Auburn Road Operations

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Auburn Road Operations

Postby Suihanki » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:50 pm

I've been doing research on the Central's Auburn Road fright operations from the late 30's to the 50's. At this point I've hit a wall and was hoping there might be someone out there with more information. So far I've discovered the following using the 1949 Thru Fright Schedule available on the Canada Southern website. It looks like the Central ran three local freights over the road, they are:

1. ME-1 Oaks Corners to Holcomb
2. MD-2 Waterloo to Fairmount
3. EM-2/RJ-2 Pittsford to Oaks Corners

Beyond this I have no more information, the schedule doesn't say what time they were run or how often they were run (daily? weekly?). Furthermore, were there any businesses that had a freight volume that warranted a semi-regular extra of some sort?
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby BR&P » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:09 pm

Those places may have been on the Auburn Road, but they were not terminals. They were just stops along the way. Holcomb was on the Peanut, and from Holcomb to Caledonia was severed in 1939. The others are on the Auburn branch, or "The Old Road" as they sometimes called it. I will have to do some digging for you, but subject to correction I will say trains originated at Rochester, Geneva, Syracuse (not sure which yard) and Canandaigua.

Like almost every place you care to name, back in the time you mention there was an incredible amount of freight traffic on that line, most of which is long gone. A list of all the customers would be too lengthy to post here.

Give me some time and I'll get more info for you.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby BR&P » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:32 pm

How busy were the rails back then? Random look at Pittsford NY, 5-25-1954

RJ-2 pulled an Erie and a NP box empty from the Lumber to (eventually) go to Rochester Yard
SAL empty box from the New to Rochester Yard
D&H box to spot 2 on the New
NYC empty box to spot 7 on the New
ATSF box of fertilizer to the platform
Erie box load of wheat, pull and hold
NYC empty box to New spot 6
Also they were to spot 1 fertilizer from the train to New, spot 4, 1 fertilizer from train to east end of the New, and a car of beans from the train to spot 2 at the warehouse.
A load of coal from the train to Schoen
1 plow to team track (presume this is an agricultural plow, not a railroad plow)
1 car sugar to Forman

Later in the day, when JR-1 arrived:
ATSF box empty (the car of fertilizer RJ-2 had spotted at the platform) to Rochester yard
1 fertilizer from east end of the new to the platform
One of the NYC boxcars was loaded with wheat but not billed yet, leave that at spot 6
the other NYC box and that Erie box were both billed out and going to Rochester Yard
NYCX 40077, company material, was to go to Lyons.

So there you have ONE day in the life of ONE station. Back then the crews could work 16 hours a day, and probably did so almost each trip.

I am investigating whether the same crew worked both ways each day, or if it was 2 crews and they laid over at Geneva.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby Suihanki » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Just out of curiosity what resources do you have at your disposal? I'd love to get more information about the branch.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby BR&P » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:14 pm

I've got some stuff from Pittsford. Two books of T-27's, apparently the agent made out each day's work for each crew in duplicate, one copy for the crew and one stayed in the book. One covers May 4 to June 7 1954, one covers Oct 3 1956 to December 12th. And one book of similar nature, but now titled "Agent's Daily Track Check", from 1-1-59 to April 30, 59. The last book has the agent's name, Hart, who I knew. Also, that '59 book, unlike the other 2, does not reference the trains, just the cars on hand.

I got all that from the old Kent Street freight house before it was torn down. Could have had a truckload.

I talked to my friend about the job and he's just a bit fuzzy. (coming up on 91, I guess that's understandable.) He said RJ-2 and JR-1 did work Rochester to Geneva - between Geneva and Syracuse was a different job. He says they did sometimes lay over at Geneva but also did sometimes make the round trip in one day.

Now he did not recognize ME-1, but in one of the books I swear I saw ONE mention of ME-1. Can't find it again but 11-05-56 "RJ-2" is crossed out and "RM-2" is shown instead. No idea why.

Auburn Road passenger trains were 18 and 3. #18 left the depot about 7:30PM.

Hope this helps a little.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby TB Diamond » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Trains 3 and 18 were daily except Sunday.

Trains 7 and 8 were Sunday only.

All of these trains were pulled off on May 19, 1958.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby Suihanki » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 am

All of this info is great! For a while I've been trying to wrap my brain around when these trains moved over the road and the traffic volume back then. At this point primary resources from that era are getting very few and far between. Station agents books are much more in the field than a Thru Freight Schedule and I count myself lucky that you know someone personally who worked the road at that time. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby BR&P » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:55 am

Do you have track charts for the various towns along the way? I THINK I have the old DICCS maps for that line somewhere but no promise. I KNOW I have maps about 1964 for Geneva, and somewhere I have a track drawing of Canandaigua's yard from farther back from that.

FINDING which box they are in may take some time. If you already have all that, no problem.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby BR&P » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:38 am

One other thing which might or might not interest you. If you have an interest in the very early 1900's, there was a thread or maybe two on here a few years ago - one may have been in the New York State Railfan forum section.

But anyway, just timetable west and compass north of Geneva, there used to be a connection between the Auburn Road and the Fallbrook. There was a wye at either end, and the locations were known as West X (on the Auburn) and East X (on the Fallbrook. That connection was removed probably a century ago, I don't recall exactly but the thread(s) may have more.

Use the search feature advanced search, and look for "West X" and it should lead you to the thread.
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Re: Auburn Road Operations

Postby Suihanki » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:14 pm

BR&P wrote:Do you have track charts for the various towns along the way? I THINK I have the old DICCS maps for that line somewhere but no promise. I KNOW I have maps about 1964 for Geneva, and somewhere I have a track drawing of Canandaigua's yard from farther back from that.

FINDING which box they are in may take some time. If you already have all that, no problem.


I appreciate the further info. I do have the 1917 valuation maps of the branch as well as the signal charts of the line east of Oaks Corners circa the 1950's.
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