• Railroads with "Lake Erie" in the name

  • 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 Aa3rt
Lake Erie seems to have been a popular destination for many railroads and traction companies. It seems to me, that although Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, it is used in more railroad names than all of the other lakes (Ontario, Huron, Michigan, Superior) combined.

I was perusing the booklet "Trolleys of Jamestown and Chautauqua Lake-A New Look" by Helen G. Ebersole, published by the Fenton Historical Society of Jamestown, NY and although I was born in Jamestown, grew up in the area and knew of the Jamestown, Westfield and Northwestern, I learned a lot of history, including the fact that the JW&NW started out as a steam railroad and had gone through a couple of reorganizations with the name changing at least four times.

Built as the Chautauqua Lake Railroad and completed in 1887, the railroad was never really a financial success. It reorganized in 1894 as the Jamestown and Lake Erie. In 1899, it became the Jamestown and Chautauqua and sometime in the early 1900s became the Jamestown, Chautauqua and Lake Erie. In 1913 the JC&LE was taken over by the Broadhead brothers and reorganized as the Jamestown, Westfield and Northwestern ending service as a freight hauler on Jan. 21, 1950.

With all that being said, here is a list of traction companies and railroads that I can come up with that had "Lake Erie" in the name. Note that I'm only interested in actual lines that laid track and operated-NOT paper railroads that were the pipedream of some wild-eyed stock swindler.


Bessemer and Lake Erie (predecessor Pittsburgh, Shenango and Lake Erie)
Pittsburgh and Lake Erie
Wheeling and Lake Erie
New York, Lake Erie and Western (one of the Erie's names after reorganization)
Lake Erie, Franklin and Clarion
Jamestown and Lake Erie/Jamestown, Chautauqua and Lake Erie
New York and Lake Erie

Traction Companies

Buffalo and Lake Erie
Cinncinnati and Lake Erie

Toledo, Lake Erie and Western (was this a tourist line?)

Additions/Corrections welcome!
Last edited by Aa3rt on Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by nydepot
LEW = Lake Erie & Western
LE&E = Lake Erie & Eastern
LE&FW = Lake Erie & Fort Wayne
LE&L = Lake Erie & Louisville
LE&P = Lake Erie & Pittsburg
LEA&S = Lake Erie, Alliance & Southern
LEA&W = Lake Erie, Alliance & Wheeling (also Alliance & Lake Erie)
LEE&S = Lake Erie, Evansville & Southwestern
LEW&St. L = Lake Erie, Wabash & St. Louis

Those are the easy ones to look up.

The 1893 Official Guide lists a Canadian line (Walkerville, Ont.) called the
Lake Erie, Essex & Detroit River (later the Lake Erie & Detroit River).

It also lists the Pittsburg, Shenango & Lake Erie the Pittsburg, New Castle & Lake Erie (later Pittsburg & Western) and the Pittsburg & Lake Erie.

  by walt
Though not a New York Interurban, my favorite is the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad---- of "Red Devil" fame! Cleveland's Lake Shore Electric, which connected with C&LE at Toledo, though not carrying the Lake Erie name, also refrered to Lake Erie in its "Lake Shore" name.