Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Railroad Stations of the Tri-Counties
The Tioga Division - Elmira to Hoytville
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Photos - Stations on the Tioga Division of the Erie Railroad
Township: Elmira to Hoytville-
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Schedule Submitted by: Mr. Marion Smith
Retyped by Cathy Knights
Formatted & Published by Joyce M. Tice
THE TIOGA DIVISION

Alive to any kind of means whereby the citizens of Tioga County, Pennsylvania could obtain a safe, reliable and effective mode of transportation for their products, the Tioga Navigation Co. caught the spirit of the hour and obtained from the legislature a supplement to its charter, allowing it to construct a railroad from Blossburg, Pennsylvania, to the state line at Lawrencevile, Pennsylvania, a distance of about twenty five miles, to run parallel with the Tioga River.

Bituminous coal had been discovered in great quantities at Blossburg and the surrounding country. Samples were conveyed to Albany, New York, and examined by the New York Legislature. Its usefulness for blacksmithing and steam generating had been demonstrated. This, in fact, was one of the great levers applied to the New York Legislature to influence it in the passage of the bill for the construction of the Chemung canal and now, when the people of Albany, New York, familiar with the use of coal, a company was formed, prominent among members of which were Erastus corning, to construct a railroad from the head of canal navigation near Painted Post, New York, to intersect the Blossburg Railroad at Lawrenceville. This step on the part of the capitalists of Albany was the initial one in the founding of the new enterprising city of Corning, New York.

The entire line from Corning to Blossburg was completed in 1840. In the year 1852, a railroad was completed from Blossburg to the coat mines at Morris Run, a distance of four miles. The Erie leased the Tioga R.R. in 1855.

Coal was being mined at 2,000 tons per day. The Blossburg Coal Co. was formed August 11, 1866 and almost immediately a contract was entered into by the company with Sherwood & McLean to build a railroad from Blossburg to the company’s coal fields, on Johnson Creek, four miles southwest of Blossburg. The road was completed during the summer, a mining town founded and named Arnot.

A company was formed in 18811 named the Arnot and Pine Creek R. R. Co., which constructed a railroad from Arnot to Babbs Creek, fifteen miles distant. It was principally used for lumber, bark and freight. Babbs Creek was later named Hoytville and became the end of the Erie’s Tioga Division.

The people of Elmira, New York, had long wished for direct railroad communication with the valley of the Tioga and on the 23rd of April 1872, the enterprise took definite shape. The Elmira and State Line Railroad Co. was incorporated to build a railroad from Elmira, New York, to a point about three miles south of Lawrenceville, Pa., which later became Tioga Junction. Enthusiastic meetings were held and speeches made to show the advantages to be derived from the proposed road. Subscriptions were solicited and surveys made. The Tioga Railroad Co. guaranteed the bonds and work, in due time, was commenced. The road was finished in October 1876 and the officers invited a company to celebrate its opening by an excursion from Elmira to Arnot and return. Crowds cheered at all stations. The entire Tioga Railroad systems, together with the Arnot mine was eventually purchased by the Erie R.r. and it became the Erie’s Tioga Division.

Taken from the Erie Magazine of November 1927, page 20
TIOGA DIVISION.
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101
105
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MAY 2, 1909.
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Henry St. (Elmira)
 
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S. L. Junction
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Pine City
 
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Seeley Creek
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Millerton
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Trowbridge
 
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Jackson Summit
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Tioga Junction
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Lawrenceville
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Mitchell
 
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Mill Creek
 
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Lamb’s Creek
 
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Covington
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Subj:  Visit to Blossburg in 1877
Date:  08/09/2004 10:35:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From:    dpalmer@dreamscape.com (Richard Palmer)
To:    JoyceTice@aol.com

Joyce,
   You might like to add this to the website on the Tioga Division. One other historical note is that the line was changed from six foot broad gauge
to standard four feet- eight and one half inches, in 1876. I also have an article I am in the process of typing on the opening of the Elmira and State
Line Railroad that ran from Lawrenceville to Elmira. Richard Palmer

Chenango Weekly Telegraph, Norwich, N.Y., Sat., July 14, 1877

                               THE COAL REGIONS

                        Tioga, Tioga Co., Pa., July 4.

