History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Donated by Richard Palmer.
Rome Telegraph July 26, 1836 Pg. 2 Col. 4-5
Utica and Schenectady Rail-Road
(from The Mohawk Courier)
A single track of this road will soon be completed through the whole extent of its router. We have already noted the fact that the locomotive runs up as far as St. Johnsville, the distance of 48 miles from Schenectady.
On Saturday last, a party of several ladies and gentleman were favored with a ride from the former to the later place, in one of the new and beautiful carriages of the company. The distance of 48 miles was made by the locomotive in two hours and eighty minutes, including regular stoppages of thirteen minutes, besides several hindrances and delays from the work men's cars on the track, cattle, &c.. No accident occurred on the route to mar the pleasure of the occasion. .
The passage of the valley of the Mohawk on this road, will be one of the most delightful and pleasant in the Union during the traveling season. A rich and beautiful country, here rolling in gentle undulations, there spreading into fertile plains, now rising in stately hills bedecked with majestic forests, and then breaking as it were, into towering cliffs; and our own placid river, wending its way, in the midst, studded with groups of little islands, combine in presenting throughout the whole passage the most exhilarating prospect and as ever varying landscape. To this, add those specimens of the triumph of art, and the dint of enterprise, every where abundant along the line of our railroad and great canal, and you have but a superficial view of the beauties and excellencies of the valley of the Mohawk. It will be but pastime and rest to the weary traveler to make The transit of this route. This way he will go, if he would save time and distance in passing to the far west; this way, if he would see the unrivalled cascades of Trenton, or the awful cataract of Niagara.
The Utica and Schenectady road, when finished, will be put in operation under a system of regulations suggested by the first professional skill, and the best experience of the country. We are satisfied from the trails already made, that this road will prove to be the safest and best one the kind, now in operation in the Union.
We cut the following from the Fonda Herald.
The First Car - The Utica and Schenectady rail road from the city of Schenectady to St. Johnsville, in this Co. - a distance of forty-eight mile - was tested on Tuesday last. On that day one of the new locomotives belonging to the company, having attached to it a long train of cars, containing a large number of persons, passed over the road between the places named, and returned without difficulty, delay or accident. Two of the directors of the company, the commissioners of the road. G.M. Davison, esq., the principal engineer, Mr. Young, and his assistances Merrs. Higham, Lee and Stewart, together with several gentlemen of Schenectady, Amsterdam and this village, and other places along the line, were of the party. All were highly gratified and delighted with the experiment.
“The arrival of the train at this place, was greeted with the firing of cannon, cheering and other demonstrations of satisfaction. The distance between this village and St. Johnsville - twenty-three miles - was passed over by the train on its way up, in one hour and five minutes, and in fifty-five minutes on its return. We may therefore expect that when the road is completed from Schenectady to Utica, the entire distance(eighty miles) will be accomplished in less than four hours. In view of the advantages which the community, particularly the traveling public, will derive from this great improvement, all must be anxious for its completion. This desirable object, we are informed, will be attained by the fifteenth of August, if not sooner."
Albany Evening Journal, Tuesday, July 26, 1836
COMPLETION OF THE UTICA AND SCHENECTADY RAIL ROAD
We have the pleasure of announcing the completion of the Utica and Schenectady Rail Road. The first train of cars, drawn by a locomotive engine, ran up and down over the whole line of the road yesterday. This is an event of no ordinary interest to the public generally- and to the stockholders and directors of the road, a source of peculiar satisfaction and just pride.
The contracts for the construction of this rail road were let in October, 1834. The whole work, therefore, has been so far completed, in twenty-one months. This diligence and enterprise in constructing the longest continuous rail road in America, reflects the highest credit upon the directors of the company, the commissioner, G.M. Davison, esq., and the principal engineer, William C. Young, and shows the importance, as well to the public as to the stockholders of placing such works in the hands of efficient, practical business men.
Mr. Young, who commenced and completed this work, has placed himself at the head of his profession. He has proved himself not only a scientific engineer, but a thorough, indefatigable, driving man of business. He was equally fortunate, we learn, in selecting his assistant engineers, all of whom were gentlemen of much worth and promise. one of them, (Mr. Robert Higham) of who we have heard the directors of this company speak in the warmest terms, has already been tendered the appointment of principal engineer, with a liberal salary, on an important rail road in a neighboring state. The U. and S. company, will, we are happy to learn, retain the services of Mr. Young as superintendent of their road.
Mr. Young's original estimate of the cost of this rail road was $1,500,000, and although the sum paid for real estate, and to the turnpike company, amounts to $330,000 more than was contemplated, we are authorized to say that the work, including eight locomotive engines, 100 cars, two extensive depots, and all the necessary machinery nd work shops, will be completed within the original estimate!
