Shawmut Bridge East of
Friendship Still in Use
In 1902, when a very young Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern was reconstructing the former Allegany Central narrow-gauge line between Bolivar and Angelica into standard-gauge, it faced a challenge of crossing the main line of the Erie Railroad in Friendship. The Erie’s “River Line” cut-off wouldn’t open for eight more years, so what would become the “Old Main Line” at the time was very busy.
The prospects for the young Shawmut were equally bright. The old Allegany Central had crossed the Erie at grade, but it was decided that an at-grade crossing of two growing trunk lines would be impractical.
The Shawmut’s Bridge No. 44.5 was constructed just west of Friendship. This bridge is still in place and being used today by the Western New York & Pennsylvania. The story in the March issue of the Cannonball details the trials and tribulations encountered when the Shawmut was abandoned in 1947. Who owned the bridge? Who was responsible for it? Did the PS&N Trustees need to tear it down with money it did have?
To read the full story on this bridge, join the PS&NRRHS. For $20 a year, you’ll receive five issues of the Cannonball. Join now and you’ll receive the March issue plus a year’s membership.
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