This abandoned railway was built by the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad and was completed in 1882. In 1895, the NYLE&W went into bankruptcy and was reorganized into the Erie Railroad, itself merged into the Erie Lackawanna Railroad in 1960, who abandoned the line south of Lewis Run after acquiring trackage rights on the nearby Baltimore and Ohio Railroad mainline. The rest of the line between Lewis Run and Bradford was abandoned under Conrail.
Kinzua Viaduct: When first built in 1882, the Kinzua Viaduct was the tallest bridge in the world. It was built to serve the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad, a 3-foot narrow gauge railroad originally comprised of a number of smaller narrow gauge railroads that served the coal mines in the northern region of Pennsylvana. Built originally of iron, the bridge was rebuilt using steel in 1900.
In 1959, when the railroad line over the Kinzua Viaduct was owned by Baltimore & Ohio, the viaduct itself was closed when it was determined that, with a train on the brige, high winds could cause the bridge to vibrate dangerously. Despite this, the line was reopened in 1970 to serve as the main attraction for the Knox & Kane Railroad's tourist trains -- passenger trains would leave Kane, PA, and travel to and over the viaduct so visitors could view the spectacular vistas afforded by the bridge's height. In 2003, a tornado ripped through the valley, and destroyed half of the bridge. Determining it to be too expensive to repair, the state of Pennsylvania decided to leave the bridge as-is, and will establish a state park at its location, demonstrating to visitors the destruction that can be reaped by nature. Consequently, ridership on the K&K dwindled after its primary attraction was destroyed, and the line was shuttered in 2006.
There is little interest in reviving the line, and if officially abandoned, the right-of-way will most likely be transformed into rail-to-trail access to the Kinzua Viaduct, the very bridge that caused the demise of the Knox and Kane Railroad.