FROM 1913 TO THE PRESENT

            The change of ownership, Conrail to CSX, in Massena, June 1999
 
 

The route, under NYC&HRRR, became nothing more than a feeder line.  In 1914, the company reverted back to the name of New York Central Railroad, then to New York Central Lines.  On May 17, 1934, the St. Lawrence bridges were opened to private vehicles and in 1935, NYCL became New York Central System.  Service on the Ottawa line began to dwindle slowly.  On Nov. 15, 1932, passenger service was suspended between Tupper Lake and Tupper Lake Junction, then  on May 6, 1937, the line was abandoned between Tupper Lake Junction and Helena.  What remained in the Tupper Lake area was merged into NYCís Adirondack Division as spurs and the company had to get permission from Canadian National Railways to run over the rails between Massena (the northern terminus of NYCís St. Lawrence Division) and Helena.  The agreement called for no passenger trains were to carry people between Helena and Massena.

On Aug. 16, 1951, passenger service was canceled, but restarted in November on a six-month basis when the demand for it seemed adequate.  This did not last as the service was once again canceled for good on July 15, 1954, the last passenger train being on the previous April 24th.  The question that was now needed answering was when the line would be abandoned.  The rails were in terrible shape and the engines were running at restricted speeds.  The axe finally came down when the St. Lawrence Seaway & Power Project arrived.  Instead of creating more of a financial burden to the Corporation, NYC decided to take a $2,280,000 offer from the Seaway to abandon their Ottawa line.  The last train ran on Feb. 14, 1957 and the official abandonment occurred on March 22nd, but only the portion between Ottawa and Rooseveltown was abandoned.  The Seaway purchased the right-of-way north of Rooseveltown to Cornwall and proceeded to replace and remove the historic bridges (south channel removed in 1958 and north one was dismantled in 1965).  In April of 1957, CNR purchased the Canadian portion of the right-of-way and tore up the rails for scrap, but still maintain ownership to this very day, leasing it to Bell Canada for their fibre optics line.  For a time, CNR maintained the line between Ottawa and Ramseyville, but this was abandoned just years later.

Today, not much remains of the line.  The rails that were left in the Tupper Lake area are still there, waiting to be used by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad while the portion from Helena to Rooseveltown is still in operation, now under CSX Transportation.  In Canada, various spurs are on the right-of-way in Cornwall and Ottawa, but that is it.  As for stations, well thatís different.  In the States, the following are still existing: Kildare (at Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake as an exhibit); Bay Pondís original (moved and converted into a hay barn); Bay Pondís second station (currently a two family residence); McDonald (currently a storage building); Santa Clara (now an oratory); Dickinson Center (abandoned) and Moira (a restaurant).  In Canada, you will find the following: Northfield Station (now a shed); Berwick (moved to Embrun, restored as an information centre and snack bar); Crysler (now a shed); St. Albert Station (moved to Embrun as a home); Russell (also moved to Embrun as a home); Edwards (moved to Sarsfield as a home); and Ottawaís Union Station (currently becoming the Sports Hall of Fame).  There is a bicycle trail between Russell and Embrun, running on the right-of-way as well.
 
 

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