NORTH EAST, Pa. - Westfield's rail link to Buffalo and Cleveland began 160 years ago.
On Jan. 19, 1852, the Erie and North East Railroad opened from Erie to the New York State line where it connected with the Buffalo and State Line Railroad that had opened on Jan. 1, 1852, linking the state line to Dunkirk with completion to Buffalo on Feb. 22, 1852. With the opening of the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad from Erie to Cleveland on Nov. 23, 1852, it was now possible to travel from New York City via Westfield to Chicago.
Over a period of time, there was a consolidation of many railroads into the New York Central Railroad which grew into an over 11,000 mile system. The New York Central Railroad disappeared in the 1968 merger into the Penn Central Transportation Company. Today, its main line through Westfield is operated by CSX Transportation.
During 1914, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway was merged into the New York Central Railroad. The last regularly scheduled New York Central Railroad passenger train stopped at the North East station on Nov. 26, 1960.
Dedicated museum volunteers have restored this station. The railroad history has been documented in a new book, "Honoring the New York Central Railroad" by Ken Springirth, a photographic history of a unique railroad that played an important role in the development of North East. Springirth, author of 19 books on railroads and trolley car systems, will be holding a book signing of this new book and his other train and trolley car books at the Lake Shore Railway Museum located at Robinson and Wall Streets in North East, Pa., during Christmas at the Station from noon to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 24, Sunday, Nov. 25, Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2.