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Old News Notes – Pennsylvania Railroad 

Nunda News, May 23, 1874

The Iron has arrived


The iron to fill up the gap between Nunda and Mt. Morris has
arrive, a portion being left at Mt. Morris and the balance at Ross’ crossing. The work of putting it down will soon commence, and now we can hear in the dim distance the long expected shriek of the iron horse up our valley.


Let’er shriek.

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Cuba Patriot, Friday, June 11, 1882

Genesee Valley Canal Railroad

From the Rochester Express we clip the following: "A construction train is now running on the Genesee Valley Canal. From this city to Fowlerville, or Spencer's Basin. within 10 miles of Mt. Morris. Between Mt. Morris and Fowlerville the grading is completed for the distance of six miles, and the iron will be laid as fast as possible.

"The remaining four miles is very heavy work, and will require a few weeks to grade. The ballasting is nearly finished between here and Fowlerville. The bridge at Ross crossing over the Erie road will be completed within about 10 days. Another postponement is necessary relative to running of trains to Swains and Mt. Morris, owing to some delay on the Allegany Central. There are now six construction trains on the line of the G.V.C. R.R., and eight new locomotives have been ordered by the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia road, which is to operate the line."

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Cuba Evening Review, June 24, 1882

The people of Belfast were quite excited when the smoking engine on the Genesee Valley railroad arrived in their town for the first time. The Press says: "There was no little anxiety among our people as the track laying approached the Hughes street crossing followed closely by the engine.

"The weather was not favorable but the work went on . Norm. Holden took a couple of kegs of lager to the track layers in order to counteract the moisture outside with internal moisture. People watched and counted the rails, and when the work was finally done, the men marched into Main street, where powder was burned, and three hearty cheers were given.

     "The ladies had prepared a bountiful supper to be served in the park, but the rain prevented; and it was served in the large room of the Renwick store. It was well served and well relished by the goodly number who partook of it. Mr. Daily of the Exchange, also gave a dinner to a number of railroad friends and invited guests, which passed off pleasantly."

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Nunda News, July 18, 1874 

Rochester and Nunda Railroad

There can be no question that the businessmen of Rochester are directly interested in the completion of the proposed railroad line from this city to the Pennsylvania line and nearest coal fields. This enterprise has been advocated and promoted ever since the people voted $300,000 toward the construction of the Genesee Valley Railroad - a work which has added much to the importance of Rochester as a center of manufacturing and trade.

The Genesee Valley Railroad stopped far short of the first intention, which was to bring us in connection with Pittsburgh. The Rochester, Nunda & Pennsylvania Railroad, now partly constructed and suspended for want of funds promised by the city, will carry forward the original intention, and bring to us the trade of a rich country, whose natural center and direction is Rochester.  The work languishes because of the obstructions that lie in the way of all railroad projects at this time, the difficulty of selling securities and raising money to pay for material and labor.

It is reported that a contract for the sale of bonds in London has been signed by the parties concerned, and that means can soon be realized to push on the work.  The evidence that this is an accomplished fact is not altogether satisfactory; and until it ascertained to be true, the Mayor objects to granting the fifty thousand dollars voted by the Common Council.  If the negotiations in London are successful, it cannot be difficult to obtain positive and trustworthy assurances to that effect, and we hope that the directors will take pains to procure such before the next meeting of the Council. When that is made certain we have reason to believe that the Mayor's objections will be overcome.

We understand the condition of the work on the road is to be as follows:  Ten miles are completed from Ross's Crossing, on the Erie R.R., through Nunda. Five or six miles to connect with the Mt. Morris R.R. at the Shakers are graded, and the iron lies upon the side of the track, ready to be put down. When this is done, we shall have a line, - with the Genesee Valley road - from this city to the Erie R.R. at Ross' Crossing, so that the Nunda and that the Nunda and Hornellsville people can come direct to Rochester.  The roads being of different gauge, there must be a change of cars and re-handling of freight at  at two points on the line - an inconvenience, but not an obstruction.

Of the fifty thousand dollars voted to this road, thirty five thousand is appropriated  to pay for iron, ten thousand to pay for other expenses, now due, and five thousand for future work. This money is to be paid by the City Treasurer according to the terms of the resolution. It is insisted by the Mayor and some Aldermen, that a committee of the Common Council should  disburse this money, and know that it is paid for just the purposes  specified in the resolution; and not to pay debts contracted or money advanced by the Directors, and the road not progressed a mile of additional construction. This is certainly a reasonable safeguard, especially in view of former experience in paying public money for railroads which are not and may never be built.

