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Mid-Atlantic Railroads PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Marston   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 10:24

MID-ATLANTIC RAILROAD TRACK CONSTRUCTION FROM 1826 TO 1850

Click on the name of the state to see details

STATE

1826-30

1831-35

1835-40

1841-45

1845-50

TOTALS

CENSUS

CHANGES

District of Columbia

3.87

3.87

3.87

Delaware

12.25

23.00

35.25

39.19

-3.94

Maryland

14.00

124.32

102.25

9.00

10.40

259.97

253.40

6.57

New Jersey

108.97

78.46

43.71

231.14

205.93

25.21

New York

101.22

298.02

344.27

565.51

1,309.02

1,403.10

-94.08

Pennsylvania

46.52

258.72

362.73

55.11

246.26

969.34

822.34

147.00

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TOTALS FOR INTERVALS

60.52

609.35

864.46

408.38

865.88

2,808.59

2,723.96

84.63

The Census data shown is for the year 1850 as reported in the 1860 Census.

See www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1860e-06.pdf (pages 230-231).

Why are there differences between our figures and the Census Figures?

Here is an explanation state by state:
  • District of Columbia:
  1. Washington Branch Railroad - The 1860 Census shows no railroad in DC but this railroad did go to DC. The 1860 Census gave all 31 miles of it to Maryland, but the 1880 Census on page 515 shows that 3.87 miles of it were in DC.
  • Maryland:
  1. Baltimore and Port Deposit Railroad - This railroad was a predecessor to the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad (MD) and built this 36 miles.
  2. Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad - A name change to Northern Central (MD) caused the Census Bureau to list the 45.50 miles under the new name.
  3. Columbia and Pennsylvania Railroad - A name change to this from Mount Savage Railroad caused the Census Bureau to list the 9 miles under the new name.
  4. Cumberland Coal and Iron Company's Railroad - A name change to this from Maryland Mining Company's Railroad caused the Census Bureau to list the 10.40 miles under the new name.
  5. Franklin Railroad - This railroad was partly in Maryland and partly in Pennsylvania but the 1860 Census gave all of the mileage to Pennsylvania. According to page 442 of Poor's book, 6.50 miles of this railroad was in Maryland.
  6. Maryland Mining Company's Railroad - A name change to Cumberland Coal and Iron Company's Railroad caused the Census Bureau to list the 10.40 miles under the new name.
  7. Mount Savage Railroad - A name change to Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad caused the Census Bureau to list the 9 miles under the new name.
  8. Northern Central Railroad (MD) - A name change to this from Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad caused the Census Bureau to list the 45.50 miles under the new name.
  9. Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad (MD) - This railroad was a merger of the Baltimore and Port Deposit and the Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroads who actually built the Maryland part of the railroad. Hence, all 56 miles got assigned to the new railroad.
  10. Washington Branch Railroad (MD) - 3.87 miles of this railroad was actually in the District of Columbia as explained above so that leaves the Maryland portion with 26.13 miles instead of 30.
  11. Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroad (MD) - This railroad was a predecessor to the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad (MD) and built this 20 miles.
  • New Jersey:
  1. Central Railroad (NJ) - This railroad was the result in 1850 of a merger of the Somerville and Easton Railroad and the Elizabeth and Somerville Railroad. The former built 9.52 miles and the latter 25 miles for a total of 34.52 but for some reason the 1860 Census says that only 9.50 miles had been built. They apparently felt that Elizabeth and Somerville had not built its part prior to 1850 when it had done so in 1839 as related on page 390 of Poor's Book. Doggett's Railroad Guide, New York, (1848) in the Library of Congress at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3791p.rr000750 clearly shows that the Elizabeth and Somerville Railroad was in existence before 1850. The 1880 Census compounded the mistake by denying even the 9.50 miles the 1860 Census gave this railroad prior to 1850 and on page 331 shows no mileage prior to 1852. Given two independent sources confirming all this, we feel justified in adding the mileage to this railroad and New Jersey as of 1850.
  2. Trenton Delaware Bridge Company Railroad - This railroad was ignored by the 1860 Census, but not the 1880 Census which reported 0.19 miles as being built in 1836. No doubt it was ignored in 1860 because of its short length. This company had built a bridge across the Delaware River at Trenton, New Jersey in 1806. The reason that the 1880 Census reported this bridge as being built in 1836 was because this company was purchased by the Camden and Amboy Railroad in 1835 who converted the bridge to handle railroad traffic in 1836.
  • New York:
  1. Albany and Schenectady Railroad - After the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad changed its name to this, it added .06 miles in 1849 to the 16.91 miles built under the old name for a total of 16.97. This railroad was one of the many railroads consolidated to form the New York Central Railroad in 1853 so all of their mileage was reported under that name. See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  2. Attica and Buffalo Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  3. Auburn and Rochester Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  4. Auburn and Syracuse Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  5. Blossburg and Corning Railroad - This railroad was originally built by the Tioga Coal, Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company Railroad. It went from Corning to the Pennsylvania border where it joined the Tioga Navigation Company Railroad which ran down to Morris Run, Pennsylvania. In 1851, the Pennsylvania company was reorganized and changed its name to the Tioga Railroad. The two portions merged under the name of Corning and Blossburg Railroad. In 1854, it went into foreclosure and was bought by new owners who changed the name to Blossburg and Corning under which name the Census Bureau assigned its 14.81 miles.
  6. Buffalo and Black Rock Railroad - Built 3 miles in 1834 and then acquired by the Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad in 1837 who built another 19 miles to Niagara Falls in the same year.
  7. Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad - See above. This 22 mile railroad was not included in the 1860 Census count for 1850 even though it was finished by 1837. See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  8. Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad - This road was originally built by the Ithaca and Owego Railroad in 1834. It was foreclosed in 1843 and the new owners changed the name to this one and reported the mileage under this name.
  9. Hudson and Berkshire Railroad - This railroad was built in 1838 from Hudson to the Massachusetts state line where it connected with the West Stockbridge Railroad. It was foreclosed in 1854 and purchased by the Western Railroad (MA) who changed the name to Hudson and Boston Railroad.
  10. Hudson and Boston Railroad - See above which explains why mileage was reported under this name and not the original builder.
  11. Ithaca and Owego Railroad - This road was originally built by this company but the name was changed to Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad after a foreclosure.
  12. Lewiston Railroad - This railroad was built in 1837, but was ignored in the 1860 Census count for 1850, but reported as part of the New York Central Railroad in 1860. See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  13. Lockport and Niagara Falls Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  14. Mohawk and Hudson Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  15. New York and Erie Railroad - The 1860 Census reported the mileage for this railroad as 337 miles for the year 1850. That was correct but 42.26 miles of this railroad is actually in Pennsylvania leaving only 294.74 in New York.
  16. New York Central Railroad - Even though this railroad did not exist in 1850, the 1860 Census incorrectly gave it 447 miles of road in that year. See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  17. Saratoga and Washington Railroad - This road was originally built by this company but the name was changed to Saratoga and Whitehall in 1855.
  18. Saratoga and Whitehall Railroad - See above to understand why the mileage was reported under this new name.
  19. Schenectady and Troy Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  20. Syracuse and Utica Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  21. Tioga Coal, Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company Railroad - This is the original builder of the Blossburg and Corning Railroad under whose name the mileage was reported.
  22. Tonawanda Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  23. Utica and Schenectady Railroad - See New York Central Railroad 1853-1860.
  • Pennsylvania:

