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 ?
By 1924, their empire had grown exponentially with the acquisition of the Erie Railroad, Chesapeake & Ohio, and Pere Marquette, which were in a holding company called the Alleghany Corporation.
At the same time, Transportation Communications Union (TCU) members employed at the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Co.
Kane, president of the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad and Coal Company, and Octave Chanute, a civil engineer with the Erie Railroad.
For example, Justice Louis Brandeis rides a train, a nod to his important opinion in a case involving the Erie Railroad in Pennsylvania.
Norfolk Southern's locomotive heritage initiative aims to paint 18 new locomotives in honor of its predecessor railroads' history, including the Erie Railroad.
Springirth, author of Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad and Arcade and Attica Railroad, celebrates the rail history of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
on July 27, 1934, Harry Tompkins was walking along a footpath parallel to some train tracks in Pennsylvania when he was hit by something protruding from a passing train operated by the Erie Railroad Company.
From high on the wooden Erie Railroad bridge overlooking the falls of the Genesee, Buffalo industrialist William Pryor Letchworth had his first view of the valley that was to be his home.
It had once housed the maintenance and repair yard of the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, acquired by CSX in 1993.
For example, some railroad timetables, like that of the Cleveland & Erie Railroad, contained some, but not all, of the operational security procedures of the original Special Order.
Port Plaza also adjoins the historic Erie Railroad turntable which attracts thousands of visitors each year and we'll make the center easily accessible and attractive to those visitors, too, as well as the weekenders who flock to Port Jervis because of its excellent access to the Delaware River.

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