The UVRwy was first proposed by Colonel Nehemiah Pierce shortly after the Civil War to connect the New York, Ontario & Western's route to the south of Unadilla Valley with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's railroad to the north. After attracting local funding, particularly in Utica, the railroad began construction in Bridgewater in 1889, reached Leonardsville in 1892 and South Edmonston in 1894.
The line itself was described in the specifications as having "track of light construction running through boggy ground." Sounds like logging Pacific country to Locobase. And light it was, although the actual metals weighed 56 lb (28 kg/metre) and 70 lb/yard (35 kg/metre) and might have been "relay rail". The road bed was composed of gravel. Grades were held to less than 2%.
Given the funding and the traffic, these economies are understandable: "The Unadilla Valley was still very rural at this time." says the history. "As provisions of sale of the right of way, the railroad was required to provide cattle fences on many of the properties. Cattle crossings had to be provided in many spots as well, so that farmers could move cattle from one side of the tracks to the other without driving their herds over the rails. This was due in part to the fact that the rail line bisected more than a few farms."
Indeed, "Quite a bit of early freight was agricultural, including milk and dairy products, and hops." By 1904, though, the railroad entered what the history calls its golden era under Doctor Lewis Morris, turning a profit most years until 1932.
Such rural railways first confronted competition from automobile traffic and the UVRwy saw a decline in passenger ridership beginning in the 1920s. Dr Morris opened a gravel quarry, but, says the history, state politics doomed the effort: "Upon receiving word of Dr. Morris' plans, the Governor and his cronies changed the State specifications for gravel contracts for work on Route 8 to call for "sharp" gravel only. Dr. Morris' gravel pit produced gravel with rounded edges, thus excluding him from bidding on this and ultimately most other State contracts."
Dr Morris's death in 1936 put the railroad in the hands of a scrap dealer, but H E Salzburg of New York City instead vowed to restore the UV to health and, remarkably, did so. The line turned a profit from 1938 through World War Two. Both the 4 and 5 remained in service until after the war, being scrapped in 1948 and 1950, respectively.
It wasn't until the milk-processing plant that provided 35% of the traffic closed in 1956 that the salvage company thought about dismantling the line. It closed in 1960 and was torn up by the end of the year.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Number in Class||2|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.38|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||46.83'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||94000 lbs|
|Engine Weight||122000 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||74000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||196000 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||3500 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||6 tons|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||52 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||165 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||17" x 24"|
|Tractive Effort||22109 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.25|
|Firebox Area||101 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||18.90 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||1637 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||1637 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||259.64|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||3119|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||3119|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||16665|