• What was the "Old Conhocton Roadway" (Batavia-Buffalo)?

  • 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 NE2
A 1904 map of Batavia shows a strip of land labeled "Old Conhocton Roadway Property of NYC&HRRR", beginning in Batavia at the end of an Erie spur at Tonawanda Creek. On aerials and topos, this can be followed all the way to a quarry in Lancaster; portions are known as Cohocton Road. Beyond there, suburban development seems to have destroyed any trace (unless Aero Drive is the old grade).
Southeast of Batavia, the Erie was built along the Co(n)hocton River. Could this have been an old or never-used grade of the Erie before they bought the ex-NYC between Attica and Depew? If so, why would the NYC have owned it?
  by erie2937
Erie interests formed a railroad called the Buffalo & Cohocton Valley back in the 1850's or thereabouts. This is the Erie line that ran from Avon down through Springwater, Bath, etc., to Painted Post. My theory is that the "Cohocton" that still appears on topo maps is what would have been the B&CV had it ever been completed. Best way to find out for sure is to visit county offices and peruse old maps.
  by NE2
Hmmm, you're probably right. It looks like the Erie didn't have any involvement until the 1857 reorganization as the Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad, which simultaneously bought the NYC's Attica-Depew line. I guess the NYC then snatched up the old grade west of Batavia before someone else could get it.
  by RussNelson
You can see it in the northwest corner of this map tile: http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=NY as a dotted line. Is a dotted road just south of Gunnville and to the west, south of Harris Hill, in this map tile: http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=NY
  by NE2
Yes, that's it. The BC&NY was a renaming of the B&CV in 1852.

By the way, these atlases show the land owned by the BTI&P, the next one in your list:
http://www.historicmapworks.com/Atlas/U ... unty+1908/ http://www.historicmapworks.com/Atlas/U ... unty+1909/
It began just north of Suspension Bridge (the farthest north I can find it is on the "Niagara Falls 004" map), passed through downtown Niagara Falls, bypassed Tonawanda (where the International later built), and then followed along the east side of the joint Erie/International line (the International's Main Street-Tonawanda-Lockport line predated its bypass of Tonawanda). Its land got at least to the Buffalo city line ("Kenmore Village, Oakland Homestead, Tonawanda Town" map). I can't find any mention on http://www.historicmapworks.com/Atlas/U ... 915+Vol+1/ or http://www.historicmapworks.com/Atlas/U ... 915+Vol+2/ but you may have more luck.
  by SST
I do recall bringing up this line several years ago. I remember flying over this ROW many times although at the time I didn't know it was. Which is why I brought it up here. I knew someone would have the info. I haven't flown over it in years but the last time I did, it gets pretty swampy the further east you go towards Batavia. It actually gets pretty difficult to follow.

I drove from the quary to the end of the road where the row of way is gated closed. You can clearly see the line at Cohocton and rt77.

It's taken me a few minutes to compare a google map and this historical map to piece together where that ROW is in Clarence. The row [dotted road] begins where Werhle Dr curves to the left. The row contiunes on what is now Tillman Rd which goes through some heavy wet lands which are protected. That's so cool! Gee. I've been driving on a historical future RR that never came to be.
  by SST
While I'm not certain, I was just viewing Google Satellite view from Tillman to Cohocton Rd, and I think the ROW is viewable. Even where it crosses the I-90. I wonder if they buried a natural gas line along this row that it sticks out. It cuts across the quarry at Stage rd and Ransom Rd. If I'm right and I may not be, if you take Jones Rd from Ransom and go all the way around to the other side of the quarry which then turns into Billo Rd, you will come upon the row at the corner of Hiller and Billo. There is a large house sitting on the row. Assuming I got it right. There is no street view here. That would help. Looks like a little drive is in the planning.

By the way, how far did they get with this line? Would a viewable row even be this far west?
  by RussNelson
I don't know how far they got. I've heard that the Pennsylvania and Sodus Bay was graded all the way, with crossing gates in place, and signs and .... they didn't get the rail in time before going bankrupt. So it's quite possible that it was graded all the way to Buffalo.

Just an FYI to anyone considering building a railroad: plan to split your line up into sections, and build them out to completion before starting the next section. That way you have revenue to back up the built section. It costs a lot of money to build a railroad all at once, and until you get it connected to the rest of the world, it's not generating ANY revenue.
  by Mr.Starr
RussNelson wrote:Looks like the BC&NY:
http://russnelson.com/unfinished-railro ... andNewYork
The B.C.&N.Y. RR - BUFFALO COHOCTON and NEW YORK RR - was built to a gauge of 6'0'' in order to compete with the Erie RR it was also backed by the Erie RR(I think),it was eventually was leased to then purchased by the Erie RR and became the Erie RR's Cohocton branch . There may be some segments of this line if not all survive today as The LIVONIA AVON and LAKEVILLE RR.. For more information check http://www.lalrr.com/history.html I trust that this helps.
  by NE2
That's Buffalo, *Corning* and New York, earlier Buffalo and Cohocton Valley.

SST, yes, that's it. A topo map is most useful here; the old ROW near Billo is used for a telephone line.
This quarry is as far west as Russ and I have been able to trace it.
  by SST
NE2, that's a good site.

Was this helpful: yes
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I just got back from driving around. The Bills were going down hill so I departed on what has been a great railroad exploration. I didn't look at the map NE2 listed above before I left but everything is where its supposed to be. It was difficult to track it after Billo as it went into the quarry. But I think I found it on the other side as a atv path. I"ll have to go back and look for the telephone lines. Kinda like, "cross check and verify." It was too dark to take pictures.

Some walking on this row will be helpful but a lot of it is on private property so it will be difficult or impossible to do. You can't stop my airplane though. Gotta drag out my charts and plot it.
  by SST
I"ve just been studying the topo maps and the satellite views and compared them to my aviation chart. The only landmark that shows up on all three are the powerlines running North/South. The starting point is just west of Akron JCT at the Peanut and the WSRR. Head south from there and the powerline crosses the Cohocton ROW a few hundred feet north of the I-90. The powerline is on my chart and I"ve plotted it. It is underneath Buffalo's Airspace so access to it won't be a problem. I can fly west about 3 miles up to Ransom Rd and circle Ransom at Tillman below 2000 feet. Eastbound will be unrestricted after crossing the Thruway.

The only problem......the weather.
  by SST
I just got back from an aviation turned RR road trip. I went to Hammondsport to check out the Glenn Curtiss museum. Very nice. Even had some RR historical stuff in it. Several lanterns and other items from different RR's. Even had a B&H red caboose outside. On our way home, we took an unexpected route home. The back roads if you will. Not paying attention to where I was, [I wasn't driving] we suddenly passed the Cohocton RR Depot and then 100 feet further we came on the LA&L, B&H division. I just started laughing because I couldn't have planned it better. I do have pictures that I will post shortly.

So, let me ask a stupid question even though I've read various things tonight. Is this the same Cohocton depot that is "connected" to the row in Clarence via Batavia, Avon, Livonia, Wayland, Cohocton and on down to Painted Post?

Speaking of Clarence. I meant to include this above but I just forgot. That goes with a lot of things lately. Anyway, at Ransom Rd and Tillman, in my opinion, they had at least started contruction of the ROW. There is a small rise in the surface for a few hundred feet. If this were a housing development, it is unlikely they would blast out rock just to have a level road for cars. But from Ransom Rd west, it is clear that they leveled the row by 3 or 4 feet. You can clearly see this as the rock is exposed. Tillman is flat and level with small rolling surface on each side before the wetlands.