A Chicago Hub Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
Erie Railroad
New York Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio Railroad (Nypano)
Chicago and Erie Railroad

Click on an open link below or go to the RAILROAD INDEX to locate another Railroad
Chicago Chicago
Eastern Midwest
Southeast Southern Southwest Western


The Erie Railroad was a railroad that operated in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, connecting New York City with Lake Erie, and extending west to Cleveland, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Chicago. In 1960 it merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, becoming part of Conrail in 1976.(wik)
The Erie started out as the New York and Erie back in 1832-1836 to build from the Hudson River west of New York to a port on Lake Erie at Dunkirk. Many poor decisions and lack of adequate financing delayed the Erie construction, and the choice of 6 foot track gauge was a very poor idea. This caused continual interchange problems with other railroads who had adopted the 4 foot 8-1/2 inch standard. Bankruptcies and troubles with other carriers plagued the Erie and it never blossomed into the major carrier it had hoped to be. Reaching Chicago by leasing the Atlantic and Great Western (and the Nypano Railroad) did not materially increase its success.
The Erie merged with the Delaware Lackawanna and Western in 1960 to become the Erie-Lackawanna.
The Erie was never a big player in the Chicago-New York traffic, which was dominated by the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads . Take a look


History of the Erie Railroad
The Erie Railroad main line New York to Chicago was made up of three primary segments the latter two of which did not pass totally to the Erie until 1941. These segments were:
(1) The New York and Erie Railroad chartered in i832 and known, through name changes as the Erie Railway the New York Lake Erie and Western and finally the Erie Railroad. The main line ran from the Hudson River in New Jersey to Salamanca, New York.
(2) The Nypano Railroad (New York Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio), which began as the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. The AGW was itself a combination of three other railroads brought together in 1853 to help the Erie expand westward. Its portion of the main line was from Salamanca on the east to Marion, Ohio on the west.
(3) The Chicago and Erie Railroad which began as the Chicago Continental and Baltimore in 1880, changed names to the Chicago and Atlantic Railroad before becoming the C&E. Its portion of the main ran from Marion, Ohio west to Hammond, Indiana.
The Erie Railroad - 1832-1938
1832 - New York and Erie Railroad chartered to connect Hudson River across from New York City to Dunkirk on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania
1836 - Construction begins. Line is built to 6 foot gauge
1841 - Open from Pierpont to Goshen
1841 - Railroad authorized to cross into North Eastern Pennsylvania on west side of Delaware River
1841-1846 - Financial problems stop production
1846 - Construction resumes
1848 - Open to Port Jervis and Binghamton
1848 - Starrucca Viaduct built of stone. It is the oldest stone viaduct in Pennsylvania still in use
1848 - NY&E makes connections to Jersey City on two new roads, the Paterson and Ramapo, and the Union Railroads
1850 - Newburgh branch opened allowing later car floats across Hudson to connect with New York and New England Railroad
1851 - Through ticketing to Jersey City but car change needed due to track gauge differences
1851 - Complete to Dunkirk. Steamboats connect Port Jervis to Detroit
1852 - NY&E gains access to Buffalo through purchase of an existing line
1853 - NY&E leases the Paterson and Ramapo, and Union Railroads, installs 3rd track and runs to Jersey City
1859- NY&E pushes southward into Pennsylvania bituminous coal territory, merging with Buffalo Bradford and Clearfield
1859 - NY&E goes into receivership. The first for any major line in U.S.
1861 - Reorganized as the Erie Railway
1866 - Coal mines reached
1868-1874 - Charters and leases give Erie access to Niagara Falls suspension bridge and Lockport
1868 - Erie lease Atlantic and Great Western Railroad to gain access to Chicago
1869 - Shops moved from Dunkirk to Buffalo. Brooks starts locomotive production in the Dunkirk shops
1875 - Erie in bankruptcy.
1878 - The New York, Lake Erie and Western Railway is incorporated to become the successor of the Erie Railway Company.
1880 - The Chicago and Erie Railroasd is completed from Hammond, IN, near Chicago, to Marion, OH where it connected with the NYPANO 1880 - The NYLE&W gains a connection to Chicago via its connection with the Nypano at Salamanca, New York, and through to the C&A (later C&E) connection at Marion, Ohio
1882 - Connection to Chicago Dearborn Station from Hammond, Indiana via the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad.
1882 - NYLE&W Lines push south into Pennsylvania to the famous Kinzua bridge area
1883 - NYLE^W lease Nypano Railroad again to maintain westward connection to Chicago
1886 - Ferry service to Brooklyn in conjunction with Reading Railroad
1893 -NYLE&W back into bankruptcy emerging as Erie Railroad
1895 - Chicago and Erie purchased by the Erie Railroad, but retained its name and identity until it was consolidated in 1941.
1896 - Erie obtains New York Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio (Nypano) through stock purchases
1897-1907 - Trackage rights move Erie farther into Pennsylvania
The Atlantic Great Western Railroad (later the Nypano)
1853-58- The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad began as three separate railroads: the Erie and New York City Railroad based in Jamestown, New York; the Meadville Railroad based in Meadville, Pennsylvania and the Franklin and Warren Railroad based in Franklin Mills, Ohio The owners of the three railroads had been working closely together since an 1852 meeting in Cleveland to plan an expansion of the "Great Broad Route", the Erie Railroad, through their respective areas.
1868 - Erie lease Atlantic and Great Western Railroad to gain access to Chicago
1880 - A&GW goes into bankruptcy and emerges as New York Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio Railroad (Nypano)
1896 - Erie obtains New York Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio (Nypano) through stock purchases
1941 - Property rights of Nypano conveyed to Erie Railroad

Atlantic and Great Western 1869 map
The Chicago and Erie Railroad
1871 - The Chicago, Continental and Baltimore Railway is formed.
1873 - CC&B name changed to The Chicago and Atlantic Railway The C&A was to be an important connection between the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area and Chicago, Illinois. The western terminus was Hammond, Indiana, while the eastern terminus was Marion, Ohio.
1880 - The C&A was completed from Hammond, Indiana on the outskirts of Chicago to a connection with the Nypano Railroad at Marion, Ohio. This allowed the NYLE&W a route from New York to Chicago, via its connection with the Nypano at Salamanca, New York.
1882 - C&A gains access from Hammond to Chicago Dearborn Station via the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad trackage.
1890 - C&A in bankruptcy emerges as the Chicago and Erie Railroad.
1895 - C&E purchased by the Erie Railroad, but retained its name and identity
until it was consolidated in 1941.
1941 - Property of C&E conveyed to Erie
Later Erie and Erie-Lackawanna 1938-2008
1938 - Erie in financial trouble buys Cleveland and Mahoning stock to save rent payments
1941 - Property of Nypano, and C&E conveyed to the Erie. Links to Cleveland and Chicago now secured as Erie property
1960 - Erie merges with Delaware Lackawanna and Western to become Erie-Lackawanna
1965 - Chicago-New York trains "Pacific Express" and "Atlantic Express" discontinued.
1966 - Chicago-New York train "Phoebe Snow" (introduced by Lackawanna in 1948) discontinued.
1968 - EL purchased by N&W holding company.
1969-70 -"Lake Cities", "Owl" and Mail trains discontinued.
1970 - All long distance passenger train service now discontinued.
1972 - Hurricane Agnes destroys much of the EL trackage. EL forced into bankruptcy.
1976 - EL becomes part of Conrail.
2008 - Many commuter lines in New Jersey operated by NJ Transit.

Erie  West Map Erie East Map

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
April 27, 2009, revised May 25, 2011, revised November 19, 2001