The Coudersport and Port Allegany Railroad

Coudersport to Port Allegany, PA

The Coudersport and Port Allegany Railroad was incorporated in 1881. Built as a narrow gauge line in 1882, it followed the Allegany River for the 17-mile route between the two boroughs. A Rumsey Transfer station was installed in 1883 to facilitate transfer of cars from the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad interchange at Port Allegany. The line was converted to standard gauge in 1889, and later extended to Ulysses, where it connected with the New York Central, crossing the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad at Newfield Junction. A spur was also built to Sweden Valley, 6 miles east of Coudersport.

Passenger traffic thrived until 1942. A flood in that year took out the bridge at Burtville along with several miles of track. They were never replaced.

The lumber industry of the early 20th Century fueled the expansion of the line. But the influx of trucks and automobiles proved to be its downfall. The remnants of the line were purchased in 1964 by the Salzberg brothers, owners of the Wellsville, Addison and Galeton RR. They operated it until 1970 when it was abandoned.

Some of the C&PA exists today. The Coudersport depot was built in 1899 and is the borough office and on the national list of historical sites. One of the two C&PA GE 44-ton diesels is now owned by the Stewartstown Railroad. The Russell snowplow from Coudersport, built in the early 1890s, has been rebuilt and is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Reference: The Coudersport and Port Allegany Railroad and the New York and Pennsylvania Railroad by Paul Pietrak

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