I often get asked if there are tours of the Rochester subway. The short answer is no. The longer answer is while there is no official tour of the “subway,” every October there is usually a tour of the “historic Erie Canal aqueduct.” And it’s coming up this weekend…
Archive: ‘Train/Railroad Stuff’...
Tags: abandoned subway, abandoned subway tunnel, abandoned tunnel, Aqueduct Bridge, Broad Street Underground, Canal Society of New York State, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal Aqueduct, River Romance, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway tunnel, subway tour, urban exploration
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 2 Comments »
Al from Wolcott, NY sent me this great photograph today along with a question. He writes, “Someplace on the internet I recently ran across a comment that the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad terminal was the place where people boarded a passenger train for Charlotte and then got on a boat for a trip to Cobourg, Ontario. Can you confirm this?” Yes. Yes I can. But first, let’s look closer at this photo…
Tags: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Buffalo, Cobourg, ferry, Lake Ontario, Nick Tahou's, Ontario, Rochester, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad, Rochester NY, The Ontario Car Ferry Company
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 12 Comments »
I took a few hours to have some fun this week at The Strong, National Museum of Play. They’ve got a killer exhibit going on right now, through May 12. A history of transportation built entirely out of LEGO! I haven’t geeked out this bad since Norm Abrams came to Chase-Pitkin for a “This Old House” book signing. Check this out…
Tags: Henry Ford, LEGO, LEGO Travel Adventures, miniature, Model T, Orville Wright, space shuttle, Strong National Museum of Play, The Strong, Titanic, transcontinental railroad, transportation, Wilbur Wright, Wright Brothers
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »
Lots of stories about Grand Central Station have been flying around the internet these past few weeks. The station first opened its doors on Feb. 2, 1913. And no matter how grand it may be, 100 years is nothing to take lightly. Especially considering how many “grand” stations have fallen to the wrecking ball before. In 1968, the New York City’s Landmarks Commission denied a developer permission to demolish much of the upper level concourse and the Vanderbilt Room. A 55-story tower was planned to take its place. That Landmark Commission was formed in 1965 after the demolition of Penn Station – which was equally as beautiful. The photo above was taken just after the morning rush hour, on January 9, 1968…
Tags: Grand Central Station, New York Central Railroad, New York City, NYC, railroad station
Posted in New York City Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 1 Comment »
Today’s Fun Foto Friday may not be very fun for rail fans and admirers of the old Hojack Swing Bridge near the Port of Rochester. This is an aerial photo of where the bridge used to be. The shot was taken just a few days ago, on January 14, by Bob Biakowski. Here’s what it looked like before it was dismantled…
Tags: aerial photography, Charlotte, demolition, Genesee River, Hojack Railroad Line, Hojack Swing Bridge, King Bridge Company, New York Central Railroad, photo, Port of Rochester, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad (RW&O)
Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff | 4 Comments »
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…
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 »
The Portageville Bridge which carries the Norfolk Southern railroad over the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park was built in 1875 after a fire destroyed the former wooden bridge. The steel frame bridge, which towers over the river gorge and its waterfalls, has become a beloved feature of the park and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. But a 2008 inspection by Modjeski and Masters revealed structural deficiencies, and it was determined that the current bridge should either be rehabilitated or replaced. The question is what to do with the old bridge once a new one is built. State officials are now soliciting comments from the public on three different options…
Tags: demolition, Genesee River, Letchworth State Park, National Register of Historic Places, New York State Historic Preservation Office, NYSDOT, Portageville Rail Bridge, Walkway Over the Hudson
Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 15 Comments »
I know I keep coming back to this over and over and over again. But I just can’t believe we intentionally reduced this once world-class rail station to rubble only so we could pay tens of millions 50 years later in an attempt to build a much smaller and less impressive imitation of what we once had.
