An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway
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The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway (BR&P) was primarily a coal hauling railroad which ran from the coal fields of central Pennsylvania to the ports of Rochester and Buffalo. In Western New York, the lines formed a "Y" shape connecting Buffalo, Rochester, and Salamanca. The line ran north from Salamanca to Ashford Junction where it split and continued to Rochester and Buffalo. The company also operated the seven mile long Silver Lake branch from Silver Springs to Perry.
The BR&P was a major hauler of coal and operated the car ferries Ontario No. 1 and Ontario No. 2 to haul coal to Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.
The BR&P also operated passenger service from Buffalo and Rochester to Pittsburgh, along with locals along t's main and several branches.
The BR&P continued until January 1, 1932 when it was purchased by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The B&O continued to operate passenger trains on the Buffalo-Pittsburgh run with connecting trains to Rochester and limited branch line service to Silver Lake and Perry through the 30's and 40's with gradually diminished frequency. By 1955 the service was down to one Buffalo-Pittsburgh train and all else was freight. The passenger trains were discontinued in late 1955. Freight services continued into the 60's. Much of the BR&P is still in use today in Western New York and Pennsylvania. The Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad, a Genessee and Wyoming Railroad, operates a main line passing through Salamanca, NY, Bradford, PA, Johnsonburg, PA, DuBois, PA, Punxsutawney, PA, and Butler, PA, the location of the company's current rail yard.
Two key secondary lines operated by the BPRR aare between Erie and Johnsonburg along the former Allegheny and Eastern Railroad. The other is made up of former Pittsburg and Shawmut Railroad tracks, running from the Armstrong Power Plant in Reesedale to Freeport, Pennsylvania. The Rochester and Southern Railroad, a sister to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh, operates over the former BR&P from Rochester to Silver Springs, 51 miles where it uses trackage rights over the Norfolk Southern (former Erie) line to Buffalo.
History of the Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway
Rochester & State Line Railroad
1869 - Rochester & State Line Railroad (RSL) organized, in New York, on October 6, 1869 to build from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line through the valley of the Genesee River to provide the Genesee Valley communities a railroad line for their commerce and the movement of coal.
Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh - 1931
Branch Lines - 1931
1872-4 - Line completed Lincoln Park to LeRoy, 24 miles.
1874 - The first regular passenger train on the RSL reached LeRoy on September 15, 1874. Brooks 4-4-0 locomotives were employed.
1875-77 - Work slows. Track reaches Warsaw, 42 miles.
1878 - Machias to Salamanca, 25 miles completed by January.
1878 - Line complete from Rochester to Salamanca, 109 miles.
1881 - The RSL Company was not financially successful and went into receivership. On January 29, 1881 it was purchased by the Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad and the line eventually became part of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway.
Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad
1881 - The R&P was incorporated on January 29, 1881 from the assets of the former Rochester & State Line Railroad.
1885 - The R&P was bankrupt and on October 16, 1885 it was purchased by Adrian Iselin, one of the directors of the R&P. The company was broken into the Pittsburgh & State Line Railroad Company (PSL), which operated in Pennsylvania, and the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad Company (BR&P) which operated the New York sections.
Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway (BR&P)
1887 - On March 10, 1887 the BR&P and the PSL were reunited as the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway Company.
1898 - Brools s 4-6-0 locomotives are acquired and dedicated to passenger trains.
1899 - The BR&P, althouigh primarily a coal hauler, inaugurated a through passenger service connecting Rochester to Pittsburgh and Buffalo to Pittsburgh with a day train and a night train. These "name" trains were of excellent quality and service. Names included the Pittsbirgh Mail and Express, Pittsburgh Night Express, Buffalo Rochester Mail and Express, Buffalo Rochester Night Express and later the Great Lakes Express and the Pittsburgh Flyer.
1901-09 - BR&P replaces 4-4-0 passengr locomotives with faster and heavier 4-4-2 Atlantic locomotives.
1912-23 - As lomger aand all steel passenger cars came into use the BR&P Atlantic locomotives were replaced by heavier 4-6-2- Pcific's. A total of 22 were acquired.
1931 - The BR&P ran two through passenger trains per day between Buffalo and Pittsburgh, 285 miles, and from Rochester to Pittsburgh, 333 miles. It also operated passenger locals on several sections of its main line, and on two branches.
1932 - The BR&P continued until January 1, 1932 when it was purchased by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
1932-55 - B&O continues to operate passenger and freight service over the old BR&P lines through the 30's and 40's with diminishing frequencies.
1949 - Rochester passenger service is discontinued except for one train a day between Rochester, Silver Lake and Perry.
1955 - Buffalo-Pittsburgh single passenger train still operating.
1955 - On Octoer 15 all passenger service was discontinued on the B&O/BR&P lines.
1960 - Old BR&P lines are all freight.
1986-88 - B&O sells off it's former BR&P Buffalo and Rochester branches to Genessee aand Wyoming and G&W split them in two railroads.. The Rochester and Southern Railroad (RSR) runs from the city of Rochester in Monroe County to Silver Springs, NY. The Rochester branch was scrapped from Silver Springs south to Machias, New York. The Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad is the other railrpad of which more follows.
early 200's - The BPRR merged other GWI railroads into it. These lines include the Allegheny and Eastern Railroad (ALY), Pittsburg and Shawmut Railroad (PSR), and the Bradford Industrial Railroad (BR).
cir 2005 - The Indiana Subdivision, which had been out of use, was rehabilitated to serve the Homer City Generating Station. Shortly after this, the Ridge Subdivision, which had seen a Norfolk Southern Railway coal train run-through to Shelocta was sold off to NS.
2006 - The B&PR was honored as the Regional Railroad of the Year by industry trade journal Railway Age magazine.
Current - Lines operated by the BPR are: the Main line passing through Salamanca, NY, Bradford, PA, Johnsonburg, PA, DuBois, PA, Punxsutawney, PA, and Butler, PA, the location of the company's rail yard.
Other lines - BPRR operates two key secondary lines. One runs between Erie and Johnsonburg along the former Allegheny and Eastern Railroad. Another is made up of former Pittsburg and Shawmut Railroad tracks, running from the Armstrong Power Plant in Reesedale to Freeport, Pennsylvania. The B&P also operates on the Low Grade between DuBois and Driftwood that was formerly used by the Pennsylvania Railroad, then Conrail. A portion of the former B&O Northern Subdivision is used to provide access to Petrolia, PA.
CSX Transportation also leases the P&W Subdivision to the B&P between Allison Park and the New Castle Yard in West Pittsburg, just outside of New Castle, PA. Though the B&P ends in Allison Park, the railroad rarely traverses the line down to the borough. Instead, it transfers its goods to the Allegheny Valley Railroad either in Evans City or Bakerstown depending on the amount of freight it has. The AVR was the former Pennsylvania sub. which ran up the Allegheny River to Oil City where it transported oil products south into Pittsburgh. Other owned and operated branch lines travel to Homer City, St. Marys, and Brookville, Pennsylvania, as well as to the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, New York.
The Rochester and Southern Railroad, another G&WI property and a sister to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh, operates over the former BR&P from Rochester to Silver Springs, 51 miles where it operates using trackage rights over the Norfolk Southern (former Erie) line to Buffalo.
Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh - 1931
The new Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Note the new Rocester Southern in upper right corner.
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
Genessee and Wyoming web site
January 25, 2009, revised April 21, 2011, revised November 21, 2011