      Editors Telegraph: - Thinking  that a brief description of this country  by a resident of Chenango county might be of interest to the readers of the Telegraph, I take the liberty of addressing this communication to you. This is a town of about eight hundred inhabitants, and for a place the size has many public spirited men. the greatest feature of the place is Bush's Park, fitted up by Mr. A.C. Bush, formerly of Bainbridge, N.Y., and a brother of Hon. Joseph Bush of that place.
    Mr. Bush has erected many buildings in the park, notably among which is a large dining hall and kitchen well stocked with dishes, &c., for the accommodation of picnic parties from abroad, and a dancing hall at least 30x100 feet. There is hardly a week passes but what there are parties from abroad here to enjoy the pleasures of this park.
   There is a very large hotel called the Park House which cost  $40,000. built by a stock company, also many fine brick blocks. The largest business interests of the place are the tanneries which are located here and give employment to many workmen; they consume large quantities of hemlock bark for which they pay five dollars per cord. There is a lively newspaper published here with a circulation of 1,000 copies weekly, edited and published by A.H. Bunnell, formerly of Bainbridge. There are many Chenango county people settled here.
    Last Saturday we visited  the coal mines at Arnot, twenty-two miles above here up the Tioga River, which we reached by the Tioga Railroad. This is where is mined the celebrated Blossburg coal, semi-bituminous it is called, such as our blacksmiths use. The Tioga R.R. was the third railroad in the U.S., and was built by the Blossburg Coal Company for transporting their coal, which at that time was found at Blossburg; but these mines have been abandoned and mines are now worked at Fall Brook, Morris Run and Arnot, the most extensively at the latter place, where we inspected them.
    Arnot is a place of about 3,000 inhabitants, built on a hill or numerous knolls. There are 500 houses, all built by the company and rented by them to the miners. There is also the company's store and one other store, and we believe two or three churches. We understand the minders are mostly  Welshmen and Protestants. We entered the principal mine which goes into the side of the hill, as the coal is in drifts or mines, being carried in by a mule drawing numerous small cars through a subterraneous passage about five or six feet high and about the same width for one-fourth to one-half a mile, and from which there are many passages leading to other mines or workings.
    Arriving near the place where the men were at work, and where the motive power was left, (the mule) we walked along or nearly crawled through a small passage, and were surprised to find that the miners were getting out coal where the space was not over three feet high, and where they have to almost lay down to pick it down.
   The coal is in thin layers or drifts of from 18 inches to four feet deep. Four tons is an average day's work for a man working 10 hours, and the price paid for mining is 55 cents per ton. The temperature of the atmosphere in the mines is about 45 degrees, and they are well ventilated, as there are openings clear through the hill.
    The coal is drawn outside the mines by the mules, where the cars are taken by a small locomotive about a quarter of a mile to the dump house\par where they are wheeled in by hand, weighed and dumped, when part of the coal is passed through a sifter and the fine loaded into cars for blacksmiths' use and the coarser for locomotive and other uses.
  It is four miles from Arnot down to Blossburg and the grade is about 85\par feet to the mile. We rode down in a coach without an engine at a rapid rate.   The regular passenger trains, of the Tioga R.R., do not run farther than Blossburg, which is a town of about 1,500 inhabitants and as the company's shops are located here and the miners from the mining towns come down here to trade there is considerable business done.
                                              Yours truly, K.E.B.


Cortland Standard, Wed.,  Nov. 1, 1876

   The Elmira State Line and Tioga R.R.

