The New York Central Railroad 1853–1970


Map Code: Ax01980

The New York Central Railroad, taken over by Amtrak in 1971, serves most of the northeast and extends as far north as Montreal and Ottawa in Canada. Formed from the 1853 merger of ten railroads by Erastus Corning, an entrepreneur and Mayor of Albany, the railroad followed the path of the Erie Canal, and its primary connection was between Albany and Buffalo. In 1867, American shipping and railroad magnate, Cornelius Vanderbilt, won control after a hostile takeover. Vanderbilt merged it with his New York and Hudson railroads, which ran from Manhattan to Albany. In 1873, Vanderbilt merged it with several more railroads and extended the system to Chicago. The New York Central Railroad continued its expansion and the system grew to include tracks linking New York with Boston, Chicago, Montreal and St Louis. It began to decline after World War II and declared bankruptcy in 1970, after a failed merger with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968.

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