The company was formed in 1854 by merging the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad Companies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The 14.1-mile line itself was completed on July 12, 1855.
In 1893, the PW&B was absorbed into the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, upon its lease of the Old Colony Railroad system.
In 1992, the PW&B right-of-way opened as the East Bay Bike Path.
- Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, February 15, 1911, page 428
- The Story of the Old Colony Railroad, 1919
- "East Bay Bike Path History". TrailLink. Rails to Trails Conservancy. Retrieved 4 July 2016.