    1. Allegheny Portage Railway - This railroad was really a series of 10 inclined planes that allowed freight to be hauled over the Appalachian Mountains between The Ohio and Susquehanna Rivers and the series of canals attached to them and run by the State of Pennsylvania which also ran this railroad. The 1860 Census count for the year 1850 omitted this railroad probably because it was abandoned in 1854 when the Pennsylvania Railroad was finally punched through these mountains. Nonetheless, it was in operation in 1850 and should be counted through 1854.
    2. Delaware and Schuylkill Railroad - This railroad was a connector railroad that allowed the traffic on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad to reach downtown Philadelphia. It was not counted by the Census Bureau probably because it ran along city streets and was considered more of a streetcar line. That argument would carry more weight if it was listed in the Philadelphia City Passenger railroads section of the 1860 Census on page 232, but it is not. See the details at http://books.google.com/books?id=w0sOAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA5-PA2180&lpg=RA5-PA2180.
    3. Erie Railroad (PA) - This railroad contains the missing 42.26 miles of the New York and Erie Railroad when it crosses twice into Pennsylvania.
    4. Franklin Railroad (PA) - This railroad contains the 16 miles of this railroad that is in Pennsylvania. The remaining 6.5 miles are in Maryland but the Census Bureau counted all of it as being in Pennsylvania.
    5. Hazleton and Lehigh Railroad - The 1860 Census shows this railroad as not built in 1850 but having 14.50 miles in 1860. That was correct but the first 8 miles had been built in 1838 and needed to be in the 1850 figures. This 1840 book lists it at http://books.google.com/books?id=38NHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143 and so does http://books.google.com/books?id=kAF3b81HRxMC&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274 from 1847.
    6. Little Schuylkill Navigation Railroad - The 1860 Census shows this railroad as not built in 1850 but having 33.50 miles in 1860. That was correct but the first 20 miles had been built in 1832 and another 3.5 miles in 1847 and needed to be in the 1850 figures. See page 454 of Poor's book.
    7. Mauch Chunk Railroad - The first 9 miles of this railroad were built in 1827. See the section on Railroads built 1826 to 1830.
    8. Mauch Chunk, Summit Hill and Switchback Railroad - Same railroad as above but after a name change and another 4 miles added in 1846. The Census Bureau reported all 13 miles under this new name.
    9. Northern Central Railway - This road was a consolidation of the Baltimore and Susquehanna railroad from Maryland and the York and Maryland Line Railroad from Pennsylvania in 1855 so the mileage was reported under the new name.
    10. Pennsylvania Railroad - This private company bought the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad from the State of Pennsylvania in 1846 and built another 137 miles by 1850. All of the mileage from both railroads was reported under this name.
    11. Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad - This was the 81.14 mile portion of the above railroad that was constructed by the state of Pennsylvania.
    12. Philadelphia and Delaware Counties Railroad - This 19 miles was the Pennsylvania portion of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PA).
    13. Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PA) - Because this railroad was incorporated in Pennsylvania, all 98 miles were reported there. The 79 miles in Delaware and Maryland were then deducted from that figure.
    14. Plymouth Railroad - This railroad was not counted in 1860 Census but the 1880 Census says 3 miles were constructed in 1836.
    15. Room Run Railroad - This railroad was not counted in the 1860 Census probably because it was abandoned in 1853, but as of 1850, it was still in operation.
    16. Southwark Railroad - This was a connector railroad that allowed the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad access to downtown Philadelphia. It was not counted in the 1860 Census but see http://rnetzlof.pennsyrr.com/corphist/PB_W.html.
    17. Union Canal Company's Railroad - This railroad was listed in the 1860 Census as not being built by 1850, but having 5.75 miles in 1860. However, the first 3.5 miles were actually built in 1830. See page 415 of Poor's book.
    18. Williamsport and Elmira Railroad - This railroad was listed in the 1860 Census as not being built by 1850, but having 78 miles in 1860. However, the first 24.2 miles were actually built in 1838. See page 515 of Poor's book.

