Boards & Committees
BUFFALO & PITTSBURGH RAILWAY
What is happening along the Buffalo & Pittsburgh rail corridor? In September of 2008, Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (BPRR) filed an "abandonment request" with the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to end operations on 27 miles of track between Orchard Park and West Valley, NY, following 10 years of no service.
In November 2008, the Federal Surface Transportation Board certified abandonment of operations. BPRR may discontinue service, salvage track and related materials but must keep the right of way, bridges, trestles, culverts and tunnels intact.
Rail operations continue on a parallel route from Buffalo through East Aurora to West Valley. A northern rail section from Buffalo to Orchard Park (84 Lumber) remains active with 18 trains per year and a spur from West Valley south remains active.
Why did B&PRR want to abandon operations? B&PRR chose to abandon the section between Orchard Park and West Valley because it had more challenging grades and crossings than an alternate route through East Aurora. In addition, there was a lack of business along the Orchard Park to West Valley section of railway.
What is NY State’s interest? As many groups and individuals have expressed interest in preserving this natural, historic and recreational resource, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) filed with the Surface Transportation Board their interest in public use and interim trail use/rail banking for multi-purpose public use and benefit.
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railway has agreed to negotiate a rail banking agreement with NY State to preserve the corridor.
Before negotiations begin, the State is assessing the corridor to determine the property value, the liabilities and to confirm the States’ interest in rail banking the corridor. Before any decision is made to start negotiations, NY State will contact the affected communities for opinions and support. The rail banking process is expected to take at least a year and possibly longer.
What is Erie-Cattaraugus Rail-Trail and what is their role? Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail (E-Catt) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization comprised of interested residents along the BPRR corridor. E-Catt formed to help local communities work with NY State in preserving the rail corridor history, infrastructure and its conversion to a multi use trail.
Once rail banking occurs, they will help develop, manage and maintain the corridor, working to include and protect residents' interests, including, privacy, road crossings, culverts, signage, and other issues related to rail-trail construction, use and maintenance. E-Catt will be seeking volunteers, grants and donations to this end.
For more information about Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail and their activities:
What is the Trails Task Force role? The Trails Task Force developed a pedestrian walkway and trail master plan for the town that includes a pedestrian pathway along the Buffalo & Pittsburgh rail corridor. They support the conversion of the railway to a multi use trail and members of the Trails Task Force are part of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail to better represent the interests of the town in the multi community project.