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Today, June 30, in Rochester History: Final Day of Subway Service.

June 30th, 2010

On this day, June 30, 1956 in Rochester history…

The last car—the last run—midnight June 30, 1956. Car 68 is pictured at Rowlands ready to depart on the last trip to General Motors. The farewell trip was well attended by members of the Rochester Chapter, NRHS and subway employees (photo: John Wilkins, Shelden King Collection)

Service on the Rochester Industrial and Rapid Transit Railway (the “subway”) ended. According to several accounts, the public came out in force to bid farewell to the Rochester subway and an extra car had to be added to handle the crowds. Fifty members of the Metropolitan New York Railway Association held a chartered fantrip, and people crowded platforms and overhead bridges all along the subway route to get their last pictures…

It was 12:54 a.m. on July 1 when car 68 (shown above) left City Hall station under the control of motorman Harry A. Beach. The red and cream colored car headed east for the last time, arriving at Rowlands at 1:09 a.m., then turned the loop and retraced its journey back to the western end of the line at Driving Park, arriving there at 1:36 a.m. The crowd got off, the doors closed, and car 68 moved into the barn for the last time. RTC crews, starting at each end, made their way down the line toward downtown locking each station forever. An exciting era in Rochester’s history had come to an end.

Rochester Transit Corporation posted the following notice to riders:

TO OUR PATRONS

On Saturday, June 30, subway passenger service will be operated for the last time.

May we express our deep appreciation for your patronage over the years. To meet your future transportation needs we have taken two steps.

1. Effective immediately, a series of bus reroutings, extensions and new lines are being put into operation. These changes, coupled with existing bus service, are designed to cover all subway stations.

2. As soon as the new highway is completed in the subway bed, high-speed express bus service with surface loading will be put into effect.

We, therefore, hope to serve you in the future as we have in the past. See you on the buses!

Rochester Transit Corporation

And that’s how The End of the Line got its name.

*Much of this post was lifted from the super awesome book by Ron Amberger, Canal Boats, Interurbans & Trolleys: The Story of the Rochester Subway external link. Grab yourself a copy today.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 at 7:47 pm and is filed under Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Today, June 30, in Rochester History: Final Day of Subway Service.”

  1. Jim Hall says:

    Hello Again:

    I just bumped into another “Last Day of Service” people today, and we both stepped back into history. We both lived in the same area, we both lived close or near the subway, he went to #34 School, and I went to Holy Rosary which are just down from the Lexington Station. We both loved our trip back then, especially the brief high speed sprint of the car, vibrating and sing to all those that were in the car. I remember a dark trip under the street and he said his younger sister cried all the way. I told him about winters on the subway, of the Ruggles plow throwing snow, to electrical sparks when there was ice on the wire. Good to see someone my age and lack of hair, remember the subway in another ones eyes.

  2. @Jim, did those cars have lights inside? Or were the rides through the tunnel always dark?


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