ACR #1420 patch-painted over the old #42 ACR RS-250 #377 in as-delivered paint

When the Pittsburg Shawmut & Northern finally joined the choir invisible in 1947, some of the remaining mine owners purchased the segment of line between Ceres & the Erie mainline at Swain and set up the Allegany County Railroad to operate their “new” trackage.

Coal traffic was healthy enough so this smallish shortline could survive (there was some traffic to and from a couple of feedmills and factories, but that was never enough to hold the railroad up by itself) and stay (barely) profitable up through the late 1990s, but when many of the old coal power plants started shutting down, those profits went away and the railroad began to s-l-o-w-l-y fall apart.

Maintenance was the first thing to be deferred, and (not surprisingly) it had the same results on the ACR as it did everywhere else that tried that cost-saving gimmick; by the mid 2000s, trains were derailing at such a rate that it started to drive the surviving customers to the highways.

By 2012, the railroad was almost completely idle, so when the D&H – which wanted to exchange with the WNY&P, but was forbidden interchange at the WNY&P’s eastern terminal at Hornell – came knocking it was an easy sale.

The D&H spent the next two years repairing the line, but by 2015 a steady stream of traffic was flowing between the WNY&P in Friendship, NY & the D&H on the Southern Tier.

In 2024, NS agreed to drop the interchange prohibition at Hornell that the D&H agreed to as part of the Southern Tier purchase, so most of the WNY&P interchange traffic moved away from the ACR. interchange from the west, however, continues to travel along ACR rails, which keeps the line viable.

Motive Power

When the ACR was founded they bought a small handful of EMD switchers, which were supplemented in the 1960s by recently retired B&M F2 #4255, which promptly got into a headon collision with a flatcar loaded with pulpwood and was rebuilt with a GP-style low short hood.

This fleet all operated up until 1990, when the switchers started going out of service due to lack of traffic (the F2 – ACR classification “G2A”– stayed in service, because 20mph speed restrictions were starting to completely cover the railroad and it took a while to get a train from one end of the line to the other, which was much more pleasant to operate from the designed-as-a-road-unit G2A.)

Allegany County Railroad roster (2000-)

road number in service class description builder in service notes
377 1 DL3r RS-250 MLW/TdM/ILW 2012 ex LT&L #377
1240 0 DL38 G2A EMD 1967 ex-ACR #42, exx-B&M #4255, to Musée ferrovaire de Parsons Vale 2019

Additional power, as needed, is provided by the TdM’s Diesel Locomotive Pool.

  • Copyright © 2024 by Jessica L. Parsons ( unless otherwise noted
    Mon Feb 06 20:38:35 PST 2023