Railroad Enthusiasts Enjoy Symposium

August 24, 2017 at 4:10 PM


Part of the crowd during the first day of the B & S Symposium.

       The DuBois Area Historical Society hosted the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad Symposium, August 4-5 at the Clarion Inn. Eighty-three people attended the symposium to remember and learn more about the B & S.

       The Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad was a regional railway incorporated in 1891. It was initially formed to transport lumber for the operation of the Goodyear Brothers. Within a decade, the Goodyears had decided to transform their empire into a production of coal, coke, and pig iron. This included iron mines in Michigan and Minnesota, and iron furnace in Buffalo and coal mines in Tyler, DuBois Shafts 1 and 2, Big Run and Sagamore.

        Construction on the B & S “Southern Extension” started in 1903 with the goal of reaching the coalfields in western Pennsylvania. From Sinnemahoning the B & S reached southward through Medix Run, Benezette, Weedville, Penfield, DuBois and Sykesville. There it ran over the B. R. & P. Railway to Juneau, where the B & S continued on to the mines in Sagamore. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad acquired the railroad in 1932.

        DuBois was to become a major industrial center on the B & S. In addition to the three railroad tunnels near the city, the railroad had a combined passenger and freight station, engine house, coaling trestle and repair facilities near the present day Social Security office and Martin’s Plaza. The track into Domtar on Shaffer Road is the last operating segment of what was once an enormous railroad industrial empire.

        Symposium topics and presenters included:  The Goodyear Empire by Michael J. Connor; Engineering of the Southern Extension:  Hicks Run, Dents Run, Weedville, DuBois by Nick Puzak; South for Coal:  Cascade Coal & Coke Company by Richard Castonguay; Locomotive Rolling Stock and Operations by Mike Schleigh; Medix Run Lumber/Railroad by Gary Gilmore; Railroad Family History by Laura Lynn Yohe; B & S Out of DuBois by Nick Puzak; B & S/PS & N Interface by Ken Clark; Buffalo Extension by Mark Metz and Michael J. Connor; B & S Corporate Evolution by Michael J. Connor; Rise and Fall of the WAG by Mike Schleigh; B & S Disposition by Mark Metz; Goodyear Family: Second Generation by Laura Lynn Yohe; Potato Creek Railroad, Norwich Lumber Company, Great Southern Lumber Company, Bogalusa, LA Paper Company by Mark Metz.

          Richard Castonguay provided introductions both days of the symposium. DuBois Area Historical Society President Ruth Gregori provided the concluding remarks. Hugh Guillaume gave a tribute to Paul Pietrak.







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