Trolley in Java

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Trolley in Java

Postby nydepot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:00 am

Some old maps show a proposed trolley line going through Java (Wyoming County). Any idea as to the name and the end points? Thanks.

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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby thebigham » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:21 am

I have a map of the proposed trolley route.

It was supposed to start at the Arcade & Attica mainline in Java Center.

Supposedly grading was done for a wye, but I've never seen it.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby dj_paige » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:02 pm

If this is true, then I think we have another "unfinished RR" for Russ Nelson's list.

What is the source of the information that a wye was graded?
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby RussNelson » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Scanthemapandpostitherepleaseican'twait!!

Java Center is at 1522 feet. Java Village is at 1094 feet (both altitudes from USGS benchmarks). At a distance of 17519 feet, that makes a grade of 2.4. Not great for freight, but not unreasonable for a trolley line.

Would this railroad interconnect with the A&A? As an electric trolley, why would it need to turn on a wye (unless they got single-ended cars)?
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby howie729 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:47 pm

What was the time frame on this. I have never heard of it.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby nydepot » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:42 am

The 1902 Wyoming County Atlas has it from Java center on the A&A (no wye on map) NW through the Town of Sheldon. From there it would go into Erie County. The 1902 Erie County map does not show the proposed line.

The Sheldon Town map I found does list it as the East Aurora Electric Railway. My guess then is E.A. to Java on the A&A.

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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby thebigham » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:10 am

I have two maps.

A 1 page map of the Town of Java map that shows the row crossing Rt. 78 west of Java Center twice and then staying to the west of the villages of Java Village and Strykersville.

A 2 page map of a possible Buffalo extension of the Buffalo, Arcade & Attica:

It has the same route as the trolley route. The row stays to the west of Wales but then passes to the east of the villages of Wales Center and Porterville.

After Porterville, it goes north to Marilla and then west to Gardenville.

I think the Buffalo & Susquehanna briefly considered this route. It would have been cheaper to build than its Springville/Hamburg line, but Gardenville is nowhere near Lake Erie where they need to load their coal trains into ships.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby dj_paige » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:11 pm

thebigham wrote:Supposedly grading was done for a wye, but I've never seen it.


What is the source of this information? Do you mean you have specifically looked for the wye on the ground? Or have you looked on aerial maps?
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby dj_paige » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:14 pm

The map showing this trolley line is here:

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/ ... /New+York/
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby thebigham » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:15 pm

dj_paige wrote:
thebigham wrote:Supposedly grading was done for a wye, but I've never seen it.


What is the source of this information? Do you mean you have specifically looked for the wye on the ground? Or have you looked on aerial maps?


I think it was the Edward A Lewis A&A book.

I've never looked for the wye in Java Center.

The map I have is the map at the above link.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby RussNelson » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:20 pm

dj_paige wrote:The map showing this trolley line is here:

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/ ... /New+York/


Neato! According to that map, NY-78 is pretty much the routing of the railroad east of Curriers Road. If I squint hard enough, I can see various features (shadows in fields, treelines) which line up with the routing of the E.A. Still, it's *easy* to see railbeds that don't exist, particularly when the railroad isn't run in an arbitrary location, but instead along a level stretch of land.

Probably the most productive next step is to look in the County Clerk's office to see if a map was ever registered. And then to do some fieldwork by knocking on doors and asking people "Hey, was there ever a trolley line in your backyard/field?"
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby dj_paige » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:41 am

RussNelson wrote:If I squint hard enough, I can see various features (shadows in fields, treelines) which line up with the routing of the E.A. Still, it's *easy* to see railbeds that don't exist, particularly when the railroad isn't run in an arbitrary location, but instead along a level stretch of land.


Russ, while I know you are very good at this ... I'm not sure the squinting is a worthwhile effort. So far, the only claim is that the wye was graded; I don't believe any has said the rest of the line was graded.

