Typical Rochester Rail Equipment, Vintage Postcard (mailed 1941)

Typical Rochester Rail Equipment, (mailed 1941)

Typical Rochester Rail Equipment, Vintage Postcard (Rollover the image to zoom)

Typical Rochester Rail Equipment, Rochester NY,
Vintage Postcard (Rollover the image to zoom)


Signed, Stamped,
& Delivered 1941.



The title of this postcard, "Typical Rochester Rail Equipment", is almost a misnomer. The rolling stock depicted here may have been an ordinary site on Rochester’s streetcar and Subway lines during the 1930’s and 40’s, but to us, this scene is quite exceptional.

We believe this photo/illustration was captured circa 1939 outside the East Main Street Station and car barn. These three cars may have been lined up specifically for this photo after being repainted by RTS (RTS took over operation of N.Y.S. Railways’ Rochester lines in 1938).

From left to right:
Car 859 was originally built in 1914 as an open trolley car. At a length of 43'6" its capacity increased from 46 to 52 after being rebuilt in 1930 as it is shown in its fully enclosed form with new folding doors and steps.

Car 616 was originally built in 1906 and rebuilt in 1916 — enclosing its front platform, extending it from 46' to 47'2", and adding folding doors and it’s roll-type sign as shown. When trolly service ended in 1941 ten of these 600-series cars, including car 616, were stored at the City Hall Station in the Broad Street tunnel for possible future use in subway service. They were never used, however, and were scrapped in 1950.

Car 1234 was built in 1916 and later rebuilt increasing capacity from 52 to 64. These cars were modified 550-series cars, known as "submarines".

The back of the postcard also lists the 1000-1024 fleet of cars although these are not depicted in the photo.

This is an original, one-of-a-kind item — once it’s gone it’s gone. And we’re in no rush to let it go. If you’re interested in owning this piece of history please email us or you can order a reprint.

For a closer look at this postcard
rollover the image to the left.


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This postcard shows the details of three types of Rochester trolly cars. Car 616 was one of ten cars stored at City Hall during the 1940’s for possible use in the Subway. The cars were never used and in 1950 car 616, along with her sisters, was scrapped.



Before email and text-messages, postcards were used for many forms of everyday communication. Kerby wants to know what’s wrong with Paul. I guess we’ll never know.


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1928 Rochester Subway Map
Map of the Rochester Subway, Railroads, and Streetcar Lines! This large, 24"x36" poster shows the Rochester Subway as it was in 1928 with stations, suburban rail lines, and connections.

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1928 Rochester Subway
Poster + DVD Combo

An exclusive offer from RochesterSubway.com and Animatus Studio! Purchase “The End of the Line - Rochester’s Subway” DVD and the 1928 Rochester Subway Poster together for just $45... That’s a 10% savings!

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City Hall & Subway
This illustrated vintage postcard shows Rochester’s old City Hall and the Broad Street Subway entrance. Postmarked 1942.

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Subway & Broad Street Bridge
This illustrated vintage postcard shows Rochester’s new Subway and Broad Street bridge. Postmarked 1938.

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Four Corners, State & Main Sts.
Trolleys, automobiles, horse-drawn carraiges, and pedestrians fill The Four Corners. Circa 1912.

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Erie Canal Aqueduct & Downtown
A great view of the Erie Canal Aqueduct and many businesses along the Genesee River in downtown Rochester. Circa 1905.

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South Entrance to the
New Rochester Subway

View of the Genesee River, barge canal terminal, Lehigh Valley RR, and new subway (circa 1928)

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RTC Token (1948-1965)
Good for one city fare on all bus and trolley lines (including the Rochester Subway). Issued 1948. 16mm. White Metal, Copper-plated.

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¤ Design by Mike Governale

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