Viral Video Captures Train Creating ‘Chaos’ in Utica
The video is about six months old, so it's pre-Coronavirus, but it's one of those Internet sensations that's still smoldering. And it's bringing attention to Utica.
My friend Jim in Long Island saw it for the first time this August on YouTube when it "popped up" in his feed. He knows I live and work in the Mohawk Valley, so he wrote me and commented how cool it was. The video in question is titled "Chaos on Schuyler Street." It's just four minutes long and it shows a train trying to navigate its way through West Utica.
The neighborhood is near the F.X. Matt Brewery, close to the finish line of the Boilermaker road race. Cars are parked too close to the train tracks. Motorists are accelerating to dodge the locomotive. Pedestrians are crossing the street. Horns are blaring. Bells are clanging. It's chaos. Apparently it occurs with regularity.
Since this video was posted by Railroading Rambler on February 4, 2020, it has generated hundreds of thousands of views and hundreds of comments.
For you train aficianados, it's an eight-car train belonging to the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, sometimes called the Susie-Q. Even though its passenger service was discontinued in 1966, it still operates as a freight line throughout portions of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Utica is the only place where the Susie-Q rolls through city streets and causes a commotion, which explains the sensation on YouTube.