I guess we need a clarification on this as well.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby RussNelson » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:48 am

That's why I have to squint. Only by squinting can you see things that aren't really there. :-)
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby thebigham » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:34 am

The Lewis A&A book has a map of the proposed BA&A line to Buffalo that is close to the map I have.

The book says that grading was done from Java Center to Wales.
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Re: Trolley in Java

Postby BSOR Patarak » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:08 pm

The extension of the BA&A towards Buffalo was indeed started. A Steam Shovel was brought in to Java and work began on the extension. It was proposed as an "electric railway". The electricity was to be made from local streams along the right of way. There was also a proposed extension that was supposed to come off of the BA&A at the same place as the Buffalo Extension. It was to go east and go to Java Lake as a resort area. Both were thought of as electrics. The Java Lake extension was not surveyed or filed to my knowledge.

As for construction on the Buffalo extension, it was most definitely begun. Spencer Bullis (principal owner of the BA&A) also owned lumber companies and had a steam shovel brought in. Grading was done through parts of Java, Java Village and the edge of Strykersville. As for the wye, it was on the west side of the BA&A right of way about half way in between the two Route 98 crossings at Java Center. It was originally put in for the narrow gauge operations prior to reaching Curriers. I'm pretty sure grade work can still be seen, though I don't know if it was ever relaid to standard gauge. The BA&A published a prospectus on the extension and stated that "most of the right-of-way has been purchased as far as Marilla, the grading has been done to Strykersville, a distance of six miles and the material is on hand for laying eight miles of track." In the Ed Lewis book, it mentions that the BA&A had trouble selling bonds to complete some of these expansions due to the coming of the B&S towards town. Ultimately the B&S purchased the BA&A. There were rumors in the paper that the B&S considered utilizing the started grade as their own towards Buffalo, but they were denied by the B&S. The BA&A was authorized to sell $750,000 in bonds to rearrange debt and build it's extensions. The first was towards the BR&P at Freedom (with a portion of it completed towards Crystal Lake), the Buffalo Extension in question and the Java Lake Extension. They had only sold about $200,000 by the end of 1902 probably for reasons mentioned above. The prospectus also stated
"...to develop the Company's water power, build and equip 4 sub-stations; provide over-head wiring, track bonding, etc. for electrical operation; and supplying electrical equipment, consisting of one electric freight locomotive, two express and package freight cars, five passenger cars, will require an additional out-lay of approximately $550,000."


As for the "trolley line". I believe that you are misreading the maps. I have the 1902 Wyoming County Atlas Book. The dashed line is marked as ELECTRIC RAILWAY, on the Sheldon (pg 40-41), Java (pg 44-45) and overall map (insert) views. On the overall county map the line is drawn directly on the road. If you look at the Sheldon page (40-41), the proposed line is actually just to the north of the roadway. That piece of the road is marked as EAST AURORA RD. I don't believe it to be a Trolley Line, only a proposed electric railway. As Chris mentioned, the map only gets them into Gardenville, and was not located any further. On the Strykersville Page 39 the route is marked ELECTRIC RAILROAD.

The BA&A did file a proposed route map with the Erie County Clerk's office. I don't think it made it into the Erie County 1902 Atlas (though I don't have my own copy of that.) I copied a portion of their map from the Clerk's Office. The proposed line stayed on the road pretty much from north of Strykersville up to the Cheektowaga town line and then just ended. My guess is that this rough draft was filed even though the line was never completely located. The BA&A drew gravel from the pit they owned at Sandusky. Materials were used all up the line and perhaps on the extension as well. The weight of the loaded gons was some of the cause of the Wyman Bridge collapse in October 1902.

I briefly looked at Google Earth. With the leaves on the trees, you can't see a raised mound too easily. I can't seem to remember if you could see a part of it from the current tracks during parts of the year...but it has been a long time since I've tried to locate it.

I'd be interested in anything anyone else has to add. Enjoy,
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