Hopefully you caught yesterday’s story, “Rochester’s Adventure in Optimism” about the defunct Rochester subway. If you missed it give it a read. Originally published in the City Newspaper in 1983, the article mentioned the sole surviving subway car, car #60, and the effort to bring it back to Rochester and restore it to working order. Yesterday I received a more detailed explanation of those restoration efforts from Otto M. Vondrak, one of the trustees of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Henrietta, NY. Here’s the story of subway car #60 from Otto…
Archive: ‘Rochester Subway Stories’...
Tags: City Newspaper, history of Rochester, Jim Dierks, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), New York Museum of Transportation, New York State Museum, NYMT, Otto M. Vondrak, Rail City, Rochester, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester City Newspaper, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester subway car 60, Rochester Subway photos, Rochester Subway tunnel, Sam Grover
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 2 Comments »
Sean Kirst began his career as a writer for City Newspaper (he’s now a columnist at Syracuse’s Post Standard ). He says he fell in love with the haunting feel of Rochester’s subway tunnels and was intrigued to learn the subway began taking off just after World War II. But at a critical moment, the system was basically dismantled by community leaders who were already thinking “interstates.” Sean dug into the story and wrote a fairly in-depth story entitled “Rochester’s Adventure in Optimism.” It was published in City Newspaper on June 2, 1983. Thirty years later, City Newspaper has graciously allowed RocSubway to share the story with you again, here…
Tags: City Newspaper, Harold McFarlin, history of Rochester, Jim Dierks, John Thomas, Mary Anna Towler, Mike Dow, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), New York Museum of Transportation, NYMT, Richard Sale, Rochester, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester City Newspaper, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester subway car 60, Rochester Subway photos, Rochester Subway tunnel, Sean Kirst
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 7 Comments »
Last Halloween I posted a ghastly warning about the abandoned Rochester subway tunnel. That warning was sent to us by a reader who claimed he knew people who once lived and died in the tunnel, and that he now feels a strong “spiritual pressure” whenever he returns there.
Jeffrey’s not the only one who feels these strange vibes from the subway tunnel. RochesterSubway.com often receives stories like these from people who claim to have been followed, or chased, out of the defunct subway. Though rarely do we get to see physical evidence of the ghoulish bouncer.
Last week Aaron Killeen sent in this mysterious photo (shown below) and gave a spine-tingling account of a night inside the Rochester subway, which he says he and his friends will not soon forget…
Tags: Aaron Killeen, abandoned tunnel, ghost subway, Halloween, haunted subway tunnel, Jeffrey Smith, paranormal, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway story, Rochester Subway tunnel, spirits, urban explorers
Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 4 Comments »
Jim Hall, age 62, of Farmington NY, recently stumbled upon RochesterSubway.com and was immediately taken for a ride down memory lane. So much so that he decided to share with us a few of his fondest memories of the Rochester Subway—his final ride on the very last day of service, and of his grandfather who was a streetcar conductor during the Great Blizzard of 1900! Jim says he and his two older sisters were brought up with a healthy fear of the subway because he was told of a tragic story where a ‘boy lost both legs’ being a bit too close to the tracks. As Jim points out, “it seems strange these days that memories stick with you.” But they certainly do. And the fun part is, we never know which ones will stand out in our mind a half century from now. Here’s Jim’s subway story…
Tags: B&O Railroad, Badge #834, Car #401, Curlew Street, Jim Hall, Lexington Avenue, old photos of Rochester, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway
Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 34 Comments »
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection full of urban exploration photos from all around the Great Lakes and several “rust belt” cities… with several shots from Rochester and the abandoned subway tunnel. Shot after shot revealed some pretty unique views of Rochester’s underground world plus other amazing abandoned structures. As it happens, the owner of these wonderfully gritty photo streams is Chris Luckhardt, organizer of the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris is also the creative force behind Motionblur Studios —a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.
Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Chris Luckhardt’s creative exploration has driven him from New Foundland to Pheonix in search of forgotten places—strangely spiritual, places we’re not ‘supposed’ to go. I contacted Chris to find out a little more about these photos and what enticed him to visit the bowels of downtown Rochester…
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Hi Chris, I noticed you have a couple of nice shots of the abandoned Rochester Subway. How often do you visit the subway tunnel? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your photos?
CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society . The group, founded in February 2005, specializes in urban exploration (mostly around the Great Lakes region) and photo walks (mostly in Toronto). I’m currently west of Toronto in Cambridge, Ontario. Rochester was the first US city I visited strictly for urban exploration. I have lots of photos and video from inside the [Rochester] subway. I’ve been down there 5 times in the past 4 years, the last time being a couple of months ago. I also have lots of SD and HD video, but I haven’t processed anything yet.
Tags: abandoned subway, abandoned subway tunnel, abandoned tunnel, Canada, Canon, Chris Luckhardt, Cleveland, Cleveland subway, Detroit, Dinosaur Bar B Que, Flickr, Lee Plaza, Manchester NY, Michigan Central Station, Motionblur Studios, New Foundland, Phoenix, photo, photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, Rochester, Rochester Historical Society, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Toronto, Toronto Exploration Society, Trotting Park, urban exploration, urban explorers
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 2 Comments »
Our recent article about the City’s initiative to fill the abandoned subway tunnel drew many interesting comments from our readers. I wanted to highlight one of those comments from Patrick Eagan—a native Rochesterian who has since relocated to south Florida (RochesterSubway.com receives almost as many emails from people now living outside Rochester as we get from current residents). When Patrick was a kid he used to play softball with the Kodak Park Athletic Association. And when you’re a kid what could go better with a game of softball than a ride on the Rochester Subway?
Tags: 19th Ward, abandoned subway tunnel, Cameos, Dewey Avenue, Emerson Street, Exchange Street, Four Corners, Jefferson High School, Kodak Park Athletic Association, KPAA Softball, New York, NY, Patrick Eagan, Rochester, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway story, Rochester's northwest quadrant, softball
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »
Okay so Halloween is fast approaching. I hate the stinking day myself for reasons I won’t get into. But I recognize that most people like a good ghost story so I thought I’d share this. I regularly ask people to send us personal stories and experiences from the Rochester Subway and last summer an individual named Jeffrey Smith sent us a rather blunt warning about the abandoned subway tunnel. Claiming it to be hallowed ground, Jeffrey warns, “Leave it alone, don’t mess with it. It is fine the way it is, we don’t want your stupid shops or anything like that in it. I refuse to go within 100 yards of any of the entrances because of the strong spiritual pressure I feel going there…”
Tags: abandoned tunnel, ghost subway, Halloween, haunted subway tunnel, Jeffrey Smith, paranormal, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway story, Rochester Subway tunnel, spirits, urban explorers
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 6 Comments »
Remember the movie
Take it away Russ…
Tags: Broad Street, Brown Street, Charles Street, Court Street, Jay Street, memory, Nick Tahoe's, Rochester Subway tunnel, Scio Street, South Avenue, story, ticket booth
Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »
When I was growing up in the late 1930’s my family lived in the Winton Rd. Merchants Rd. area. One of my fonder memories is walking down Winton to East Avenue with my father and younger brother to catch the subway or trolley. The subway ran through the old Erie Canal bed (where I-490 is now), and would actually get going rather quickly. It would sway back and forth as the Conductor built up speed, and we’d hang on to the straps for dear life…
Tags: bridge, Cobbs Hill Park, conductor, cracked window, East Avenue, German American Sports Club Field, I-490, Lexington Avenue, memory, Merchants Road, Monroe Avenue, Mount Read, overpass, penny on the tracks, Rochester Subway story, Sibley's, snowball, trolley, Winton Road
Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »
“When I was 7 or 8, I would go to the YMCA on Monroe Avenue or the library next door after school. The Subway used to pass under the Monroe Avenue overpass heading downtown. It must have been in mid june in 1955 or 1956. We were looking out the window at the library and the Trolley was parked or stopped under the overpass…
Tags: asphalt, bridge, East Avenue, I-490, James Vick, memory, Monroe Avenue, overpass, Park Avenue, Rochester Subway story, tracks, trolley, Vick Park A, Vick Park B
Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »