Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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I acquired these vintage way-bills from 1909 from the Delaware & Eastern Railroad Co.

--Roger D. Davis, July 7, 2020 - click images to view larger

Here is a little history I found about the Delaware and Eastern Railroad. --Roger D. Davis

The president of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, whose name was R.B. Williams, got the idea for another railroad near the end of the 19th century. This railroad would start at the busy town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, reach the beginning of the East Branch of the Delaware River near the town of Hancock, New York, where it would make a junction with Williams' O&W railway and the Erie Railroad, and keep going along the rest of the river to Arkville, New York, where it would make a connection with the already existing Ulster and Delaware Railroad. It would then go northeast to Delanson, New York, where it would make a sharp north turn to the thriving town of Schenectady, New York, where there also lie the Schenectady Locomotive Works. There was also to be a branch that was to go from an area between the towns of Union Grove, New York, and Shavertown, New York, where a branch would go to Andes, New York, and make a sharp northeast turn for the town of Bovina, New York. It would be called the "Delaware and Eastern Railroad", as construction would begin at the Delaware River and go east (northeast, actually) to the town of Schenectady.

There was a problem, though; there was another railroad that was about to be charted, called the Middleburgh and Schoharie. It would go from Middleburgh, New York, to Grand Gorge, New York, where it would meet the Ulster and Delaware Railroad, and continue on to Scranton, Pennsylvania. That would mean that it would serve practically the same purpose as the Delaware and Eastern. So the future crew of the D&E and the future crew of the M&S had a meeting in Albany, New York, to see which railroad would be chartered. It was eventually decided that the D&E would be chartered. So another person, J.J. Searing, became president of the D&E, and had taken on the task of charting. Construction began at East Branch, New York in 1906, with two subsidiaries helping with the construction; the Hancock and East Branch and the Schenectady and Margaretville, which were soon incorporated into the D&E. Service started later that year. The D&E's first locomotive, an ex-Delaware, Lackawanna and Western locomotive that arrived at Downsville, New York, the D&E's headquarters. The branch to Andes, which was planned to reach Bovina, was constructed the same year, and was called the Andes Branch. Service didn't begin on the branch until 1907, however, and when it first opened, the station at the end of the branch, the Andes Station, was just being completed.

While things might have seemed good on the surface, there were bad things in the progress of the railroad being finished. There were rises in drops in the progress of extending the railroad, and a telegraph was sent in 1907 saying that they weren't continuing the extension. This was because the workers believed that they were getting insufficient pay. With extension ground to a halt, the railroad was stuck being a 37.52-mile-long railroad from East Branch to Arkville, New York, where it met the Ulster & Delaware. There wasn't enough money being made from the passenger service in the small Delaware County towns, and the railroad was headed straight for bankruptcy. A wreck also took place in 1908. It took place in Arena, New York, where a train had collapsed on the weak rails and sent it into the river below. This cut into service on the line by holding up trains trying to go by. The railroad went bankrupt in 1911, when it had five locomotives, and it was re-organized later that year as the Delaware and Northern Railroad.

Welcome Page of the Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site . . . | . . . Table of Contents Page . . . | . . . Contact Site Manager

a service of the Delaware County Historical Association located at 46549 State Highway 10, Delhi, NY 13753

Online since 1996 - created and managed by Joyce Riedinger