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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…
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.
If you’re visiting Rochester, or you and the kids are looking for something to do this weekend, the New York Museum of Transportation should be at the very top of your “to-do” list. The NYMT, located just off the New York State Thruway and I-390 in Rush, NY, focuses on not only the State of New York’s rail history but also its transportation history in general as well. Its exhibits range from railroading equipment and trolley cars to historic vehicles and carriages. Jim Dierks, a member of the NYMT Board of Trustees, tells us the museum also boasts plenty of Rochester Subway artifacts. “…not the least of which is the Casey Jones speeder… the only surviving piece of Subway rolling stock that is in operating condition. We also have models, station signs, and a video that operates continuously in our gallery.” Dierks adds, “We also operate a mile-long electrified interurban trolley line…the only trolley operation in New York State.”
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.