The Erie Railroad, History and Published Articles

History of the Erie

News articles on the Erie Railroad gleaned largely from the pages of the weekly "Hancock Herald." The following compilation is from the "History of Lordville" being researched and compiled by Lordville, NY historian, Emily Homer and is reprinted with permission. Dates given are newspaper publication dates.
Hancock News Articles

One of the earliest and most famous of Erie's steam locomotives was the Orange. Learn more about this engine in the following article by Richard Palmer.
The Orange

Engines such as the Orange and later brethren were often tested locally prior to purchase, to see which manaufacturer's offerings best suited the operating environment of each railroad. Learn more about the engine trials of 1853 on the New York & Erie in the following article by Richard Palmer.
Locomotive Trials of 1853

What became known as the Erie evolved and grew from a collection of lines that were built gradually year by year. The following article by Richard Palmer charts the growth of the Erie in New York State.
The Erie in New York State

The coal lines of the Bradford Branch have a fascinating history. The following article, originally published in the Buffalo Courier in 1880 and transcribed by Richard Palmer, looks at the "remarkable" Bradford Branch.
The Bradford Branch

Once the Erie was built, it took constant investment to keep the right-of-way and rolling stock in top shape, a tough job for a railroad as short of cash as the Erie. The following article, originally published in the Western New Yorker in 1911 and transcribed by Richard Palmer, tells about the Erie's efforts to "plough in" their profits to improve the railroad.
Ploughing in Profits

The Erie was originally broad gauge, which required a third inside track in some locations to interchange cars with connecting standard gauge railroads. Eventually, the Erie changed over to standard gauge for the entire system. The following article by Richard Palmer details the process over the years to get to an all-standard-gauge route.
Erie Gauge Changes

In the early years of the Erie and U.S. railroads in general, trials were often held by various railroads to test locomotive designs. The following article by Richard Palmer details the tests over the New York & Erie and adjacent railroads in 1853.
Locomotive Trials

Throughout the history of American railroading, the conductor has been the "boss" of each train, and is in charge of the train's overall operation. Early on the engineers thought it should be otherwise. The attached article tells how one Erie conductor settled the issue in the 1840s and instituted a bell cord system on passenger trains so that the conductor could notify the engineer when it was time to leave a station. Contributed by Richard Palmer.
The Bell Cord


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