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From the first moment of the creation of the Ontario Pacific Railway and Northern Adirondack Railroad right to the present time, other companies were involved directly and indirectly in creating the Ottawa - Tupper Lake route. The following is a listing of these companies and a brief of their history in relation to the subject line.
ADIRONDACK EXTENSION RAILROAD: The company was created on April 30, 1891 to extend the Adirondack Railway from North Creek to Malone. When the proposals for linking up to the Northern New York Railroad at Tupper Lake came about, this company was intended to be used to build between North Creek and Axton. Although not used for that purpose, it was used to build from North Creek to Tahawus in 1944. This was abandoned in 1989.
ADIRONDACK RAILWAY: In 1895, this company was operating from Saratoga Springs to North Creek and was owned by the Presidents, Managers & Company of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. It was to be the southern leg of the proposed Ottawa - New York City route. Today this line, under Canadian Pacific Railway ownership yet maintaining the Delaware & Hudson Railway name, has been abandoned from Saratoga Springs to Saratoga and Corinth to Riverside, but the portion from Riverside to North Creek is operated as the Upper Hudson River Railroad.
BAY POND INCORPORATED: This was a logging company started by John McDonald that had their own logging railroad that ran west out of McDonald in 1924. Their head offices were based at the next Ottawa Division station stop south called Bay Pond. The operations were abandoned in 1932.
BROOKLYN COOPERAGE COMPANY: A logging company that had their own network of railroads, one of which was on New York Central’s Adirondack Division near Tupper Lake. They purchased the abandoned Everton Railroad in 1904, expanded it as a logging railroad and began to operate it in 1907. In 1908 they opened a railroad out of Meno running westwards and one running eastwards out of Meno in 1911. 1917 saw the opening of a line at Goose Pond leading to Lake Ozonia. Abandonments began in the 1920s, first with the Lake Ozonia Branch in 1921, followed by the Meno lines on June 8 th of that year and lastly was the Everton lines in 1924.
CANADA ATLANTIC RAILWAY: Running from Ottawa to the international border near Lake Champlain and ended at East Alburgh, this company was headed by John Booth, whom was a stern businessman. The Ottawa & New York Railway battled Mr. Booth on two fronts, Hawthorne and Ottawa. Despite the problems and long battles, the two companies agreed to a crossing at Hawthorne without a junction and the O&NY was allowed to use Ottawa Central Station for passengers. This company merged into Grand Trunk railway, which became Canadian National Railways. Today, most of the original trackage that was in Ottawa has been abandoned and what exists is either spurs for Ottawa Central Railway or used by VIA Rail Canada to operate between Ottawa and Coteau Station.
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS: The foundation of this company was created in 1923 when Canadian Northern Railway was merged with other lines. Days later, the Grand Trunk Railway lines were added to the system. Aside from being New York Central’s junction at Ottawa, Cornwall Junction and Helena, as well as a crossing at Hawthorne, CNR ended up purchasing the Canadian half of the NYC when it was abandoned and continues to maintain ownership, leasing most of it to Bell Canada. Parts of the line were put back into service after 1957, those being in Cornwall and Ramseyville to Terminal Avenue Yard in Ottawa. Today, the Cornwall trackage (Wesco Spur) is still in use and the Ottawa spur went under Ottawa Central Railway. The company themselves went through many name changes (CN Rail, CN North America and now known as Canadian National Railway).
CANADIAN NORTHERN ONTARIO RAILWAY: The Ontario component of its parent company, the Canadian Northern Railway. This company entered Ottawa from Hawkesbury in 1909, having its depot just east of the Ottawa & New York Railway freight terminal on Mann Avenue. A connection between the two was to go in immediately, but it appears that did not happen until much later. A second CNOR line was built off this line and headed towards Toronto by means of Smiths Falls and it crossed the O&NY at Hurdman. This company merged into the parent and then they became Canadian National Railways in 1923. Today the Ottawa to Hawkesbury line is gone as well as the trackage around Hurdman.
CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY: In 1914, the lines of the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway went under their parent company, the Canadian Northern Railway, a company billing itself as the second transcontinental railway in Canada. With their presence in Hurdman, that area of Ottawa became a huge rail hub of activity until the railway relocation plan occurred. CNoR was renamed to Canadian National Railways in 1923.
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY: This company was likely the only friendly competitor to the Ottawa Division. Since day one, Canadian Pacific Railway has gotten along with the Ottawa & New York Railway, not including the time it was known as the Ontario Pacific Railway. Connections at Finch and Hurdman are perfect examples of the cooperation they had. At one time near the abandonment, CPR had plans to purchase the line but it was more than likely to keep it out of Canadian National Railways’ hands. The company continues to this day as one of Canada’s principle carriers, going through changes as CP Rail, CP Rail Systems and finally back to Canadian Pacific Railway.
CASCADE CHAIR COMPANY: This was a logging operation that was originally started by the Watson Page Lumber Company. WPLCo began construction of their logging railroad from St. Regis Falls in 1906, heading southwest. It was built to a narrow gauge scale and was to haul logs from the forest to their mill. In 1907, WPLCo merged into the Cascade Chair Company and the railroad opened soon afterwards, but before the year ended the line was converted to electrical operation. Abandonment of the line came in 1909 due to a fire wiping out both the mill and electric rail equipment.
CORNWALL BRIDGE COMPANY: Created in 1897, this company owned the south channel bridge span over the St. Lawrence River (the north channel bridge was owned by the Ottawa & New York Railway). It is likely in 1917 when this company was dissolved as that was when New York Central Lines owned both bridges.
CORNWALL ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY: At the time of the Ottawa & New York Railway’s opening, Cornwall had its own electric street railway system that operated streetcars. In 1899 they started to move freight in the town from the Grand Trunk Railway and O&NY yards. The company was renamed in 1902 to the Cornwall Street Railway, Light & Power Company.
CORNWALL STREET RAILWAY, LIGHT & POWER COMPANY: Originally the Cornwall Electric Street Railway, this company was exactly the same with the exception that it could now distribute electric power to Cornwall consumers. Street cars were no longer running as of 1949 and in 1971, the rail lines and rail equipment were purchased by Canadian National Railways. Today this company now goes by the name of Cornwall Electric while its former rail lines, most of them abandoned, are owned by CNR as spurs.
CORNWALL-NORTHERN NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE COMPANY: This company was created in 1931 to handle the operations of motor vehicle traffic over the New York Central Bridges when they were planked. They began their service in 1934 and continued to do so until 1949 when the Roosevelt International Bridge Company took over ownership of the bridges.
DELAWARE & HUDSON COMPANY: Originally known as the Presidents, Managers & Company of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, the company changed names to this in 1899. From 1895 to 1900, this company had a standing agreement with the Northern New York Railroad concerning creating a rail route from Ottawa to Saratoga Springs, where trains would continue on D&H tracks to New York City. From 1903 to 1904, D&H had another chance of creating a link with the Ottawa route by means of their Chateaugay Branch to Lake Placid, but was outbidden by New York Central interests. Today, the company, after being renamed to Delaware & Hudson Railroad, is owned by Canadian Pacific Railway and is known as the Delaware & Hudson Railway.
EVERTON RAILROAD: Created by Peter MacFarlane and his new partners, this company opened a line of rails from St. Regis Falls to Everton in 1886 and offered freight and passenger service. It had limited success and was abandoned in 1898.
GRAND JUNCTION RAILWAY: From 1880 to 1882, the one of the four planned routes for the Ontario Pacific Railway was to join up to the Grand Junction Railway at Madoc. From there, the OPR was to have running rights on GJR, which was under Midland Railway control, from Madoc to Madoc Junction and then to Peterborough. From there OPR was to operate over MR tracks. This plan was rejected by the time the OPR was incorporated. The GJR merged into the Grand Trunk Railway in 1893 then became Canadian National Railways in 1923. The route it once operated no longer exists today.
