Trolley south of Olean

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Trolley south of Olean

Postby nydepot » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:17 am

Does anyone know if Pages Rd, west of Rt, 16 and south of Olean is the former roadbed of the trolley serving Rock City?

http://goo.gl/maps/KiVOM

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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby thebigham » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:54 am

^Yes.

More later...
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Western New York & Pennsylvania Traction Company

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:40 am

"The Western New York & Pennsylvania Traction Company began operations in 1894, originally connecting Olean and Allegany. At its peak, the system also ran to Bolivar, Shinglehouse, Salamanca, and Little Valley in N.Y. and Bradford and Lewis Run in Pa., via Rock City or Limestone. (It reached Bolivar in 1902). In 1921 it was sold at bankruptcy and reorganized as the Olean Bradford & Salamanca Traction Company, but by 1927 all streetcar operations ceased. Better roads, rising auto ownership, and competing buses caused the trolley's demise. But in its heyday, it was the way to go for folks in the valley of Little Genesee Creek from Richburg to Ceres. They could visit the cities of Olean and Bradford for shopping, dining, and business matters. And for fair weather fun, they could pack a picnic basket for Riverhurst Park in Weston's Mills or explore Rock City Park south of Olean."
"However, the crowning attraction of the trolley run ‘into two states’ had to be the ‘City of Rocks’ known to us as Rock City. Nothing seemed to surpass it in the Northeastern States, excepting only Niagara Falls."

http://www.smethporthistory.org/bradfor ... eymap.html
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 3024739540
http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=NY
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Re: Western New York & Pennsylvania Traction Company

Postby pumpers » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:44 pm


This map shows a different alignment than that of the first post (Pages Rd, etc). Before the trolley, there was a narrow gauge line between Olean and Bradford, which eventually died and the trolley company took over the ROW. The trolley company realigned the route , and I think that is where the Pages Rd alignment came from. Somewhere on line there are pictures of the loop from Page Rd. For some time I have been trying to sort out the actual narrow gauge route -- what is shown in the topo above has some outrageous grades (for example, after going north from Rock City, when it turns east towards Olean, it goes rigth down a huge hill (too much even for narrow gauge), and I'm sure the trestle if any wasn't that high... How it actually got down from that ridge has had me puzzled -- anyone have any old maps.?? JS
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby thebigham » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:31 pm

^Yes, the narrow gauge route on the topo map does not make any sense.

However, the row is correct when it comes to the "Fourmile" area on the topo map.

Lawrence Kilmer wrote a book on the Olean, Bradford & Western narrow gauge. He has a picture of a stone abutment with the date of 1878 on it. I hiked back to it when I lived in Olean in the mid-90s and saw the abutments for myself.

The Page Road alignment is the trolley route. I have a friend who lives on Page Road. I hope to someday visit her and walk the r.o.w. The horseshoe curve part is just a dirt road and probably not driveable.

When the Allegany River is low at the end of 14th St. in Olean, you can see posts from what I think were from the narrow gauge bridge.

The narrow gauge from Olean to 14th St survived as a standard gauge spur until the 1970s.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:01 pm

The origina NG route following the ridge to Four Mile makes some sense, but the steep climb out of Olean begs the question.
There appears to still be a 'trail' along the ridgeline to Four Mile?
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby CarterB » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Here's the horseshoe curve vic of Page Rd.

http://pa-trolleystore.org/store/image- ... jpg&w=2304
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby RussNelson » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:52 pm

Try this routing for the NG instead: www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/20036818/ . It's kinda steep, but it's plausible. And it's what the 1970's-era USGS 7.5' Topo map indicates with its contour lines going perpendicular to the right-of-way.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby pumpers » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:30 am

Two more views of the loop -- one looking in the direction of the previous link but more zoomed out, and another looking in the opposite direction.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/S814-Loop-Trolley-Line-Olean-Rock-City-NY-postcard-/370548143577
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1909-OLEAN-ROCK-CITY-NY-ELECT-RD-LOOP-POSTCARD-PC6134-/230292658380
JS.
Regarding the grades on the original ROW, i'll have to find my old notes. The ROW from Russ Nelson is close to a dirt road that is on a 1961 7.5 minute USGS topo (didn't see anythign in the USGS search site from the 1970's). It seems more precise than the 1898 topo posted earlier.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby RussNelson » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:44 pm

pumpers wrote:Two more views of the loop -- one looking in the direction of the previous link but more zoomed out, and another looking in the opposite direction.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/S814-Loop-Trolley-Line-Olean-Rock-City-NY-postcard-/370548143577
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1909-OLEAN-ROCK-CITY-NY-ELECT-RD-LOOP-POSTCARD-PC6134-/230292658380
JS.
Regarding the grades on the original ROW, i'll have to find my old notes. The ROW from Russ Nelson is close to a dirt road that is on a 1961 7.5 minute USGS topo (didn't see anythign in the USGS search site from the 1970's). It seems more precise than the 1898 topo posted earlier.


Yes, to the south end it becomes a dirt road. Shortly thereafter it hits SH-16 which was either the original electric railway's right-of-way, or else it ran right next to the highway. But then I see "Old Rock City Road" which leads me to speculate that SH-16 was originally the trolley line, and the highway ran on the route of the Old Rock City Road.

Is there a history book which has maps of these two railroads?
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby thebigham » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:09 pm

I've seen a map of Rock City back in the trolley days.

The trolley went very close to the entrance of the Rock City.

A long driveway connects the park to Rt. 16 so Rt 16 is not the trolley r.o.w.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby CarterB » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:53 am

Old topo maps show a spur off the line up to Rock City.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby pumpers » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:59 am

I traced out carefully the route Russ mentions -- you can make it out on modern topos (like mapper.acme.com) if you go to the highest resolution and watch where the elevation lines are a little farther apart, and/or see where they cross the ROW at 90 degrees as Russ mentions. THey must really have done some grading for that NG line!
Anyway, from where it leaves ROW of Route 16 (at the corner of LIppert HOllow Rd), it is roughly flat for 1/2 mile at about 2320 ft. It then goes downhill at a very steady grade for 2.75 miles to the trestle over Two Mile creek would have been, with the grading elevation showing down to 1440 ft. It stays to the east of the top of the ridge since it is descending already. (Thus the dirt road shown on modern topos along the ridgeline was NOT the ROW.) The drop of 880 ft in 2.75 miles is 320 ft/mile or 6.1%. A bit steep, but OK for a narrow gauge I guess. The elevation on the Pages Rd loop is about 200 ft/mile which is about 4% grade. From the lower intersection of loop and modern Rte 16, the trolley ROW must not have followed Rte 16 exactly - the grade is not stead and is very steep in parts. I think I saw somewhere once it was just to the east of the road - by doing it right you can keep a grade of 4% all the way to the bottom. But they must not have done so much moving of earth for the trolley -- you can't find any hint of it in modern topos like you can for the old NG ROW. JS
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby thebigham » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:14 pm

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=221125

This is the former Western New York & Pennsylvania Traction r.o.w off of Paige Road in Olean, NY.

Abandoned in 1928.

This section was after the horseshoe curve and before Rock City.
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Re: Trolley south of Olean

Postby Michael D. Storey » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:23 pm

Does anyone know whereabouts of any rolling stock/buildings/other stuff?
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