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Delaware & Hudson Rail Road Corporation v. Public Service Commission

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

December 28, 1954

Delaware & Hudson Rail Road Corporation
v.
Public Service Commission

Page327

PROCEEDING under article 78 of the Civil Practice Act (transferred to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the third judicial department by an order of the Supreme Court at Special Term, entered in Albany County) to review a determination of the Public Service Commission which denied a petition to discontinue operation of petitioner's passenger train No. 5 between Whitehall and Plattsburg and train No. 2 between Plattsburg and Whitehall.

COUNSEL

Alfred D. Kelly, Joseph Rosch and Paul F. Robinson for petitioner.

Edward D. Cohen, Joseph J. Doran and Harry T. O'Brien for respondents.

HALPERN, J.

The petitioner Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation seeks a review in a proceeding under article 78 of the Civil Practice Act of an order of the Public Service Commission denying it leave to discontinue the operation of certain passenger trains between Whitehall and Plattsburg.

The petitioner operates four trains northbound from Albany to Plattsburg, one early in the morning, one in the early afternoon, one in the evening (known as No. 5) and one during the night. The running time for the trip varies from four hours and twelve minutes on the fastest train to six hours and ten minutes on the slowest. The petitioner operates two southbound trains from Plattsburg to Albany, one early in the morning (known as No. 2) and one during the night.

The petitioner proposed to terminate the northbound evening train from Albany (No. 5) at Whitehall and it also proposed to discontinue the southbound morning train from Plattsburg (No. 2) and to originate it at Whitehall. These two trains would, under the petitioner's plan, continue to take care of the commuter traffic between Albany and Whitehall (a distance of 77.4 miles) but the operation between Whitehall and Plattsburg (a distance of 90 miles) would be discontinued.

The trains in question are being operated by the petitioner pursuant to an order of the Public Service Commission which

Page 328

was granted in 1921, upon a finding that the trains were necessary in order to provide adequate service.

Under the existing service, passengers can travel from Plattsburg (or from any of the ten communities between Plattsburg and Whitehall) to Albany in the morning and return home the same day on the evening train. Under the petitioner's proposal, this will be impossible. Under the proposal, there will be no daytime train by which a passenger from Plattsburg, or from points between Plattsburg and Whitehall, will be able to travel to Albany, in a continuous trip. He will be able to get to Albany only by taking a train, not mentioned above, which runs from Plattsburg to Troy and then taking a bus to Albany, or by taking a local train which runs from Plattsburg to Whitehall and then waiting for over an hour in Whitehall for another local train to Albany. Apart from the inconvenience of waiting for the connection and making the transfer, the passenger could not get to Albany, by either route, until the close of the business day. He would have to stay overnight, transact his business during the morning of the next day, and then catch the early afternoon train to go back home.

The night trains are used for traffic to and from New York City, through connections with the New York Central Railroad. They are not suitable for the Plattsburg-Albany traffic since they arrive at their respective destinations in the middle of the night.

It is thus apparent that, if the petitioner's proposal were approved, the remaining passenger service would be highly ...


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