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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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The NS Single Track Project

First, some background

Many years ago Conrail put plans in place to single track the Southern Tier line from New Jersey to Buffalo. The portion between Binghamton and Waverly was never completed by Conrail. Conrail successor Norfolk Southern has now completed the final segment. Here are two diagrams showing the Conrail plans from Waverly to east of Owego and from east of Owego to Binghamton.

As you read about this project, you will see the NS implementation with regard to the placement of the new CP's 250, 236, 233, and 217 are close to the Conrail plan but many other proposed track changes, especially in Binghamton, have not happened.

Some memories of this former Erie double track line

These photos are provided from the collection of member Sam Botts.

D&H sharks at Endicott on the Binghamton to Sayre run
Eastbound by the semaphore at Endicott's Cider Mill
EL eastbound at Hayes Avenue with view of the Endicott yard
LV Sayre to Binghamton run along the Susquehanna River
NS mixed freight on double track

Preparing for the single track cutover

This narration and photos are provided by member Dave Haynes.

The first hint of activity was switch panels stacked near Kost Tire in Owego last winter.
Switch panels in the snow

There will be three sidings between Binghamton and Waverly. Coming west out of Binghamton the first siding utilizing the existing track 1 westward main will run from Binghamton to a point just east of Oakdale Road in Johnson City. The area is difficult to access as the railroad is high on an embankment behind a row of houses on Endwell Street. The switch and all three signals are installed. The name of this Control Point (CP) will be CP 217.
Westward main (foreground) and siding signals
Eastward main signal

The next signal is located at MP 220 at Avenue B in Endwell. Eastward it is an approach signal to CP 217 in Johnson City. Westward it is a block signal.
Prior to installation
Signal installed, 23K running the wrong main

The next signal is located at MP 222 just east of the existing 222.1 signal on East Franklin Street in Endicott. It is a block signal for both directions. Note that until put in service all new signals are covered or have the heads turned to the side.
Endicott block signal

Continuing west the next signal is located at MP 223 near the Route 17C bridge near Glendale.
Glendale signal
Glendale signal near the two existing signals

The next block signal is located at MP 226 at the bottom of Holiday Hill Road in Crestview Heights, Town of Owego. It cannot be photographed without trespassing.

The next block signal is located at MP 228 just west of Kinney Road in Campville.
How they got it there

Next there is a new signal near MP 231. It serves as a block signal eastward and an approach signal westward for the beginning of the next siding at Owego, to be called CP 233. This is the only non-CP signal located on the north side of the tracks which means when the existing westward track 1 is removed, there will be a wide space between the main and the signal.
Approach and block signal at MP 231

We now arrive at the east end of the new Owego siding which will be called CP 233. CP 233 is located just west of Miller Beach Road and near the entrance to Lockheed Martin. This siding will continue through the Front and Main Street crossings in Owego and terminate near Ward and Van Scoy at CP 236. There is a distance of 1.8 miles between the switch and Front Street.
The switch installed
Boom truck at Miller Beach Road
All three signals installed
Westbound signal
Eastbound signals

We now reach Owego at the location to be called CP 236. Instead of a single switch to end the siding near Ward and Van Scoy, there is a new crossover installed at MP 236. The existing track 1 westward main will continue from the crossover to a point just east of the Owego Creek bridge. This allows access to the Owego and Harford without fouling the new main. The new single main track from Binghamton to near Tioga Center will be today's eastward main track 2 which is welded (a.k.a. ribbon) rail.
Half the crossover installed
Full crossover installed
Installing the eastbound cantilever signal
39T, the first train under the new signal
Installing the westbound cantilever signal
12T, first train under both signals
New gates at McMaster pedestrian crossing

Moving west of Owego we located the eastward approach and westward block signal sitting beside Goodrich Road (MP 237.4). This signal will be moved west and installed at MP 238.
Signal at Goodrich to be moved to MP 238

A September 1 trip west of Owego yielded a photo at MP 250 of the east switch of the new Barton to Waverly siding taken from the E. Barton Road bridge over the tracks. From Tioga Center to Waverly the new main will be today's track 1 westward main.
East switch for the Barton to Waverly siding

There was no evidence of new signal activity from west of Owego to Waverly, leading one to speculate that the Binghamton to Owego single tracking will occur before the Owego to Waverly section is finished. This turned out to be the case as the cutover between Binghamton and Owego was done first.

The following photos were provided by member Bob Pastorkey.

Moving west from Binghamton to Owego:

The single track cutover from Binghamton to
Owego on September 19, 2010

Photos by member Dave Haynes:

Photos by member Bob Gongleski:

Photos by John J. Young III:

After the single track cutover
from Binghamton to Owego

Photos by member Dave Haynes:

Preparing for the single track cutover
from Owego to Waverly

Photos by member Dave Haynes:

The single track cutover from Owego to Waverly
on October 24, 2010

Photos by member Dave Haynes:

2011 Photos

Photos by member Dave Haynes:

Naming of tracks, plus a project map
The new sidings at Waverly and Owego are simply called "sidings" and the siding between CP217 and CP Johnson is called "Main 1" track. The new main single track is called "Main 1" track between CP Waverly and CP 217. Between CP 217 and CP BD the old nomenclature of "Main 2" and "Main 1" remains because east of CP Johnson this is still rule 251 directional running territory, i.e. it was not modified by this project. This creates an interesting situation whereby an eastbound train traveling straight through CP 217 goes from Main 1 track to Main 2 track. Here's a map of the single track project.


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