Canandaigua - random New York Central info

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Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby BR&P » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:25 pm

This morning I drove around Canandaigua with an old NYC man. OK, that's redundant, there are no young ones, but this fellow is in his 90's. Anyway, he pointed out a few items of interest which I thought I'd post here, just so they are recorded for posterity. No common theme, just random.

1. Coming into town from the east, in the area of the East Avenue crossing, there was at least 1 track between the NYC and the PRR, but he thinks it was several. They were long tracks, often used when the PRR had large cuts of cars to be delivered to NYC. This location was known as "The Farm", at one time there was a large barn in the vicinity. Satellite pic here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Canan ... 77.2816984

2. On the north side of the track, west of the Lisk Manufacturing plant but before the Ontario Street crossing, there is a large block building. At present it is painted white, or close to it. FGLK has a track for unloading plastic cars which goes along the side of it, but there is a large overhead door and he said at one time they could spot several boxcars inside. The building was known as "The hay barn" and that's just what it was for - locally grown hay was loaded out for destinations in Kentucky for the horse farms down there. He claims there was something in the soil around here that provided nutrients that hay closer to the destination didn't have. Whether or not that's so, they DID ship hay out. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Canan ... 77.2816984

3. There was a coal dealer on the south side (timetable direction of the line was east-west) just west of the West Avenue underpass. This place had a trestle which was quite flimsy, so several old wooden reefers were kept there. Not sure if they were kept on the coal dealer's lead, or a siding next to it, but they were used as idlers or reachers so the engine did not have to go on the trestle. It's hard to think of a railroad today doing that for a customer - they would just refuse service until the trestle was fixed. Anyway, that was about here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Canan ... 77.2816984

4. He does not recall that Canandaigua was ever the home terminal for a job. On a given day a train may have tied up there and subsequently started out, but he does not remember there ever being a "Canandaigua Yard Job" or anything which was a regular job out of there. Work was done by RJ-2 and other jobs out of Rochester.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby NYCRRson » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:50 pm

Nice recollections, thanks for finding the spots and writing them down. Glad an old NYC guy was able to enjoy the trip.

My Dad, (hired out in early 1941 as a yard clerk at Kenmore Yard, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls) told a tale about "hot metal" cars (those cars usually seen inside steel mills) being in Kenmore Yard, apparently they went from an iron works nearby to a foundry nearby. Seems plausible, there was lots of manufacturing around that area and things were starting to "ramp up" for the war.

Anyway, when they sent him out to check car numbers in the rain and the cold, he would stop for a while and "warm up" next to the hot metal car..... I have no reason to doubt his tale, it all fits with what would have been going on in that area at the time...

During the Depression the railroads didn't hire anybody... My Great Grandmother ran a "boarding house" (like an apartment house but with no lease) that had some NYCRR workers staying there. My Dad met some of the guys and got an "inside track" to a job as a yard clerk, then Pearl Harbor happened and he got hired as a fireman on 12/12/1941. He had the first seniority date from after the depression, the "youngest" guys behind him had dates from 1929... Check a seniority roster some time, no new hires for engineers/fireman from the Fall of 1929 until December of 1941...

Then he went to the sky's over Germany for a while and got shot at by the Luftwaffe...

When he got back the guys that stayed behind wanted him to hire out as a "New Man", which would have put him behind a couple of hundred guys that got hired during the war. President FDR put a halt to all that and made all "service dates" from before the war carry over to after the war.

Great stories and location info, Cheers, Kevin
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby Wayside » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:02 pm

In Selkirk the 41 men were called pioneers. Starting in 68, when hiring began anew, the children of the 41 guys were called sons of the pioneers.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby NYCRRson » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:34 pm

My Dad ended up running TV-7/TV-9 Buffalo/Selkirk (I have not memorized the train numbers exactly, but they were the "hot" trains of the day) before he retired.

Before that he ran the Lake Shore Limited while the Engineers were still provided by Conrail, He ran the "Salad Bowl Express" for a few years before all the vegetables left the rails (for a while).

