An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad


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The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad (B&S) was a regional railroad straddling the New York - Pennsylvania border. It was formed in 1885 when a Buffalo lumber and fuel dealer named Frank Goodyear bought a large tract of land in northern-central Pennsylvania. . To extract the lumber from his new investment, he organized the Sinnemahoning Valley Railroad (SVR) to run from Keating Summit on the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad (later part of the Pennsylvania) to his sawmill in Austin, Pennsylvamia, about 8 miles. As the lumber and mining business expanded, Frank Goodyear was joined by his brother Charles and more lines of various names were added to grow the system northeast to Addison,, and northwest to Wellsville and Buffalo, New York, southeast to Ansonia and southwest to Sagamore, Pennsylvania. By 1907 the B&S had expanded to about 400 miles of trackage and was hauling large quantities of coal and coke.
The B&S offered passenger service on it's lines, and going into the 1930's it ran parlor observation cars on trains between Addison to Galeton and from Galeton to Wharton, a total of 78 miles of very scenic countryside. It also offered passenger service between Wharton and DuBois and between DuBois and Sagamore, another total of 111 miles. Branch lines serviced Galeton to Wellsville, 37 miles, and Keating Summit to Wharton, 17 miles. The B&S provided excellent connections to the Pennsylvania,

B&S 1931
Buffalo & Susquehanna - 1931
New York Central, Erie, Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh and Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroads. The B&S was purchased by the B&O in 1932. The B&O quickly diminished the passenger service by 1940 to one train Addison to Galeton and two trains between Punxsutawney and Indian, Pennsylvania. The Punx-Indiana service soldiered on until 1950 but all passenger service was gone by 1955.
History of the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad
1885 - The Sinnemahoning Valley railroad was formed by Frank Goodyear to run from a connection with the Buffalo New York and Philadelphia Railroad (Later part of Pennsylvania Railroad), from Keating Summit, 8 miles, to his sawmill at Austin, Pennsylvania.
1893 - The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad Company was formed in 1893 as a result of the merger of the Sinnemahoning Valley Railroad, the Susquehanna Railroad, the Cherry Springs Railroad, the Cross Fork Railroad, and the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroads. The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad extended sixty-two miles from Keating Summit to Galeton and was served by a Baldwin 2-8-0 locomotive.
1896 - The B&S ran trains the 37-miles from Galeton to Wellsville, NY.
1898 - The B&S purchased the Addison and Pennsylvania Railroad running from Galeton, PA to Addison, NY, 46 miles.
1900-1907 - The railroad doubled in size as the main business shifted from hauling lumber to hauling coal and coke.
1900 - The company began expanding the opposite direction and by 1900 was operating into Sinnemahoning, Pennsylvania where it connected to the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad (later part of the Pennsylvania system). South of Galeton the line ran through a series of switchbacks to climb the mountains. These switchbacks, later abandoned, limited the trains to 15 cars.
1901 - The Buffalo and Susquehanna Coal and Coke Company was organized to mine coal and coke in Pennsylvania.
1902 - The Goodyear lumber and coal empire flourished and the railroad ran spurs and branch lines up almost every creek and valley in the area. Numerous related companies were formed, including the Goodyear Lumber Company and Lackawanna Lumber Company which by 1902 reported more than 140 miles of spurs. As coal and lumber supplies were exhausted in one area the track was pulled up and laid in another.
1902 - In order to get the coal and coke north to Buffalo, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railway Company was incorporated in 1902.
1907 - Frank Goodyear passed away and B&S is in financial difficulty.
1907 - In July the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway (Buffalo to Wellsville) leased the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad (the rest of the system from Wellsville to Buffalo) and operated the whole as the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway. Although, coal was the foundation of the railroad, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railway also began to carry a considerable volume of passenger traffic, advertising its Grand Scenic Route as a popular Sunday excursion.
1910 -A major customer, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Iron Company, was taken over by the Rogers-Brown Iron Company. The railroad also overextended itself financially. The B&S Railway defaulted on the interest due on its debts . in 1910, both the Railway and the Railroad went into receivership.
1914 - The Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad was the only property worth salvaging of the two. Reorganized in 1914, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad Corporation continued to operate as a coal and passenger carrier.
1915 - The New York Supreme Court Justice (and formed law partner of Charles Goodyear) H. P. Bissel ruled that the Buffalo to Wellsville line should be torn up for lack of traffic.
1916 - All the rail, bridges and other steel, Buffalo to Wellsviille were sold to the French in 1916 for a substantial sum due to the demand for steel created by WWI.
1925 - Coal mines on the B&S are closed.
1931 - The B&S ran parlor observation cars on its trains between Addison to Galeton and from Galeton to Wharton, a total of 78 miles of very scenic countryside. It also offered passenger service between Wharton and DuBois and between DuBois and Sagamore, another total of 111 miles. Branch lines service extended from Galeton to Wellsville, 37 miles, and Keating Summit to Wharton, 17 miles.
1932 - B&S acquired by the Baltimore and Ohio.
1942 - In July 1942 a flood washed out the track south of Galeton leaving the rest of the former B&S separated from the B&O.
c 1950's All passenger service ended.
1954 - The B&O merged the B&S with two smaller railroads it had leased since the turn of the century.
1956 - The Wellsville - Addison - Galeton section was sold to Murray Salzberg who operated it as the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton Railroad.(WAG)
1979 - The WAG is closed down.

B&S map 1931L
Buffalo & Susquehanna - 1931


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- 1931
http://wnyrails.org/railroads/bs/bs_home.htm
http://loggingmallets.railfan.net/list/meyer3/sv3.htm
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 23, 2009, revised April 21, 2011