Andover station a symbol of past

Andover Station Photo 1 of 1

Now a relic from the past, this Andover railroad station was once the center of activity for the Erie Railroad line. The center closed down in the 1950s.

Now empty, station once bustled with activity

Wellsville Daily Reporter

By Stan Swan, Reporter correspondent

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh


Andover - The tracks still cary occasional cargo to distant points, but the trains now going by the old Erie Station in Andover just keep going. No longer is that congested station sending passengers and freight to new destinations around the county.

Not unlike today’s busy post office and downtown district, the Erie Station in its heyday was the busiest place in town. Mail trains, going through Andover at set times, would literally drop mail off at the station for delivery. Out-going mail was set on a yardarm and hooked by he passing trains as they chugged onward.

Moving people was a big business for the railroad back then. The station bustled as ticket were sold and baggage accounted for. For a grandmother traveling East, or a student traveling West, the Erie was the mode of that days travel. Shutteling from Andover to Hornell was much like jumping in your car and starting the engine.

The Erie Station was the focal point of all activity. In the 1920’s hundreds of carloads of produce a day were shipped from Andover. Products of lumber, livestock, straw, hay and ice were sent to many locations.

But the railroad had its difficulties too. Winding through Allegany County was pretty much routine until the arrival at Tip Top, the highest point of elevation between Chicago and New York on the Erie line. A train had to muster all its power to make the grade, and the old timers who used to be on the tracks still can relate stories of arriving at the legendary Tip Top. A water tower was there for fueling and part of it still stands as a lonely sentinel for the passing Motors to see.

According to the Andover Sesquicentennial magazine, the Erie Station was pretty active right hop to the 1940’s, when the train stopped making regular stops here. The station officially closed in 1953.

If you visit the station some early morning and wait for the vibrations of an oncoming train, you’ll feel that same tingle of excitement so many others witnessed. Having the tracks still in place is fortunate indeed, and who knows, someday maybe the old Erie Station will again jump to life. It’s not a good bet, but to have a piece of America’s past in your backyard sure is a good feeling.