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY: When the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad opened to Bombay, Grand Trunk Railway’s subsidiary company, the United States & Canada Railroad, was almost completed and was the first moment GTR was involved since the Northern Adirondack Railroad had running rights to Bombay. After the NARR’s new owners decided to build their own line, the new junction on this part of the GTR was at Helena. Of course, on the Canadian side the Ottawa & New York Railway junctioned with GTR’s main line at Cornwall Junction and until the O&NY station was ready, they used GTR’s Cornwall station. In 1905, GTR officially purchased the Canada Atlantic Railway, which now meant the company and O&NY had a crossing at Hawthorne and shared trackage into Ottawa’s Central Station. GTR merged into Canadian National Railways in 1923, the main line becoming CNR’s main line, which was rerouted in Cornwall in 1957.
KINSLEY LUMBER COMPANY: This company had a logging railroad that branched off New York Central’s Adirondack Division at Tekene Junction and headed westwards, opening in 1898. It ended Ottawa Division history in 1903 when the Delaware & Hudson Company purchased the rail line and created a junction to their Chateaugay Branch just east of the NYC line. Since the New York & Ottawa Railroad was unable to connect at North Creek and it was to be up for sale soon, D&H purchased the Kinsley Lumber Company’s railroad as a take off point to connect to the NY&O when they successfully purchased it, making a D&H route from Ottawa to Plattsburgh and on to New York City. In 1904, the NYC ended up buying the NY&O and D&H was left with a logging railroad into nowhere. It was abandoned in 1918.
MIDLAND RAILWAY: This Midland Railway became a large system through the northern lands above Lake Ontario, due to their absorption of a few other existing railway companies. From 1880 to 1882, the Ontario Pacific Railway had a plan to acquire running rights over the Grand Junction Railway to Peterborough where it was hoped that the MR would allow them the same rights to Orillia where they would continue northward on the Northern & North Western Railway. When the OPR received its charter, this plan was scrapped. MR would merge into Grand Trunk Railway in 1893, which became Canadian National Railways in 1923. The MR line that OPR planned to use has all been abandoned except from Atherley to Orillia.
MOHAWK & MALONE RAILWAY: This project was backed by Dr. Seward Webb, a son-in-law of the New York Central owner, that was to run through the Adirondack Mountains to link the NYC’s main line to Canada. In the early 1890s, Webb contacted John Hurd of the Northern Adirondack Railroad concerning purchasing his line so that he could make a connection from Poland (where the line already existed to Herkimer) to Tupper Lake and have a ready available route to Moira and if that purchase went through, Webb likely would have went for the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad as well. Hurd though played a game between him and another interested party and the line was never sold. Instead, the M&MR built its line through the Tupper Lake area, making a junction with the NARR at Tupper Lake, and ended in Malone in 1892. Since the first day of operation, the NYC was using the line but it was officially merged into it in 1913, on the same day as the NARR under the New York & Ottawa Railway name, was merged. Although portions were abandoned, the track through Tupper Lake Junction stayed around when NYC became Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company in 1968, then Penn Central Transportation the following year and they abandoned the line in 1972. It was reopened briefly by the Adirondack Railway from 1979 to 1981. Today the tracks are still on the ground and in use only to move equipment between Carter and Saranac Lake by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, whom hope to have the line in operation again soon.
MOIRA & BOMBAY RAILROAD: Previously known as the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad, it was renamed to Moira & Bombay Railroad in 1898, likely due to the fallout of being the extension for the New York & Ottawa Railroad. Still under the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad operations, the company did not survive for much longer. After Rutland Railroad’s acquisition of the O&LCRR, the M&BRR was abandoned in 1900, leaving the question of whether a train ever ran on the line after it’s name change two years earlier. Grand Trunk Railway purchased the line and used the rails for scrap.
