GREATER ROCHESTER SHORTLINE RAILROADS
BUFFALO & PITTSBURGH RAILROAD
ADDRESS & PHONE: 201 North Penn Street, Punxsutawny, PA 15767 - 814-938-5500
OWNERSHIP: Genesee & Wyoming Industries
REPORTING MARK: BRPP
RADIO FREQUENCIES: 160.785 yard, 160.755 car dept, 161.175 MOW, 160.530, 161.265 yard, 161.325 west dispatch, 160.230, 160.290 (repeater output), 160.320, 161.475 road, 161.535 east dispatch
- Fuel Oil
- Paper Products
ANNUAL TRAFFIC: 57,000 cars
INFRASTRUCTURE: 400 miles of track, 115-132 lb welded rail, plus trackage rights over Conrail's Buffalo Line
SCHEDULE OF OPERATIONS
INTERCHANGE POINT & RAILROAD: Various points between PA and Buffalo - Allegheny & Eastern, Bessemer & Lake Erie, Buffalo Southern, Candian National, Canadian Pacific, Conrail, CSX, Knox & Kane, New York & Lake Erie, Norfolk Southern, Pittsburg & Shawmutt, South Buffalo
LOCOMOTIVE ROSTER: Engine facilities located in Butler, PA.
See the Genesee & Wyoming Industries page for the complete company locomotive roster, since power is pooled.
The B&P runs between Buffalo and Pittsburgh (of course!) on former B&O trackage. Recently, they were given permission to move manifest trains between Buffalo and Salamanca, via Olean on the Conrail Buffalo Line due to track deterioration between Buffalo and Salamanca. Recent derails and other mishaps on the line led up to this. The BPRR has filed with the STB to abandon the B&P mainline between Buffalo and Salamanca. A local may still service Gramco in Springville, as well as several industries in and around Orchard Park. There are no plans for a shortline to operate the line's 4 local shippers. - Thanks to Mike Zollitsch for the update.
Some B&P decisions from the STB:
- Click here for the STB decision to allow the B&P to haul freight over the Conrail Buffalo Line!
- More stuff here.
- Recently, the B&P filed for an abandonment exemption with the Surface Transportation Board regarding their line in Western New York.
- STB denies B&P's pettition to abandon its line between Buffalo and Salamanca. Click here for more details.
- Also, click here to read more about the R&S segment between Machias and Ashford Juntion. They wanted to abandon that too, and once again, the STB denied petition.
- This line may also see passenger service for the first time in decades in the future to service Rich Stadium in Orchard Park. Amtrak has been running the very successful (and very sold-out) Buffalo Bills Express from Albany, Syracuse and Rochester to their Depew Station. Passengers are then bused to the stadium. Part of the negotiations for the Bill's lease extension on the stadium called for a rail station at the stadium, which would require a short spur (about a mile) from the B&P.
Mike Zollitsch sent out an update on the B&P on 7/11/98: "The floods and heavy rains that recently plagued western New York have taken their toll on the old BR&P 3rd. Sub (between Buffalo and Ashford Junction). With a number of washouts already existing, more have been made worse, making it harder for any new operator to start service. Apparently, the last bunch of storms put that worry to rest. No new operators will be running on the line now it seems, for I have heard that the mighty Cascade Viaduct has been condemned. From what I gather, the driftwood pile at the base of the main trestle tower in the river finally got big enough to overcome the tiny masonry footings, and moved the trestle structure several inches. To make matters worse, I guess the drainage from the cut just south of the bridge eroded the abutment at the south end, and that end of the trestle sank about 6". If anyone gets down there to check on this, please let me know as I'm very interested! Due to traffic decreases, which have been visually apparent, the B&P has bumped its road freights out of the daily status, down to "As required!" Or at least, the trains will run from Butler everyday, but only venture as far as what is necessary. So if there isn't enough traffic north of say, Du Bois, they'll tie it up there until traffic warrants a move north from there. Pretty sad, the B&P has been a 7-day per week operation since the late eighties, when they added weekend service."
Here's some more interesting B&P stuff in regards to the abandonment to their mainline and the effect it will have on local shippers (thanks to Otto Vondrak for this info!).
Jim Kintzel, Otto's roommmate's father, manager at Electro-Brasives. here's what he knows....
The B-P Railroad has filed for abandonment. Government and local businesses have countered, and they have countered our counter! Sounds rather technical, but it just keeps the lawyers making money! Anyway, the county wants to keep the Right Of Way, a historical group wants it, and Rails to Trails is trying to get ahould of it. Esentially, none want to give the B-P Railroad what they want. Your guess is as good as mine just where it will end up.
Our plant does us the line, bringing in about 18-cars a year. If the county acquires the line, they would subcontract it to a smaller line to service the 3-4 customers on the line. The bottom line though is thus: This is the line that goes within 1/3 mile of Rich Stadium. There are already plans and drawings to put a station at the stadium for events. However, the current rail supposedly is not heavy enough for passanger travel? I doubt there is much interest past the stadium at this point. Our plant is before the stadium, so if they get service ww would also. Every railcar represents 5-truckloads of material. Depending on railrates, we my or my not continue to use the railroad. We choose the cheapest way. About 10-miles past the stadium are numerous bridges over small creeks. Most are not in real good shape. I would think the cost of saving the whole line would be too high.
Essentially the B-P is trying to eliminate a 43-mile stretch of railroad, by using conrail lines to get around it. With only 4-customers on this 43-mile stretch, from a business standpoint, it hardly seems worthwhile to maintain the 43-miles of rail, bridges, switches, etc. or to pay insurance and taxes on the same.
When I threw a copy of this letter to Mike Zollstitch, he added: "...I rode the B&P local when we switched out electroabrasives once. I know that line all too well. There still is a local up to mile 8 (Electroabrasive is just short of MP4.5) but the track is technically up for abandonment. I hope the B&P ends up having to keep it."
HISTORY: The former CSX line was partly leased and partly purchased on July 19, 1988. It was part of the old Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad, and was built between Ashford Junction and Buffalo by the Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad in 1882 and 1883. The line from Ashford Junction through Salamanca was was built by the Rochester & State Line Railroad in the late 1870's. The lines south of Salamanca were completed by September 1883. The ROchester & State line was reorganized as the Rochester & Pittsburgh in February 1881. In 1883 the R&P became the Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh, which was aquired by the B&O in 1932.
CREDITS: John Stewart's railroad.net and the American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th ed. by Edward A. Lewis
Hits since 2/27/00
UPDATED: February 20, 2005
Copyright 1999 by Les Wilson - all rights reserved