 1869, with fellow financier Jay Gould "who is not represented in this movie" and their attempt to corner the US gold market.

  • Thursday, February 12, 2015

    The program was two short DVD's presented by member Bert Prohaska.

    1. Ferryboats, Car Floats, and Liners: This colorful program presented a wide variety of marine traffic in New York Harbor, ranging from huge ocean liners to tugboats, filmed from around 1940 to the late 1980s. Railroad ferries included: Lackawanna, Pocono, Elmira, Binghamton, Maplewood, Scranton, and others. (Mark I Video Productions)

    2. The Third Avenue El: This trolley line ran high in the sky at blistering speeds from Gun Hill Road, high in the Bronx, to City Hall in lower Manhattan. The line featured a great double track, double deck cantilever bridge over the Harlem River and wrought iron, stained glass windows, and pot-bellied stoves in the stations.

  • Thursday, January 8, 2015

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2014 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2015.

2014 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Member's & Guest's Night
    The program was focused on Heritage Units and Special Trains & Events on trains running over the Southern Tier.

  • Thursday, November 13, 2014

    The program was a slide presentation by Charlie Newton with the feature presentation covering Oneonta-Mechanicville-Albany-Saratoga-Ft. Edward-Whitehall-Plattsburgh-Rouses Point-Adirondack Branch and some points in between. Charlie mixed in his D&H employment period from 1976-1986 with his return 25 years later. The program also included a smattering of B&M, G&J, Battenkill, S&NC, Amtrak, Penn Central, New York Central, Conrail, and N&W/NS relevant to the area and area locations.

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Rewind - A Look Back in Time on the Southern Tier
    We visited J.J. Young Jr's Flickr site focusing on photos with trains in their surroundings during the 50's through 70's. This was an open meeting where anyone could jump in during viewed photos and reminisce about the good ol' days on the Southern Tier. Hosting the evening was John Young III and Bob Pastorkey.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014

    Hosted by Mr. Joe White, General Manager of the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, our meeting was held at the NYS&W's New York Northern Division Offices located at the former D&H freight house located across the tracks from the Binghamton Lackawanna Station adjacent to the Chenango St. viaduct. Todd Humphrey of the Central New York Chapter, NRHS presented a program NYS&W, 30 Years on the Northern Division. Then Bob Pastorkey surprised the group with several photos by JJ Young Jr., photos of JJ Young Jr. railfanning, and several WBNG "Gold Rush Sweepstakes" television commercials featuring prospector JJ Young Jr. Finally John Young III presented a slide program on Current operations around Binghamton.

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Photography by famed rail photographer JJ Young Jr.
    John Young III and Sam Botts took us on a tour showcasing photos on JJ's new Flickr page on the internet. We viewed hundreds of photos chronicling railroad history as never seen before with emphasis of railroading on the Binghamton and Southern Tier region of New York during the late 1950's through the 1990's. This was a time to share stories and memories of this era.

  • Thursday, May 8, 2014

    We welcomed back Steve Stewart! Our program trip began in Communipaw, Jersey City where the CNJ had their main passenger terminal. Trains of CNJ, B&O, and Reading were featured. The trip west showcased Bound Brook, a major diverging railroad junction. THIS IS WHERE THE READING COMPANY TRACKS BEGAN. The Royal Blue, The Crusader and The Wall Street were the name trains that frequented this route. Fast passenger trains were followed closely by fast freights.

    As we crossed the Delaware River and moved westward we visited stations as we sped westward to Philadelphia. Emphasis showcased the speed and service the CNJ, the B&O, and the Reading provided its customers in a timely manner.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Memories of the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Black Diamond Express was presented by railroad historian Richard Palmer of Syracuse. He has written more than a dozen books and countless articles on local railroad history. His program told through more than 200 old pictures the 63-year history of one of the most famous intercity express trains in the history of the Northeast.

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Wireless Communication - We had two presentations:

    John Kray presented a program on the The First 102 Years of radio communication.

    Patrick Schechter screened his newest documentary video, Railways & Radio Waves. He received funding for the project via the Summer Scholars & Artist Research Grant from Binghamton University. The film focused on mobile communication, beginning with the influential wireless telegraph test completed by Guglielmo Marconi, right here in Binghamton. Read about Patrick's research project and view Patrick's video.

