Deviation Actions

jgallaway81's avatar

Abandoned Cascade Trestle - October 2015

Operated by the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh, this rail line once connected Buffalo south to Salamanca and on to points in Pennsylvania. In 1932 the railroad was purchased by the Baltimore & Ohio. By the time CSX came along, the roadbed was definitely showing the years of limited maintenance over nearly a century of railroading. The Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (a Genesee & Wyoming line) took over service on this line in 1988, continuing to serve the customers remaining.

In the 1990's, continuing deterioration of the roadbed, both washouts as well as multiple large quicksand patches had made the line north of Ashford Junction impassible. In 1998 it was reported that recent heavy flooding had caused debris to pile-up at the base of one of the support pillars to the point that enough force from the water forced the bridge out of alignment a few inches. It was also reported that rainwater erosion on the south end caused the south abutment to settle and the entire end of the bridge dropped approximately 6 inches.

B&P began operating their northbound freights via their connection with the Rochester & Southern's (another G&W line) Silver Springs-Ashford Junction segment. At Machias Junction, the trains turned north onto the former Pennsylvania Railroad line to Buffalo. Though R&S eventually abandoned and ripped up the line from Silver Springs to Machias Junction, including through my hometown of Freedom NY, the piece connecting Ashford and Machias junctions remains in service to this day, routing America's freight around this historic landmark.

I'd heard of the bridge for years while growing up, but never saw it. It wasn't until my dedicated two weeks vacation in New York (October 2015) that I finally got to find this impressive structure and explore it. My best find was that of the remains of the other bridge at this location. 15-50yards east of the existing structure is the cut-stone-block north abutment and initial footings. In the waters of Cattaraugus Creek far below remain two piers from a long ago vanished bridge. Possibly a wooden bridge at this location that was decades ago destroyed by fire like thousands of others throughout America and replaced with this steel bridge? I'm still endeavoring to find out.
Image details
Image size
1282x854px 867.25 KB
Shutter Speed
1/83 second
Focal Length
35 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 21, 2015, 2:28:35 PM
Sensor Size
© 2016 - 2021 jgallaway81
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
jgallaway81's avatar
Update: The right of way, bridge abutments and piers in the creek were from the original alignments of the railroad & bridge. The old bridge was built in 1883, just two years after my home railroad, the Arcade & Attica predecessor Tonawanda Valley RR ran its first train into Arcade.

The original bridge was replaced at the ripe old age of 15years in 1898. At that time, the grade was re-aligned, eliminating a curve into the bridge ad a few others as well. From the maps I was shown, looks like about two miles of railroad was abandoned with the realignment. I think I might have to go hunting again the next time I'm up in New York.

If you are on Facebok, the "Abandoned Rails - Buffalo & Western New York" group is here I got this information:…