I’m not going to say much more about it. I just wanted to share these recently found photos of Rochester’s half-demolished NY Central (Bragdon) Station. Like a decapitated, rotting corpse left to rot in public as a reminder of a brutal ‘auto’cracy. Most of the building was torn down in the 1960′s but one section stood like this for over a decade before it was finally removed altogether and replaced with the current Amtrak building in the mid to late 70′s. Oy, how painful…
Tags: Amtrak Station, architecture, Bragdon Station, Central Avenue, Claude Bragdon, demolition, downtown Rochester, history of Rochester, Joseph Avenue, New York Central Railroad, North Clinton Avenue, NY Central Station, old photos, railroad, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Union Station
Posted in Rochester History, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 9 Comments »
First, a little bit of history. The building shown above was one of Rochester’s earliest rail stations. Make sure you click to see all the great detail in the photo. It was located on Central Avenue between St. Paul & Clinton near the site of the current Amtrak Station. This view is looking west from Clinton Avenue, sometime between 1905-1914. In 1914 this station was replaced by the great Bragdon station in 1914, which was demolished in 1965…
Tags: downtown Rochester, New York Central Railroad, NYSDOT, old photos, old photos of Rochester, railroad station, Rochester, Rochester Amtrak Station, Rochester NY, rochester photos
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 11 Comments »
If you’re looking for something to do with the kids while they’re off from school for the holidays, grab your conductor hats and head out to the Garden Factory [map]. They’ve got a 60′x20′ model railroad on display thru the end of the month that you won’t want to miss.
Tags: David Rouse, G scale, Garden Factory, holidays, miniature, model railroad, Peter Todd, train, trolleys
Posted in Art + Culture, Train/Railroad Stuff, Video | 3 Comments »
One of the deadliest accidents* in our area’s history took place exactly 100 years ago today. 29 people were killed and 62 injured when a Lehigh Valley Railroad train derailed about 20 miles east of Rochester. According to investigators at the time, it was a defective rail on a 400 foot bridge in Manchester, NY that shattered into seventeen pieces and sent at least 3 of the cars into Canandaigua Outlet. Newspaper reports described the scene as a “twisted and splintered mass of wreckage.”
Tags: history of Rochester, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Manchester NY, old photos, old photos of Rochester, rail, rail crash, railroad, Rochester disaster, Rochester history, rochester images, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Shortsville NY, this date in Rochester history
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Train/Railroad Stuff | 15 Comments »
Recently I received an email from a local woman asking for help identifying an old bell with some strange letters. She states quite simply, “I have an old bell with these letters RC&BRR. Can you give me any information on this?” Right away I recognized those letters…
Tags: horsecar, old photos of Rochester, Rochester City and Brighton Railroad Company (RC&BRR), Rochester history, rochester photos, streetcar, transit, transportation, trolley, vintage, vintage trolley bell
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Train/Railroad Stuff | 11 Comments »
As we look back on 55 years without our subway, the U.S. Highway System celebrates its 55th birthday. Coincidence?
Some old photos of Rochester’s lost subway after the jump…
Tags: history of Rochester, New York, old photos of Rochester, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway photos, Rochester Transit Corporation, this date in Rochester history
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 7 Comments »
This recent ad on the NYC Subway caught my attention. I grew up riding the L.I.R.R. between Manhattan and my home town of Valley Stream on the south shore. Far Rockaway is the eastern terminus of my line, and where I suspect many LIRR and Subway riders over the years have found themselves after a little in-transit catnap. So to me, this McDonald’s ad is pretty funny. Residents of Far Rockaway didn’t see the humor and demanded that the ad be pulled. Mickey D’s gave in. I still find the ad funny.
Hey, is it just me, or does anyone else think there are far too many McDonald’s ads on mass transit? I’ll have to do a post on that.
