"Last Train to Lowville"
David H. Link - January 2007
With the demise of the paper mills and the
dairy industry in Northern New York, rail service has faced decades
of challenges. The village of Lowville once hosted two railroads
which served daily the thriving paper mills along the Beaver and
Black River, along with several other manufacturing plants, feed and
fertilizer, heating oil and propane customers.
Passenger trains ran for over a hundred years
providing service to Watertown and Philadelphia, NY to the North,
and Utica to the South where connections were made for trains to New
York and Chicago. With the loss of these customers to a changing
business climate, the Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad pulled
the final cars and equipment out of Lowville on Wednesday, January
On the following day, MA & N locomotives 642
(formerly British Colombia Railway built by Montreal Locomotive
works with American Locomotive Works 251 engine built in Auburn New
York), and 1951 (built new by General Electric for the Lowville and
Beaver Railroad in Lowville) were to serve as ushers to an end of an
The below pictures were taken that day as a
train of empty lumber cars were moved from CSX railroad in Carthage
NY to be stored on the former mainline to Lowville. Effectively
ending over 140 years of common carrier freight service to the Black
River Valley, commencing with the Utica and Black River Railroad,
followed by the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg, New York Central and
Hudson River Railroad, New York Central System, Penn Central,
Conrail, and finally Mohawk Adirondack & Northern.
On this beautiful below zero January day, I was
at work for what is now my fourth railroad that I have been employed
by in Northern New York over the last thirty years,........headed
South from Carthage, past the ghost town of Castorland, on what is
probably,.......my last train to Lowville.
Click image to enlarge.
Castorland Depot 1951 &
642 642 Jan07 Deer River Bridge
at Castorland, Jan07