   This important narrow and broad gauge road, connecting Elmira city with the Blossburg coal fields of Tioga, Pa., was formally opened on the 24th ult., and the event was duly celebrated in a very enthusiastic manner by a large excursion party consisting of directors, officers, railroad men, editors, capitalists and other invited guests, who were more than pleased with the entertainment afforded, and, with the road and its equipments, and lastly the visit to the extensive coal regions of  Pennsylvania. Too much credit cannot be awarded to Messrs. F.N. Drake, President and L.H. Shattuck, Supt., and other officers,  for the most thorough and efficient manner in which the enterprise has been carried through to a successful completion.
   The total  distance, by this new route, from Elmira to the coal fields is about 50 miles, and, when we assert that the road bed, iron bridges, structures, equipment and rolling stock are remarkably excellent, we would  also add we never saw better.
   The traffic of this new road, banding the rich and populous commercial, manufacturing and agricultural region, of Southern New York, with the mountains of mineral fuel in pennsylvania, must assuredly be immense. A  glance at the map will lead the eye to the allied connection of this important route, the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira R.R., whose central position betokens a degree of prosperity, resulting from such connections that will more than meet the sanguine  expectations of the most hopeful. This connection now being perfected, the long trains of black diamonds brought to  Elmira daily over the State Line, will make their passage over the summit heights of the U., I.& E. thence to central, eastern and northern N.Y., the Great Lakes  and the New England states where unequaled markets are for all time assured. Indeed the capacity of both the State Line and the U., I.& E. must in future be taxed to the fullest extent to accommodate the developed and growing wants  which they will be  required to meet.
   If railroad success can be achieved in America, we know of no more inviting field upon which to base a prediction of success than the region of country with its varied resources, traversed by the Elmira & State  Line and Tioga, and U., I. & E. Railroads.
   For coal traffic  they cannot be excelled, and we firmly believe our prophecy will be fully verified.


My great grandfather, Grant Helm Jones, Finla’s son, shared your love of trains. I do not know which paper the article came from or who wrote it.  I found it saved by Grant, tucked in an envelope with business obits and other goings on for Elmira, Corning and Buffalo. In reading the courting letters between Grant and Bessie Wells, which traveled from Elmira to Corning and back. I realize that if not for that train, I might not be now writing to you, of it.
Bessie was attending Elmira College, studying art. While Grant was working for Mr. Bump, at The Butler Mine Co., Ld. It seems from the letters saved that
they were constantly waiting for the train to arrive with more correspondence. Even after they were married by Rev. Thomas Beecher in 1891, the letters would continue. For Grant a newly married man did not have the means to keep a wife in Corning. He traveled back and fourth on that train and when he wasn’t permitted to come home the letters were sent by train. When the mine closed Grant and Bessie moved to Buffalo as Grant had employment at Shawmut Coal & Coke. Later becoming it’s vice president. Still they would send the children for vacations to Elmira and Seeley Creek. By train of course.
Sue Edling
dig4rootsgrant@yahoo.com

Monday, Aug. 10, 1942
Erie Closing Tioga Line Tonight

  The last train to serve residents of Pine City, Seeley Creek, Millerton, Trowbridge and Jackson Summit along the Tioga Division, Erie Railroad will leave the Erie freight station, Elmira, at 11:30 p.m. today.   The Interstate Commerce Commission a few weeks ago directed that the line between Elmira and Tioga Junction be discontinued, effective today.    No special observance of the last trip had been planned, it was stated at the office of the Division Superintendent in Hornell. The rolling stock will be continued in service, operating between Corning, over the New York Central Railroad, to Lawrenceville and Tioga Junction, then over Erie right of way to Tioga, Mansfield, Blossburg, Morris Run and Hoytville.
  C. C. Mosher has been the agent at the Seeley Creek and Jackson Summit stations for several years, commuting by auto. Only two freight trains-one in each direction-have served patrons of the road several years. Agent Mosher will be given employment by the company elsewhere, it was said today.
  Removal of the rails, bridges and trestles at Alder Run and Trowbridge will be started within a few days. The metal will be sold for scrap.   The division once had excellent patronage. That was back in the horse and buggy days. The coming of the automobile and improved roads cut passenger patronage until this service was discontinued.
  The crews operating the two freight trains will be transferred. Some of the men may return to the Susquehanna Division.
  Freight from Elmira bond for Tioga Junction and other points south on the Tioga Division will be shipped to Corning, then south via Lawrenceville to
its destination.
  The application to discontinue the line between Hoytville and Blossburg was not allowed by the ICC.


