Railroad still key to economic development

NORWICH – Rumors that the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad will cease operations through the county’s center are false, according a spokesperson for the railroad.

“Any decision that the railroad is closed is false,” Tom O’Neil of NYS&W said. “There has been no decision.”

Sections of the Chenango Forks to Sherburne route were damaged from flooding in the region June 26 and transportation from Binghamton north abruptly ceased. Shortly thereafter, the Cooperstown-based company published a legal notice of its pending abandonment of the route.

NYS&W Public Relations Manager Nathan Fenno said in August that railroad industry regulations require properties to examine their routes on a routine basis and report underutilized sections. The notice “was merely a formality,” he said, and had nothing to do with the flooded-out section nor actually closing the route permanently.

The two businesses in the county that depend on rail transportation - one in Sherburne and one in Smyrna - have been able to continue transporting goods along the NYS&W northern routes.

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