In 1977, the struggle to preserve Utica Union Station, and the Adirondack railway's plans to reopen the Utica-Lake Placid line, moved area railfans to form the Utica & Mohawk Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (founded in 1935). We hailed the decision to save the station, but mourned the failure of the 1979-80 Adirondack operation.
During the 1980s, we worked with many to keep the Adirondack dream alive. (We even promoted it through parade floats.) We made Adirondack diesel 25 part of our display at the Children's Museum next door to Union Station. In 1992-93, we lent our non-profit status to the line's rebirth as the Adirondack Centennial Railroad. Since 1994, we have helped support its successor, Adirondack Scenic Railroad, financially and as volunteers.
In 1999, we brought New York Central steam back to New York state, putting 0-6-0 6721 on display at Union Station. We are exploring ways to preserve more historic Empire State rail equipment, and more area railroad landmarks, to make Utica a "'Williamsburg' of American Railroading."
We have a growing research library and archives at Union Station. We sell copies of NYC engineering drawings, 1930s steam locomotive photos, and "Observer-Dispatch" photographer Dante Tranquille's '40s-'60s rail pictures.
We meet September-June; run excursions on Amtrak, area lines, or bus trips to tourist railroads; have a website (www.uticarometrains.org) and newsletter ("Tower Topics"); and place historical markers. We maintain the landmark ex-DL&W "elevated cabin" on Schuyler Street in West Utica and support the rail landmark preservation efforts of other groups, municipalities, and individuals. We've sponsored special events, creation of Larry Fisher's art print "Wartime Twilight at Utica, N.Y." and made modest grants to non-profit organizations that share our goals.
New members are always welcome! Check for details elsewhere on our site!