CSXT 3115 leading Q621 on the St. Lawrence Subdivision

While driving along Onondaga Lake, I spotted a stopped train sitting on CSX's St. Lawrence Subdivision. After confirming that the train was going to head south, I headed down to Destiny USA Mall, where the St. Lawrence Subdivision ends and joins the Syracuse Terminal Subdivision.

Train Q621 at CP291

Below, Q621, with CSXT 3115 on the point, is sitting on the St. Lawrence Subdivision (SLS), just to the north of the wye at CP291. The wye connects the SLS (aka Massena Line) with the Syracuse Terminal Subdivision (STS). The SLS starts here at CP291, at milepost QM2.0. The milepost for the STS here is milepost 291.67.

CSXT 3115 and train Q621 sit just north of CP291
CSXT 3115 with Q621, waiting just north of CP291

From this vantage point the train is about 1,400 ft. (426 m.) away. This location worked out well because there is a railroad service road that runs mostly straight from my vantage point, helping to prevent any obstacles that might have interfered with the composition. 

Below, the train has started to crawl southward, and take the eastern leg of the wye. In about 1,000 feet, Q621 will roll onto Track 1 of the STS, and head east to DeWitt Yard, which is approximately six miles away in East Syracuse, NY. From what I've read on some railroad forums, the train will spend some time at DeWitt, setting out and picking up freight cars, before moving on east to Selkirk, NY.

CSXT 3115 leads Q621 south at CP291
Q621 takes the eastern leg of the wye

Today, Q621 had three locomotives on the point pulling almost two miles (3.2 km) of freight cars. The end of the train was just south of Heid's of Liverpool (a local favorite for hot dogs), which is about 2.4 miles (3.8 km) north of here. With only two daily through trains on this line, the trains tend to be very long.

Trains Q621 and Q620

Q621 runs between Massena, NY., and Selkirk, NY. The trains counterpart is Q620, which runs from Selkirk, NY., to Massena, NY. Currently, these are the only two through freight trains on the SLS, though, there are a number of locals that work along the line. 

In addition to the rail traffic picked up and set out along their route, Q620 and Q621 carry interchange traffic coming from and going to Canadian National at Huntingdon, QC. Between Massena, NY., and Huntingdon, QC., a local train handles the interchange traffic. I believe that most of the interchange traffic either originates or is destined for Montreal, QC.

Photographs taken on Friday, September 17, 2021, at Syracuse, NY.


  1. Very nice shots! Interesting info too. I am not that up on the doings of current railroads.


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