Erie Railroad

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Erie Railroad,

rail transportation line designed to connect the mouth of the Hudson River with the Great Lakes region. The New York and Erie RR Company was enfranchised and incorporated in 1832, and construction was begun in 1835 near Deposit, N.Y. The year 1851 saw 446 mi (718 km) of trunk line across New York state completed to Dunkirk, N.Y., on Lake Erie at a huge cost. The railroad was extended to Jersey City, N.J., and to Buffalo, N.Y., but in 1861 the company failed and was reorganized as the Erie Railway Company. The company gained sound financial footing during the Civil War before it became the subject of a tremendous financial battle. Daniel DrewDrew, Daniel,
1797–1879, American railroad speculator, b. Carmel, N.Y. He became a cattle dealer in early life and by 1834 was successful enough to engage in the steamboat business on the Hudson, which he developed rapidly. In 1844, Drew entered Wall St.
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, Jay GouldGould, Jay,
1836–92, American speculator, b. Delaware co., N.Y. A country-store clerk and surveyor's assistant, he rose to control half the railroad mileage in the Southwest, New York City's elevated railroads, and the Western Union Telegraph Company.
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, and James FiskFisk, James,
1834–72, American financial speculator, b. Pownal, Vt. In his youth he worked for a circus and as a wagon peddler of merchandise. During the Civil War he became wealthy purchasing cotton in occupied areas of the South for Northern firms and selling Confederate
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 allied themselves and from 1866 to 1868 outmaneuvered—with the aid of unauthorized stock issues, political chicanery, and incessant litigation—Cornelius VanderbiltVanderbilt, Cornelius,
1794–1877, American railroad magnate, b. Staten Island, N.Y. As a boy he ferried freight and passengers from Staten Island to Manhattan, and he soon gained control of most of the ferry lines and other short lines in the vicinity of New York City.
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 to keep control of the Erie Railway Company. After further financial trickery, the Erie Railway Company went bankrupt and was reorganized (1878) as the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railway Company. By 1880 branch lines were built to Chicago. The railroad went into receivership after the Panic of 1893 and was reorganized (1895) as the Erie RR Company. Under the presidency (1901–27) of Frederick D. Underwood, the Erie continued to suffer losses, and after a major reorganization (1941) it yielded (1942) a dividend for the first time in 69 years. In 1960 the Erie merged with the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western RR to form the Erie-Lackawanna. In 1976 this organization and five other lines that had gone bankrupt were merged to form the Conrail system, which in 1999 became part of the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads.


See C. F. Adams, Jr., and H. Adams, Chapters of Erie (1886, repr. 1967); F. C. Hicks, ed., High Finance in the Sixties (1929, repr. 1966); H. R. Grant, Erie Lackawanna (1994).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company is a former subsidiary of USX Corporation.
30 /PRNewswire/ -- The LTV Corporation (NYSE: LTV) announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle to accept $375 million as settlement from USX Corporation related to an antitrust judgment against the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company, a former USX subsidiary.
is the successor to the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Company.
Clinton Township, $51,960; Mercer County Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company, Plum Borough, $100,000; Winner Steel Inc.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has enjoined USX Corporation and its former subsidiary, Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company (B&LE), from continuing the lawsuits they filed in May against American Premier, as successor to the railroad business operated by Penn Central Transportation Company (PCTC) prior to 1976.
American Premier) for all or a portion of the approximately $600 million that USX paid in satisfaction of a judgment against its former subsidiary, the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company (B&LE), for B&LE's participation in an unlawful antitrust conspiracy among certain railroads commencing in the 1950's and continuing through the 1970's.
The antitrust settlement with the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company provided net proceeds of $371 million for the 1993 and 1994 funding.
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court's treble damage antitrust award in LTV Steel's favor against Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company, a former subsidiary of USX Corporation.
Pranaitis, 63, began his career in 1969 as a procedure technician in data processing at the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company.