Saratoga & North Creek Railway General Superintendent Justin Gonyo at the North Creek Depot
Photo by Andy Flynn.
continued “That’s what Dad did; that’s what I wanted to do,” Justin said.
By the time Justin graduated from the Johnsburg Central School in 2003, he wasn’t thinking about a railroad career.
“I hadn’t really thought about the railroad since I was about 14 years old,” Justin said. “Up until I was 14, I knew I wanted to work for the railroad. That’s all I wanted to do, but then I kind of grew up and went off and did my own thing.”
After graduation, he eventually moved to Queensbury to work for Six Flags at The Great Escape. His tour of duty there lasted from 2005 to 2008. Then his father told him that the D&H was hiring. Those railroading tales from his family soon flooded back.
“I remember hearing stories from Grandpa when I was growing up, so it was kind of always around me,” said Justin, who recalled stories about stations in the D&H North End, places like Chazy, West Chazy, Plattsburgh, Lyon Mountain and Rouses Point.
Justin applied and got the position with the D&H, which is now a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway. During the time with CP, he traveled west to Waseca, Minn. and worked on the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, another subsidiary of CP. He spent almost nine months there.
Then he moved back to New York to work on the D&H again. A month later, he was promoted to the supervisor of operations for the D&H North End, covering the rail lines between Oneonta and Rouses Point. His office was in Albany at Kenwood Yard, a freight yard next to the Port of Albany on the Hudson River. He was 25 years old when he took the promotion, living in North Creek and commuting to Albany for work.
“I drove all over the place,” Justin said. “One year I put on 66,000 miles just driving between here, Binghamton and Rouses Point.”