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Soon after the DL&W merged with the Erie in the mid to late 50's (1956?) The DL&W tracks on the south side of the susquehanna river from between Binghamton and Vestal to Elmira were abandoned and most of that road bed was sold to the State for the building of the new 4 lane route 17 expressway finished in the early 60's. The new R17 uses a great deal of the old RR road bed. All trains were transferred to the Erie tracks in Binghamton, which are on the North side of the river and continued on those tracks to Elmira.
An interesting sidebar to the Erie and DL&W meger was that each line coninued their full schedule of passenger trains for over a year meaning that from Binghamton to Elmira they competed against themselves on the same track. This resulted in many sparsely populated passenger trains traveling through Owego at a rate of more than one an hour. In those years it was a long process of approvals to discontinue or change service.
Erie merged with DL&W in 1960. However earlier the two roads agreed to "rationalize" trackage in New York State west of Binghamton
Waverly to Elmira was part of the DL&W mainline that became redundant at the merger of the Erie and DL&W and the DL&W mainline between Johnson City and Gibson was removed in 1959.
Some isolated stretches were left intact to service local customers. Johnson City to Vestal until early 1990s when trackage was removed between Vestal and Willow Point, now a rail trail. Waverly to Owego until early 1960s, removed to Nichols then torn up completely to Waverly in 1965. Elmira to Elmira Heights, still intact and part of that stretch is active.
The majority of rt86/17 between Vestal and Waverly was built on top of the original DL&W grade. Remnants like ROW and telegraph poles can still be spotted. Between Lowman and Elmira the ROW is clearly visible next to the eastbound lane.
The old US 15 (now 415) had sections that ran along side the railroad. My brother and I used to wave at the conductor on the caboose as we drove by. (heading towards Painted Post.)
Does anybody have information on which railroads served or passed though Corning? My grandfather worked for one of them in the 20's and 30's but I have no idea which would have been around then.
Merger was necessary. Both railroads ran lines parallel and a merger made sense. The 1950s saw lost coal revenue due to the increase use of oil. 1957 saw the NYO&W to cease operations. No doubt that the Erie and DL&W faced the same fate. Mergers resulted in selling off redundant assets. My grandfather worked for the Erie and no doubt he heard rumors of potential merger talks.