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014    <<== Meeting CANCELLED due to weather

    Member's Night limited to a digital produced railroad or like type program. Show what you bring! Please limit your program to 15-20 minutes. If time permits we'll open it up for another round of viewing. Digital projection and audio system will be provided by the Chapter.

  • Thursday, January 9, 2014

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2013 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2014.

2013 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 12, 2013

    Member's Night Open program - show what you brought. Slides, photos, display, PowerPoint program, etc. Please limit program to a maximum of 15 minutes. If time permits and you have more, we'll do another round. Note: We will have a computer available, but suggest if you have your own laptop and doing a power point program, bring your own.

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013

    John Mersereau brought DVDs from his collection of railroad vintage era re-mastered videos. Two were shown: The Great Train Robbery and Wild Boys of the Road

  • Thursday, October 10, 2013

    We showed the video Railfanning the Delaware & Hudson Vol. 3 - Alphabet Route Trains covering Binghamton to Philadelphia 1978-1985 era. Highlights included the Alphabet Route trains on the former DL&W, Lehigh Valley, CNJ, and Reading Lines; also the former #4118 on the Perkiomen Branch. DVD produced by John Perchulis Media.

  • Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Member Frank Tisdell with guest speakers Marc Leach, Bob Frey, and Norm Barrett presented a PowerPoint program The D&H 7316 Wreck, an incident which occurred back in 1983.

  • Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Celebrating 30 Years on the NYS&W -- Northern Division hosted by Mr. Joe White, General Manager. The meeting was held at the NYS&W New York Division Offices located at the former D&H freight house across the tracks from the Binghamton Lackawanna Station just off the Chenango St. viaduct. The newly renovated offices feature an excellent array of NYS&W photos, period type passenger waiting room, and good old railroad atmosphere. We met in the freight house portion of the building. Joe brought us up to date on the railroad covering both current and upcoming plans the railroad has in store for the Northern Division. Bob Pastorkey showed a brief program on the NYS&W with some favorite photos on the Division. Sam Botts provided a video Remembering the Delaware Otsego System.

  • Thursday, May 9, 2013

    The program was Bill Price's slides showcasing the Western Maryland's Helmstetter's Curve and the B&O's curve at Mance.
    Steve Stewart, former owner of Stewart Hobbies, used Bill Price's slides of the B&O and the Western Maryland to show the routes both railroads took as they headed west to their respective Horseshoe Curves. While the PRR's curve is more famous, the B&O had Mance and the WM had Helmstetter's. We began our trip in Cumberland, MD.

  • Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Member’s Night Open program - show what you brought! Slides, photos, displays, power point type program, short video, etc. Please limit program to a maximum of 15 minutes. If time permits and you have more, we’ll do another round. Note, we will have a computer available, but suggest if you have your own laptop and you are doing a power point type program, bring your own.

  • Thursday, March 14, 2013

    The program was a DVD Before the Hyphen by Revelation Video. Program covered rare footage on Lackawanna, Erie, and Erie-Lackawanna with Triple Cities activity; plus footage of Owego and the Narrows Road, paralleling the DL&W between Nichols & Owego. Some extra footage showed some Elmira area PRR (steam); steam on Horseshoe Curve; WAG, B&H, Rail City; Erie, plus lots more.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2013

    The program was a DVD Endless Mountain Rails, the Official Video for the NRHS 2010 Convention produced by Penn Rail Videos. Highlights included excursion painted Delaware & Hudson GP-38-2’s; Alco RS-3’s; Canadian National #3254; Canadian Pacific #2317; and Reading & Northern Railroad 4-6-2 #425. Sound, narration, subtitles, all in high definition DVD.

  • Thursday, January 10, 2013

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2012 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2013.

2012 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 13, 2012

    The program was a Member's Open Program night.

    • Bob Gongleski showed some miscellaneous railroad pictures including the Erie concrete phone booth still standing in Campville.
    • Bert Prohaska presented Rails to the Mines consisting mostly of post card views of anthracite coal mining operations in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    • Bob Pastorkey showed photos and a video of the CP Christmas train and the Toys for Tots train, photos and an update on the Starrucca House in Susquehanna, Sandy's storm damage to the DL&W ferry Binghamton, and photos of the UP and NS Heritage locomotives. There is a rumor that CSX may do several Heritage locomotives.

  • Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Member Bill Caloroso presented a program featuring the films from Leroy Sprague, a deceased Railway Express employee from Elmira, NY. He made numerous 16mm Color & B&W movies of regional railroading activity. Mr. Sprague's father was a DL&W engineer, often running between Elmira & Scranton.

  • Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Long time member Sam Botts returned from Kansas City to present a program from his 30 years of railroad photography. Included were some recently digitalized photos from the extensive collection of the late John J. Young Jr., a DVD of railroad photographs through the seasons, and a DVD of NKP 765 from the 2009 Owosso Train Festival.

  • Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Member Bob Gongleski showed a video on the 40th Anniversary of Flooding from Hurricane Agnes focusing on the Gang Mills, Painted Post, and Elmira region. The video included glimpses of the devastation Agnes caused to the railroads in that area.

  • Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Member Bert Prohaska shared pictures he took on the Reading & Northern "Hopper Jet" rare-mileage photo freight excursion on May 5th. We also viewed the DVD titled "Ed Miller's A Ride on the Laurel Line."

  • Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Steve Stewart, former owner of Stewart Hobbies, presented a program on The Lehigh & New England. The L&NE was remembered by viewing their locations in Pennsylvania as follows: Lansford, Tamaqua, Lehigh Gap, Catasauqua, Pen Argyl, and Portland. In New Jersey an often overlooked location, Hainesburg, was explored.

  • Saturday, April 14, 2012

    We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Susquehanna Valley Chapter, NRHS with an all day multi-media event. Several local railroad photographers presented programs showcasing the last 50 years of railroad history. Programs ran from 9am until 4pm with a break for lunch (included with the price of admission). Then in the evening we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a banquet. Richard J. Allen, Sr. (author of the recently released book Trackside around Binghamton 1960-1976) was our featured speaker. For more detailed information see 50th Anniversary Celebration!

  • Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Longtime chapter member Sam Botts returned with an all steam program entitled Addicted to Steam. Sam has traveled the country in pursuit of steam and he recently self published a book with this title and showed images from the book, plus some that didn’t make the book.

  • Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Member Bob Pastorkey provided the video Railfanning the Delaware & Hudson, Volume 2 - 1974 to 1981 featuring films of Ken Bealer & Robert F. Wilt. Highlights included Champlain, Saratoga & Susquehanna Divisions, D&H Turns, Lehigh & Former DL&W lines.

  • Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Member Bob Gongleski provided the video Lehigh Valley’s Buffalo Division, Volume 3 - Sayre to Buffalo and The Niagara Falls Branch to Suspension Bridge. We viewed film shot by a variety of photographers both during passenger service with double track mainline and after passenger service ended and track consolidation. Along the way, we rode along with a crew aboard the train as well as viewed scenes trackside as we headed west. Important facilities at Sayre, Ithaca, Geneva, Manchester, Rochester Jct., Stafford, Niagara Jct., Tifft Yard, Buffalo Terminal and Suspension Bridge yard were featured along with other locations.

  • Thursday, January 12, 2012

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2011 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2012.

2011 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 8, 2011

    This was Member's Open Program night. The evening was open for slides, digital power point type programs, or anything railroad related. The chapter provided the audio visual equipment. We also saw what has been going on with the chapter's website and progress on the chapter's new internet Facebook page. In addition we talked about some ideas for celebrating the chapter's upcoming 50th anniversary in 2012.

  • Thursday, November 10, 2011

    The program Trains, Planes and Automobiles (and Ships) was presented by member Bob Gongleski. Member Bob Pastorkey was unable to present his portion because of insufficient WiFi strength. Included was a variety of transportation objects on the subject of railroading, airplanes, cars and trucks, and watercraft.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Dick Palmer, Librarian of the Central New York Chapter NRHS and author of many fine books on short lines in New York and more, presented a slide program with narration on the Erie Lackawanna in the Binghamton area during the 70's with a few steam excursion shots. Also included were many Lehigh Valley shots.

  • Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Meeting was canceled because the Vestal Library was closed due to weather conditions

    Longtime chapter member Sam Botts returns with an all steam program entitled Addicted to Steam. Sam has traveled the country in pursuit of steam and he recently self published a book with this title and will show images from the book, plus some that didn’t make the book. He will also give us an update on his current role with Canadian Pacific and show some scenes from the Kansas City area.

  • Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Susan Sherwood, Executive Director of CT&I (Center for Technology & Innovation) of New York's Southern Tier presented a program on the proposed Tech Works! museum of invention and upstate industry.

  • Thursday, May 12, 2011

    The program was a Paul Cooledge DVD Railfanning the Delaware and Hudson March 1979 to October 1981, Volume I: Susquehanna & Penn Divisions and on the Conrail Southern Tier. Locations included Binghamton to Mechanicville Yard on the Susquehanna division, Nineveh to Ararat including footage over Jefferson Junction at Lanesboro on the Penn division and Binghamton to as far west at Portage, NY on the Conrail Southern Tier line.

  • Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Steve Stewart, former owner of Stewart Hobbies, presented a program The Reading Company's Bethlehem Branch.

    Technically the Bethlehem Branch of the Reading Company began at Jenkintown and went to Bethlehem. If one were to concentrate on just that they would have difficulty understanding the diversity of the trains eminating from Philadelphia to Bethlehem. Our look therefore, started at Reading Terminal in Philadelphia and concluded in Bethlehem. Steam, electric, and diesel were examined.

  • Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Lehigh Valley's Buffalo Division by Bill McLane, Volume 2: Branch Line / Main Line operations from Geneva to Coxton with a Brief Look Into Conrail - Narrated with commentary by Bill McLane, 42 minutes run time. (Program presented by member Bob Gongleski).

    Volume 2 of Lehigh Valley's Buffalo Division by Bill McLane covered operations from Geneva to Coxton and picked up where Volume 1 left off at Geneva. We also took a brief look at operations under Conrail. Near Geneva station, we climbed aboard the last trip to Naples on October 20, 1970. From Geneva, we traveled the main line to Sayre. At Sayre, we rode the D&H run to Binghamton. Its symbol was FO-2. We rounded out operations in NY with a Manchester run from Sayre to Gilbert interlocking. We then took a look at operations in Pennsylvania. We hopped aboard with Bill and the crew on a qualifying run on the State Line & Sullivan Branch. We concluded operations under the LV with a main line run from Sayre to Coxton. Before moving into Conrail, we took a brief look at B&W footage from the days of steam. Finally, we viewed operations under Conrail.

    Here's a preview video of Volume 2.

  • Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Lehigh Valley's Buffalo Division by Bill McLane, Volume 1: Branch Line Operations in the Finger Lakes Region - Narrated with commentary by Bill McLane, 61 minutes run time. (Program presented by member Bob Gongleski).

    Volume 1 of Lehigh Valley's Buffalo Division by Bill McLane covered the operations of the branch lines in the Finger Lakes Region in the 1960's. We began at Sayre by boarding the train with Bill and the crew to head up the Auburn Branch to Auburn. From Auburn we backtracked a bit and headed down the Auburn branch on the last plow in 1966. From Freeville, we looked at the Cortland branch including the last trip to Canastota. Then, we traveled the Auburn & Ithaca Branch. To conclude Volume 1, we made a run on the Seneca Falls Branch to Geneva.

    Here's a preview video of Volume 1.

  • Thursday, January 13, 2011

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2010 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2011.

2010 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 9, 2010

    The program was Railroad Potpourri. We visited the web to see what's going on with some popular railroad sites, visited what's new on the chapter's web site, and showed a few PowerPoint programs. Presentation was by member Bob Pastorkey.

  • Thursday, November 11, 2010

    The program was a Member's Choice Video where "Popular vote" picked the video program for viewing. The video chosen was American Steam - A Vanishing Era: Twilight of Steam (1998).

  • Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Noted railroad author John Taibi presented a program Roads, Rivers, & Rails, the Tri-transportation corridor between Albany-Schenectady and Binghamton. The program was a PowerPoint presentation on the historical and contemporary interaction of NYS Route 7 (Road), the Susquehanna River (mostly), Schenevus Creek (River), and the D&H-now CPRR operations (Rails).

  • Thursday, September 9, 2010

    SVRHS president John Goodnough presented Present and Future Rail Services, part 4 of the series in conjunction with the Panorama of Regional Railroad History exhibit at the Vestal Museum.

  • Thursday, June 10, 2010

    An Open House at the Vestal Museum, hosted by the Museum and SVRHS, was held at 5 pm.

    Following the Open House we moved to the Library Meeting Room where at 7 pm SVRHS president John Goodnough presented a program titled "Regional Railroad Overview - The Early Years."

  • Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Steve Stewart, former owner of Stewart Hobbies, visited us for the third time. His slide show was titled Railroads of NY State: Lehigh Valley, Genesee & Wyoming, and New York Central.

  • Thursday, April 8, 2010

    We introduced the chapter's new Sharp DLP projector. It looked really good on the big wall. Bob Pastorkey showed the chapter web site, newsletter, Southern Tier Railfanning, and a couple slide shows and videos from the web. We had a set of speakers hooked up, and it sounded great, too.

    After the meeting John Skibitzki took a few members on a tour of the Rounds Coal Company house on Stage Road.

    The Rounds Coal Company building was constructed in 1908 on Main Street near the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad tracks by Fayette Rounds. Coal carrying dump trucks drove through the unique building stopping under the arch to be weighed on the scale. The building was moved in 2006 to a position over the Rail Trail. A business is planned for the first floor and the Vestal Historical Society will occupy the second floor. Walkers on the Rail Trail are able to traverse the scales that once weighed the coal trucks.

  • Thursday, March 11, 2010

    The program was a slide program Chicago Area Railroading, Circa 1970 by member David Leonard. David lived in Chicago between 1968 and 1971. The program covered this time period plus some subsequent visits to the railroad capital.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2010

    The program was a Pentrex video Union Pacific's Feather River Rotary.

  • Thursday, January 14, 2010

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2009 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2010.

2009 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 17, 2009

    This was our annual pre-Christmas Members' Slide Night. Members Dave Leonard, Bob Gongleski, Bob Pastorkey, and John Goodnough provided a mixture of railroad history, railfanning, collecting and a host of other related subjects which made for an interesting evening.

  • Thursday, November 19, 2009

    For decades, manned interlocking towers were vital to safe and efficient rail operations, for setting signals and "shunting" trains from one track to another. Member Herb Landow explained the workings of a typical tower in the 1950's, drawing on his experience as an operator at "BY" tower in the East Binghamton yards. Then he described techniques for controlling traffic flow in a high density area, namely New York's Penn Station and vicinity.

  • Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Member Sam Botts, residing now in South Dakota, showed scenic and informative footage on contemporary railroad operations on the DM&E and IC&E. He also showed several photos of NKP 765 taken recently in Owosso, MI.

  • Thursday, September 17, 2009

    The program consisted of two Mark I Videos. "Memories of the D&H Volume I" showed steam around Ararat, diesels around Oneonta, plus much more. "Memories of Steam in the North East" covered steam from the D&H, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and H&BT.

  • Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Our meeting was held at the 1901 vintage DL&W passenger station in Binghamton, 45 Lewis Street. Here's a map to the Lackawanna Station.

    Southern Tier HealthLink, current tenant in the former main lobby, restaurant and ticket window area of the building, has afforded us space for displaying railroad history photographs and other items from the chapter collection. We saw examples of the old station's architecture, the exhibits, and videos: "Memories of the Erie-Lackawanna and Erie Railroads - Moodna Viaduct to Binghamton" and "Southern Pacific 4274 Cab Forward over Donner Pass."

  • Thursday, May 21, 2009

    We had another fine program "The Lackawanna RR in the Pocono Mountains of PA" by guest speaker Steve Stewart. Steve presented a slide program of DL&W and EL operations through the Pocono Mountains of PA, from Scranton, PA to the Paulin’s Kill Viaduct in NJ. We also viewed NYS&W and L&NE operations at Hainesburg Junction, NJ and Portland, PA.

  • Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Member Bob Gongleski presented a PowerPoint slide program titled "The Bowman’s Creek Branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad" The presentation, developed by Harry Owens, covered the operations of the Lehigh Valley Railroad along its Bowman’s Creek Branch. The Bowman’s Creek Branch was a combination of the Wilkes-Barre and Harvey’s Lake RR Company which ran from Wilkes-Barre to Harvey’s Lake, the Loyalsock RR Company from Harvey’s Lake to Bernice, and the State Line and Sullivan RR from Bernice to Dushore. The main purpose of the Bowman’s Creek Branch was to be able to move lumber and lumber products for the coal mining industry from the rich timber lands of the North Mountain Luzerne, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Ice, tanning products, passengers and local freight were of secondary importance to the branch.

