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B & S RR Expands North

BUFFALO & SUSQUEHANNA EXPANDS NORTH

            With the expansion of the B & S into Galeton there was a demand for more motive power. In 1894-95 the railway purchased eleven new locomotives. The office facilities moved from Austin to Galeton into a new modern brick structure in 1898.

            Through the center of the yard at Galeton was built a “circus track”. It allowed a train entering town from any direction to leave in any other direction without backing. Since the yard was in a fairly narrow valley, the track was extremely sharp and the long coaches “sang” while going round. The track also divided the yeard into two sections. Each section was worked by a switching crew during the day and one crew worked the whole yard during the night.

            About the time the shops were being built, the B&S Railroad began to extend operations toward Wellsville. The Goodyears purchased timber along Pine Creek north of Galeton a few years previous. Grading began in 1895. At Wellsville, there operated a short line called the Wellsville-Coudersport and Pine Creek Railroad. It ran south from Wellsville to Hickox. It was a small operation with plans of extending south to Coudersport. The WCPC was forced to lease their railroad to the B&S under threat of a parallel track. It was leased in Jan 1, 1896 for 85 years at $8250 a year. B&S acquired their locomotive which was renumbered 131.

            The Galeton to Wellsville line opened in late 1895. This gave the B&S a third connection with the outside, it being the NYLE&W ( Erie ). As of 1896 the B&S had sixteen locomotives and over eight hundred freight & passenger cars. It also inherited a grueling 2.84 percent stretch of track between Brookland and Cutler Summit about five and a half miles long. It ascended some six hundred feet. It was not uncommon to see upwards of eight locomotives on one train fighting their way up to the summit.

            A third railroad entered Galeton at one time called the Galeton South Branch and Germania . It ran south and more than likely was a lumber railroad.

            As the lumbering business began to slacken off in Pennsylvania , the Goodyears looked to the south and ended up in Louisiana . They formed a lumber business and had a hand in the New Orleans Great Northern Railway. It was their dream to build a north and south trunk railroad. Had both the Goodyear brothers lived longer it may have been Frank died in 1907 and Charles in 1911.

            On July 1, 1907 , the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railway leased the Buffalo and Susquehanna railroad for 999 years. Along with the B&S Railroad went the Addison and Susquehanna Railroad, extending from the state line to Addison , NY and the Wellsville Coudersport and Pine Creek Railroad, extending from the state line to Wellsville , NY .

            Many routes were considered by the Goodyears for the Wellsville to Buffalo rail. This is where the Buffalo , Attica and Arcade entered the picture. The railroad, a predecessor of the Arcade and Attica Railroad, came into the Goodyears hands in 1905. The route that was finally chosen was, north out of Wellsville, down the Genesee River Valley to Belfast , then across the hills to Arcade . From Arcade the B&S went west to Springville, then north again down the Boston Valley to Buffalo .

            In 1871 The Belmont and Buffalo Railroad had planned to reach Buffalo over the same route, but, never laid a rail since shortly after construction grading and masonry work went bankrupt. The B&S may have used some roadbed in the move to reach Buffalo . The B&S built their line south from Hamburg and the two lines met near the village of Boston . September 1906 saw regular service begin as far as Springville. The B&S ran no Pullman service, but, offered a buffet and parlor car in operation between Buffalo & Galeton. It advertised as “The Grand Scenic Route ” and offered patrons Sunday excursions including a popular one spent at Crystal Lake . The B&S had its right of way through the Erie County Fair Grounds and transported many Buffalonians and out of town fair goers to the Fair.

            During the twilight years of 1915-16 the B&S Railway had overextended itself and it was not uncommon for them to use other lines to haul their coal. On May 2, 1910 The B&S Railway went into receivership and on July of 1910 The B&S Railroad Company went into receivership.

            The B&S Railway extending from Wellsville to Buffalo was sold to a Bond Holders Committee September 13, 1915 under decree of sale providing discontinuance of operation of the road and salvage the property. The Bond Holders Committee sold the property to the Susquehanna Finance Corporation for about $800,000 who then formed the Wellsville and Buffalo Railroad

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