Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rochester and the Railroads


I guess that all boys (and old men) are fascinated by trains. I remember my first train set I received on Christmas probably about 1948. It wasn't a new set. It had belonged to my cousin, Jack O'Brien, but he grown out of the set. (Jack was 17 years older than I.) For a number of years the trains - a Lionel set - was set up around the Christmas tree for a number of years. I suspect that when we moved to Trafalgar St. in 1950 the train set was packed up and was among the 'junk' in the attic there.

My grandson, Liam, had a train set around their Christmas tree when he was about three years old or so. My grandson, Will, has probably every train and accessory possible with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. In addition to my Lionel train set on Flint Street, I also had a grandfather, Frederick Maloney, an engineer on the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. Here is my grandfather, second on the right. The fellow on the right was my grandfather's fireman, Harry Hook.

I guess that today there are a few short line railroads in the Rochester area but not at all the number of main railroads that once served the Rochester area.  An interesting web site showing the Railroad History of Rochester from 1825 up to 2009.  The Rochester City Directory for 1900 shows 16 railroads, some sharing the same tracks and the same stations.  These were:

  • Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway Co. - Passenger and freight stations, West Avenue and Oak Street.
  • Erie Railroad Company - Passenger station on Court Street.
  • enesee Falls Railway Co. (Inc. 1886) - Road leased in perpetuity to the N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R.
  • Irondequoit Park Railroad Co. (Inc. 1896) - Station Main St. E. corner Chamberlain
  • Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad (Inc. 1852) - Road leased to Erie Railroad Co.
  • Rochester & Suburban Railroad Co. (Inc. 1900) - Office and station Portland Ave. opposite Bay Street
  • Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad - Station 434 State St. Road leased in perpetuity to the N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R.
  • West Shore Railroad - Station Central Ave. Road leased in perpetuity to the N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R.
  • Western New York & Pennsylvania Railway - Station 81 West Ave.
  • Lehigh Valley Railroad - Passenger station South Ave.  corner Griffith Street.  City office 13 Main St. E.
  • New York Central & Hudson River Railroad - Passenger station Central Ave. corner St. Paul St.
  • Northern Central Railway - Penn. System - Trains arrive and depart from N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R. station Central Ave.
  • Rochester, Charlotte & Manitou Railroad Co.
  • Rochester Electric Railway Co. (Inc. 1888) - Leased to Rochester Railway Co.
  • Rochester Railway Co. (Inc. 1890) - (Street) - 267 State St.
  • Rochester & Sodus Bay Railway C. (Inc. 1898)
It certainly changed in the last 109 years.


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