• DVD: New York Central System's Valley Branch

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by nydepot
I watched this DVD last night. Amateur films but gives a glimpse of the line in the 1960s, NYC and PC power. Wow, talk about weed-filled right of way, the whole way from Titusville to Fredonia. Lots of industry to serve the old-fashioned way - kicking cars, back and forth on runaround tracks trying to get the car you need out of the group of cars. Very interesting.

I purchased mine in Erie PA but it's distributed by the Historical Society of Dunkirk.
  by umtrr-author
Interesting! There is a little bit on this line available via the Internet Archive of wnyrails.net, which I "archived" as well, but not a lot out there otherwise.

My wife is interested in this line as it once served Lily Dale, the spiritual community in which she's involved. Passenger service ended in June 1937 but I think I read that there was a brief resumption during World War II. Visitors to Lily Dale, including for example Susan B. Anthony, were likely to have taken the train to there.

A photo from wnyrails.net shows the line already pretty weedy in Falconer, near Jamestown, in August 1949. There was a fan trip from Rochester and Buffalo on the Valley Branch for its entire length and back, sponsored by the Buffalo and Rochester NHRS chapters in October 1951. A photo posted on wnyrails was taken at the former Lily Dale station site or close to it.

Still trying to discover why that line, the former Dunkirk, Alleghany Valley and Pittsburgh, was nicknamed the "Dolly Varden."

Now to track down that DVD...
  by nydepot
A few snippets of Lily Dale - a couple cab rides along the lake, and a brief look at some people and some signs there, again from the cab.
  by BR&P
Somewhere I have a manuscript an old NYC man sent me about his life and career. It never got published but IIRC part of his time was on that line. I had forgotten it, will have to look and see. Maybe I can contact the family and get the OK to make it available somehow.