Wellsboro Gazette, September 3, 1942
Erie Line Abandoned After 66 Years
Built in 1876 the old Erie-Tioga Railroad between Elmira and Tioga Junction will soon be a thing of the past
By Mazie Sears Bodine

Now that the last train has run over the Erie Railroad between Elmira and Tioga Junction and the line has been discontinued the following which is taken from an early history may be of interest to Gazette readers.

The people of Elmira had long wished for direct railroad communication with the valley of the Tioga and on the 23rd day of April 1872 the enterprise took a definite shape. At that date the Elmira and State Line Railroad Company was incorporated to build a railroad from Elmira to a point at or near Lawrenceville. Enthusiastic meetings were held in the courthouse in Elmira, speeches were made by General A.S. Diven and others. A committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions, made a survey, etc. The citizens of Elmira responded with alacrity. All necessary steps were finally taken and in due time the work commenced.

The road was finished in October 1876 and the officers invited a company to celebrate its opening by an excursion from Elmira to Arnot and back. The train provided for the accommodation of the excursionists consisted of seven cars.

The road proved to be substantially built well ballast at every point and the cars ran as smoothly over it as on an old road. It is about 19 miles in length. From Elmira it rises by a grade of about 70 feet to the mile to the summit and the descent of 6 miles to Tioga Junction is about 100 feet to the mile. There are two notable iron trestles on the road, one at Alder Run, 732 feet long and 70 feet high and the Stony Fork trestle which is 480 feet long and 50 feet high.

At the various stations along the road there were large assemblages of people and additions to the party. At Arnot coal mines the southwest terminus of the road the whole population turned out to welcome the train, the Arnot Cornet band playing Hail Columbia and other national airs. After spending a short time in examining the coalmines and appliances the excursionists prepared to return.

At Bush’s Park in Tioga the party of 400 left the train to partake of the hospitalities which had been provided by A.C. Bush in the park. This park is on the hillside overlooking the beautiful village and the view of the winding waters of the Tioga and the level and fertile lands of the valley was in the soft Autumn sunlight Very beautiful tables were spread in the large dining hall and theatre hall. After dinner the company assembled in a meeting. Hon. A.S. Diven presided and made a short speech. Resolutions were passed complimentary to Mr. Bush who modestly acknowledged the honor. Then followed congratulatory speeches by Fred E. Smith of Tioga, F.N. Drake, president of the Tioga Railroad, Judge Williams of Wellsboro and W.H. Bogart of Aurora, N.Y. The company then adjourned to the cars and were safely returned to their several localities well pleased with the excursion and with the prospects of benefits to be served from the new road by the people of Chemung county, N.Y. and Tioga county, Pa.

The length of the road from State Line Junction, N.Y. to Arnot, Pa., is about 50 miles aggregate length of main line branches leased roads sidings and other track 68 ½ miles. Could the members of the old Tioga Navigation Company from which the railroad company derived its origin arise and see the great coal lumber and passenger trains that daily pass over this road they would be as much astonished as poor Rip Van Winkle after his long sleep.
______________________
The days of heavy traffic over this road are past and part of the line abandoned.

But if the members of the old Tioga Navigation Company could arise now they would find paved highways in place of the old dusty or muddy roads. They would see many automobiles and trucks of every description passing by. Large trucks hauling 20 tons over our mountain roads. How astonished they would be - as much so as if they could have seen the long passenger and freight trains of 50 years ago.


