Last steam in Rochester?

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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:42 am

Let's carry this debate on in person :-)

http://rochestertrainrides.com/event/aug-26-27-steam/

-otto-
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby D Alex » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:38 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:...

Last B&O passenger service was September 29, 1953, steam powered to the end.

-otto-


So, how long after that did Nick Tahou take over that terminal?
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:08 pm

Received the following from VTM and as it contains many interesting tidbits, I'll share it in its entirety for future reference. Thanks, Vince!

Last steam in Rochester?

Just to be a pain in the ass, recall in early 1967 we ran 17 from Livonia to the Regional Market via Batavia. This was in connection with the Rochester Railroad Association annual exhibition.

Started out of Livonia with 17 and the 2 Stilwells

Avon: we picked up a brand new EL bay window caboose.

G&W/Erie Jct we picked up the GNWR Edward II office car.

At Batavia we switched over to the NYC downtown. There was some sort of a protracted wait there then moved up to the “new” yard SW of town.

The caboose was at the rear and the whole end platform was festooned with individuals and a few officials. Took several shots of SV and passenger trains coming up from behind on adjacent track. Probably got up to the Market about 1700 or so. It was a cold, damp, foggy miserable spring day.

The return trip was devoid of anyone except some LAL people and maybe a pilot. As related to me it took damn near a week to get back to Livonia and “we were on every railroad in Rochester” and “no railroad in Rochester wanted us”. Believe emergency coal and water had to be provided as this was under own power.

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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby pumpers » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:55 pm

BR&P wrote:The return trip was devoid of anyone except some LAL people and maybe a pilot. As related to me it took damn near a week to get back to Livonia and “we were on every railroad in Rochester” and “no railroad in Rochester wanted us”. Believe emergency coal and water had to be provided as this was under own power.
[/b]

If I am looking at the right thing, the Genesee Valley Regional market has a spur coming off the West Shore main, with a west facing connection, about a mile east of where the Erie Rochester branch crossed the West Shore main.

My question is, back in 1967, what kind of connection existed between the Erie Rochester branch and the West Shore - how exactly might the return trip to Livonia have been routed? Looking at old maps, there was a connection in the NE quadrant of the junction between the West Shore and the LV (which was adjacent to the Erie, on its east side) at the junction, and another in the NW quadrant between the West Shore and the Erie. But looking at aerial photos at http://www.historic.aerials.com, by 1969 both of those connections were gone. If that were the case in 1967, how could the return trip have been made (without going back to Batavia)? Indeed, perhaps via "every railroad in Rochester"?
Also, even if those connections were still in in 1967, the regional market is on the south side of the West Shore, so if the West Shore were double track in 1967, a crossover to the northernmost track would have been needed to reach the connections at the junction.
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EDIT: perhaps by going west on the West Shore, then at Genesee Junction going north on the PRR Rochester branch, then reversing to get on the Erie just past where the Erie crossed the Genesee River by the Univ. of Rochester? Any connections at Genesee junction in 1967?, and were both the PRR Rochester branch and Erie branch still active so far north (ERie going past U of R and over the river...)
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:40 pm

West Shore was single track by that time. I'll pass your question on and see what he says.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:42 pm

Not to hijack the "steam" portion of the thread, but here's a pic of the display at the market that year. Somewhere I have more but can't put my hands on them at the moment.

IIRC, that was a 1-time deal at that location. It had been held inside the Erie freight house for 2 or 3 years previously.

img597.jpg
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:46 pm

I'm told the return trip was not as simple as going to Mortimer for the EL. Details have been lost to history but may have involved bringing everything to Rochester, and possibly to the EL via the subway (would have been to LV and then LV to EL down by U of R). Also possible it went via the old PRR and up to the EL that way.

I have one possible source to ask but not expecting he'll recall.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:09 am

D Alex wrote:
Otto Vondrak wrote:...

Last B&O passenger service was September 29, 1953, steam powered to the end.

-otto-


So, how long after that did Nick Tahou take over that terminal?


I think I read purchased from B&O in 1958, moved in to the terminal in 1961 or 1963.

-otto-
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby pumpers » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:35 am

BR&P wrote:I'm told the return trip was not as simple as going to Mortimer for the EL. Details have been lost to history but may have involved bringing everything to Rochester, and possibly to the EL via the subway (would have been to LV and then LV to EL down by U of R). Also possible it went via the old PRR and up to the EL that way.

Looking at http://www.historicaerials.com some more, as late as 1971 there were cars in the downtown yards of the B&O, Erie and the LV. Not so sure about the PRR but it does look like cars further down the line along the river. So those branches were all still active in 1967 and those combinations you describe maybe could have worked. And unlike at Mortimer, in 1969 it looks like the B&O/West Shore connection & yard in the SE quadrant was there and active. At Genesee Jct between the PRR and West Shore, it is hard to tell for sure [EDIT: if in 1969 there was still a connection]. An old subway map I found online shows a connection to the B&O near its downtown yard, so IF steam could have run that short stretch of subway tunnel, or been towed through it, maybe that was it...
EDIT: subway map https://rocwiki.org/Abandoned_Subway?ac ... et=map.jpg
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:49 am

We're talking 50+ years ago and most of those involved are no longer with us. I asked a friend in FL who was with NYC at the time but he does not recall anything about it. And Pepe Greeve, the NYC freight sales guy who was the moving force behind the displays, passed away in Florida not too long ago. The LA&L man who accompanied the loco is long gone and Vince does not know details, just as noted above that it was a convoluted deal and took way longer than it could have.

BTW, without knowing all the factors involved, it would seem the easiest way would have been to take the EL, LA&L, and G&W stuff to Genesee Junction, and have the B&O take it to P&L. G&W office car reaches home rails, and EL could have taken the LA&L outfit east to Avon. Why that was not done, I guess we will never know.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby sd80mac » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:14 am

BR&P wrote:We're talking 50+ years ago and most of those involved are no longer with us. I asked a friend in FL who was with NYC at the time but he does not recall anything about it. And Pepe Greeve, the NYC freight sales guy who was the moving force behind the displays, passed away in Florida not too long ago. The LA&L man who accompanied the loco is long gone and Vince does not know details, just as noted above that it was a convoluted deal and took way longer than it could have.

BTW, without knowing all the factors involved, it would seem the easiest way would have been to take the EL, LA&L, and G&W stuff to Genesee Junction, and have the B&O take it to P&L. G&W office car reaches home rails, and EL could have taken the LA&L outfit east to Avon. Why that was not done, I guess we will never know.



When did EL cut off line from south of Livonia to Wayland? I didn't realize that LAL started in 1965.. Did LAL took care of customers in Livonia, Avon and Lakeville while EL have trains going through these towns to Rochester?
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:27 am

I don't have the exact date - 1959? 1962? - but EL cut that segment a few years before LA&L was formed.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:20 pm

The Erie RR cut Livonia-Wayland in 1956. They had actually wanted to cut the segment back in the 1940s but the ICC blocked them due to the war effort, as well as opposition from connecting shortlines- the Prattsburgh Railway and the B&H. The decline of Rochester-Corning traffic, the postwar decline of the Prattsburgh Railway (formerly K&P) and the forthcoming EL merger made the abandonment process much easier in the mid '50s.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:05 pm

Matt Langworthy wrote:The Erie RR cut Livonia-Wayland in 1956.


You beat me to it. I dug around and found info from Vince saying fall of 1956.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Interestingly enough, my oldest source for the Erie abandonment in 1956 is a red LA&L pamphlet dating back to 1976. Did Vince write the text for it?
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