Where did the extra 84.63 miles in the Mid-Atlantic region come from?

    1. Central Railroad (NJ) - This railroad which was a consolidation of the Elizabeth and Somerville Railroad and the Somerville and Easton Railroad had a total length of 34.52 miles, but the Census count for 1850 was only 9.5 miles. This caused a shortfall of 25.02 miles in New Jersey.
    2. Trenton Delaware Bridge Company Railroad - This 0.19 mile railroad was not counted at all and caused another 0.19 mile shortfall in New Jersey.
    3. New York Central Railroad - The mileage for what would become this railroad was actually 395.18 miles in 1850 but it was reported as 447 miles. This caused the mileage in New York to be overstated by 51.82 miles.
    4. 9 railroads were reported as having no mileage in Pennsylvania in 1850 that had in fact been constructed. As you can see from the table below, there were 111.24 miles in these unreported railroads. To this we add the 25.02 miles and the 0.19 miles from New Jersey. Then we subtract the 51.82 miles of the overstated New York Central Railroad and we get the 84.63 mile total for the Mid-Atlantic region.
RAILROAD MILEAGE
Allegheny Portage Railway 36.66
Delaware & Schuylkill Railroad 5.00
Hazleton & Lehigh Railroad 8.00
Little Schuylkill Navigation Railroad 23.50
Plymouth Railroad 3.00
Room Run Railroad 5.26
Southwark Railroad 2.12
Union Canal Company's Railroad 3.50
Williamsport & Elmira Railroad 24.20
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TOTAL MISSING MILEAGE IN PENNSYLVANIA 111.24
Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2008 21:37
 
 
   
       
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