Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society

Ulster & Delaware

The Ulster & Delaware Railroad crossed the Catskills from Kingston Point on the Hudson, to Oneonta in the Susquehanna Valley. Chartered in 1866 as the Rondout & Oswego, and reorganized in 1872 as the New York, Kingston & Syracuse, it became the Ulster & Delaware in 1875, and was completed to Oneonta in 1900. There was also a branch - originally the narrow-gauge Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain - from Phoenicia, through Stony Clove Notch, to Hunter, and a connecting narrow-gauge extension, the Kaaterskill Railroad, from near Hunter to the Mountain Top destinations of Tannersville, Haines Falls, Kaaterskill Falls, and Catskill Mountain House.

Surmounting dramatic mountain scenery with four percent grades that demanded three Ten-Wheelers for an eight-car passenger train, the Ulster & Delaware was often called the most scenic line in the east. It helped create and then profited handsomely from a boom in the Catskill tourist trade, while providing outlets for the area's agricultural, timber, bluestone, and other products. It also provided a through, if roundabout, route for coal bound from northeastern Pennsylvania mines to New York City - indeed, one of the reasons it was built, was to bring Delaware & Hudson coal from Oneonta to the Hudson River steamboats of Thomas Cornell, one of the U&D's chief promoters.

The railroad thrived into the World War I era, especially on tourist passenger traffic, milk, and coal, and began to fade with the coming of the automobile and the truck in the 1920's. It was finally rendered insolvent by management financial shenanigans worthy of Daniel Drew, and was forcibly merged into the New York Central in 1932, then in 1968 into Penn Central, which abandoned portions; it was finally discontinued entirely after Conrail took over Penn Central in 1976.

Through the generous and foresighted act of the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation, much of the track and most of the right-of-way remain intact, in local public ownership. Portions are operated by our friends at the Delaware & Ulster Rail Road out of Arkville (see the February, 1998 issue of Railpace), the Catskill Mountain Railroad at Phoenicia & Mt. Pleasant, and the Trolley Museum of New York at Kingston. Efforts are presently underway to restore most of the railroad to operation, as the backbone of a historic corridor of 19th Century Catskill life and industry.

Main Line
List of Stations



106.9 Oneonta NQ
103.2 West Davenport  
99.9 Davenport Center AV
97.9 East Meredith  
91.6 Kortright Station KO
86.2 Bloomville BM
81.5 South Kortright KR
77.5 Hobart BA
74.0 Stamford D
70.6 South Gilboa SG
65.5 Grand Gorge S
59.1 Roxbury RY
53.0 Halcottsville JA
51.4 Kellys Corners  
48.1 Arkville
Junction Delaware & Northern
44.1 Fleischmanns GC
41.4 Grand Hotel Station SN
39.7 Pine Hill P
36.4 Big Indian MO
32.1 Shandaken SA
27.5 Phoenicia
Junction Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain
24.9 Mt.Pleasant MP
22.1 Cold Brook BK
21.3 Boiceville  
19.2 Shokan AK
18.1 Brodheads Bridge  
 15.8 Browns Station  
12.6 Olive Branch  
9.8 West Hurley WH
8.3 Stony Hollow  
2.8 Kingston
Jct New York, West Shore & Buffalo
1.0 Rondout YA
0.0 Kingston Point  

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