Middletown and New Jersey Railway Historical Society
The MIDDLETOWN & NEW JERSEY RAILWAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY was established in 1994 to preserve and share the history of the MIDDLETOWN and NEW JERSEY RAILWAY and predecessor companies MIDDLETOWN, UNIONVILLE & WATER GAP and the MIDDLETOWN & UNIONVILLE RAILROAD. Since a railroad cannot exist in isolation, especially a short line, this history must also encompass connecting carriers such as the Middletown & Crawford, New Jersey Midland, New York Susquehanna & Western, New York Oswego Midland, New York Ontario & Western, Erie / Erie Lackawanna, and Conrail in so far as their relationship with the M&NJ and its predecessors.
For more info please visit the M&NJRHS website
New Jersey Midland Railway Historical Society
The New Jersey Midland traces its roots back to the 1830's when the first thoughts of building a railroad from the Paterson area to the coal fields around Scranton came about. Later the NJM was redirected to be part of the New York &Oswego Midland, to link New York City with Lake Ontario at Oswego, NY (the NY&OM was originally going to reach New York via the New York &Greenwood Lake Railroad, but money ran out before the missing link between Greenwood Lake and Middletown, NY was even started). The NJM ran from the Pennsylvania Railroad at Jersey City to the NJ/NY border at Unionville. The 13 mile Middletown, Unionville &Water Gap was leased to reach the New York & Oswego Midland at Middletown, NY. As it turned out, Buffalo became the major great lake city, not Oswego and both companies collapsed in the Panic of 1873. After the bondholders slugged it out in court, the NJM again became independent and resumed the quest to reach the coal fields. In 1881 the NJM and its affiliates merged to become the New York, Susquehanna & Western.
The New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the railroads that have operated in New Jersey, with special emphasis on the New Jersey Midland; its successor New York, Susquehanna & Western; and other lines connected or affiliated including Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Middletown & New Jersey; New York & Greenwood Lake; and Wharton & Northern.
The Railroadians of America, founded in 1939, were one of the oldest railroad historical organizations in the country, dedicated to gathering, preserving, writing and publishing railroad history. The Railroadians of America were merged into the New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society on
December 31, 1996 For more info please visit the New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society
New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society
The New York, Susquehanna & Western reached Stroudsburg, PA in 1882, the old Midland route from the main line at Beaver Lake, NJ to Middletown became a branch (cut back to the state line when the Middletown, Unionville & Water Gap lease was dropped in 1913). At Stroudsburg the NYS&W received coal from the Lackawanna (DL&W). In 1892 the NYS&W decided to reach the coal fields directly and began construction of the Wilkes Barre & Eastern and the Susquehana Connecting RR to directly reach the Wyoming Valley anthracite coal. The new line was highly profitable and caused pricing chaos among the older anthracite roads. In 1898, J.P. Morgan bought control of the NYS&W and leased it to the Erie. The NYS&W functioned as part of the Erie until 1937 when bankruptcy resumed independent operations and at the same time caused the abandonment of the Wilkes Barre & Eastern. Independence brought many changes: the first class one railroad to completely dieselize (with Alco RS-1s and S-2s), ACF railcars for the commuter runs from Paterson to a bus transfer via the Lincoln Tunnel into New York, and abandonment of the line between Stroudsburg, PA and Hainesburg Jct., NJ. In the early 1950s the line was somewhat prosperous with more diesels and Budd RDCs for passengers. In 1958 the NYS&W's fortunes declined: the branch to Unionville was abandoned, the RDCs sold off, maintenance reduced to a minimum. In 1962 all track west of Sparta Jct., NJ was abandoned. In 1966 the last commuter service to Butler ended. In 1969 an unsafe bridge in Sparta embargoed the line between the Wharton & Northern at Green Pond and the Lehigh & Hudson River at Sparta Jct. A washout in 1971 closed the line west of Butler. The NYS&W was again bankrupt in 1976 and near abandonment in 1980 when purchased by the Delaware Otsego Corp. By 1986 the NYS&W acquired the former Lackawanna branches from Binghamton, NY to Utica and Syracuse and the L&HR from Sparta Jct. to Warwick, NY. The line between Butler and Sparta Jct. was rebuilt. Today, the NYS&W runs double stack container trains over its lines as the eastern link for containers from ports on the west coast. RDC service is provided in Syracuse and commuter trains are slated to run from Sparta to Hoboken in 1999.
The New York Susquehanna & Western is a non-profit educational and historical society dedicated to the preservation and history of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway. The Society has close to 600 members located in almost every state and many from around the world.
The society is primarily funded by the many rail-excursion trips run every year. Our most famous trip is our hugely popular Steam On The Susquehanna, our all day fall foliage spectacular. Easter Bunny and Santa Claus train rides are a big favorite with the kids!
The Society owns three of the original four Susquehanna Budd cars, one of which is completely restored and is used on our trips. New to the society is our beautiful new engine facility. Take your time and look around the site. Enter the chat room, read some stories, or just browse through the many pictures. If you are interested in riding the very best historic train trips any where, visit the train trips area and buy tickets today!
Visit the NYS&WTHS website for more info.
This photo of the Susquehanna's 142 was taken at Baird's Farm in New York State
by George Read during the Suzy Q's November steam excursions.
Special thanks to to New Jersey Midland Railway Historical Society for the use
of their materials on this page and also to the M&NJRHS and the NYS&WT&HS.
The Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society is a chapter of the NRHS (National Railway Historical Society), focusing on the history of the railroads and related social, economic, and cultural institutions of the Catskill and Hudson Valley regions. That history, which began with the charter of the Catskill & Ithaca Railroad in 1828, encompasses numerous proposed and built railroads and trolley lines within Ulster, Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Albany and Otsego counties. The railroad companies in our area of concentration include:
- Ulster & Delaware
- Delaware & Eastern/Delaware & Northern
- Wallkill Valley
- Catskill Mountain
- Rondout & Oswego
- New York, Kingston & Syracuse
- Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain
- Hobart Branch Railroad
- Delaware & Otsego
- Catskill Mountain Branch of the New York Central and of Penn Central
- Canajoharie & Catskill
- Cairo Railroad
- Catskill & Tannersville
- Otis Elevating
- Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley
- Middleburgh & Schoharie
- Schoharie Valley
- Rhinebeck & Connecticut
- Delaware & Hudson at and around Oneonta
- New York Central/West Shore at Kingston
Society members come from diverse walks of life but all share a passion for the railroads and the history, industry and natural beauty of the Catskills. Besides railroad fans and historians, we number amongst our members lawyers, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a botanist and professor of forestry, an archivist and active and retired railroaders.
U&DRRHS Membership benefits:
- Funding of the restoration and preservation of significant rolling stock.
- Maintenance of an archive of historically significant Ulster & Delaware photographs, records, and memorabilia.
- Oral history project to record the recollections of those who ran and those who rode the Ulster & Delaware.
- Rip Van Winkle Flyer, our historical periodical about the Ulster & Delaware and its place in the community.
To Find out more about the U&DRRHS or to becomce a member please visit udrrhs.org