Last steam in Rochester?

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Last steam in Rochester?

Postby nydepot » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:44 am

I see the R&GV RR Museum is hosting a steam excursion in August. Their ad says "the first in Rochester since 1954." So what was the last steam in Rochester?
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby scottychaos » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:04 pm

Lehigh Valley - last steam 1951.

New York Central - last steam East of Buffalo, August 7, 1953:
viewtopic.php?f=93&t=25872

That leaves Erie, B&O, PRR and KPRR.

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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:24 pm

I guess they don't know that LA&L used to operate steam into Avon, just a few miles away from them, until....late 1970's? OOOPS! :P
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:26 pm

The Erie RR dieselized in 1951, so they were definitely not last.

PRR dieselized by 1957, with the last steam on the Elmira Branch being September of 1956. I suppose the Ellmira Branch could be debated. Some historians and FB groups include Canandaigua and Sodus Point as being part of the Rochester area, while others do not. Does anyone know when PRR's Rochester Branch dieselized?

As previously noted- it could even be argued that the last steam in the Rochester area was the LA&L in 1975, depending on how tightly we define the region.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby scottychaos » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:30 pm

Personally I would not count Avon, Canandaigua or Sodus Point as being part of the Rochester Area..all three are too far out. (none of them are even in Monroe County)

update:

Lehigh Valley - last steam 1951.
Erie - Last steam 1951.
New York Central - last steam East of Buffalo, August 7, 1953:

That leaves B&O, PRR and KPRR.

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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:47 pm

scottychaos wrote:Personally I would not count Avon, Canandaigua or Sodus Point as being part of the Rochester Area..all three are too far out. (none of them are even in Monroe County)


I guess it depends on where you choose to draw the line. The ad for the event says "Steam returns to Rochester" so they're including Industry as part of Rochester. But Avon is ballpark 6 miles farther and that does not count. I suppose "Steam Returns to Monroe County" would leave no doubt.

And I might also note that the good folks at the museum have also missed both the Golden Spike Centennial train which passed through in 1969, and the American Freedom Train which spent several days at the Regional Market in Henrietta in about 1976 give or take - both powered by steam (former NKP and RDG, respectively).

An interesting event none the less and I hope it works well for them.

EDIT - American Freedom Train shows its Rochester visit as May 7 - May 12, 1975. It arrived from Worcester MA and departed for Cleveland OH pulled by former RDG 2101.
Last edited by BR&P on Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby nydepot » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:26 pm

4/13/53 - NYC announces plan to end steam on eastern lines. Apparently this takes almost two more years (see below).

Steam ran in Canandaigua in 1954. There is an article in the 6/1/54 D&C about H&BT #38 under steam heading to Rail City. The article notes it brings to an end steam on the NYC (wrong). A PRR crew brought it to Canandaigua, then it steamed to Syracuse on the NYC.

4/14/54 the first diesel arrived in Marion NY.

5/24/55 - Steam restored to Sodus line do to booming coal business.

In a 8/16/56 article, Henry Clune talks about seeing steam at Stanley on the PRR the previous day. Many people wrote in about seeing steam on the PRR Elmira line and also the Brocton line along with NKP power.

1/16/55 - "Steam comes to an end on all NYC eastern lines" when Despatch Shops #7 is shipped to the scrappers, replaced by a GE diesel. Great article in the D&C, with photos.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Old & Weary » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:18 pm

I had a friend who paid attention to railroading around Batavia in the late forties and early fifties. He told me that Erie RS3s showed up on the line to Rochester on or about Nov 11, 1949 and were soon replaced by Baldwins through the rest of the Erie Years. (One was the subject of my first sort of successful action train picture.) Don't know when diesels appeared The Erie line from Avon to Corning. I recall a slide show at some function where the presenter showed slides of 2-10-0s in Sodus Point which he said he took "during the election in 1956" which would have been November. I believe Jim Shaughnessy has published some photos of steam at Southport later than this.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:06 pm

I think the last regular service steam in Rochester was probably on the B & O moat likely sometime in 1956. The other railroads in this area except for the PRR were fully diesel operated by this time and I think the B & O outlasted the PRR.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:16 pm

I believe the last B&O steam in Rochester was the Perry switcher which was brought to NK for servicing. That was replaced by a diesel in May 1955. As far as last steam in regular service on the B&O here, 1954 is likely correct.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:39 am

Old & Weary wrote:I had a friend who paid attention to railroading around Batavia in the late forties and early fifties. He told me that Erie RS3s showed up on the line to Rochester on or about Nov 11, 1949 and were soon replaced by Baldwins through the rest of the Erie Years. (One was the subject of my first sort of successful action train picture.) Don't know when diesels appeared The Erie line from Avon to Corning. I recall a slide show at some function where the presenter showed slides of 2-10-0s in Sodus Point which he said he took "during the election in 1956" which would have been November. I believe Jim Shaughnessy has published some photos of steam at Southport later than this.


