West Shore Railroad Co. Transfer Book - Many Famous Names Mentioned - Railway History!Inv# AU1245
28 Pages Issued and over 150 unissued. Transfers (not signed) from and to the following: J. Pierpont Morgan, Chauncy Depew, William H. Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Frederick Vanderbilt, William K. Vanderbilt, William Rockefeller, James Stillman, Edward Harriman, etc. WEST SHORE RAILROAD AND VANDERBILT In 1881, the West Shore Rail Road had been planned as a link in a new cross-country line from New York to San Francisco, using the Nickel Plate Road, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad and Oregon Navigation Company. However, William Henry Vanderbilt of the New York Central had bought the Nickel Plate in 1882, killing that plan. The New York Central then proceeded to drive the New York, West Shore and Buffalo into bankruptcy. The Pennsylvania Railroad realized that the West Shore would make a great addition to their system, allowing them to penetrate deep into New York Central territory.
At the same time, the New York Central was building the South Pennsylvania Railroad across southern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Railroad's territory. The two railroads came to an agreement, where the New York Central would buy the WS and stop building the South Pennsylvania (sections of which were later used for the Pennsylvania Turnpike). The New York Central bought the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railway on November 24, 1885 and reorganized their new acquisition as the West Shore Rail Road on December 5, leasing it for 475 years from January 1, 1886. In many sections, the West Shore ran on a straighter path than the New York Central, and was used for through freight. Between Oneida and Utica, the West Shore followed the general line of the never-built Syracuse and Utica Direct Railroad, which had been merged into the New York Central.
The West Shore Railroad was the final name of a railroad that ran from Weehawken, New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from New York City, north along the west shore of the river to Albany, New York, and then west to Buffalo. It was organized as a competitor to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, but was soon taken over by that company.
The first part of the line was built as the Saratoga and Hudson River Railroad, incorporated April 16, 1864, and opened in Spring 1866. After only about a year of independent operation, the line served as a branch of the New York Central Railroad (NYC), splitting at Athens Junction near Schenectady and running southeast and south along the west side of the Hudson River to Athens, New York. Early plans included acquiring the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad as a northern extension. The Saratoga and Hudson River was bought and merged into the New York Central as their Athens Branch on September 9, 1867.
The terminal at Athens was destroyed by fire in 1876. The line ran intermittently from then into the 1880s, with its tracks being torn up for good in 1888. It had been called the "White Elephant" Railroad for most of its existence because it quickly outlived whatever usefulness it may have had. Today a row of brick houses known as the Brick Row Historic District which was built in 1850 for the workers of the failed railroad stand in Athens as the only remaining structure related to the "White Elephant" Railroad project. Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Shore_Railroad