25 years agoMarch 1, 1989
Workers have been tearing up track in the Oneonta yard of the financially ailing Delaware and Hudson Railway, but retiring old rails doesn’t mean the yard is closing, according to a D&H executive.
“It’s an ordinary course of business,” said John Parolla, executive vice-president of the D&H. The track being retired was in abandoned portions of yard that haven’t been used in about 10 years, other than to store cars, Parolla said. The value of the old track is primarily as scrap metal, and more track retirement isn’t planned, he said.
According to the state Department of Transportation, Bob Dedrick and Sons, address unavailable, successfully bid $172,350 for 2,298 tons of rail and other track materials from the Oneonta yard.
As local track is retired, Parolla said the D&H is close to signing contracts that would bring more cars and locomotives for repair and painting in the Oneonta yard. The D&H may hire a dozen more employees in the Oneonta yard by midyear, if the contracts are signed, he said.
“The future looks good for car shops,” Parolla said. About 25 D&H workers were upgrading cars in Oneonta shops as of mid-January. The New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad, temporary D&H operator, would hire workers within craft and seniority lines, he said.
However, the NYS&W still awaits approval by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission to operate the D&H beyond mid-March.
Last June, Guilford Transportation Industries of Billerica, Mass., put its subsidiary D&H into bankruptcy court. The Interstate Commerce Commission appointed the NYS&W as a temporary operator of the D&H and has extended that role twice. The NYS&W, a subsidiary of Cooperstown-based Delaware Otsego Corp., and the bankruptcy trustee, Washington attorney Francis Dicello, have proposed an 18-month agreement to continue D&H operations.Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.