Pennsylvania Railroad's Elmira Branch by William Caloroso states steam ended on the Elmira Branch in September of 1956, which would would place it during the election cycle. Election day is indeed early November, but the election season preceded it by several months in that era. (The season is much longer now.) The book has some of Shaughnessy's photos in it.

With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if PRR's Rochester Branch dieselized around 1956. As you state, the Erie began dieselizing its branches in the late '40s. They had a plan, with other divisions dropping steam around the same time as Rochester. It would probably be safe to assume that just as Erie had a systemwide policy for the conversion, the Pennsy would have had a systemwide plan of their own.

I'm guessing it's going to be a tight race between the B&O and PRR for the last regularly scheduled steam run on a Class 1 in the Rochester area.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Old & Weary » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:44 am

The following information is from an article by Paul DeVries titled "An Overview of Buffalo Division Locomotive Assignments 1933-1967" done for a B&O interest group. "By October 1st (1950) the road trains were fully dieselized (by F-3's) except for the branch line runs out of Punxsutawny which still used 2-6-6-2's and a few 2-8-2's, the locals out of East Salamanca and Butler-toward New Castle, which still used 2-8-2's and the locals out of Rochester employing 2-8-0's. Passenger service and Northern Sub-Division trains remained under steam"............ "In 1953 a pair of NW-2 switchers arrived in Rochester-transferred in from Baltimore (403) and Chicago(408) they worked alongside the 0-8-0's serving there."......... "A smoke ordinance took effect in Rochester in 1954, prompting the dieselization of the Lincoln Park terminal in April. to accomplish that, another three NW-2's from Willard: 555-6, 559, replaced 0-8-0's in yard service and 2-8-0's in local service. The switcher at Perry remained under steam-still serviced out of Rochester"..........."The passenger service out of Rochester, still under steam, was terminated in August of 1953"............"11 SW-900's arrived on the division in June and July (1955)......639 was assigned to the Perry Switcher serviced at Lincoln Park." Maybe outside this discussion but General Crushed Stone in LeRoy had an exG&W 2-6-0 they fired up once or twice around l956.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby nydepot » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:25 am

Steam was gone from the Rochester Branch by '55. Dieselized with RS-1s.

Matt Langworthy wrote:
Old & Weary wrote:I had a friend who paid attention to railroading around Batavia in the late forties and early fifties. He told me that Erie RS3s showed up on the line to Rochester on or about Nov 11, 1949 and were soon replaced by Baldwins through the rest of the Erie Years. (One was the subject of my first sort of successful action train picture.) Don't know when diesels appeared The Erie line from Avon to Corning. I recall a slide show at some function where the presenter showed slides of 2-10-0s in Sodus Point which he said he took "during the election in 1956" which would have been November. I believe Jim Shaughnessy has published some photos of steam at Southport later than this.


Pennsylvania Railroad's Elmira Branch by William Caloroso states steam ended on the Elmira Branch in September of 1956, which would would place it during the election cycle. Election day is indeed early November, but the election season preceded it by several months in that era. (The season is much longer now.) The book has some of Shaughnessy's photos in it.

With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if PRR's Rochester Branch dieselized around 1956. As you state, the Erie began dieselizing its branches in the late '40s. They had a plan, with other divisions dropping steam around the same time as Rochester. It would probably be safe to assume that just as Erie had a systemwide policy for the conversion, the Pennsy would have had a systemwide plan of their own.

I'm guessing it's going to be a tight race between the B&O and PRR for the last regularly scheduled steam run on a Class 1 in the Rochester area.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby BR&P » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:37 am

Old & Weary wrote:The following information is from an article by Paul DeVries titled "An Overview of Buffalo Division Locomotive Assignments 1933-1967" done for a B&O interest group.


That should be Brian, not Paul.
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Re: Last steam in Rochester?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:43 am

BR&P wrote:I guess they don't know that LA&L used to operate steam into Avon, just a few miles away from them, until....late 1970's? OOOPS! :P


If you really consider Avon, located in Livingston County, to be "Rochester," then you have a very broad and loose interpretation of geography. :-)

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