ERIE Operations south of Bradford

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ERIE Operations south of Bradford

Postby Cactus Jack » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:25 am

Can anyone summarize the operations from Bradford or Salamanca south ?
What activities went on, where did the line / lines go and how did they interface with other railroads like the PS&N, P&S, BR&P, B&S, PRR etc.

How were operations cut back and what was the extent of operations going into CR ?
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Re: ERIE Operations south of Bradford

Postby Kevin.D » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:48 pm

Up until the end, the EL did run coal behind the latest EL road power from the Shawmut interchange at Brockway north to Salamanca. Most of the coal was bound to Portland PA. The coal trans usually entered the B&O at Limestone, and ran south to Mt Jewett. At Mount Jewett, the tenant/landlord relationship swapped, where Erie owned the tracks south of there to Johnsonburg with B&O having trackage rights on the Erie. That segment remained in the EL fold until April 1 76, when it was sold to the B&O. Around Bradford, the EL usually kept an SW9 type in the area next to the taller downtown buildings south of the river bridge and north of Main St to work the local industries. The Erie was only in place as far south as Lewis Run, but the switcher usually did not go any further south than the Owens Illinois plant in Custer City. I'm not sure if the EL kept some switchers around Brockway, too.

After Conrail, the coal traffic was rerouted, as there were other Conrail routes (the PRR low grade & the Buffalo Line) to handle it. Conrail moved the home base of the Bradford switcher (now a road GP38 type) to Salamanca at first, then Olean Yard after that was built in 1981. The connection at Limestone was replaced by the connection at Foster Brook, as the Erie ROW was taken for Rte 219 4-lane expansion up to the NY state line. The trains out of Olean had to go to Salamanca, run around, and run the B&O from the Windfall connection in Killbuck all the way to Foster Brook. Not all that long after the B&P took over, Conrail gave up the Bradford biz to them, selling the remaining Conrail industrial trackage to a G&W switching subsidiary. The refinery business was getting less and less profitable once all the local oil was tapped and the refinery had to resort to shipping in more and more of their crude via the B&O. Plus there now were trackage rights charges for the local Bradford business that did not exist before.

The B&O largely single-tracked their lines between the NY/PA state line and Mt Jewett, and also further south of Johnsonburg, during the recession of 81-82.

I also remember that B&O had a bad mainline wreck involving more than a dozen tankers somewhere near the B&O yard in South Bradford sometime around 1980-81, and one of the Winters Rigging guys was killed in the explosion of an empty residue car when their cutting torch ignited it.
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Re: ERIE Operations south of Bradford

Postby Cactus Jack » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:18 pm

Thanks for the information. I didn't realize Conrail was still in Bradford into G&W days. You have supplied more information than I ever knew before.
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