SNC: Equipment Moved As Line’s Fate Lingers In Limbo

Saratoga & North Creek Railroad's Prized Locomotives Head To Battenkill Railroad. SNC Line's Fate Murky As Court Battle Delays STB Decision on State Trail Request.

22 January, Greenfield Ctr. NY – While the disposition of the of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway’s (SNC) Tahawus Line (aka Sanford Lake Branch, running ~30 miles between North Creek and Newcomb NY Tahawus Mine site), is in legal limbo, locomotives and other rail equipment has been sold, or is in the process, and is being moved.

Corinth NY

Heading south to Battenkill Railroad’s (BKRR) Greenwich NY yard: SNC BL-2 #56 behind #52, and ahead of Delaware Lackawana & Western (DLW) E8As #808 and #807. The four EMD classics were the heart of a spectacular consist headed by (borrowed) VTR #307, #52/#56/#808/#807, a Greenwich & Johnsonville (GJ) caboose, and followed up by VTR #313 (ex-IPH #4137) {Bonnie Wingler}.

On 22.January, some of that equipment began its journey to new homes:

SNC BL-2 #52 – sold to the BKRR

SNC BL-2 #56 – sold to the BKRR

DLW E8A #807 – heading for storage on the BKRR

DLW E8A #808 – heading for storage on the BKRR

D&H S4 #821 – unsold at this time

Alco Demo S1 #5 – unsold at this time

IPH GP40FH-2 #4135 – unsold at this time

IPH GP40FH-2 #4137 – sold to Vermont Rail System (VRS), renumbered VTR 313

Sold equipment (except for VTR #313) was moved from Corinth to Saratoga Springs NY, using borrowed Vermont Railway GP40-2 #307. The equipment is expected to move to Whitehall NY on Canadian Pacific, then via VRS to Rutland and Hoosick Jct. NY, for delivery to the BKRR, minus the VTR 313. Some of the equipment then will proceed to other sites.

The plan to remove all SNC equipment was scotched by the stranding of D&H RS-36 #5019 (with new wheelsets) at the Tahawus mine, behind several washouts and dozens of fallen trees along the upper portion of the line.

Corinth NY

Pulling up the (likely) end of SNC : GJ #311720 caboose trailed by VTR #313 (ex-IPH #4137) {Bonnie Wingler}.

Tangled up in suits

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) delayed a decision on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) adverse abandonment and interim trail use request of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway’s (SNC) Tahawus Line (aka Sanford Lake Branch, running ~30 miles between North Creek and Newcomb NY Tahawus Mine site). The Board will decide after 15.February, at the expiration of 30-day extension to allow extraneous matters to be settled.

The extension allows time for a bankruptcy court jurisdictional decision on whether SNC’s sister railroad, the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad (SLRG) will enter receivership or bankruptcy. The decision affects the deposition of SNC assets attached to claims against SLRG.

Despite a procedural schedule that may have given the NYSDEC the trail use certificate, progress has been delayed by the disposition matter and a late filing in opposition to the NYSDEC request by the Essex County Board of Supervisors. Opposition to the trail use request has also been registered by Tahawus Mine owner Mitchell Stone Products, that maintains the prospect of railing millions of tons for aggregate over the Tahawus Branch, despite two potential operators having withdrawn their interest.

SNC #52 EMD BL-2 , built 1949 for Bangor & Aroostook Railroad {Kevin Burkholder}.