The Directors ought not to object to it, and we don't know that they do object. Let us have the full worth of our money in a railroad actually built. It is because we do want the road, and are anxious to see it built without delay, that we urge this carefulness in paying over the money voted to aid the important.  (From the Buffalo Express).

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Cuba Evening Review, Tues., Oct. 31, 1882

Rochester Division, B., N.Y. & P.


According to announcement the Rochester Division of the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia road, heretofore known as the Genesee Valley Canal railroad, was opened yesterday. The time-table gives the schedule time for two trains, of the second class, which run northward Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and southward Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The trains are local freight and passenger.


The time of the northward train at the most important stations is as follows: Cuba 7:25 a.m.; Black Creek 8:01; Belfast 9:00; Fillmore 10:18; Nunda 12:40 p.m.; Mt. Morris 2:38; Rochester 7:05 p.m.


The southward trains are as follows: Rochester 6:15 a.m.; Mt. Morris 11:05; Nunda 12:40 p.m.; Fillmore 2:55; Belfast 4:20; Black Creek 5:21; Cuba 6:00 p.m.


The time is necessarily slow at first, especially with local traffic. Fast trains will undoubtedly be put on soon. The telegraph line along the route is fast nearing completion.

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Cuba Patriot, Feb.. 9, 1883

Along the Line

The Livingston Republican of last week contained an interesting article on the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad, by  a writer who signs himself "Robert Morris," of Mt. Morris, in which various towns along the route taken by the recent press excursion are taken note of. A few of the historical points of some of the towns named are copied, as follows:

Caneadea. - This town, in Allegany County, is famous as the spot where the Seneca Indians had their council house, now removed to Glen Iris. Here Mary Jemison settled after a journey of 600 miles on foot with her papoose on her way from Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburgh, to Little Beardstown.

This place, history says, was the spot where Captain Horatio Jones was taken prisoner by the Indians, and successfully ran the gauntlet. The town was first settled in 1803 by parties from Pennsylvania. Widow Brady kept the first inn in 1810. James Hoyt built the first saw mill in 1816.

Angelica. - This old township is widely known as the home of the Church family, so intimately connected with the early settlement of Allegany county. The ancestral residence of this family is about two miles from town.

The first settlement was made here in 1802 by Philip Church. He erected the first saw and grist mill in 1803. Joseph Taylor kept the pioneer inn in 1804. Angelica took its name from the wife of John B. Church and daughter of General Philip Schuyler.

Angelica was formed from the town of Leicester, then in Genesee County, in 1805. Before 1805 the residents of that town had to travel to old Leicester to attend town meeting, and at that early period Angelica had her mail from Bath, forty miles distant, and only once a month. At that time Angelica paid $2.50 bounty for every wolf caught in the town. This place has an ancient court house built in 1818.

Belfast - This town was formed in 1824, but there were early settlements on the river in 1803, by three brothers, Chamberlain, from Pennsylvania. Joseph and Raymond opened the first hotel, David Sanford the first saw and gristmill in 1809. The first religious meeting was held at the residence of N. Reynolds.

 Friendship.  - This is a flourishing lumber town. Its early settlers came in 1806 and 1807. The first child born in the town was Sherman Haskins, in a sugar camp;  S. Gates had the first inn; James Sanford and Sally Harrison, the pioneer married couple, in 1809;  Pelatiah Morgan, the pioneer schoolmaster, in 1810.

Cuba. - The Indian oil creek reservation is in this town. The Oil Creek Reservoir, built by the State for  the  Genesee Valley Canal, costing about $150,000 and covering 1,500 acres, is also in this town. The first settlers in Cuba came i n 1817 from Connecticut, viz: Abbott, Hall, Frier, Bennett, Cole, Hawley. S. Cole was the pioneer inn keeper in 1814. David Row taught the early school in 1822.

Olean. - Around the town are about 200 oil tanks, and also some manufacturing interests, and has a population of about 6,000. The first settlers of this town came about 1804. The road to this place from Angelica was surveyed by Major Moses VanCampen, of Revolutionary War memory. The first lumber rafted down the Allegany river was by Dr. Bradley, Follett and Jedediah Strong in 1807. Sylvanus Russell kept the first tavern in 1808, Levi Gregory the pioneer store in 1814.

