• 50th Anniversary of Excursions

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by BSOR Patarak
2012 will be the 50th Anniversary of Passenger Excursions on the A&A. How many other operations have survived that length of time?

What kind of specials should be planned to celebrate the 50 years? One was to have a "grand re-opening" weekend complete with ticket prices from 1962. $1.50 Adults and $.75 children. The thought was to do something like that the same weekend that excursions began in August.

Any other suggestions of what you, the A&A Fans would like to see?
  by Benjamin Maggi
My "Top" Three ideas Ideas:
1.) Mixed Trains to Curriers: can be steam or diesel powered. True, any regular railfan can drive up and watch the train switch Reisdorf but there is something special about doing it from a coach. Plus, you get to travel the line that most passengers never can.

2.) Wrong Way runs: Turn the steam engine on the wye and run "wrong way" forward for several trips. All photos of the A&A have the steam engines facing North/East. Reversing the direction will bring out photographers because it hasn't been done in decades, if all all. As a similar accounting, when the Isle of Man Railways (another favorite of mine) did this the rainfans went crazy with delight!

3.) Extended runs: Take the passengers up past Beaver Meadows (the water is really cool) and run-around at Curriers. This area is just as scenic with the nature preserve but it rarely is visited except for special trips.

My "Not Top" Ideas but which may have some merit:
4.) Vintage double headers: grease up #14's bearings really well and push her with #18 to look the part. For added effect, burn something in the smokebox to produce smoke effects.

5.) "Front Seat Views": put the gondola IN FRONT of the train and push it along. All passengers must board it before departure but it will let them get better scenic views, and perhaps get less of a rain of coal smoke and cinders!

6.) Cab Tour: During portions of the A&A's career, cab tours were frequently performed when the train reached Curriers. It would stop by a large stepping platform and the public could enter the cab and look around. Up until about 3-4 years ago the rotting hulk of the platform was still visible where it had been tossed aside. Perhaps an observation platform could be set up to look in the cab if actual visits are not permitted anymore.

7.) Facility Tours: Offer tours of the enginehouse, which only employees can generally see. Perhaps an additional fee will be required and a waiver signed. I am not talking about something like the old LA&L's policy of "sign and go" but maybe a guided tour of how the railroad works would interest people.

8.) Beef on Wick Day: As a Rochester native who has been transplanted to Albany, no one here knows what Beef on Wick is, or what Wick rolls even are. How about a big beef cookout at Curriers where lunch is served before returning to Arcade?

9.) Triple-Header: Pull #110 off the siding and run her with #111 and #112. I am pretty certain that there have been few, if any, triple headed center-cab switcher operations aside from running the engines to the scrapper.

10.) Caboose Day: Lease a caboose and tack it on the train, and for an additional fee passengers can ride on the caboose, look out the cupola, etc.
  by jgallaway81
I've long advocated spinning No18 for a special event. My argument here is that the part of the steam engine that tugs at the heart strings the most is the beloved chugging. While it is upgrade both ways, the high point is closer to Curriers. This means that the amount of time that No18 actually working (chugging) is the trip from Arcade to Curriers. If we could spin the engine and the gondola so that the gon is still against the engine for the trip out, it would allow the passengers (ie: ME) to enjoy submersing myself into the experience for the longer portion of the trip.

Another thought is a photo-freight special.... One, maybe two coaches pulled by diesel, with steam-powered freight runby's along the line? This would be from the interchange to Curriers... and if possible, to the run-around track in North Java.
  by Mr.S
Wasn't the ARCADE and ATTICA Railroad formed around 1917 or there about ? After the B.& S. B.A.& A.RR bankruptcy..
  by BSOR Patarak
Yes, Mr. S. you are correct. The A&A Corporation was formed in 1917. This 50 year anniversary is for the beginning of the steam excursions with #18and 14 that began in 1962. 2017 and the 100th anniversary of the corporation are another celebration to plan for next.
  by Benjamin Maggi
Certainly one of the most remembered images of the 1962 excursion season (no doubt because of the postcards that are omnipresent on EBay) is #18 pulling two coaches as the caboose. If only the caboose would be ready to go by then. It is missing the cupola so is already period correct!
  by thebigham
^Adding the caboose painted orange to the train for the anniversary excursion would be great.
  by BSOR Patarak
The 50th Season of excursions at Arcade begins in less than two hours! There are several things going on through out the year. First, every 50th ticket purchased at the walk-up window at the Arcade station will be free for the celebration.

The Arcade Historical Society is also planning three weekends of activities to coincide with the excursions. Their theme is remembering 1962. There will be operating N scale layout, railroad displays, local displays, slide shows and guest speakers/musicians. Check out their website for the schedules and days as they become finalized.


There will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (recreating the actual event from 50 years ago) that will take place on the morning of August 4th. Of all of the original participants from 1962, there is only one person surviving. We are inviting family members to take the place of those individuals. It is also hoped to have ex-A&A employees at the opening ceremonies and/or this ribbon cutting. This will make for an interesting ride to have past employees relive there days on the A&A. Have the tape recorders going.....It looks to be an exciting couple of weeks mid summer. Stay tuned for updates and we look forward to having our supportive fans a part of the celebrations!
  by thebigham
^Thanks for the update, Pat!
  by Benjamin Maggi
Sounds great!
  by BSOR Patarak
The display is now open for the 50th. We had a wonderful reception Thursday night for the grand opening. It was a lot of fun to talk to all of the people who've worked on the A&A over the years and hear their stories. We also had a good turn out for my slide show on #18. Oh, BTW, 18 is getting a bit of a change in paint for the special weekend...kinda of a retro 62 scheme. Hope to see you there!
  by Aa3rt
From the Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal, July 28, 2012 comes this reminder from the "In Years Past" portion of the Community section:

Fifty Years Ago ■A gleaming steam engine and the two bright orange platform coaches it pulled 15 miles along their Western New York route, marked the bold re-entry of the Arcade & Attica Railroad into a rapidly declining field - railroad passenger service. Most railroads had been cutting back on passenger service but the Arcade & Attica inaugurated its return to the field by carrying 75 stockholders, boosters, politicians, steam buffs and hangers-on from Arcade up through the hills of Wyoming County to Curriers. Enroute, a group of masked youngsters staged a holdup and some unrehearsed cows forced the train to stop when they loped across the track.