Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad Corporation summary
The Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad Corporation (WNYP) is a short line railroad that operates across southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Livonia Avon and Lakeville Railroad. With 330 miles of standard-gauge track, the railroad is renowned for rostering an impressive fleet of “Alco” six-axle locomotives, hauling freight through the mountainous terrain.
The Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad’s heritage is made up of sections of the former Erie Railroad’s main line from Chicago to Jersey City, N.J., and the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad’s Buffalo Line from Harrisburg, Pa., to Buffalo, N.Y. The WNYP began operations in April 2001 when the New York Southern Tier Extension Rail Authority acquired Norfolk Southern’s ex-Erie main line from Hornell, N.Y., to Meadville, Pa., in addition to the branch line to Oil City, Pa. In 2007, the short line acquired the north section of the NS Buffalo Line south to Driftwood, Pa.
Olean, N.Y., serves as headquarters to the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad. All freight trains operate as turns out of either the railroad’s home base or Meadville, Pa. Freight traffic on the WNYP provides a vast range of commodities for shipment. This includes fracking sand, wax, aggregates, steel, plastic, and cheese. Railcar storage and transloading also contributes to the railroad’s business. Passing sidings at Cuba, North Olean and Eldred, Pa., as well as the Olean Yard can store hundreds of cars along the WNYP system. A total of 11 transloading facilities are used by the Western New York and Pennsylvania, five are railroad-owned.
The Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad was the setting of 20th Century Fox’s feature film, “Unstoppable.” Loosely based on the 2001 runaway CSX freight train in Ohio, the film was shot on the Buffalo Line of the WNYP from August to October 2009.
The motive power on the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad is most recognized for rostering an impressive fleet of six-axle diesels from both Alco and the Montreal Locomotive Works. They range from C430s to M636s from the Cartier Railway, Conrail and the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway to name a few. By 2019, the railroad has added three General Electric AC46CHs to the roster pool.
Interchange is made with Norfolk Southern at Machias and Salamanca in N.Y., and Meadville and North Driftwood in Pa. Salamanca is also home to the interchange with the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad.
Read more about the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad Corporation in Trains’ June 2012 issue.