The New York and Erie Rail Road was chartered April 24, 1832 and construction from Port Jarvis near NYC began in 1836. A completed line to Dunkirk on Lake Erie opened May 19, 1861. This line proved influential in the development and economic growth of the Southern Tier, including Hornell, the home of the Erie Railroad repair shops until 1960.
In 1853, the Buffalo, Corning and New York Railroad opened the Erie line between Painted Post and Avon, through Cohocton, Wayland, Springwater, Webster Crossing and Conesus.
In 1895, the Lehigh Valley Railroad (one of five railroads serving Rochester, NY) extended its line to the northern shores of Hemlock Lake. This line did not connect to the line through Springwater. In 1899, one mile of track was removed at Hemlock Lake, as the City of Rochester took over the lake for its water supply.
The Erie Railroad tracks were removed in 1956 by order of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission in order to promote highway transportation.