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The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway Company
1930 System pass for Mrs. George Dascomb – Wife of Relief Agent
The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway (reporting mark BR&P) was one of the more than ten thousand railroad companies founded in North America. It lasted much longer than most, serving communities from the shore of Lake Ontario to the center of western Pennsylvania.
One of the minor ironies of its existence is its having never actually reached Pittsburgh. Walston was as far south as it got.
Officially, the end came in 1932, when the line was absorbed into the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, giving the B&O increased access to New York State (they already had a toe-hold with their acquisition of the Staten Island Rapid Transit at the other end of the state).
The acquisition exemplified the endless machinations of the railroad era. For a while, the Van Sweringen brothers wanted the BR&P, and Iselin was pleased to make the divestiture in 1928. The sale value of the company had been inflated by the contention between the Delaware and Hudson and the Baltimore and Ohio for the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway, making its sale a compelling decision for Iselin. The Pennsylvania coalfields were waning, thanks to non-union mines in Kentucky and West Virginia, and the revenues from the railroad had fallen correspondingly.
The D&H wanted westward routes, and the BR&P figured in their plans. The B&O had routes that the Van Sweringens wanted, making a swap attractive to both companies. The ICC now regulated the railroads with a tight grip, and its view was that the B&O proposal to buy the BR&P would serve shippers better than would the D&H plan to lease the company's lines.
The B&O agreed in March 1929 to the purchase of the BR&P from the Alleghany Corporation, getting ICC approval in February of the following year. The deal yielded the B&O the BR&P, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad, and the Mt Jewett, Kinzua, and Riterville. It gave the Van Sweringens the Wheeling and Lake Erie. The formal hand-over occurred on 1 January 1932, forever ending the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway.