1835 - Construction for the New York and Erie Railroad began in Deposit, NY. It would be 16 more years until the line was completed (all the way to Dunkirk, NY.
October 2, 1849 - the first NY&E train arrived in Elmira. Regular passenger service began 6 days later with two trains each way per day. Also, the Elmira Depot was built.
1850 - Canandaigua & Corning Railroad changed its name to Elmira, Canandaigua & Niagara Falls Railroad.
1854 - Elmira & Williamsport Railroad opened - moving lumber, coal, and iron between Pennsylvania and the Feeder Canal, the Junction Canal, and the railroad in Elmira.
1861 - NY&E changed its name to New York & Erie Railway, then in 1875 it became the New York, Lake Erie, and Western. In 1895 it became the Erie Railroad.
1863 - The Northern Central took over the Elmira & Williamsport line - later became the property of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
1867 - Fire damaged the original Elmira Depot and a new one was built (opened 1868).
1870 - Lehigh Valley Railroad opened an office in Elmira.
1872 - Utica, Horseheads, & Elmira (later the Utica, Ithaca, & Elmira.) Construction between Erin and Van Ettenville necessitated building two curved trestles - the Deep Gorge trestle and the Blockhouse Ravine trestle.
1882 - The New York, Lackawanna & Western was completed to Elmira, soon became the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.
1884 - Elmira, Cortland & Northern service to Syracuse
1913 - New Lackawanna station just west of the original.
1932 - Raising of the Lackawanna tracks through Elmira completed.
1934 - Raising of the Erie tracks through Elmira completed.
1956 - Pennsylvania Railroad ended passenger service.
1957 - Last steam locomotive through Elmira (Pennsylvania Railroad).
1960 - Erie and DL & W merged into the Erie-Lackawanna.
1961 - Last passenger train for the Lehigh Valley.
1970 - Erie-Lackawanna discontinued passenger service.
1976 - Erie-Lackawanna absorbed into Conrail. (Thank you, Richard Palmer)
1998 - Nofolk Southern takes over Conrail in Southern Tier. (Thank you, Richard Palmer)
At the turn of the 20th century in Elmira, 67 passenger trains a day stopped in the Elmira stations.
At one time, over one-third of all employed people in the city worked for the railroads.
Because the tracks ran right through the center of Elmira - a train stopped at the depot might have been 10-blocks long, tying up traffic for automobiles, trolley cars, and pedestrians. People frequently complained about being late to work, school, or church. Because of the at-grade situation, all tracks through the city were raised in the early 1930s with the help of the US government.