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Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway
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BR&P Railroad Station (DuBois, Pa.) May 2005

BR&P Pass (1916)
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The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway was primarily a coal hauling railroad operating from the coal mines of central Pennsylvania to the ports of Rochester and Buffalo. After a southern connection with the B&O (outside Butler, PA), the line ran north to Salamanca and Ashford Junction, where it split and continued to Rochester and Buffalo. The BR&P continued to operate until January 1, 1932 when it was purchased by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

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C&M Jct. (DuBois, Pa.) May 2005

We visited the old BR&P (B&O) mainline in May 2005, searching for the few remaining interlocking towers. The towers are located at Ashford Jct. (Ashford, NY), W.I. (Brockway, PA), F.C. (Falls Creek, PA) and C&M Jct. (DuBois, PA). Riverside Jct. (near Carrollton, NY) was demolished in the mid-1970's.
 
This tower design was specific to the BR&P. The towers were all built in 1913 and 1914 out of concrete (built to last). Other than the typical destruction associated with local vandals, the towers have survived rather well. The Spanish roof tiles are preserved along with the flooring. Most stairways have been destroyed with the exception of Ashford Jct. which has been preserved.
 

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February 1925 Magazine

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Josh & Jon (C&M Jct. Tower) May 2005

BR&P (Erie connection to Dagus/Toby Mines)
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"WI" Tower (Brockway, Pa.) May 2005

The Buffalo Division of the B&O (former BR&P), per employee timetable #26 (September 26, 1948), identified the mainline as follows:
  • 1st Sub-Division:  Butler (PA) to DuBois (PA)
  • 2nd Sub-Division: DuBois (PA) to East Salamanca (NY)
  • 3rd Sub-Division:  East Salamanca (NY) to Buffalo (NY)

The Rochester Sub-Division split at Ashford Jct. (NY) and headed east to Rochester (NY). These sub-divisions formed the basic east-west route of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway.

The B&O reached Clearfield (PA) via the Clearfield & Mahoning Branch (Clearfield Sub-Division) at C&M Jct. The New York Central used this branch for 6.4 miles between Clearfield and CB Jct., to reach the Cherry Tree Branch and various coal fields. During the final years of operation, the B&O ran a daily (Monday through Saturday) local on the C&M branch, originating out of the B&O's Riker Yard in Punxsutawney.

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F.C. Tower (Falls Creek, PA) November 2006

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Falls Creek Tower (view looking west & boys looking out backside)

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Jon & Josh searching for insulators (Falls Creek, PA) November 2006

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"RJ" Tower (Riverside Jct.) mid 1970's

Riverside Jct. ("RJ" Tower) was located on the B&O (BR&P), west of Carrollton (NY) near the Allegheny River.
 
The tower guarded a diamond with the "Salamanca Branch" of the Pennsylvania Railroad. This branch operated from Warren (PA), eastward to Salamanca (NY), Riverside Jct. (milepost 11.6) and finally connecting with the "Buffalo Line" in Olean (NY). The Pennsylvania Railroad abandoned this scenic branch during the mid 1960's.
 
Also at this point, the B&O ran parallel to the "Bradford Division" of the Erie Railroad (NYLE&W), which started at a junction point with the Erie Railroad at Carrollton (NY), then continued west to Brockway (PA), a distance of 79.8 miles.
 
The Erie Railroad tracks can be seen to the left (west) of "RJ" tower.
 

B&O (BR&P), EL (Erie), PRR
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Riverside Junction

The "Salamanca Branch" of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), ran from Olean (NY) to Oil City (PA). The line was operational until completion of the Kinzua Dam (east of Warren, PA) and subsequent flooding of land along the Allegheny River in 1964. The WNY&P (PRR) crossed the Erie Railroad and B&O (BR&P) at Riverside Junction. The Pennsy interchanged with the B&O (BR&P) at Riverside Junction with trackage rights to Bradford (PA). The connecting track to the B&O (BR&P) was east of the two diamonds. The "Bradford Branch" of the Erie Railroad ran parallel to the B&O (BR&P) and interchanged with the Pennsy near Carrollton (NY). See map above.

 

In 1959, the Erie reached an agreement with the B&O for all through trains to operate over the B&O's parallel "Buffalo Division" from MP 6.14 near Limestone (NY) to J&B Jct. (near Mt. Jewett, PA). The trackage between MP 24.41 near Crawford and MP 31.41 (just north of  J&B Jct.) was abandoned, including the Kinzua Viaduct. The Erie section between Limestone and Crawford was retained to service local customers, but was later cut back to a point outside Lewis Run (PA). At "WI" Tower near Brockway (B&O MP 192.6), the Erie/EL left the B&O's "Buffalo Division" trackage and operated over their own "West Clarion Branch" into Brockway (changed from Brockwayville in 1925).

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Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh (East Salamanca, NY) circa 1920's

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B&O #7540 (x-BR&P #740) 2-6-6-2 at Carrollton (NY) 10/10/48

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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