• New York & Lake Erie Railroad (NY&LE) Discussion

  • 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

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  by thebigham
I followed the NY&LE tracks from Conewango Valley to Waterboro Jct about 5 years ago.

South of Conewango Valley, there is a small washout of the railroad embankment.

A road crossing has been removed along with the rail and ties near Waterboro Jct.

At Waterboro Jct, the tracks have been removed underneath the highway overpass. Picture here:

  by Matt Langworthy
Interesting shot. I don't think angle could be seen on Bing maps, so thanks for sharing it.
  by erie2937
The B&SW actually ran parallel with the Erie from Waterboro Junction(WO) to DV tower at Falconer which made the thing look like a double track railroad. Now only the original Erie track is in place between those two points. I think there is still a scrap dealer in Conewango but there may not be anything left using rail service anywhere else on that line. Restoring the o-o-s track would be difficult to justify unless it were to be decided that running and maintaining Dayton Hill was no longer feasible. HTG
  by pablo
Holy cow, I'm alive!

A long time ago, I walked the whole junction. There was perhaps a half mile of track that remained from the hill that curved up towards Gowanda down towards Falconer. There was a crossover to get to the "normal" main. From that curve, and about where the remnants of the tower stood, back to under the main road there, was no rail. Here and there was a rail kicked over in true Conrail style.

There was a road completely covered as Chris said.

The washout I saw, and this is now maybe 10 years ago, was a serious one that would require time, money, and DEC approval. You choose which would be harder to get at this point. Rails were dangling in the air over the creek; I'm sure it's worse now. It has to be.

If it were truly important to get to Gowanda, I wonder if it would make more sense to try to reactivate the Cattaraugus portion of the line out of Salamanca...though there's a washout there somewhere, too.

In my completely non-justifiable railfan mind, getting to Buffalo would be a nice connection. I continue to think that redundant lines are not as useless as one might think, and one more way into and out of Buffalo wouldn't be bad. Now, from a business perspective, why? The only thought I have is for a CSX connection for the WNYP. There isn't one thus far. Note that the BSOR is affected by CP-DRAW just like everyone else out of Buffalo; also bordering on a decade ago, when I "fanned" the BSOR, I followed them into Blasdell and was offered to ride to the interchange, but there was no telling how that might go, and I was told sometimes they outlawed up there. Married at the time, I decided to say no and come back. I eventually got divorced, so I should have went, but I digress.

So, the pros that I know of include CSX. Cons? No one has mentioned the gigantic hill in and out of Gowanda. From my limited interaction years back, Pat and the BSOR are a class act and are no doubt doing fine. I simply don't know if the traffic or economics exist to get the line active, but I do know that a long time ago, a failed idea/plan existed to use that very line to connect to Meadville and points south. The people currently involved are no dummies, and so they're likely ten steps ahead. The question isn't "do they know something I don't?" It should be "how much don't I know?"

Dave Becker
  by BR&P
Speaking in generalities, not this specific line. But very seldom does a railroad make a decision to reopen or rehab a line segment on speculation. "If you build it, they will come" may have been a good line for the movie, but when you get to real-life business decisions, in 99.9% of the cases there must be some concrete knowledge of actual business waiting to be handled before a company commits the dollars and effort to reactivate a dormant line, or make significant upgrade to an existing one. From a railfan perspective we'd all like to see every old line in use. Unfortunately real life seldom is kind to dormant segments.

By the way - one of the most difficult things for a railroad - large or small - to do, is separate pie-in-the-sky shipper traffic estimates and potential new industry ideas from what ACTUALLY will move by rail. Any time a company gives a figure for what they can ship by rail, take 25% of that at best. If you get lucky and it turns out to be more, fine. Most often it will be less.
  by charlie6017

Great to see that you're alive and well! :-)

  by thebigham
Welcome back, Pablo.

The NY&LE's tracks from Cattaraugus to Salamanca were removed years ago.
  by AbandonedRailroader
Are the two NS box cars at Setterstix in Cattaraugus stranded there by a washout or something? I have noticed them in the middle of the siding for over a year now and the last photo I could find is NYLE 308 crossing Main St in March of 2009. Have the box cars been there since then?
  by thebigham
The Cattaraugus line had a washout in 2009.

Maybe it has not been prepared yet?

Pat C from here should now. Pat?
  by lvrr325
WNY&P likely could connect to CSX via the B&P since both lease parts of the ex-PRR Buffalo line. If anything it would be cheaper for the customer than to go WNY&P-NY&LE-BS for the connection.

WNY&P just seems to have some money behind them, which might let them put more money into the NY&LE and improve service, where the Buffalo Southern is another small shortline and I don't think much would change other than as a single road they'd get a little bigger piece of the rate. I'd forgotten they did away with connections on the south end what with Conrail pretty well determined to abandon the Erie mainline. That's kind of a shame.
  by Windseeker1
pablo wrote:If it were truly important to get to Gowanda, I wonder if it would make more sense to try to reactivate the Cattaraugus portion of the line out of Salamanca...though there's a washout there somewhere, too.
The rails from Cattaraugus to Salamanca are long gone and now a rail trail, isn't it?
  by thebigham
From the NY&LE Facebook page:

Cattaraugus line "...still closed. We are working on re-opening it."
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