• Let's talk about the Peanut Branch

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by nydepot
I was doing some research for the Honeoye Falls-Mendon Historical Society, where I volunteer. The research was for the village historian in H.F.

Anyway, I found out something interesting about the Peanut abandonment from Holcomb to Caledonia. While officially due to "lack of traffic" or a "decline in traffic", that wasn't the impetus for abandonment though. This lack of traffic has been regurgitated in every article written about the line. There is an old thread on this site and the same thing is repeated.

Any guesses? Then I'll follow up.

  by BR&P
There was a highway grade separation project planned which would have been costly. Rt 15 or 15A most likely? Traffic WAS light on the line so they decided to abandon from Canandaigua to Caledonia. Negotiations with shippers in Holcomb resulted in the portion from there to Canandaigua being preserved, and it lasted another....30 years or so.
  by nydepot
Close. Ontario County petitioned the PSC to have NYC pay for a new bridge over RT 64, Mendon-Ionia Rd. The cost was $69K. The PSC approved the request. The road was basically a single lane road with an 11 foot overhead span for the NYC. The road was being widened and the bridge would need to be a 25’ span.

At the next hearing about the cost (NYC claimed they could save half or more), the NYC brought up that they were studying traffic patterns on the line and that Holcomb to Caledonia was lightly used (excluding Honeoye Falls) and they just might file for abandonment. Which of course they did.

What’s interesting is that is a simple thing to include in all the histories of the line but it’s left out. If the NYC hadn’t been forced to pay for the bridge, then the study would have been put off, for a while at least.
  by BR&P
It's another of countless examples where the railroad was expected to shoulder some, or all, of the cost of some project or another, even though said project brought no benefit whatsoever to the railroad. Hard to imagine how NYC would have been any better off at all if that bridge had been built. But they were expected to chip in about $70k in 1939 dollars anyway.

That point having been made, I doubt that even at that early date there was enough traffic on the line to justify its upkeep. They may have inadvertently done NYC a favor.
  by lvrr325
Usually you want a bridge where there's a lot of train traffic, is the road just at a lower grade where the NYC crossed?
  by nydepot
Yes, the railroad is up above on the hillside, relatively gradeless at that point, and Rt 64 is down near water level.
  by FarmallBob
Reminds me of a discussion with a great aunt many years ago.

The Peanut (also the LV…) passed along the south border of the family farm in Caledonia. The she would do her monthly shopping in Caledonia by walking a couple hundred yards down the hill and catching a WB train at MAXWELLS – a whistle stop station back then. She’d then ride the train to Caledonia. As she recalled the fare each way was 15 cents or so.

The elimination of passenger service on the Peanut in about 1932(?) was the reason she learned to drive and purchase her first automobile.