Dr. William Seward Webb's Mohawk & Malone Railway was incorporated in 1892 as a consolidation of the Herkimer, Newport & Poland Extension RR, and the St. Lawrence & Adirondack RR
, this 182 mile road ran from Herkimer to Malone, Prospect Junction to Hinkley, and Lake Clear Junction to Saranac Lake.
In 1890, the NYC and Hudson River Railroad
did not control any rail lines north of the Mohawk Valley. The Adirondacks Region in New York State had repulsed any efforts to make its great central area reasonably accessible for visitors or commercial interests.
In the west of the Adirondacks, the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg
(RW&O) had a connection via the Grand Trunk Railroad to Montreal. The D&H ran through the Champlain Valley in the east, linking with small railroads reaching into the Adirondacks. To the south, a narrow gauge Herkimer, Newport & Poland Railway (HN&P) ran from Herkimer in the Mohawk Valley to Poland, just within the Adirondacks.
Enter Dr William Seward Webb, president of the Wagner Palace Car
, later Pullman Co
. He set about building the most ambitious enterprise of his career, the construction of a railroad through the Adirondack North Woods from Remsen in the south to Malone in the north, and by leasing & constructing trackage onto Montreal. In less than 20 months, he drove through the planning, legalities, engineering, construction and financial problems of building a railroad, consisting of nearly 200 miles of trackage through dense virgin timber and mountains.
Construction of this line, the Mohawk and Malone, known also as the Adirondack and St Lawrence Line, was begun in 1891, with crews starting from several points. In the south, the HN&P was standard gauged and extended to Remsen, while crews were building north from Remsen. Soon, other crews were building track northwards out of Minnehaha, the first Fulton Chain or "Peg Leg" Railroad bringing in materials and supplies from Boonville. The Peg Leg was an interesting 'railroad', as the actual 'rails' were really made of timber - maybe it should have been called a 'timber road'!! As a result, by July 16, 1892 trains were running from Herkimer to Fulton Chain Station (Thendara).
While up in the north, crews were building the railroad south out of Malone Junction, with another crew was building the railroad south and north from Loon Lake. Lastly, trackage was being laid from Tupper Lake Junction and by July 16, 1892, trains were running south from Malone Junction to Childwold and onto Saranac Lake. After the last spike was driven just north of Big Moose on Twitchell Creek trestle on October 12, 1892, trains commenced operating and it was possible to travel from Herkimer to Montreal by October 24, 1892.
On May 1, 1893, when the NYC took over the Mohawk and Malone, the southern terminus became Utica. The last Penn Central freight train ran from Remsen to Lake Placid on April 10, 1972. It was reopened briefly as the Adirondack Railway for the 1980 Winter Olympics, with service from Utica to Lake Placid.