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Nunda News, Sat., Sept. 3, 1910

The railroad crew on the “fast milk” which arrives here from Rochester over the Pennsylvania R.R. daily at 7:05 p.m. are congratulating themselves that in the future the Nunda turntable will remain idle, as far as they are concerned, the new Y at the Nunda Junction acting as a turntable for the whole train, which now backs into the village every night. When the train reaches the Junction, it runs up on the West Nunda branch, a short distance, backs on to a half-circle switch over onto the Nunda branch, turning the train completely around. The operation consumes about three minutes and is as simple as it is wonderful.  On cold winter nights when the mercury goes below zero, the Y will be appreciated more than ever, and the train crew will be saved the work of operating the turntable in snow a foot deep.

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Nunda News, Friday, Feb. 6, 1925

(Item is in relation to a snowstorm of the previous Thursday that dumped between 32 and 36 inches of snow on the area).
This division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, between Nunda and Nunda Junction was put completely out of commission and no trains ran over it Friday morning. The main line between Olean and Rochester was opened up during the day, snow plows working all along the line. The morning train for Rochester could not get into the village and Station Agent Higgins sent passengers and express to West Nunda in sleighs. The train up from Rochester Friday morning ran several hours late and made no attempt to come up the Nunda branch, passengers and express being sent in sleighs to West Nunda. All trains on the Erie were late.

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Nunda News, Dec. 26, 1930

The station on the Pennsylvania Railroad at Nunda Junction has been discontinued. The depot has been sold to Harley S. Jones, wholesale grocer, who is moving it to his farm to be converted into a warehouse for groceries.

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Nunda News, May 13, 1932

New Train Plan on This Division


ALBANY – A petition of the Penna. R.R. requesting the Public Service
Commission to abrogate its previous orders by which the Commission refused
the company permission to discontinue two passenger trains between
Rochester and Olean has been granted by the Commission.
The Commission abrogated its previous order without prejudice to any
patron of the company applying for a reopening of the proceeding after the
proposed service has been in effect for at least six months. The Commission
in 1929 and again in 1931 approved orders refusing the railroad company
permission to discontinue two of the trains between Rochester and Olean. It
is these orders which are now abrogated.
Testimony showed that since the previous application in 1931 there has
been a distinct falling off in passenger and freight revenue on the
Rochester-Olean branch. In the last application the company asked
permission to abandon two trains. The present application proposes to
eliminate two trains and substitute a mixed passenger-freight service on
the line.
Under the proposed plan the train which leaves Rochester at 8 a.m. and
arrives in Olean at 12:30 p.m. and the train which leaves Olean at 3:30
p.m. and arrives in Rochester at 7:45 p.m. will be discontinued and a mixed
passenger-freight train will leave Olean at 7:30 a.m. and arrives in
Rochester at 11:20 a.m. will be discontinued. Andd a mixed
passenger-freight train will leave Olean at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in
Rochester at 3:20 p.m. The train which now leaves Rochester at 4:40 p.m.
and arrives in Olean at 8:45 p.m. will be discontinued and a mixed train
substituted which will leave Rochester at 5:30 p.m. and arrive at Olean at
11:50 p.m.
It was testified that on the Rochester-Olean branch there has been a
substantial falling-off in freight traffic and in passenger traffic during
the past year. It was stated that during 1931 there was a decrease of
10,137 in the number of freight cars handled and also that passenger
traffic has fallen off about 50 percent since hearings were held on the
previous application in 1931.
An agreement has been made to establish a star route for the delivery
of mail in the towns and villages along the Central and Southern parts of
the Rochester branch which are the portions most in need of mail service.
The testimony further showed that the four passenger trains now
operating on the Rochester branch are being operated at a loss of about
$29,000 per year and that the discontinuance of the two trains and
substitution of the proposed mixed service will result in a saving of
approximately $14,000 a year.
It is proposed to handle express on the remaining passenger trains and
also on the proposed mixed trains. The failure of the company to provide
adequate means for the handling of express was one of the reasons for the
denial of the previous application. Since that time provision has been made
to handle express matter on the mixed train and this arrangement is
satisfactory to the manufacturing companies which made the most strenuous
objections to the previous application.
If the proposed substituted service is not satisfactory, the door is
not closed to the public to demand additional service.
Nunda News, Friday, April 23, 1937

Penna. Railroad Will Discontinue Passenger Trains
If present plans are carried out by the Pennsylvania Railroad
officials, the two passenger trains on the Rochester branch will be
discontinued, effective Sunday, April 25.
The present passenger trains are gasoline-electric operated engines
which were put into effect several years. For several years both passenger
trains have been operated at a loss in revenue, it is stated.
Railroad officials plan to replace the mail and express service now
carried on these
Trains with highway trucks which will operate on a star route between
Rochester and Olean. The express route will be a separate unit from the
mail service.
The combination passenger and freight train from Rochester will be
continued under the present plan, being operated daily between the two
points.

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