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Whither The Groundhog

Back on February 15, I introduced a “New” Midland Railroad.  Well, after some time playing around with ideas and getting some feedback back, I decided to simplify the railroad.  It is now more in line with the original Midland that I first worked with before recent real events forced me to have to change it to make it a plausibly viable railroad company.  Here is the new, “streamlined Midland Railroad Company Map:

Map Of The Midland Railroad Company

You’ll see there is no more “Groundhog.”  It had to go.  There is a president for this.  You see the idea behind my expanded Midland Railroad was a combination of two actual companies – The New York, Susquehanna and Western with its Wilkes-Barre and Eastern subsidiary intact, and the long-lost Buffalo and Susquehanna, with its even longer lost Buffalo extension intact.  Real events regarding the B&S were that the Buffalo line was in fact severed from the parent B&S line and in 1915, was scrapped, the steel from the scrapping sold to France for use in their World War 1 efforts.  The rest of the B&S soldiered on until 1932 when it was taken over by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in a failed attempt to build a low-grade route across Pennsylvania, suing what I have called The Groundhog line from Dubois east.  I decided that this version of history should be left intact with the exception being this:  When the Buffalo line of the B&S is put up for abandonment and scrapping in 1915, the Midland instead buys it.  It then builds a connecting line from the end of its own railroad at North Newberry, the fictional extension of the base NYSW/WB&E railroad, which was indeed actually proposed but never built, up the Pine Creek Gorge, then up to Wellsville , NY to connect to the Buffalo line.  This in turn establishes the Midland as an Atlantic to Great Lakes trunk line (430 Miles Jersey City- Buffalo) in concert with the likes of the Lehigh Valley (447 Miles Jersey City-Buffalo) and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (396 miles Hoboken-Buffalo) as well as powerhouse New York Central and the venerable Erie.  All these other railroads were eventually combined into ConRail in 1976, which is the “big northeastern railroad” I elude to in the novel.  It’s a lot of fun thinking up the routes and scenarios that would justify a railroad like this, but that’s all part of the fun.  So don’t mourn The Groundhog.  Instead enjoy the New and Improved Midland Railroad!  Until next time.

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