VOL 29 NO. 1                                  THE CANNONBALL                                January 2009

The official publication of the

Pittsburg, Shawmut and Northern Railroad Company, Historical Society

Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 222, Angelica, N.Y. 14709

Web site: or

How they ran the Bradford, Eldred & Cuba narrow Gauge

Contributed by Richard Palmer

            This is an extremely detailed and interesting article that appeared in The Echo of

Bolivar, N.Y. on Monday, May 15, 1882 that describes the operation of passenger trains on

the Bradford, Eldred & Cuba and the Allegany Central - the latter of which was the narrow

gauge predecessor of the P. S. & N. It graphically describes the managements attempts to

streamline train operation over this complex system. 

 Railroad Time Changes

            It is reported that the Allegany Central and Bradford, Eldred and Cuba Railroads will run on a new time schedule on and after Thursday next, the day after the opening of the Bradford Short Line.             Richburg is to receive many benefits by the changes, the time of traveling the distance between here and Olean and Bradford being shortened considerably. In regard to the Allegany Central, trains will leave at about the same time that they do now, but fewer stops will be made on the road.

            There will be a train made up at Richburg at 10 o'clock in the morning and go right through to Bradford without change of cars or locomotive, thus shortening the time about 55 minutes, a no inconsiderable item to the busy oil man of this region. A reclining chair or parlor car will be put on this train. But two stops will be made between here and Olean and two between Olean and Bradford.             The afternoon train which is now-made up here at 3 o‘clock will hereafter leave at 4 o'clock and go through to Bradford in the same manner as the morning train. The Allegany Central is now finished as far as Swain's, 20 miles north of Angelica, and it is understood that the trains will go right through, without any change whatever, to Swain's, where connections will be made with the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad to Rochester.

            The Sunday trains will run about as they do now. It is the intention to run through trains from Richburg to Warren via Olean, Bradford and Kinzua at an early date. At Warren connections will be made with the river division of the B. P. & W. and passengers can be taken to Oil City with little delay. When the narrow gauge‘ is built from Warren to Oil City then passengers can go through from Richburg to Oil City without change of cars.

            All these new arrangements will be of great convenience to those people of Richburg who do so much traveling between here and the lower country. Although it has been announced that the new timetable will go into effect on Thursday there are doubts about making the change on that day, as the trains will be all over the road on the evening before and it will be difficult to make up the trains at the places designated. The changes may occur next Monday, as on the Sunday before preparations can more easily be made.

            The Bradford, Eldred and Cuba Railroad people say they are not going to run their regular trains to Richburg on and after the 18th. The only material change in the running of the four trains which leave Wellsville daily and go through to Eldred will be that Richburg will not be touched at all, the trains going right through Bolivar. The Richburg line is only a spur of the road anyway. According to the present arrangement, it takes 27 minutes for a train to go up to Richburg from Bolivar and return, and the whole time between Wellsville and Eldred is two hours and fifty-five minutes.

            By taking off the Richburg trip and making fewer stops the time between Wellsville and Eldred will be shortened by about an hour. Richburg will have communication with Bolivar by the "dinkey" train, which will make seventeen round trips every day of the week, Sunday not excepted. A special timetable will be issued for the "dinkey" train, the hour of arriving and departing being made more regular. Richburgers and Bolivians both will be pleased with this latter arrangement as there has always been as much of a demand for Sunday as week-day trains.