Railroads & Locomotives Railroad Profiles Short Lines Mohawk Adirondack and Northern Railroad profile

Mohawk Adirondack and Northern Railroad profile

By | January 27, 2023

The Mohawk Adirondack and Northern Railroad is a short line railroad operating in the Adirondack Region of New York.

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Genesee Valley Transportation LogoMohawk Adirondack and Northern Railroad summary

The Mohawk Adirondack and Northern Railroad (MHWA) is a short line railroad that operates in the Adirondack Region of New York. It’s owned by the Genesee Valley Transportation Company, a holding firm that manages four other shortline railroads in both New York and Pennsylvania. The MHWA operates a total of 112 miles of standard-gauge track divided in separate lines including Utica to Lyons Falls, Lowville to Newton Falls, and the short industrial track in Rome.


The tracks of the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad were once part of the former New York Central’s network reaching the ports along the St. Lawrence River. In the mid-19th century, the Empire State was home to more than 100 paper mills with much of the manufacturing centered around the heavily forested Adirondacks. As the business dwindled, so did the freight traffic as the ex-NYC abandoned the route between Lyons Falls and Lowville. By 1991, the remaining lines were eventually sold from the Central’s successor, Conrail to the Genesee Valley Transportation Company. Operations resumed shortly afterwards as the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad. Genesee Valley would later acquire more property from Conrail including the Rome Industrial Track


Though no longer serving the paper industry, the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad’s freight traffic has evolved and diversified with commodities including aggregates, food products and perishables, chemicals, plastics, and steel. The railroad’s largest customer is an olive oil processing plant at the former Air Force base at Rome. The Utica-Lyons Falls line works with a plastic pellet distribution facility at Utica while serving additional customers as far as Boonville and offering railcar storage on the remaining section to Lyons Falls. The Lowville-Newton Falls line serves two chemical plants at Carthage while mainly focusing on railcar storage.

Highlighted as a top business for Genesee Valley Transportation, two T3 transloading facilities are at Utica Yard and the Griffiss Business & Technology Park in Rome with switching provided by the railroad to reach off-line customers. The Scranton Operations Center in Scranton, Pa. serves as the headquarters for dispatching the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern.

The MHWA rosters Genesee Valley’s growing fleet of diesel locomotives from Alco and the Montreal Locomotive Works. Most are painted in the company’s “Corporate White” color scheme. A new locomotive shop was constructed in the Green Ridge section of Scranton to repair and maintain the company’s diverse roster.

Interchange is made with CSX Transportation in Utica and Carthage, with a connection to the Adirondack Railroad at Snow Junction. The Class I railroad provides trackage rights for the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern to reach the Rome Industrial Track from Utica. The short line hosts passenger excursions for the Adirondack Railroad between Utica and Snow Junction.

Read more about the Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad in Trains’ December 2021 issue.

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