MONTREAL & OTTAWA RAILWAY: This company had operated from Pointe-Fortune to Dorion but once the Canadian Pacific Railway leased it, the company’s line was extended out of Rigaud to Ottawa. Thing was that they had staked the same route into that city as the Ottawa & New York Railway. In good faith, the two companies agreed to share the right-of-way from Hurdman into Ottawa and although the M&OR was the one that laid the rails, O&NY was the first to run regular trains over that stretch of track in 1898. Thirty-eight days later, M&OR ran their first regular train into Ottawa under the CPR. Today the majority of the line was abandoned, in Ottawa leaving just the portion from a point east of Hurdman to just east of highway 417. The part that O&NY used is gone.
NEW YORK & OTTAWA BRIDGE COMPANY: Created in 1899, this company was to lease, operate and maintain the St. Lawrence River bridges. New York Central dissolved the company in 1917 when they took over ownership.
NORTHERN & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY: From 1880 to 1882, the tracks of the Northern & North Western Railway from Orillia to Gravenhurst were the object of possible access for running rights by the Ontario Pacific Railway. Access at Orillia would have been from the use of Midland Railway’s line. From Gravenhurst, the OPR planned to build their own line to Sault Ste. Marie. When OPR received their charter, the planned trackage rights idea was abandoned. The N&NWR, a company that had lines running from Lake Erie and Toronto up to Meaford, Collingwood and Gravenhurst, merged into Grand Trunk Railway in 1888, which merged into Canadian National Railways in 1923. Only portions of the former N&NWR is still in operation today at various points.
OGDENSBURG & LAKE CHAMPLAIN RAILROAD: At the time of the Northern Adirondack Railroad’s opening out of Moira, the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad had their line running from Ogdensburg to Rouses Point and was under lease by the Central Vermont Railroad. It remained as such until 1896. After that the company was on its own and was reorganized in 1898, but went into receivership the following year. By the end of 1899, the Rutland Railroad leased the line and merged it into themselves in 1901. The Rutland continued to operate the line until abandonment in 1963.
OTTAWA & GATINEAU RAILWAY: In 1895, Charles Hibbard was preparing to expand his Northern New York Railroad into Canada. To get a foothold, he had travelled to Ottawa a few times and found two lines he wished to get, one of which was the Ottawa & Gatineau Railway running from Hull to Gracefield. Instead, the Canadian Pacific Railway managed to get a hold of this company. It was renamed to the Ottawa Northern & Western Railway in 1901 and then merged into CPR in 1903. Today, only a portion from Hull to Wakefield exists as a tourist line.
OTTAWA ARNPRIOR & PARRY SOUND RAILWAY: Although a separate entity, this company was also owned by John Booth and was merely an extension of the Canada Atlantic Railway out west. This company was involved in the Ottawa & New York Railway concerning the rights to use Ottawa’s Central Station, which they built and owned, as well as the right-of-way to the site. It merged into CAR in 1899 and became a part of Grand Trunk Railway in 1905, which became Canadian National Railways in 1923. Today, the entire section where O&NYR used has been abandoned, leaving just the building that was Union Station.
OVAL WOOD DISH COMPANY: A logging operation that ran a system of logging railroads out of Kildare to the east, west and south in 1917. In 1925, they opened a line off of Bay Pond Incorporated’s logging lines at Haynes Camp. In 1926, the company became Sisson White Company.
PONTIAC PACIFIC JUNCTION RAILWAY: In 1895, Charles Hibbard was preparing to expand his Northern New York Railroad into Canada. To get a foothold, he had travelled to Ottawa a few times and found two lines he wished to get, one of which was the Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway running from Hull to Waltham. Instead, the Canadian Pacific Railway managed to get a hold of this company. It was merged into the Ottawa Northern & Western Railway in 1902 of which it merged into CPR in 1903. Today, the former PPJR line no longer exists.
