Most people have no idea that Rochester, NY even had a subway. But from 1927 until 1956, red and cream
colored trolley cars and four-car commuter trains rushed thru tunnels beneath downtown Rochester above
ground from the General Motors plant all the way to Elmwood Avenue and Rowlands. Known to most
simply as the Subway, it was built to ease interurban traffic from the streets of Rochester.
It also served as an interchange for the five railroads that entered the city and as a link to
interurban lines serving the east and west.
There were several proposals in its final years that would have significantly expanded the line
from downtown to Pittsford, Charlotte Beach, and the airport. The Subway was never really meant
to die. This map shows how the system might have looked today had it survived.
For a closer look at this map
rollover the image to the left.
The Subway may be gone, but this large, 24"x36" map brings back a piece of Rochesters
history in spectacular color! Find actual subway stops and landmarks (past and present). And, based on
proposed lines, see where new subway stops may have one day been added!
In addition to the full color map, a detailed article at the bottom of this poster explains the history,
life, and eventual downfall of the Rochester Subway. Find out what remains of the subway today, and learn
what might have been.
The End of the Line Special Edition DVD
Using archival photos and film clips, interviews and contemporary footage, The End of the Line is a high speed ride through Rochesters transit history, packed with great new special features.
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.