Pennsylvania Railroad History

Pennsylvania Railroad History

Tioga Central Railroad operates scenic excursion trains over a right-of-way which in part dates to 1840. The section between CP CORN (a location just south of Corning, New York) and Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, was part of the Tioga Railroad, opened in 1840 to connect Blossburg, Pennsylvania, with the Chemung Canal at Corning.

The Tioga Railroad was renamed the Blossburg and Corning Railroad in 1854. The section between Lawrenceville and Wellsboro Junction, Pennsylvania (with the exception of the ten-mile section along Hammond Lake built in 1977) was completed in 1872 as the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad. This line extended south from a connection with the Blossburg and Corning Railroad at Lawrenceville through Wellsboro to the coal mines at Antrim, Pennsylvania.

In 1873, the Blossburg and Corning Railroad and the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad were merged to form the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railway. Owned largely by the Fall Brook Coal Company, the CC&A was reorganized in 1892 as a part of the Fall Brook Railway, which, via three additional holdings, the Geneva and Lyons Railroad, the Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railway, and the Pine Creek Railway, offered through passenger service between Lyons, New York, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

In 1899 the Fall Brook Railway was leased to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, which was in turn reorganized in 1914 as the New York Central Railroad. All ex-Fall Brook lines were operated as the Fall Brook Subdivision of Central’s Pennsylvania Division. The New York Central was succeeded in 1968 by the Penn Central Transportation Company, which was itself succeeded in 1976 by Conrail.

In 1988 Conrail ceased operation of its line between Wellsboro Junction and Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, leaving only the line between Gang Mills (near Corning), New York, and Wellsboro, and making the name “Wellsboro Junction” something of an anachronism. With this abandonment, the remaining line became and continues to be the only railroad in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County.

On December 31, 1992, Conrail ceased operation between Gang Mills and Wellsboro. So that freight service might be maintained, the line was purchased by Growth Resources of Wellsboro (GROW) and the Wellsboro & Corning Railroad began operations under the North Shore Railroad. Tioga Central began operating scenic passenger excursion trains over the Wellsboro and Corning in May 1994. Today, the Tioga Central passenger service is operated by the Wellsboro and Corning Railroad which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.