Auburn, New York

The Owasco River Railroad

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A view of the former ROW of the Owasco River Railroad in Auburn, NY. Photo by Brendan Kelly.

The Owasco River Railroad was built in Auburn, NY sometime in the middle 1800s to service many mills along the Owasco River (a.k.a. Owasco Outlet) to haul grain, flour, scrap iron, coal, finished iron products, leather shoes, equipment grease, and farm equipment. The Lehigh Valley Railroad bought the line in 1856. The LVRR kept the ORRR name until the diesel era when the last steamer left the line.

Not much is really known about the ORRR. The road was mainly an industrial line and all of the offices were located in the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Fraght/Passenger Station. The ORRR ran along the streets of Auburn and much of its line was built on wooden trestles built up along and up the middle of the Owasco Outlet. In some places the bridges were 100 yards or longer.

The ORRR ran with a single 3-truck Shay Locomotive. This proved more useful after trying out several smaller locomotives which could not make the extremely tight curves and 10.2% grade up Osborne Street to Zeric Products, Bowen Products, and several other mills along the small 1/2 mile yard on the hill just off Mill Street. The railroad tracks were removed sometime around the early or late 1960s.

Thanks to Brendan Kelly for contributing information about this route.

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/u2w
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