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Justin Gonyo a fourth generation railroad man

Saratoga & North Creek railway hires local for general superintendent

Saratoga & North Creek Railway General Superintendent Justin Gonyo at the North Creek Depot

Saratoga & North Creek Railway General Superintendent Justin Gonyo at the North Creek Depot Photo by Andy Flynn.

— One of the stations along the D&H North End is Saratoga Springs. As the supervisor of operations, he was in communication with the railroad’s clients and partners.

“That’s how I met these guys (Saratoga & North Creek Railway) because they operated in my territory,” Justin said. “I was their representative for CP.”

SNC General Manager Steve Torrico approached Justin about the general superintendent’s position, a job that would take him back to his hometown.

“And here I am now,” Justin said.

At age 28, Justin is hoping his future will keep him in North Creek, where he lives with his fiancee, Allison Braunius. And he would love to work here until he retires.

Justin’s duties for the railroad right now include managing the train engine service, onboard service, ticket clerks, mechanical, maintenance of way and overall operations.

Asked what memories stick out from growing up in a railroad family, Justin said, “Just all the times that I went to work with Dad, being in the locomotives, learning about them, how to run them. That more than anything I remember from the railroad. That and hearing the stories from Grandpa.”

And it was his years working for the D&H on the North End that really made the connection between the past and present.

“One of the really cool parts is when I finally became a conductor on the railroad, going to all these places that I used to hear all these stories about, seeing the stations that my grandfather and great-grandfather grew up in,” Justin said. “And certainly one of the biggest achievements is being on the first train up to Tahawus in 23 years just a few weeks ago.”

D&H in North Creek

The D&H has a long history in North Creek. The company bought the Adirondack Railway between here and Saratoga Springs in 1889, and it later became the D&H’s Adirondack Division. Regular passenger service ended along the 57-mile stretch in 1956, as the Public Service Commission accepted the D&H’s petition to discontinue passenger service in May 1957 (source: May 29, 1957 issue of the North Creek News Enterprise). In 1956, the railway was only running trains between late June and early September. Freight service ended on Nov. 17, 1989, when the last shipment of ore was transported out of the Tahawus mine. In 1991, the D&H sold its Adirondack Division to Canadian Pacific. In 1995, Warren County purchased the 40-mile right-of-way for the former Adirondack Branch of the D&H, extending from the town of Corinth in Saratoga County to North Creek. The Saratoga & North Creek Railway signed a lease agreement with Warren County for the right-of-way in 2011.

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