The Mohawk and Hudson rail road (16 miles) cost upwards of $1,100,000, being more than $68,000 per mile. The Utica and Schenectady rail road (77 miles) cost $1,500,000, being $20,00 per mile. The former road is at an expense of $12,000 per year at their inclined plane steam stations, while the latter run through their locomotives without stationary power, from one termination to the other.
From what we know of those who are to have charge of this road, we are satisfied that the same economy which was observed in its construction, will distinguish its future operations. This road, therefore, goes into operation under the most favorable auspices. It will do an immense business, and will return to the stockholders, immediate, ample and permanent dividends.
The excursion to Utica, yesterday, was in the highest degree exciting. Our neighbor, James Savage, took us into his carriage at 4 A.M., and after a delightful morning drive over the old Albany and Schenectady turnpike, which under the skillful superintendence of Mr. John Meade, is becoming an Appian way, we arrived at Schenectady just as
"The sun in russet mantle clad,
"Peeps o'er the top of yon eastern hill."
After a hearty breakfast, a party consisting of Messrs. E. Corning, L. Benedict, (Directors) G. Hawley, (Treasurer), L. Townsend, J. Rathbone, James Savage and ourself, of this city; Messrs. DeGraff, Paige, Craig, Sprague, Palmer and Yates, of Schenectady; Mr. laurie, of New York; Mr. Marvin, of Saratoga; and Mr. Pomeroy, of Pittsfield, Mass., seated themselves in the Cars, and at 15 minutes past 8, started for Utica.
After passing moderately through the city over the company's splendid bridge, the locomotive was put to its speed, and we were whirled through the delightful valley of the Mohawk at the rate of from 13 to 25 miles an hour. The scene was grand and beautiful beyond description. The rapidity with which we travelled gave to all around us a panoramic appearance. This valley, always the richest of the rich, in its agricultural products, was now seen in its most gladsome and joyous aspects.
Providence, in its most bountiful dispensations, could not have done more to excite the imagination, to delight the eye, and to warm the heart.
On either side of the Cars all was fruitfulness and verdure. - here waved a olden harvest field - there spread out a rich velvet meadow. Then in rapid succession came fields of corn, oats, barley, and every other bounty with which the earth rejoices. In all these fields, the husbandman, leaning upon his scythe, or resting in his furrow, gazed with wonder and admiration at a mode of conveyance at once so rapid and imposing, and by means of which time and space were almost annihilated.
On one hand lay the Turnpike, where the Stages of Messrs. Thorp & Sprague, once the swiftness messenger of which we could boast, now seemed, in the comparison, to stand still! On the other, was the Canal, filled with boats "dragging their slow length along." These contrasts most forcibly illustrate the superiority of Rail Roads as a mode of conveyance for passengers.
Passing in this way, enjoying every variety of scenery, we found ourselves at half past ten o'clock, in the hart of the city of Utica! It really seemed like a dream! At four o'clock we were in Albany, and at half-past ten at Utica! Truly this is the age of improvement.
After receiving and returning the congratulations of our friends at Utica, the party partook of an early dinner at Bagg's; and at one o'clock P.M. resumed our seats in the cars, and in the presence of thousands of admiring spectators, departed for Schenectady, where we arrived a few minutes past five P.M., having been absent 11 hours, two hours and a half of which were passed at utica, and one hour and a half consumed in stoppages.
In going up, the time from Utica to Schenectady was 4 hours 21 minutes; stoppages 53 minutes; time in running, 3 hours 28 minutes.
In returning, the whole time was 4 hours 9 minutes; stoppages 36 minutes; time in running, 3 hours 38 minutes.
So that in going and returning the locomotive performed ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY MILES IN SEVEN HOURS AND SIX MINUTES.
Taking an extra car from Schenectady, we arrived here a few minutes past 7 o'clock, having breakfasted at Schenectady, dined at Utica, drank our tea at Albany, and travelled 192 miles by daylight!
Not the slightest accident occurred to mar the enjoyments of the day. At Little Falls and Herkimer several gentlemen were invited to accompany us to Utica. And at Utica, Mr. H.L. Webb, of this city, and Mr. Blunt and party, of New York, were included among the return guests. Through the entire line the inhabitants manifested the warmest interest in the completion of this great work.
We regret other duties have restricted us to this brief and imperfect description of n excursion so full of interest and instruction. - The excellence of this Road, the expanded Bridge over the Mohawk, and the splendid Depots at Schenectady and Utica, deserve special notice. The sublime scenery and the rich landscape which adorn and beautify the whole route, are themes worthy of a better pen and a brighter imagination. And we forego even the attempt at description, the more readily, as in a very few days, all will have an opportunity of enjoying what is far better than the best description - the beautiful and glorious reality.