old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

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old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:58 pm

When you are driving by the Rochester airport on I-390, just south of exit 18, on the east side there is an embankment where a railroad bridge used to be. I think they removed it in the late 1990s. Between exits 18 and 19 on the east side of the canal is a tank farm and a siding that still shows online pictures of receiving tank cars. The track continued past this and hooked around to cross I-390. I think when they revised the airport they removed the bridge.

Can someone tell me more about this line? When it crossed I-390, did it cut through the airport or was it abandoned before the airport was built? I don't remember ever seeing a train on it when I was younger.

There is also the remains of a line that ran alongside the Genesee River, which this line might have connected to.

Thanks.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby nydepot » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:27 pm

PRR Rochester Branch - specifically the Terminal Branch that went to the B&O/NYC at Lincoln Park. Many industries along this stretch. The airport and RR never mixed. Just near each other. With the line gone, the airport spread out.

The line along the river is the main and went ot West Main St.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:30 pm

That's the ex-Pennsy line. It lasted into the Conrail era until around 1979-1980? (a guess). The line's removal, as well as the demolition of the west (canal) side tank farm, allowed the east-west runway to be extended.

See: viewtopic.php?f=96&t=10865&hilit=Scottsville

Link not working? Go to the Pennsy forum (fallen flags) and search on "Scottsville"
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Thank you both!
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:46 pm

Here are today's views of the PRR at Scottsville Rd. In the 'looking south' view, the road is right on top of the old roadbed, including the curve to the right in the background, which led to the yard. For the 'looking north' view, you'll have to use your imagination a little bit. The roadbed extended straight out toward that parked black car in the distance (on the left side of the "stay right" sign). If you zoom in between the pair of green trees way in the background, you can make out one of the green signs on 390. More later.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby BR&P » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:52 pm

There was a wye at their yard, immediately east of Scottsville Rd. The curved road Chris shows was the south or west leg.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:14 pm

Yes, there was a wye, but I don't believe it made it into the Conrail era. I believe it was ripped out by PC, but hey, I could be wrong. Sometimes my youth and inexperience pales in comparison to your age and wisdom ...

... and now into the 'more later' section of our program:

In this 1920 map excerpt, you may notice that once the Pennsy arrives on the east side of the canal, it roughly parallels the canal until the swing onto the NYC. Both the BR&P (B&O) and the PRR appear to cross Chili Ave. at grade. Also, Cairn St. and Buell Rd. appear to be "one" and perhaps had their own bridge over the canal ... at least, that's what may be implied - more maps and photos required, of course.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:33 pm

This photo is from a group of photos taken June 10, 1941, that include a number of views of the railroad bridge over Chili Avenue. The view is roughly to the north. The single track PRR extends from bottom right to top left (from Scottsville Rd. to the NYC) and the multiple-tracked B&O extends from bottom left to top right (from Brooks to Lincoln Park). If you zoom in, it appears there is a B&O steamer in the distance, just to the right of the bottom of the signal pole. This is just a guess, but the bridge appears to be new construction. It may have been a WPA project, who knows. Whether it replaced an older bridge, I don't know that either. I'm sure there's a date on the new bridge, but I'm not around to find out. Anyone want to volunteer?

However, isn't it convenient that the junction was so close to the road that only one bridge was needed? (Hint - it wasn't)
...
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:58 pm

Here's today's bird's eye view of the same location. The B&O still extends from bottom left to upper right, but the PRR appears to have been re-aligned for the bridge project - the straight-as-an-arrow ROW assumes a pregnant bulge, hugging the inside of the tank farm B&O spur.

One final note: they didn't know it, of course, but the worker bees in the June 1941 photo were only 6 months away from enlistment and/or the draft, and everything would change forever.
...
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby RailKevin » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:24 pm

This 1910 map suggests both railroads crossed Chili Ave. at grade.
http://photo.libraryweb.org/rochimag/rpm/rpm00314.htm

This 1935 map shows the new alignment with the (new) bridge.
http://photo.libraryweb.org/rochimag/rpm/rpm00522.htm

It could be that Chili Ave. was excavated to create room for a bridge. It does have quite a dip in it.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby BR&P » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:36 pm

If I am seeing it right, the second link Kevin provides seems to show Chili Ave going OVER the PRR.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby CPSmith » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks, Kevin. My word, I love old maps ...

Happy 4th holiday to all - enjoy your weekend !
...
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby nessman » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:01 pm

I seem to vaguely recall that bridge's demolition over 390 in the early 90's...

Looking at www.historicaerials.com - the bridge was still there as recently as 1994 - although the tracks were long gone by that point.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby nydepot » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:39 am

PRR - Chili was a grade crossing until it moved to the B&O bridge.

BR&P wrote:If I am seeing it right, the second link Kevin provides seems to show Chili Ave going OVER the PRR.
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Re: old RR bridge over I-390 by Rochester airport

Postby sd80mac » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:46 am

BR&P wrote:If I am seeing it right, the second link Kevin provides seems to show Chili Ave going OVER the PRR.



And the tower is on Chili Ave???
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