Machias to Silver Springs


(Forwarded from the Rochester & State Line Railroad)

This photo shows the old Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh (BR&P) right-of-way at Bliss, NY. This was most recently operated by the Rochester & Southern Railroad (a G&W family shortline), but torn up in the late 1980s. Photo by Eric Augatis, October 2002.

This abandoned railway line was built between 1869 and 1878 by the Rochester & State Line Railroad. The road was incorporated to build a line from Rochester up the Genesee valley to Pennsylvania in order to bring coal to Rochester. The line was reorganized as the Rochester & Pittsburgh and extended down to Punxsutawney, PA, and reached Pittsburgh via the Pennsylvania RR. The railroad became the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh in 1887 after a branch was built to Buffalo. The BR&P developed into a well-run coal hauler. On January 1, 1932, the BR&P was purchased by the B&O and was later merged. The Chessie System sold this section of the line to the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad in 1986 to become the Rochester and Southern Railroad. The section from Machias to Silver Springs was abandoned in the late 1980s. A haulage agreement was made with CPR which allowed abandonment of this difficult-to-maintain section. The R&S could then reach Buffalo by way of the haulage agreement.

See also the Silver Lake Branch from Silver Lake Junction to Perry, abandoned by the B&O in the 1970s.

Thanks to Eric Augatis for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: AB 19 Sub 28 Date: 3/18/1975 Section: 1(18)
Applic. of BUFFALO, ROCHESTER AND PITTSBURGH RY. CO. and B&O, to abandon portion of Main Line 4th Subdiv'n. betw. Ashford, and LeRoy, NY, incl. Silver Lake Br., at or near Silver Lake Jct. and Chace, NY, total distance approx. 69.12 mi., all in Genesee, Wyoming, Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, NY.
Length: 69.12 miles Citation:  

What is the mileage of the abandoned line between Silver Springs and Machias?

Richard Palmer
Syracuse, NY


I measured 31.5 miles on my motorcycle trip meter last spring.

Bruce Kelly
Perry, NY


My cousin showed me some photos she took while grooming a snowmobile trail. She said the trail goes from Castile, NY to Freedom, NY. In some of the photos it was obvious that the trail, at least in some places, is an old railroad bed. I think she was on this old road.

Dave Curtis
Memphis, NY


My buddy and I travel from Machias Junction to Silver Springs. Gas is available in Bliss but you better be there before 4 pm. The total trip is about 30 to 34 miles. Its a fun ride but it's not marked for 4 wheelers. Good food and atmosphere at the Bliss Hotel and friendly people at Smiths in Gainsville.

Yorkshire, NY


I have bicycled the northern 2/3 of this line. While rough in places with old ballast stone kicked up by snowmobiles and atv's it is suitable for at least a bike with wider mountain tires and a front suspension. Many miles are through forested areas and quite scenic. I know it is maintained by local snowmobile clubs. I am not sure of the legal use for other purposes.

Michael Brummett
Tonawanda, NY


The line ran past Crystal Lake at Boy Scout Camp Scout Haven. One of the stations at the camp is used for office space. As I recall, the G & W purchased the line when they got the contract to supply coal to Kodak.

Bill Pippine
Hamburg, NY


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Do you have any pictures or information about Machias to Silver Springs? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.