Albany industrialist and Mohawk Valley Railroad owner Erastus Corning managed to unite the Albany and Schenectady Railroad, the Utica and Schenectady Railroad, the Syracuse and Utica Railroad, the Auburn and Syracuse Railroad, the Buffalo and Rochester Railroad, the Schenectady and Troy Railroad, the Lockport, and Niagara Falls Railroad, the Buffalo and Lockport Railroad, the Mohawk Valley Railroad, and the Syracuse and Utica Direct Railroad together into one system, and on March 17, 1853, executives and stockholders of each company agreed to merge. The merger was approved by the state legislature on April 2 and, on May 17, 1853, the New York Central Railroad was formed.
In 1867, Cornelius Vanderbilt acquired control of the New York Central and merged the NYC with his Hudson River Railroad to form the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad.
In 1914, after all the mergers, etc. it became the New York Central again.
The New York Central Railroad (reporting mark NYC) was a railroad primarily operating in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The railroad primarily connected greater New York and Boston in the east with Chicago and St. Louis in the Midwest along with the intermediate cities of Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Syracuse. New York Central was headquartered in New York City's New York Central Building, adjacent to its largest station, Grand Central Terminal.
The McIntyre Coal Company, established in 1870, was a bituminous coal subsidiary of J. Langdon and Company, formed in partnership with William K. and Cornelius Vanderbilt, “who were engaged in an urgent search for fuel coal for the steam locomotives of the New York Central Railroad which they controlled.” Mining operations were based in Ralston and McIntyre, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, but offices were at 6 Baldwin Street in Elmira, along with the parent company. By mid-November 1870, Charles J. Langdon, who had been the secretary of the McIntyre company under his father, became its president, with John D. F. Slee later assuming the vice-presidency. The company’s “large scale operations” included the building of “a village with 300 small homes, a school, a church, and several small business establishments. For 16 years, mining was carried on with an annual output of over 200,000 tons moving by rail to destinations in New York and Canada” (Jervis Langdon, Jr., 10–11; Boyd and Boyd, 17, 156; CJL to SLC, 15 Nov 70, CU-MARK; 15 June 74 to Brown, NN-B).
In 1869 Vanderbilt acquired the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. While operated as separate companies, the NYC&HR and LS&MS gave the Cornelius Vanderbilt a high-speed water level route under one management providing through service between New York City and Chicago. The New York Central & Hudson River and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern were merged in 1914 to form the New York Central Railroad Company.