Submitted to ACHS, with our thanks, by Richard Palmer


Annual Report of New York State Railroad Commissioners, 1885, Vol. 1 PP 291-292


This three foot gauge railroad was reported last year in connection with the Tonawanda Valley and Cuba railroad, but now these roads are operated entirely independent of each other.

As at presently operated, the main line in this State commences at Wellsville, and extends to Ceres and to the Pennsylvania State line. The branch from Bolivar to Richburgh is not operated, and the Bradford, Eldred and Cuba railroad, between Cuba and Little Genesee Junction, a distance of about twenty miles, was closed last fall, and reopened about July first of the present year.

This last portion of the property is in about the same condition as previously reported. The timber in trestle work and sleepers is yet in strong life, and the rail in fair order, but the maintenance of line and surface of track has been neglected, and they are not in as good condition as when last inspected. It is not intended to operate this branch during the present winter now near at hand.

The main line, between Wellsville and Pennsylvania State line, twenty-four miles in length, is in very good order. Considerable attention has recently been given to the improving of the line and surface of track, and the superstructure is in workmanlike condition.
Mostly hemlock ties are used, many of which have been renewed this year, but a larger number of new sleepers will be required next season to bring the whole up to good strength. The ditching of road-bed has been improved, and portions of the superstructure ballasted. The rail is generally in good condition, but a reinforcement with new material will be necessary the coming year.

There is little if any masonry in the road-bed; nearly all the openings are spanned with trestle work, from one to three bays each, and at the crossing of Genesee river, near Wellsville, there is considerable in the approaches to the Howe trusses spanning that stream, This trestle work is to be thoroughly overhauled next season. All the timber work has been carefully examined within a few weeks, and renewals made where needed.

There are two Howe truss bridges on the main line, both of which are stated by the superintendent to be in good physical condition, but have not received the additional tie-rod at center of end braces to prevent undue flexure, and the truss-beam near Ceres has not been re-enforced as advised by the Commission; iron rods, it was stated, have been ordered for these structures, and will soon be in place.

The roadway is generally well fenced, and there are no overhead obstructions. The highway crossings are each provided with caution signs. All the station buildings were examined, and found in fair order and neatly kept, but some of their platforms were found broken, and their better maintenance should be observed.

As far as possible, the equipment was examined and the passenger cars were found in good order and cleanly. The motive power appears in good condition, and is very well kept up. Air brakes and Miller couplers are now used on all passenger rolling stock, Generally the road shows considerable improvement of its main line over that of last year’s inspection.