Joyce,
   Here is a folksy article about the Tioga Division for your website. No doubt you have heard of Adeline Dartt Marvin who essentially wrote this article, but I don't know  how old she was when she took this train trip.
Richard Palmer, Syracuse [August 2011]

Elmira Sunday Telegram
November 16, 1941

Travel Thrill Days of Long Ago: Adaline Dartt Marvin
Blossburg-Elmira Ride on Tioga Division
Is Unforgettable Memory to Woman Writer

   Mrs. Kimble G. Marvin, writer of this Sunday Telegram article, is a graduate of Elmira College. Her husband is on the faculty of Mansfield State Teachers College, health education department. The Marvins reside at 48 Sherwood St., Mansfield Perhaps some other readers have memories of the Division. Let's hear about them. - The Editor.
           By Adeline Dartt Marvin [1897-1980]
   Though you have travelled continents and sailed the seven seas, you have not known the thrill of travel unless you were once a small child in a small town located on a branch railroad with the nearest shopping center 40 miles away.
    Were you ever put to bed early on a fall night with the chilly, creepy feeling up your spine and the breathless sensation in your middle that told you something unusual was going to happen? You tossed from one fretful dream to another to be awakened from a final exhausted sleep in a cold lamp lit dawn by your mother;s "Six o'clock! You must get up if you want to go to Elmira with me."
    Did you want to go? You were out of bed, hair combed, face washed, best winter dress and shoes on before you could say Jack Robinson. Breakfast wasn't breakfast but a strange ceremonial meal with cereal and eggs under the lighted chandelier that ordinarily meant the sociable dinner hour.
    There was a short cold walk to the station, that in one sense was no station at all but a dingy room in the corner of Blossburg's main hotel - The Seymour House. Your entrance into the small waiting room, with its red hot stove, was greeted with the aroma of coal smoke and the bananas of long-consumed lunches. Mother purchased two tickets for Elm ira, one full and one half fare and sat down on the iron armed bench, with a watchful eye on the door to see if a freight might arrive to provide conversational relief during the three hour train ride.
     You needed no relief. The engine, spouting steam out on the track with its trailer of baggage car and two coaches, was glory enough. You could hardly wait for the trainman's signal to climb aboard and find the red plush seat that just suited you, whee you could view the Blossburg State Hospital and the Mansfield Normal School, two buildings whose size and beauty inspired you.
     Mother nodded to the half dozen passengers who straggled in but there were no intimate friends this morning. You were glad, for it meant that mother settled to her crocheting, leaving you free to press your forehead tight to the cold window pane and live vicariously  in every farm house and village you passed. You were going to Elmira to shop and I repeat, though you have sailed the seven seas, you have not tasted to the full, the joys of travel, if you have not gone from Blossburg to Elmira on the Tioga Division of the Erie.
     The joys of travel, with speed and the multiplicity of tourists, has vanished from many once far-off places. So, too, the trip from Blossburg to Elmira has tone to be traversed no more. I have grown up and returned from far wanderings to Tioga County. The Tioga Division still makes its daily journey but I no longer use it. When, like my mother of old, I go to Elmira ti shop, I go by bus or in our own small car.  I arrive in one hour against the old three of the Tioga Division. I ride more comfortably but the glory has departed. I am moved to meditate, if perhaps in this day of convenience and speed, when we started any old time and arrive anywhere, anyhow, with no goal nor purpose, have we not lost something of the romance of living?
     There comes back to me the memory of the return trip from Elmira to Blossburg. Late afternoon and I am weary. In the last hour of standing by my mother's side at counter after counter, the joys of shopping have palled. To this day, I cannot look up upon figured silk or polka dotted foulard without a sense of nausea. Mother always chose the hour before train time to visit Sheehan and Dean's silk counter with one eye peeled for a bargain. I had eaten at my favorite chocolate shop; been not an unwilling model in Flanagan's Department Store for my fall coat and hat, been allowed to purchase a new book in Miss Adams' musty shop where books were piled on the floor and tables in dusty, angular masses. I had partaken of the glories of this day of days and my cup of fulfillment was running over in a dizzy whirl of spots and figures on dark, shimmering silk.
