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Arcade & Attica Railroad 5/19/2010

by Chris Guenzler

Randy and I got up at the Nellie's Arcade Village Hotel and after we went to the store we had a good breakfast at Nellie's Family Restaurant. From here we drove down to the Public Parking behind a building across the street from the Arcade & Attica Railroad Train Station and parked the rental car.

Right by where we parked was a railroad display.

Arcade & Attica GE 44 Toner 110.

Arcade & Attica Box Car 411.

Arcade & Attica Caboose 303.

The rear view of the train display.

The Arcade & Attica Train Station. From here I walked through the station and east three blocks to the engine house.

The Arcade & Attica Engine House.

An Arcade & Attica freight train would be leaving town before our scheduled departure.

Arcade & Attica GE 44 Toner 112.

Arcade & Attica Steam Engine 18 in the Engine House.

Arcade & Attica Steam Engine 14 in the Engine House.

Arcade & Attica 44 Toner 111.

Two more views of Arcade & Attica 111. From here we walked back to the station to wait for our engine and then the freight train.


Arcade & Attica 111 heads for the front of our train.

The Arcade & Attica Freight Train heads north out of Arcade.

The active Arcade & Attica motive power in one picture.

Arcade & Attica 111 crosses NY 39. From here I boarded the open car for our trip this morning. The train had Arcade & Attica 111, Combine 305, Coach 307 and the Open Car.

A Brief History

The Attica & Arcade was organized on February 28, 1870. The company purchased the old right away of the Attica & Allegheny Valley Railroad. This railroad went bankrupt. Outside money and backing finally solved some of the local problems. Backed by the Erie Railroad, the Tonawanda Valley Railroad was incorporated on April 28, 1880. Using the grade of the previous railroad, the railroad built a 24 mile narrow gauge line from Attica through Curriers Corners to Sardina to connect with the Buffalo, New York & Pennsylvania Railroad. On September 11, 1880 the first train ran from Attica to Curriers Corners. In October 1880 the Tonawanda Valley Railroad was organized to extend the line from Curriers to Sardina but instead went to Arcade and the railroad reached there on May 1, 1881. The railroad continued to expand to Cuba via Sandusky and Rushfold reaching Cuba on September 4, 1882. The company then defaulted on their bonds during September 1884 and went into receivership. On October 30, 1886 the Tonawanda Valley & Cuba stopped service from Cuba to Sandusky. On January 19, 1891 the section from Attica to Freedom was formed but that line went bankrupt and was sold in April 1894. The Buffalo, Attica & Arcade was formed in 1894 to operate. The first action was rebuilt to standard gauge and by January 1894 the line was opened from Attica to Curriers. By January 1902 the line was extended to Sandusky but this line was washed away by a flood in August. The line was acquired by the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad which connected with it in Arcade. In 1913 the railroad was sold to outside management which failed to find success and closed the line during the winter of 1916-1917. Local ownership returned including the Merrell-Soule Company of Arcade {predecessor of the Borden Company} which operated a large milk processing plant which returned to the scene when on May 23, 1917, the Arcade & Attica was formed to operate the line. The line survived the depression and then in 1941 purchased a General-Electric 44 Toner diesel. Regular passenger service on the Arcade & Attica ended in 1951. The Attica to North Java was abandoned in 1957 after Tonawanda Creek washed out the track. The interchange was then with the Pennsylvania Railroad going through Arcade Junction. By the late 1950's freight business was dropping so the railroad tried passenger excursions to try to raise addition revenue. To create a passenger train steam engine 18 was purchased from the Boyne City Railroad in Michigan along with two Delaware, Lackawanna & Western coaches. The first run was on July 27, 1962 for the railroad's officials and press. Regular service was started that August.

Our Train Trip

Our train left Arcade by backing east to do the rare mileage part of the trip first as we would head to Arcade Junction first.

The Arcade & Attica Engine House as seen from our train.

Arcade & Attica 18.

Arcade & Attica Snow Plow.

Arcade & Attica coach 311.

Our train passed what is left of the wye.

Our train ran to NY Highway 39 where we were controlled by this signal.

Once the signal turned yellow we were then allowed to cross the intersection.

With our passage we stopped the highway traffic on NY Highway 39.

Our train passed this grain elevator.

Nellie's Family Restaurant.

View as we backed to Arcade Junction.

The train passed another old industry that no longer has rail service. We backed all the way to the property line with the Norfolk Southern Line now operated by the Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The train was posed for pictures.

I shot this one before returning towards the train.

The Photo Line.

The train at the NS Property Line.

A look at Arcade Junction from the open air car before we started back to Arcade.

Curving around the wye at Arcade. We made a stop at the Engine House for pictures.

Arcade & Attica 18 from the train.

An old steam engine tender.

Arcade & Attica 2-8-0 18.

The train pulled into Arcade and we made a brief stop for the restroom for people who needed it.

Now we would do the normal tourist train route of the Arcade & Attica Railroad.

The Arcade & Attica Station as we left town again.

Our train started the crossing of Cattaraugus Creek.

The Arcade & Attica Train Display.

Cattaraugus Creek.

One more view of the Arcade & Attica Train Display.

The train climbed away from Cattaraugus Creek.

We passed an old toy factory.

Western New York scenery.

Two views looking back before we stopped for a Photo Runby.

Our brakeman with a big pipe.

The engine started its back up move.

Click here for Part 2 of this story