And he ran the Amtrak version of the Empire State Express for a few years, that was a SWEET job, get to the station in Niagara Falls by 9 am, run to Syracuse by 1 pm, take a one hour break and return to Niagara Falls and be home by dinner time.... And you only did it every other day.... Almost like an "office job"....
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby BR&P » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:26 pm

And in some cases, the older guys really resented the "pioneers" as you call them. They had worked 15 years and these guys were right below them in seniority. I'm not sure how that was the new hires' fault, but they sometimes rawhided them pretty good.

And my friend told a funny story about exactly what you mention. He had a couple months as a brakeman then went into the service. When he got out, he marked back up and was called for a yard job. He found out from the caller the other 2 men had been hired while he was away. So he gets to the shanty first, and another guy came in who was a bit blustery. He put the timesheet in front of this "new guy" he was seeing for the first time, and said "Here lad, put your name on that." My friend reached down and ripped up the time sheet. The other guy blinked and said "Now why did you do that?" My friend reached in his pocket, took out the timesheet that HE had started, and said "Here, LAD, put your name on THAT. I'M drumming the job tonight!" Image
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby CPSmith » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:50 am

Re: Coal dealer. Here? (B&W photo courtesy of Ontario County Historical Society via the Daily Messenger; color photo - screen shot off of Google maps)
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby BR&P » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:45 am

Thanks Chris - I had the wrong side of West Ave but that has to be the one. We did not drive directly by there yesterday and I could not recall which side the abutments were on.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby CPSmith » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:17 pm

Tripped over this one as well, from the same source. Too bad you didn't have a copy during your trip - I bet it would have jiggled a few memories.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby BR&P » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:43 pm

Also noted that the freight house (I believe that's what it was, anyway) has been torn down. An awesome old building but once the feed dealer closed, it fell into disrepair.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby RailKevin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:06 pm

Did the PRR terminate in Canandaigua? Old topo map show a roundhouse. Was that for NYC or PRR?
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby CPSmith » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:22 pm

To your two questions, Yes and PRR. Here's the link to the photo: http://www.mpnnow.com/x1815312713/Canan ... -railroads
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby NYCRRson » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:51 pm

"I'm not sure how that was the new hires' fault, but they sometimes rawhided them pretty good."

I don't remember my father complaining much about the "older heads" that came before him, he respected their wisdom about how to operate the railroad.

But he sure was pissed about all the folks that hired on "after he left to fight WWII" and wanted him to "go to the back of the line". That was a strange situation, the Union was siding with the hundreds of workers hired during the war (more dues) and dismissing the guys that left to "fight". Strangely enough the NYCRR was taking the side of the "boys" that went to fight....

The "company" was standing up for the guys that left to fight, the union was standing up for the more numerous guys that got hired during the war....

Did you know that the NYCRR "sponsored" two bombers for the US Army Air Corp, they had NYCRR insignia painted on the sides of the airplane. They were funded in part by employee contributions (via War Bonds) from the NYCRR shops, offices, etc.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby D Alex » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:30 pm

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering when the NYC abandoned Canandaigua? I know that the Auburn road between Victor and Pittsford was abandoned some time between 1958-1960, and the part from Pittsford to the mainline continued on to about 1980. What about Victor to Canandaigua, and east to Auburn and Syracuse? When did the PRR leave Canandaigua?
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby BR&P » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:42 pm

TBDiamond has provided exact abandonment dates in the past, but generally speaking the Victor to Canandaigua segment was torn out in late 1979. This was possible because of the new connection between the former LV and the Auburn Road in Victor, which allowed the insulator plant to be served from the LV.

Canandaigua is still served by Finger Lakes Ry out of Geneva, which also continues to handle Victor traffic (what little is left).

I believe the PDD line was removed not long after PC was formed in 1968 but could be wrong on that.
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Re: Canandaigua - random New York Central info

Postby TB Diamond » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:44 pm

NYC/PC Auburn Branch abandonments:

Canandaigua-Victor, 8.5 miles, 11-01-1978.

Victor-Pittsford, 10.44 miles, 1960

Penn Central abandoned the former PRR Stanley-Canandaigua, 11.7 miles, 05-15-1972. This line segment was not pulled up until 1977.

The PRR left Canandaigua upon the Penn Central merger, 02-1968.
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