A Trip on the ‘Erie Limited’ Steam Train

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On August 1-2 2015, a steam-powered excursion train known as the ‘Erie Limited‘ operated on a 1-day 250-mile round-trip rare-mileage excursion between Buffalo and Corning, New York over a portion of the former Erie Railroad (now Norfolk Southern’s freight-only Southern Tier) mainline. This was a special train consisting of Nickel Plate Steam locomotive #765 and several privately owned railway cars. The train ran on the former Erie Railroad from Buffalo to Corning, NY via Hornell where a stop was made for train staff to pick up catered lunches for passengers on board the train.

Equipment consisted of many privately owned rail cars including: Norfolk Southern coach #43, PRR parlour car ‘Paul Revere’, Wabash dome car ‘Jackson Square’, Northern Pacific dome car ‘Stampede Pass’, Great Northern dome car ‘Prairie View’, Seaboard Air Line sleeper-lounge ‘Hollywood Beach’ and Pullman sleeper-buffet-lounge ‘Dover Harbour’.

Motive power consisted of ex-Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 type steam locomotive #765, built by Lima Locomotive works in 1944, with a tractive effort of 64,135 lbs. The last time the 765 operated over this route was over 20 years ago.

The route of the Erie Limited was a scenic one, with the train departing Norfolk Southern’s Bison Yard in Buffalo, NY, crossing the incredible Portageville Bridge over the Genesee River Gorge in Letchworth State Park, through the town of Hornell, and rolling along the beautiful Canisteo River Valley before reaching Corning, NY where passengers had the option to take a bus ride to visit the Corning Museum of Glass .

The service & scenery on the Erie Limited were second to none, all while being able to enjoy the special treat of a long-distance mainline steam excursion.

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