     The noisy Erie depot was a relief. The bronze Indian that stood guard before its front entrance wore the air of an old friend. I was only to glad to see the two cars of the Tioga Division drawn up on the track behind the puffing engine. We climbed aboard. The dusty, plush seats seemed infinitely soft as my small bones sank gratefully into them while our accumulation of parcels spilled over the plush. Mother reversed the seat in front. I braced my feet on the supports and opened my new book. But there was still much to excite and distract me. The other passengers climbed in as weary and bundle laden as ourselves. The Tioga Division might easily been called the Shopping Special. Thee was much discussion of respective values at Sullivan's and Roesnbaum's, proud showing of bargains, the usual banter with the conductor, then his loud "All Aboard."
    The train puffed slowly out of the little city. Once more, I pressed my face tight to the pane that I might register firmly in my mind the lights of Elmira, for well I knew it would be many weeks before I saw them again. Not a pawn shop or boarding house on its dirty Railroad Ave. escaped me and when through a street intersection, I caught glimpses of the two parallel business avenues with the street lamps pricking the dust. I almost dislocated my neck in an effort to carry a bit of the city with me. I saw the sun set over the river in its glow of rose and silver, watched the outskirts dwindle into open country and only then did I settle back to enjoy my sensation of fatigue for enjoy it I did. It was grown up to be tired from shopping.
    But even yet, one could not settle down too completely. There were experiences ahead. I knew every one of them and none of them were to be missed. First, came the thrill of the high bridge at Jackson Summit, to hold one's breath as the train clattered slowly across to sigh with relief when you felt the last wheel pass on solid ground, the boys selling popcorn at Lawrenceville where the Erie connected with the New York Central, the weird ride to take in Tioga Junction when the train backed down; all the little towns priced mysteriously out of the dark; then suddenly like one of Hans Andersen's fairy palaces, the lighted buildings of the Mansfield State Normal School high on the hill above the puffing train. Now I was nearing home. The joy of fatigue had passed. I was just a tired little girl, fretful of the long delays but reviving to the last experience but one, the lights of the Blossburg State Hospital, gleaming awesomely at me from the hill as we rounded into Blossburg.
    We were home, the last and nicest experience of all, the lights of the old Seymour House and depot, the crowd waiting for the train, father standing quietly waiting to relieve his wife and little girl of their bundles, joking them as to the number and content; the short walk home, the hired girl smiling with a late dinner piping hot on the table;l the final excitement of opening bundles, trying the new piece of music, reading somewhat distractedly a few pages from the new book, parading before father in the new coat and hat, watching his quiet pleasure at the purchases mother made for him, subsiding at last into utter weariness - it's good to be in bed again.
    That is the memory vivid and poignant from out of my childhood. I cannot relive it nor would I if I could. A ride on the same Tioga Division in recent years brought only discomfort and cinders. Yet there was a thrill which is absent in today's hap hazard mode of travel. Will your children hold precious in their maturity, the memory of your casual Sunday journey of three times the length of the trip from Blossburg to Elmira? Are they thrilled at the sight of the family motor waiting at the curb? Do they sleep in restless dreaming over the anticipated 600 mile drive to grandmother's in Indiana? I doubt it. Will they, grown to an age of better sense, bore their contemporaries with reminiscences of filling stations, hot dogs and one dollar tourist rooms? I doubt it.
    I am hearing you say, what does the woman want, stuffy local trains, isolated towns and bad roads back again? By all the heavens, No! But I do want tradition, sentiment and the magnifying of the simple things in the eyes of a child so that he may have  subsequent background for dreams, moralizing or what you will. I repeat, in conclusion, though you have sailed the seven seas, if you have not known the glory of anticipation, the thrill of discomfort to achieve your journey - you have not travelled!*

    *An Erie timetable dated April 27, 1924 shows one round trip daily between Elmira and Blossburg, and another between Elmira and Arnot. There was also service to Hoytville and Morris run at this time. At Tioga Junction, trains backed to Lawrenceville, where connection was made with the New York Central. Regular passenger service ended in December, 1931 and mixed train service in 1935.
    In 1941, the Erie asked permission to abandon the line, through Pine City, Webb Mills, Millerton and Jackson Summit to Tioga Junction. This was granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission. The final train left Elmira at 11:30 p.m. Aug. 9, 1942. At 4:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 10, 1942, a 12-car freight train pulled into the Erie yard in Elmira, ending service. Seeley G. Powell was engineer and John W. Canfield was conductor on these final runs.
 
 

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 19 JAN 2004
By Joyce M. Tice
Email Joyce M. Tice

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