Erie Railroad in Hornell
Over the centuries, Hornell has had four rail lines, although the companies operating the railroads often changed names, routes, and ownership. Two of these lines were owned by the New York and Erie Railroad, known as the Erie Railroad for short.
The main Erie Railroad line connected New York City and Dunkirk, in Chautauqua County.
In 1861, the Erie Railroad bought the former Attica and Hornellsville Railroad that had operated between 1845 and 1851 and then as the Buffalo and New York City Railroad between 1851 and 1861. This made Hornell the junction and transfer point for the two main branches of the Erie.
The New York and Erie Railroad was a major employer and economic engine for Hornell between 1860 and 1960. Immigrants were a large part of the community, brought in by the prosperity and job opportunities of the railroad.