  • Thursday, March 19, 2009

    We looked back on some experiences and scenes from the "kinder, gentler" days of railroading through slides and photographs from chapter and member collections. There were glimpses of steam as well as diesel powered trains in both freight and passenger service.

  • Thursday, February 19, 2009

    We showed Ed Miller’s video Anthracite Traction: Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the Laurel Line.

    Two medium-size city streetcar systems and the high-speed interurban which connected them were the subject of Ed Miller’s superb motion picture camera work. He began shooting just after World War II, and continued through the end of service, including scenes of track removal and car scrapping.

    Shown were Wilkes-Barre’s lines to Nanticoke, Hanover, Edwardsville, Larksville, Plymouth via Carey Street, Georgetown, and Ashley/Sugar Notch. Several of the lines had extensive segments of private right-of-way giving them a semi-interurban character (This segment ran about 31 minutes).

    We saw the Laurel Line’s fast mainline from Scranton to Wilkes-Barre and the freight-only branch to Minooka, featuring their 19th-century design locomotives (11 minutes).

    After the war, Scranton Transit operated nine routes: Providence, Green Ridge Peoples, Green Ridge Suburban, Dunmore Suburban, Laurel Hill, Petersburg, Nay Aug Park, Nativity, and South Side. They featured a variety of cars including the Osgood-Bradley Electromobiles (17 minutes).

  • Thursday, January 15, 2009

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2008 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2009.

2008 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Note: This meeting was canceled due to bad weather.
    It was rescheduled for March 19, 2009

  • Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Member Herbert Landow presented the topic "Railway Braking and Train Capacity Expansion through the Northeast Corridor to Penn Station." This part technical/part historical program described development and advances in operating, handling and protecting the traffic of trains through that highly active and multi-tracked rail corridor.

  • Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Via our Central New York Correspondent Richard Palmer, we were loaned representative slides which we titled "Early Generation Diesels From Around the Country." Dick has traveled extensively over the years, and along the way he was able to "lense" a wide sampling of motive power in numerous places and in various types of train service.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2008

    "Potpourri of Slides from the Collection of William S. Young" was the title of another fine program given by chapter member Bill Young, whose library of vintage views contained not only thousands of scenes from the yesteryears of regional railroading, but also included hundreds from trips he has taken to places afar, going back into the 1940s. The program swung widely to include steam and early diesel era shots in the far west, as well as many in European countries. A little "trollyana" was sprinkled in, and attendees got to see samples of vintage color as well as black & white.

  • Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Chapter President John Goodnough carried us to the verge of Summer with a nostalgic slide program "Lamp Oil and Old Varnish." This show "spotlighted" railroad workers, equipment, structures, stations and landmarks and bits of "lore" from over 150 years of railroading history in our region.

  • Thursday, May 8, 2008

    Guest speaker Steve Stewart presented a slide show "Railroads Along the Lehigh River Valley" featuring slides from the 1940's to 1977 in and around the Bethlehem, Easton, Phillipsburg, and Allentown areas.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2008

    The main focus of the meeting was on coal mining. Member Bob Gongleski showed a DVD and a VHS tape.
    "The Big Little Railroad" (DVD): To commemorate their Centennial in 1948, The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey produced a 26-minute color and sound promotional film depicting many of the operations and services provided to their customers and riders. Seen in this classic film were the mining and processing of anthracite in the Wyoming Valley coalfields near Wilkes-Barre, PA, then a trip to the terminal at tidewater in Jersey City, NJ. Highlights included many long gone Jersey Central facilities such as the Ashley Planes, the Lehigh and Susquehanna main line, the Newark Bay Bridge and the huge terminal complex at Jersey City. Motive power included steam, Baldwin and EMD first generation diesels in the orange and blue scheme, and the marine fleet of tugboats, ferries and lighters.
    "Tea Kettles to Giants" (VHS): We stepped back in time when steam ruled the rails. We opened with the mighty little 0-4-0’s of the Wanamie Coal Mine (PA) operation. Then it was back to 1929 for a brief look at the Lehigh Valley and Central Railroad of New Jersey in Allentown. We then took a look at Pennsylvania Railroad steam in action on the Horseshoe Curve and other locations. The mighty steam power of the Norfolk and Western Railway was presented in the locations of Bluefield, Radford and Roanoke, VA. Finally, we looked at a Shay in operation on the Brimstone Railroad.

  • Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Member Bob Gongleski showed a video titled "Lionel OO & HO in Action." Lionel is known mostly for their O and Standard gauge trains. But they also made fine models in two smaller gauges – OO and HO. See these trains as you’ve never seen them before - in action! Lionel’s HO line-up included both scale and whimsy. We took a look at the Postwar and Modern eras, including FM C-liners, 0864-series boxcars, the Southern Pacific Daylight and the RailScope FA-2. Saw HO versions of O-gauge classics like the Milk Car and Satellite Launching Car. There were several Lionel HO cars on exhibit, along with books and catalogs of the Lionel HO products.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2008

    The program was Member Slide Night. Member Bob Gongleski showed slides of past HO and N scale Christmas layouts at his house and his brother Ed's O scale Christmas layouts. (This program was originally scheduled for December 2007, hence the Christmas theme.) Many Plasticville buildings were featured on the layouts. Member Bob Pastorkey took us down memory lane with several slides of past local railroading.

  • Thursday, January 10, 2008

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2007 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2008.

2007 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 13, 2007

    The program was to be a Member Slide Night plus a short subject "member choice" DVD or video. The program was canceled due to bad weather and rescheduled for February 14, 2008.

  • Thursday, November 8, 2007

    In the past few months our video and DVD library has had another small growth spurt. Among the items received is a program called 23 Years of Adventure - Railroad Tours in North America and Latin America. We saw it at this meeting.

  • Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Member Sam Botts, who moved to South Dakota about three years ago, came back to visit his former home in Binghamton. Sam gave a chalk talk on the differences between using NORAC rules and General Orders to operate the railroad. He gave it in the context of running trains between Binghamton and Scranton, and how orders might be given for long haul trains, local and MofW trains.

  • Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Vestal resident Ken May showed his video Passenger Excursions on the Northern Division in the 1990's. The video featured diesel and steam powered train trips operated by the NYS&W over the Syracuse and Utica branches. Highlights included 1991 and 1992 Maplefest runs with Alcos, SD45s, and Chinese Mikado 142; 1992 Utica & Mohawk Valley Chapter NRHS spring run with 142; 1995 Susquehanna Steam Spectacular with Milwaukee Road 261 and NYSW 142; and 1998 fall foliage run from Utica to Binghamton to Syracuse with Alco and E units.

  • Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Our last program before the Summer break was a Sam Botts DVD on the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton Railroad (WAG) in Pennsylvania.

  • Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Charter SVRHS member William S. Young took us back well over 50 years with a mind-boggling array of rail subjects from his extensive collection. Bill had images from the late 40s to the mid 70s, catching the last years of steam and going into the transition from first to second generation diesels. All were in color! "Fallen Flag" lines included D&H, Erie, DL&W, Jersey Central, Penn Central, and a little O&W. Most shots represented scenes within a hundred miles of Binghamton with a sampling from farther away, such as a few on the Rahway Valley. There was also a little on the Laurel Lines (trolleys) around Scranton.

  • Thursday, April 12, 2007

    The program was a continuation of last month's DVD program from the RAILWAY JOURNEYS series provided by member Dick Place. We saw more superb rail scenes and action (steam and diesel) and steam tourist footage from the "Railroad Time Machines" section.

  • Thursday, March 8, 2007

    The program was another RAILWAY JOURNEYS series called Steam of the '50s. Included was steam from the C&NW, GTW, RI, N&W, CN, CP, IC, PRR, and B&O.

  • Thursday, February 8, 2007

    Member Dick Place provided a video from the RAILWAY JOURNEYS collection featuring classic steam from the 1920s to the 1940s including scenes of New York Central, Delaware & Hudson, Erie Railroad, Lackawanna, and many more.

  • Thursday, January 11, 2007

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2006 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2007.

2006 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Our Christmas Program Lackawanna Odyssey by member Bill Caloroso featured a history of the DL&W Ithaca branch and a slide presentation covering operations in the Owego-Elmira-Ithaca triangle.

  • Thursday, November 9, 2006

    The meeting was a DVD program Southern Tier Railroading 2006. The program covered the Binghamton area operations in June 2006 just prior to the June floods along CP's ex-D&H mainline, NS's Southern Tier line, and NYS&W's ex-Erie mainline east of Binghamton. The DVD was color with live original Digital Stereo sound.

