Timeline of Important Events of the A&GW RR and its Predecessors
Enter the name for this tabbed section: The Beginning
- March 10, 1851 Marvin Kent receives a charter for the Franklin and Warren Railroad Company.
- June 20, 1851 Meeting in Jamestown to organize the Erie and New York City Railroad.
- October 8, 1852 Meeting of representatives with railroad interests in southwestern New York, northwestern Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio at the American Hotel in Cleveland. Including Marvin Kent, Judge Kinsman, Dr. Earle, and Mr. Boyer of the Franklin and Warren Railroad; Judge Benjamin Chamberlain of the Erie and New York City; and William Reynolds and D. A. Finney of the Meadville railroad interests.
- October 26, 1852 A committee from the October 8, 1852 meeting confers with Erie Railroad president Loder about connecting with the Erie. Loder directs the Erie, at its own expense, to survey the proposed route. The survey was satisfactory and the Erie supports the idea.
- May 19, 1853 Work begins on the Erie and New York City Railroad.
- July 1853 Work begins on the Franklin and Warren Railroad.
- September 1853 Franklin and Warren Railroad Company changes its name to the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company
- April 3, 1857 Pennsylvania legislature charters the Meadville Railroad Company to build a railroad from Meadville to Erie.
- July 13, 1857 Meadville Railroad Company is organized and William Reynolds is named president.
- July 23, 1857 The Pittsburg and Erie Railroad Company transfers its branching rights to the Meadville Railroad Company for $400,000. This legally entitles the Meadville Railroad to build branches connecting with the Erie and New York City in New York and the Atlantic and Great Western in Ohio.
- July 27, 1857 The Meadville Railroad ratifies purchase of the branching rights and enters into a contract with A. C. Morton for construction of the railroad.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Full Steam Ahead
- August 31, 1857 A. C. Morton enters into a construction contract with the Erie and New York City Railroad. Morton and Henry Doolittle go to Europe to negotiate for iron and money. They return empty-handed and the construction contract with Morton is cancelled.
- April 16, 1857 A new construction contract is let with Henry Doolittle and W. S. Streator.
- April 15, 1858 The Meadville Railroad Company changes its name to the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company of Pennsylvania.
- Spring/Summer 1858 C. L. Ward, Henry Doolittle, and William Reynolds go to Europe on behalf of the Ohio and Pennsylvania companies to sell bonds in the companies and purchase iron. James McHenry agrees to support the effort, contingent on his engineer, T. W. Kennard, surveying the route.
- July 1858 Salamanca, a Spanish nobleman and banker, places $1 million worth of Atlantic & Great Western bonds in Spain.
- May 7, 1859 The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad Company of New York is chartered. The new company immediately enters into a contract of mutual guarantee of bonds with the Pennsylvania and Ohio companies and purchases the line of the Erie and New York City Railroad. The company contracts with Henry Doolittle and W. S. Streator for construction and with James McHenry to sell bonds in the company.
- May 1860 Construction work begins on the Atlantic and Great Western Company of New York.
- September 11, 1860 Atlantic and Great Western of New York opens from Salamanca to Jamestown.
- May 7, 1861 Atlantic and Great Western opens to Corry, PA.
- Summer 1861 Work is suspended due to financial difficulties
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Final Days
- August 1861 The three companies send another delegation to Europe for additional funding.
- March 12, 1862 Central board of directors, two from each company, is formed to run the combined companies.
- Fall 1862 Work on completing the line begins again.
- July 1863 The Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad is leased to the A&GW for 99 years. A third rail is laid giving wide-gauge access to Cleveland.
- November 18, 1863 The wide-gauge connection to Cleveland is opened.
- June 20, 1864 The A&GW is connected to the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad at Dayton, OH. This completed a broad gauge link from New York to St. Louis.
- October 1, 1864 William Reynolds resigns as president of the A&GW after 12 years of work.
- April 1, 1867 The company goes into the hands of a receiver, Robert B. Potter of New York.
- December 1868 The Erie Railroad leases the A&GW for 12 years
- April 1869 Jay Gould and W. A. O'Doherty named receivers for the A&GW
- November 1869 Receivership transferred to Reuben Hitchcock of Cleveland
- February 1870 A second lease is made to the Erie, pending foreclosure
- October 2, 1871 Gen. George McClellan and others purchase the A&GW at foreclosure.
- May 1874 The Erie leases the A&GW for 99 years at terms very favorable to the A&GW. This lease was quickly repudiated by the new president of the Erie, Hugh Jewett.
- December 10, 1874 The A&GW goes into the hands of a receiver, J. H. Devereaux.
- January 1880 The A&GW is sold at foreclosure to five trustees who reorganize it as the New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio Railroad Company.
- June 1880 The A&GW is narrowed to standard gauge.
- March 6, 1883 The A&GW is leased again to the Erie.
- February 24, 1889 The A&GW is sold at foreclosure to representatives of the Erie.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Sold