Tags: Far Rockaway, Long Island Railroad, McDonald's, New York City Subway, NYC Subway, Valley Stream
Posted in New York City Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 3 Comments »
Posted in Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »
Here’s a fun fact you can impress your friends with on this glorious Friday in Rochester… Today is the 150th anniversary of perhaps the most famous tour stops in Rochester’s history. On February 18, 1861 good ole’ Abe Lincoln popped in to say ‘Hey dudes!’.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Rochester, Rochester history, Savoy Hotel, this date in Rochester history
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Train/Railroad Stuff | 4 Comments »
Lots of news has been brewing lately over the future of Rochester’s beat-up, 32-year-old Amtrak station on Central Avenue. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter recently announced that a $1.5 million federal stimulus grant has been awarded to New York state to plan for a new multi-modal station on the site. A $2.5 million appropriation to pay for the station design is expected to pass Congress next month. And Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has just made it abundantly clear that New York will take whatever federal money is left on the table by newly elected GOP governors in Ohio and Wisconsin.
So for now, let’s just assume that something very interesting is in the works for our pitiful excuse for a train station. This is the perfect time to take a step back in time—to be inspired by Rochester’s grand old stations…
Tags: Auburn Railroad Shed, Bragdon Station, Broad Street, Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad, Claude Bragdon, Clinton Avenue, Court Street, Erie Railroad, Eugene Sintzenich, Exchange Street, High Falls, history of Rochester, Lehigh Valley Railroad, Main Street, New York, New York Central Railroad, old photos, old photos of Rochester, railroad, railroad station, Rochester, Rochester Amtrak Station, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Saint Paul Street, vintage postcard, vintage views
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Train/Railroad Stuff | 17 Comments »
On this day, June 30, 1956 in Rochester history…
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…
Tags: Canal Boats, General Motors, history of Rochester, Interurbans & Trolleys, New York, NRHS, old photos of Rochester, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway photos, Rochester Transit Corporation, Rowlands Loop, this date in Rochester history
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff | 2 Comments »
Long before hybrid cars, SUV’s, JetBlue, and even Amtrak, travel between American cities occurred largely by rail. With the industrial and technological revolution around the turn of the 20th century, America’s interurban railway developed so fast and connected so many of us, it must have seemed like the future had suddenly arrived out of nowhere. So when Henry Ford’s Model T was introduced who could have anticipated the turn transportation history would soon take.
If you’re interested in understanding the history of rail travel in American (its rise and quick fall), we’ve got a book for you. One of our readers, Laurence Keefe, recently brought this one to our attention. The following is Larry’s review…
“When we were children on summer vacation, the highlight of the day was when Dad got home from work. We would eat dinner at six o’clock, when the news came on the radio. That was because it took him 50 minutes to get from his office near the Four Corners in Rochester, NY to our farm in Victor…
Tags: Alexander Street, Amtrak, automobile, Averill Street, Canandaigua, Clyde, Court Street, Exchange Street, General Motors, George W. Hilton, GM, Great Depression, Henry Ford, hybrid car, I-490, industrial revolution, interurban, JetBlue, John F. Due, Laurence Keefe, mass transit, mass transportation, Model T, New York, New York Central Railroad, NY, public transportation, rail, rail transit, railroad, Rochester, Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railroad, Rochester and Sodus Bay Railway, Rochester Syracuse and Eastern Railroad, SUV, Syracuse, The Electric Interurban Railways in America, train, trains, transportation, vintage postcard, War Memorial
Posted in Opinion, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »
If you and the kiddies find yourselves moping around the house this winter watching the lint in your bellybuttons pile up, don’t blame the good people at the New York Museum of Transportation! That’s because NYMT is holding “Bring Your Own Train Sundays” every Sunday now through April 25. Visitors who bring there own model trains can take over the throttles under the supervision of museum volunteers. Visitors are also welcome to become a subway motorman for a day on the museum’s N-scale model of the Rochester Subway.
Tags: Casey Jones, HO scale, interurban, model trains, New York Museum of Transportation, NYMT, R&GVRRM, rail, railroad, railroad museum, railroad tracks, Rochester, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester Subway, Rush NY, things to do in Rochester, train museum, trains, transportation, trolley
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff | No Comments »