The Erie Railroad, originally known as the New York and Erie Railroad, was chartered on April 24,1932 to connect the
Hudson River (Piermont) with Lake Erie(Dunkirk) and construction began in 1836. What follows is NOT meant to be a complete
timeline, but only a listing of some of the more important events in the life of the Erie Railroad.
February 16,1841, The Erie Railroad is authorized to cross into the Northeastern corner of Pennsylvania to facilitate
construction of its line.
September 23,1841. The Erie Railroad opens from Piermont to Goshen,NY.
August, 1846, Construction resumes after reorganization.
January 7,1848. Erie Railroad opens to Port Jervis. Also in 1848, the Paterson and Ramapo,along with the Union Railroad,
opens for business.
December 27,1848, the Erie Railroad opens to Binghamton,NY. It opens to Owego 5 days later.
May 19,1851, the Erie Railroad opens its full length to Dunkirk,NY on the shore of Lake Erie.
November 17,1852, the Attica-Hornellsville extension is opened to traffic. Also in 1852, the Paterson and Ramapo and
Union railroads are leased by the Erie .
August 1859, the Erie goes into receivership and is reorganized as the Erie Railway on June 25,1861.
1863. Erie leases Buffalo,New York and Erie together with the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad.
1868. Suspension Bridge and Erie Jct. RR is chartered, opened in 1871.
1871. Lockport and Buffalo RR chartered.
1879 Lockport and Buffalo RR opened.
1875. Erie Railway is reorganized as the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railway as a result of bankruptcy No.2.
1893. NYLE&W goes into bankruptcy and reorganizes as the Erie Railroad Company.
1944. First EMD FT Road freight diesel locomotive is placed in service on the Erie.
September 15,1948. Erie Railroad passenger trains begin using Cleveland Union Terminal.
1951 Erie Railroad celebrates the centennial of the completion of its original line from Piermont to Dunkirk.
1953. Erie Railroad is completely dieselized as the last steam locomotive in commuter service is retired.
1956. Erie begins moving its passenger operations from Jersey City to DL&W's Hoboken Terminal. Merger talks with
the Lackawanna begin. Talks at first involved Delaware and Hudson, which soon dropped out.
1957. Move of east end passenger trains into Hoboken Terminal is completed.
1959. Erie and DL&W file joint application for merger of the two railroads into one. Both railroads agree to joint
use of the Erie tracks between Binghamton and Corning,NY, marking the end of the former Lackawanna main line as a through
route. Erie stations at Endicott, Owego,Waverly, and Elmira become known as ERIE-LACKAWANNA stations in DL&W public timetables.
Sept. 13,1960. Application of the Erie-DL&W merger is approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
October 17,1960. The Erie Railroad and Lackawanna Railroad are merged to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Company.
ERIE RAILROAD PRESIDENTS
Of all the men (and women) who worked on the Erie Railroad during its life and times, perhaps none were more important
than the President of the railroad. In the Erie's final decades, he was generally a man who rose through the ranks and knew
the operation intimately. Others, such as Eleazer Lord, Benjamin Loder, and James King, to name three, were venturing into
uncharted territory as far as running a railroad was concerned.The following is the complete list of men who served in the
Erie's HOTSEAT over the years and their terms of office:
1.Eleazer Lord (1833-1835)
2.James Gore King, (1835-1839)
3.Eleazer Lord, (1839-1841)
4.James Bowen, (1841-1842)
5.William Maxwell, (1842-1843)
6.Horatio Allen, (1843-1844)
7.James Hooper, (2 months in 1845)
8.Benjamin Loder, (1845-1853)
9.Homer Ramsdell, (1853-1857)
10.Charles Moran, (1857-1859)
11.Samuel Marsh, (1859-1861)
12.Nathaniel Marsh, (1861-1864)
13.Samuel Marsh (4 months in 1864)
14.Robert H. Berdell, (1864-1867)
15.John S. Eldridge, (1867-1868)
16.Jay Gould, (1868-1872)
17.John A. Dix, (4 months in1872)
18.Peter A. Watson, (1872-1874)
19.Hugh J. Jewett, (1874-1884)
20.John King, (1884-1894)
22.Frederick C. Underwood, (1901-1927)
23.John J. Bernet, (1927-1929)
24.Charles E. Denney, (1929-1939)
25.Robert E. Woodruff,(1941-1949)
26.Paul W. Johnston, (1949-1956)
27. Harry Von Willer,(1956-1960).
As can be surmised, the presidency of the Erie was a high stress job that many of these men did not seem to want for
very long. Fred Underwood, a caring man and a refugee super, served a 27 year term.