Jamestown to Gowanda
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This is still the New York & Lake Erie Railroad. It is active, not abandoned.
As far as I know this Rail Line is fiscally connected at GOWANDA, NY and runs directly to BUFFALO, NY however, the southern portion of the Road bed is owned possibly by the Counties development the NEW YORK and LAKE ERIE RR and the BUFFALO SOUTHERN RR from GOWANDA, NY into BUFFALO ,NY14201 or 14202. for the postal code.
The line is definitely abandoned from Route 394/Waterboro Bridge area to Conewango Valley and has been for many years. The railroad from Conewango Valley to Gowanda was used occasionally until a few years ago.
This line was abandoned from the result of tracks that were washed out from Tropical Storm Agnes. The damage from the storm doomed the EL into bankruptcy. The section was abandoned. The former EL ROW ended in Gowanda and is operated by the Buffao Southern Railroad. I believe the washed out section was rebuilt so freight can be moved south of Gowanda.
Reference railroad indicated on the map. The section between Waterborro Bridge and Conewango Valley, NY is definitely abandoned and has been for many years. I know, I go back to the area almost every year. If trees growing in middle of the tracks don't prove this I don't know what does????
I will not argue, I do not live in the area. Where I live numerous ROWs have similar conditions, trees growing between the rails--too many redundant rail lines. I understand that part of the former Erie was rebuilt connecting southern region to Buffalo, exactly how much was rebuilt?
From what I read the tracks south of South Dayton is washed out at Cattaraugus Creek. No word when or if it will be restored.
Originally from Conewango Valley, NY. Spending a couple months there this year. There are 300 new empty Railroad cars setting on the tracks between Cherry Creek, NY and South Dayton, NY. Rumor is that the person who owns the track is getting $1,300 per car for storage.
The ROW is owned by the state and leased to the railroad.
The ROW was acquired by the state or county back in the early days of Conrail. At that time track damage south of Gowanda from tropical storm Agnes made the ROW a spur line. I Ave heard that tracks were rebuilt connecting the ROW but then I heard the tracks were washed out south of Cattaraugus Creek. The section Gowanda to Buffalo is leased to Buffalo Southern and Gowanda southward by New York and Lake Erie. Storing cars on unused tracks would bring revenue, otherwise the tracks would be pulled. I believe the ROW should be restored because there is only one southward ROW owned by NS, the former B&O was pulled a few years ago. Time will tell.......
I was down there recently and the tracks are active up to South Dayton. It appears some rehab work was done up around Kennedy. I believe that they are trying to put these tracks back in action.
I spent 3 months with family in area last year. The tracks between Conewango Valley and Cherry Creek are being used to store railroad cars. Between Conewango Valley and Waterboro the rails have large trees growing up between the rails. The work in Kennedy was probably on the main line which is still active and comes through Kennedy and heads east through Waterboro, Randolph, Steamburg, Salamanca, etc
I went through there, first time in years. According to a map, the stretch to Salamanca have been converted to trails. My thought is they are banking the unused portion and they are waiting for federal funds to rehab. Using track to store equipment/ rolling stock is quite popular these days. The whole section Buffalo south is owned by the state/ counties and there are only two direct rail lines connecting Buffalo and the southern tier region. They pulled direct line tracks from Dunkirk to Jamestown and Salamanca during the 1970s.
Buffalo Southern runs line from Blasdell (BUffalo) to Gowanda Station. There the NY Lake Erie runs the line Gowanda through Dayton, where it crosses the old line that runs from Dunkirk-Forestville-Perrysburg-Dayton ( Erie RR) those tracks run to about Broadway where they are severely overgrown and continue this way until Setterstix Factory in Cattaraugus where they are taken out, and are a rails to trails. The NY&Lake Erie from Dayton goes on southward to South Dayton where the line runs grain from the large mill there. The old Erie spur is where the empty grain cars where stored for a while from Van Etten Rd to Persia Rd.
As of this past summer more ties and railbed work was done along the line all the way from Buffalo to South Dayton, but none past the mill in South Dayton.
Yes, the reason Buffalo Southern runs to Gowanda and New York and Lake Erie runs up to South Dayton is the ex Erie is owned by Erie and Cattaraugus counties. Much of the southern portion was washed out by Agnes in the 1970s. Had the counties not taken over ownership, the row would have been removed. I know that Buffalo Southern will go down to South Dayton because they have parked their locomotives there. They have talked about running an excursion train to Jamestown. Do doubt to promote the casinos.