Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Erie Lackawanna Railroad-Anatomy of The Friendly Service Route
MAHONING DIVISION
Home
Development of the Lackawanna Railroad
Erie Railroad Company and its development.
Decline and Fall of the ELRY
Why the Erie Lackawanna Failed
Links to My Other Sites
Phoebe Snow's Thru Trains
Old Reliable Fast Freight Service
The Niagara Frontier Operations
The Erie's Speedway
Bread Basket of the Erie
Route of The Erie Limited
The Road of Anthracite
EL Commuter Country
Friendly Service Route Overview

Long known as the Breadbasket of the Erie Railroad, The Mahoning Division is best remembered for the steel mills in the Youngstown area that provifed much of the traffic. Such firms as US Steel, Republic Steel, Jones and Laughlin, Youngstown Sheet and Tubing, to name a few.

The major part of the Mahoning Division had its origins in the form of the Atlantic and Great Western Railway, which connected with the Erie at Salamanca,NY. Major facilities on the Mahoning division included the system freight car shops at Meadville, a classification yard at Brier Hill in Youngstown, several yards in Cleveland, of which Literary Street and Riverbed primarily served ore traffic going to and from Great Lakes boats, while East 55th Street Yard, now named Von Willer Yard, handled general freight classifications and some piggyback traffic. That yard was also the layover point for the Cleveland-Youngstown commuter train,which, in its final years of operation, usually consisted of an EMD E8A diesel and three ex Phoebe Snow coaches. Usually it was one of four or five E8s that kept their passenger appurtances with 825 and 833 being the most commonly used. These E8s were usually based at Youngstown for the commuter train, which was the last passenger assignment regularly held down by E8s anywhere on the railroad. Traffic handled on the Mahoning Division usually included ore, coal,coke, steel products, auto parts, and other general merchandise. Its 553.8 miles of railroad constituted what is referred to as "The Breadbasket of the Erie." Territory covered by the Mahoning Division was bounded by Hornell on the east, Bradford, Oil City,New Castle,Lisbon on the south, Cleveland to the Northwest and Brady Lake,Ohio on the west. The division headquarters was located at Youngstown, Ohio, which was, for many years, a principal interchange point with the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, which handled its portions of the through passenger trains between Cleveland,Youngstown,Pittsburgh,Washington and Baltimore. Thus Alco PAs of both the Erie and the PLE could be seen in each other 's home cities as a result of this passenger power pooling arrangement. Following are the principal stations on the Mahoning Division:

Table 1. Hornell to Brady Lake

Hornell

Almond

Alfred

Andover

Wellsville

Belmont

Friendship

Cuba

Olean

Carrollton

Salamanca

Steamburg

Randolph

Waterboro

Falconer

Jamestown

Corry

Union City

Cambridge Springs

Meadville

Buchanan

Geneva

Stony Point

Atlantic

Greenville

Shenango

Bruin

Transfer

Pymatuning

Orangeville

Latimer

Johnsons

Cortland

North Warren

SN Junction

Ravenna

Brady Lake

Table 2. Pymatuning to Cleveland

Pymatuning

Sharpsville

Ferrona

Sharon

Coles

Hubbard

Youngstown

Niles

Deforest

Warren

Garrettsville-Hiram

Jeddoe

Mantua

Aurora

Geauga Lake

Solon

North Randall

Lee Road

East 93rd Street

East 55th Street

West End

Broadway

Cleveland Union Terminal

Literary Street

Riverbed

Table 3. Columbus & Erie RR

NE Junction

Lottsville

CM Junction

Table 4. River Line

CB Junction

Belfast

Fillmore

River Junction

Table 5. Bradford Branch

Carrollton

Riverside

Limestone

East Bradford

Bradford

West Bradford

Custer City

Howard

Lewis Run

Table 6. Toby Branch

WI Tower

Brockway

Erie Junction

Crenshaw

Brockport

Hydes

Table 7. Dunkirk Branch

WC Junction

Little Valley

Cattaraugus

Dayton

Perrysburg

Smith's Mills

Forestville

Sheridan

Dunkirk

Table 8. Oil City-Franklin Branch

Buchanan

Cochranton

Carlton

Sugar Creek

Utica

Reno

Oil City

Table 9. New Castle Branch

Gardner Avenue

New Castle

Pulaski

West Middlesex

Wheatland

Farrell

Sharon (State Street)

Ferrona

Table 10. Lisbon Branch

Lisbon

Leetonia

Washingtonville

Greenford

Marquis

Canfield

Austintown

Mineral Ridge

Niles



Taken from Erie Lackawanna Railway Timetable No.3,March 21,1971.

PRINCIPAL INTERCHANGE POINTS
Olean and Jamestown,NY; PC
Salamanca,NY,Youngstown,OH,Cleveland: B&O,
Niles,Youngstown,Cleveland, PC
Cleveland,Solon, N&W
Oil City: PC
New Castle: PC,B&O,PLE
Meadville,Shenango:BLE
Corry,Union City: PC
PRINCIPAL COMMODITIES HANDLED: Coal,coke, ore, steel products,manufactured goods,consumer goods, food products, chemicals. Of these, steel and related items were the principal cargoes handled on this division, which also handled machinery, forest products, automotive parts, etc. So vital was the Mahoning Valley to the Erie Railroad and successor Erie Lackawanna that the Mahoning Division was dubbed, The Breadbasket of the Erie. However, as the steel mills began to close down, the viability of this part of the railroad became highly questionable at best and doubtful at worst. The Youngstown-Cleveland line lost its last passenger train on January 14,1977 and the line was severed east of Mantua, Ohio. Once the iron ore and steel traffic dried up, the viability of the Mahoning Division became very doubtful. In its last full year of operation, the Erie Lackawanna fought to stay alive out of Conrail as long as Gregory Maxwell, the final president of the railroad, by aggressively marketing its intermodal service. This became 40% of the railroad's total freight business near the end of the railroad. At midnight, March 31,1976 on the Mahoning Division, and elsewhre, Erie Lackawanna train crews had to stop and be informed of changes in their train symbols  that would take place at Midnight, April 1,1976. At that  time the end came for Erie Lackawanna, The Friendly Service Route.

PRINCIPAL FREIGHT CONNECTIONS ON THE MAHONING DIVISION; Cleveland;N&W,NSS,PC,B&O;Youngstown;PC,B&O,PLE;Salamanca;B&O, Jamestown;Corry; PC,Meadville;BLE,Oil City;PC,Sharon,PC,Greenville:BLE,Dunkirk; NW,PC,Solon;NW.