The following article is submitted by Dick Palmer


Paper Railroad


Corning & Olean Railroad Company


by Michael Connor


      Incorporated February 18th, 1853, in New York to construct and operate a broad (6-foot) gauge railroad from Corning to Olean via Addison-Jasper-Andover-Wellsville-Bolivar (generally the corridor occupied today by New York State highway #417).


      While the Corning & Olean Railroad Company’s (C&O) 84-mile projected line was 20 miles shorter than the New York & Erie Railroad’s line between the same two points, it was handicapped by having to cross at least three significant summits (versus two on the NY&E’s line) and being the second railroad in a territory barely able to support one.  Ultimately no construction was done.


      The final corporate report to the State of New York was for the year ended September 30th, 1856, with a special report to the New York State Senate on February 17th, 1858, and the project was abandoned thereafter.  Much of the C&O’s projected route in Allegany County was ultimately occupied by railroads (the Bradford, Eldred & Cuba from Wellsville to Ceres and the Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern and predecessors from Bolivar to Olean).  In Steuben County some of the C&O’s projected route was proposed for use by the Tuscarora Valley Railway Company in 1902 and the Tuscarora Traction Company in 1906.  Like the C&O, neither of these railroads was ever built.