ROOSEVELT INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE COMPANY: This company took over ownership of the St. Lawrence River bridges in Cornwall in 1949. When the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority purchased the bridges in 1957, the Roosevelt International Bridge Company was dissolved.
RUSSELL SHALE BRICKS COMPANY: The Russell Shale Bricks Company was an operation just northeast of Russell and from 1913 to 1923 it operated a narrow gauged railway from their pit to the Ottawa Division. The company was sold in 1923 and shut down, but reopened in 1929 under Duncan Merkley and the railway operation went on until 1930. Details can be found at Colin Churcher’s Railway Pages (see Links).
RUTLAND RAILROAD: The Rutland Railroad came into the New York & Ottawa Railroad’s time when they leased the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad in 1899 but in 1901, the O&LCRR was merged into the Rutland. As of 1902, the New York Central had a hand in the Rutland’s operations. Although the NY&O was gone in 1937, the Rutalnd continued until its abandonment in 1963.
SARATOGA & ST. LAWRENCE EXTENSION RAILROAD: This company was created in 1891 for the purpose of building an extension of the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad from Bombay to St. Regis, Quebec. It was at that point where the Ontario Pacific Railway might have linked up if they had constructed their line. Although regarded as a favourable investment, when Dr. Darby Bergin and the Northern New York Railroad’s Charles Hibbard made their deal, it made this company redundant and it folded, building nothing.
SARATOGA & ST. LAWRENCE RAILROAD: Opened in 1888 from Moira to Bombay, this company originally founded in 1885 to build between those two points. The company never had any rolling stock of its own and plans were for it to be part of the northern extension of the Northern Adirondack Railroad, but was under Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad control throughout its life beginning in 1889. The NARR did have running rights on this railroad, but after it became the Northern New York Railroad, plans changed. The NNYRR operated the S&SLRR for 49 days in 1896, but they decided to build their own northern line. In 1898, the S&SLRR’s fate was in question and it was renamed to the Moira & Bombay Railroad, but no documentation has been discovered that shows trains ran over this route after the name change.
SISSON WHITE COMPANY: In 1926, Sisson White Company took over the Oval Wood Dish Company, which included the logging railroads in Kildare and out of Haynes Camp. They continued operating the railroads, but abandoned them all in 1927.
UNITED STATES & CANADA RAILROAD: When the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad opened to Bombay, the United States & Canada Railroad had not yet opened between Fort Covington and Massena officially, which was not until 1889, and was already under lease by the Grand Trunk Railway. When the New York & Ottawa Railroad was built and they no longer ran over the S&SLRR, a junction between it and the US&CRR was at Helena and continues to do so right up today, although ownership is different. In 1923, GTR merged into Canadian National Railways and in 1993 they sold their line from Massena to Huntington to Conrail, what the New York Central became. Today Helena still maintains a junction between the old US&CRR line with what is now the Rooseveltown Industrial Track.
UTICA & BLACK RIVER RAILROAD: As of 1890, this company was involved with Northern Adirondack Railroad history due to John Hurd’s negotiation to connect to it at Prospect. By that time the Mohawk & Malone Railway was surveying their own proposed line so it is in all likelihood that Hurd was just creating some competition. The U&BRRR was running from Utica and skirted along the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and ended at Ogdensburg. They also were under the ownership of the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad by then. A connection was never made with Hurd’s line at Prospect and the first southern extension proposal died. The U&BRRR merged into New York Central in 1913 as their Lyons Branch and what still existed (Philadelphia to Utica) was sold to the Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad in 1991.WEIDMANN COOPERAGE COMPANY: This logging operation and mill was uncovered by Michael Kudish for his Mountain Railroads of New York State publication series (2005). A "mystery spur" was discovered at Weidman during one of his hiking expeditions. Weidmann Cooperage Company had its operations in St. Regis Falls but apparently ran a logging railroad out of Weidman circa 1901. This operation both at the mill and the rail line ended circa 1903 before Brooklyn Cooperage Company came into the area.