Re: Per Diem and the NYO&W


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

There were so many nails in the coffin of the NYO&W. Its employees
were working for "substantially less than the national wage in an
attempt to save their jobs." Yet the New York State Full Crew Act
mandated a six-man crew for trains more than 25 cars long. And the
US government wanted to seize the road for non-payment of Railroad
Retirement taxes.

A few quotes from David P. Morgan's "Obituary of an Old Woman", from
July, 1957 Trains Magazine--

"The statistics of it all were sad. O&W was delinquent on payments
for its aging diesels, paid substandard wages (and spent the
withholding taxes to run the railroad), owned a tiny fleet of 82
freight cars (of which half were bought prior to 1919), had laid only
half a mile of new rail since World War II. It took a middle-aged
broker to remember the last dividend, paid in 1925, and the bonds had
been so much wallpaper since O&W entered bankruptcy in 1937. All of
which was expressed in an operating ratio which moved inexorably up
from the high 80's to 107.36 per cent in 1955".

"Nowhere to nowhere and upgrade all the way--with an afterthought of
a branch keeping the sheriff away. The wonder is not that O&W died
March 29, 1957, but that it was built in the first place. History
was, in the end, unforgiving."

But the O&W is such an engaging road for the modeller. My regret is
that the closest that I'll get to modelling it that I want to have
one or two O&W hopper cars (mandatory STMFC content) on my layout.
Luckily, RMC ran an article on modelling these cars a few years ago.

Steve Lucas.

-- In STMFC@..., "Bill Schneider" <branchline@...> wrote:

Get the facts straight Tim - its state highway 17, not 7. And the
O&W did
owe a ton of back taxes that the state stopped forgiving when they
needed
the ROW for the roadway.... :>)

Seriously, from what I understand operating costs and wages ate up
nearly
all of the revenue in the later years. Considering that the O&W's
route
really was fairly tortuous compared to the Erie's which ran almost
parallel,
I'm always amazed that they managed to get ANY bridge traffic, but
there
actually was a fair amount in the '50's. However, nearly all of the
revenue
came from the Scranton-Maybrook line, and yet there were other
lines and
branches that continued to be maintained and which drew down the
company
coffers despite the lack of income from them.

I'm sure that copies of the annual reports are available from the
O&W
Society if anybody REALLY wants to pursue this...

Bill Schneider

Heck we might as well go back to conspiracy theory -- that NYO&W
was doomed because NY wanted its right of way for state highway
#7.

Tim O'Connor

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