Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN RR

General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

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Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN RR

Postby Mr.S » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:50 am

Shouldn't The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN RR count as a fallen interurban?
How much of the J.W.& N.W. RR is still visible,are there any buildings left?
Hearing from my aunt and late uncle on my mothers side that a remnant of the J.W.&N.W. line is with in 40 feet of her home.
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Re: Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN RR

Postby pablo » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:35 pm

I think it would be a fallen railroad, since both before and after it was an interurban, it was a railroad.

Little to no track is left, and what's left that I know of is in Jamestown. There are a number of small structures left, and some abutments, things like that.

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Re: Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN RR

Postby TB Diamond » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:38 pm

The Jamestown depot was extant back in the mid-1980s. This was a cinder block structure. Seems that it was being utilized by a beverage distributor.
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Re: Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN

Postby Aa3rt » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:59 pm

This line is of great interest to me. My maternal grandparents lived in Jamestown and my mother used the JW&NW to commute to a job at one of the many hotels that ringed Chautauqua Lake in the early 1940's.

As Pablo notes, the JW&NW, the corporate name the line used during most of its operational life, started out as a steam shortline in 1881. It went through a couple of corporate names (Chautauqua Lake Railroad, Jamestown & Lake Erie and Jamestown, Chautauqua & Lake Erie) before being taken over by the Broadhead brothers in December of 1913 and being renamed "Jamestown, Westfield & Northwestern".

Electric operations began in 1914 and the line would operate as an interurban through Nov. 30th of 1947 when passenger operations ended. The line was sold to the Salzberg family of shortlines in 1941 and would operate for 3+ more years after the end of passenger service as a diesel powered short line until the last run on Jan. 21st of 1950.

For a more detailed history, check out:

http://wnyrails.org/railroads/jwnw/jwn_home.htm

For some good photos of JW&NW equipment, try:

http://www.jamestowntrolley.org/trolley/jwnw/jwnwcars.html

Regarding the station mentioned by TB Diamond-the JW&NW terminated its passenger runs into Jamestown on West Third Street until dwindling patronage caused the JW&NW to end passenger runs at the Boatlanding (A semi-industrial area where the JW&NW interchanged with the Erie.) owing to the difficulty of traversing the street trackage in "downtown" Jamestown with some of the larger interurban cars. The last run to the Third Street terminal occured on March 31st of 1940.

The "new" Boatlanding station opened in October of 1942. Alas, it would serve passengers for just over 5 years. I checked out the building a couple of years ago while visiting my father in northwest PA, about 12 miles south of Jamestown. The building was still standing and being used by an overhead door company, IIRC.

This past September, my brother and I toured the Fenton Mansion, home of the Fenton Historical Society in Jamestown. There is an interesting display dedicated to the JW&NW as well as the Jamestown Street Railway and Chautauqua Traction Company, worth a visit if you're ever in the area.
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Re: Questions about The JAMESTOWN WESTFIELD and NORTHWESTERN

Postby Aa3rt » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:32 pm

I just posted a link to a Youtube video of the JW&NW in the New York State Railfan forum. The video was just recently placed on Youtube. More details in this thread:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=128&t=81742
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