  • Thursday, October 12, 2006

    The meeting was a DVD Program Remembering D&H's Penn Division, part 2, donated by member Sam Botts. We picked up from last month's program and in part 2 we saw scenes of the D&H last few months of operations on the Penn Division between Damascus, NY and Forest City, PA. The DVD featured the 8mm films from area railfan Dave Deyo. The DVD featured color with live original sound.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2006

    The program was a supplement to the DVD we saw in June. This built on material shot by local railfan David Deyo nearly 25 years ago. The program contained numerous action scenes on the D&H. Member Sam Botts edited and remastered the 8mm footage onto DVD for our viewing pleasure.

  • Thursday, June 8, 2006

    Member Sam Botts, who moved to South Dakota about two years ago, came back to visit his former home in Binghamton and brought a slide program titled Railroading around Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sam spent many years railfanning while living in our area and put together some vintage views in a DVD labeled Erie-Lackawanna and D&H in the Binghamton Area, and this was shown as a "bonus."

  • Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Chapter Secretary and Director Don Jilson, believed to be our "most traveled" member, presented slides and narrative on a recent trip he took out West to "lense" Winter Steam on the Heber Valley Railroad in Utah and the Nevada Northern Railway in Nevada.

  • Thursday, April 13, 2006

    The program was a video SUBWAY: The Empire Beneath New York’s Streets. Beneath the fierce commotion on the streets of the Big Apple lies an astonishing network of tunnels, turnstiles, and technology - the New York City Subway System. SUBWAY: The Empire Beneath New York’s Streets boldly descends into this extraordinary labyrinth to find what really makes the wheels squeal. A subterranean control tower reveals a startling blend of antique technology side-by-side with the ultra-new. A ride aboard the mysterious "money train" divulges the financial secrets of the system. Experimental cars, subway disasters, construction miracles, greedy financiers - they’re all part of the brute legend of the world’s largest subway system. Watch the closing doors.

  • Thursday, March 9, 2006

    The program featured a DVD Southern Tier Railroading 2005 and a video The Water Level Route (The New York Central in the 20th Century).

  • Thursday, February 9, 2006

    The program titled "The D&H" Along the Bridge Line was a DVD slide program covering the D&H ... history to present day operations.

  • Thursday, January 12, 2006

    This was our Annual Meeting of the Membership to close out administrative matters for calendar year 2005 and lay the foundation for operations and programs in 2006.

2005 Chapter Meetings
  • Thursday, December 8, 2005

    The program titled "The D&H" Along the Bridge Line was a DVD slide program covering the D&H. Due to some technical problems the program was repeated on February 9, 2006.

  • Thursday, November 10, 2005

    This meeting was a Member Slide Night and Smorgasbord of Regional Railroading. Members were asked to bring their favorite slides to show and narrate. Members also brought photos or other display items. Among the smorgasbord items were slide views of scenes and things which did not fit into any specific lengthy programs in past years. Images included landmarks, buildings, motive power and rolling stock, scenes of a few "mishaps" and "oops" incidents on area rails from bygone years.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Member Ron Chandler dipped again into his trove of trackside, broadside, and overhead views of railroading's yesteryears, this time on the topic of CSX and Predecessor Roads dating back to 1955. His slide program included scenes of C&O, B&O, WM, RF&P, Seaboard and CSX in all types and configurations from his fifty-plus years of railfanning and the capturing of other chapters in railroad history.

  • Thursday, September 8, 2005

    This meeting was a video on western railroading during winter, with flangers, spreaders and rotary plows in action.

  • Thursday, June 9, 2005

    Member Ron Chandler prepared a choice blend of video and slides on the Norfolk & Western Railroad, beginning with scenes from a company film ca. 1940 about the J-Class steam locomotives. He followed up with slides from the 1970s and 1980s which included trains and equipment of the N&W and successor companies along northeastern rails.

  • Thursday, May 12, 2005

    Member John Goodnough presented an "album" of slides titled Places, Faces and Traces of the Erie Railroad. The program covered some interesting highlights of the railroad's corridors through the region from the late 1800s until the dawn of Conrail.

  • Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Member Don Jilson, who is a frequent traveller outside of his regular job as a locomotive engineer, was our speaker, with slides and narrative on his trip to visit China and the JingPeng China Orient Express. He also talked about the last steam trip through the Pass. This was a once-in-a-lifetime program. Hope you didn't miss it!

 

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