This line was originally incorporated on January 31, 1853 as the Black River and Utica Railroad Company. Ground was broken at Utica on August 27, 1853, with a great deal of ceremony. Governor Horatio Seymour made the principal speech. there was a parade with band music and other appropriate festivities.
Within two years the lines was completed over the hard rolling country of the upper Canada creek, including the crossing of the deep gully near Trenton Falls by a high trestle to Boonville, 35 miles north from Utica.
In 1857, the Black River & Utica Railroad operated a single passenger train daily between Utica and Boonville. It left Boonville at 8 a.m. and arrived at Utica at 10:20 a.m. Returning it left Utica at 4 p.m. and arrived at Boonville at 6:20 p.m. Seventy-five cents was charged to ride from Utica to Trenton and $1.25 from Utica to Boonville.
The line eventually ran into financial problems and was sold under foreclosure proceedings on November 2, 1860 to the bond holders, who on May 22, 1861, incorporated the Utica & Black River Railroad Company. It was enlarged on November 16, 1883 and again on March 31, 1886 by consolidation with other railroads.
On April 14, 1886, the line was leased to Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad Company. On April 16, 1913, it was consolidated with other companies into the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company.