1825 - The first railroad is organized in Rochester. Hoping to connect the Erie Canal downtown with the lake port at Charlotte.
This was the "Rochester Canal and Railway company" This rail line was powered by horses, the steam locomotive
had not yet arrived. Construction did not begin until 1832.
1832 - The first rails are laid for the horse-drawn "Rochester Canal and Railway company". Three miles of rail were laid
between Rochester and Carthage, along the east side of the Genesee.
Carthage was a port at the Lower Falls, today where Driving Park ave and St. Paul street intersect,
at Kodak's Hawkeye plant. This line was only used until 1839, when it was abandoned.
1837 - May 11, The first steam powered train leaves Rochester, bound for Batavia, on the Tonawanda Railroad.
(future NYC mainline West of Rochester.) The first locomotives for the Tonawanda had to brought in via the
Erie Canal, since this first railroad was not yet connected to any other outside railroad.
1840 - Auburn & Rochester Railroad arrives. (future NYC Auburn Road)
1840-1844 - The Tonawanda
A&R have their stations a few blocks apart in downtown Rochester,
1850 - The Auburn & Rochester and The Auburn & Syracuse combine to form the Rochester, Auburn & Syracuse RR.
1850 - The Rochester & Tonawanda and The Buffalo & Attica combine to form the Buffalo & Rochester RR.
1853 – Rochester, Auburn
RR builds a second line East out of Rochester, following the Erie canal
1853 – Rochester & Lockport RR builds from Rochester to Lockport (later NYC Falls Road)
1853 – Line built north to Charlotte. (NYC)
1853 – The five lines
out from Rochester are part of the consolidation of ten New York
state lines that are combined
1853 - The Buffalo,
New York Railroad builds through Avon, opening the Erie line between
Post and Avon,
1853 - The "Canandaigua
Falls Railroad." is constructed through the the southern Rochester
1853 was a very busy year!
1854 – Rochester merchants
a NYC monopoly, and a connection with another railroad is desired.
1854 – NYC builds its 1st Rochester passenger station, between Mill and State streets, on the West side of the river.
1858 – New York Central takes over the Canandaigua & Niagara Falls Railroad, this is the NYC Peanut line.
1872 – NYC builds new roundhouse off Atlantic ave, near east end of future Goodman St. Yard
1873 - Lake Ontario Shore
arrives in Charlotte, building westward from Oswego. (later NYC
1873 - Rochester & State Line Railroad begins construction toward Leroy. (future BR&P)
1874 – Rochester & State Line Railroad opens for business. (future BR&P)
1874 – Original NYC Brown Square yard (downtown) outgrown, construction begins on Goodman Street Yard.
1874 – The Rochester &
Line builds along the southern edge of the NYC from Lincoln Park toward
downtown, builds a
1875 - Lake Ontario Shore RR taken over by the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg. (later NYC Hojack)
1881 – Rochester & State Line RR becomes Rochester & Pittsburg RR (future BR&P)
1881 – Rochester &
Railroad (later BR&P), extends its line again, and builds it’s
terminus and passenger
1882 - RW&O builds the
Secondary from Irondequoit to downtown.
1882 - Genesee Valley Canal railroad built along abandoned Genesee Valley Canal. (later PRR)
1882 – NYC is elevated through downtown Rochester, eliminating many dangerous grade crossings.
1883 – NYC builds its 2nd
passenger station at St. Paul street, on the East side of the river.
1884 - The New York, West Shore & Buffalo Railroad builds through the south side of Rochester. (NYC West Shore)
1885 – NYC gains control of the West Shore RR.
1887 - Rochester & Pittsburg absorbed into the final Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railway.
1887 – Erie builds its Passenger station on the West side of the river at Court Street.
1889 – BR&P completes
Park & Charlotte Railroad, extending the BR&P up to Charlotte
interchange with the
1891 – The Lehigh Valley
builds its new mainline to Buffalo across the landscape south of
branch to the south, was supposed
of Dinosaur BBQ.
1893 – the Lima & Honeoye Falls Railroad opens between the two villiages.
1892 – West Shore RR and Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg RR formally merged into NYC.
1894 - Genesee & Wyoming Railroad opens between Retsof and Caledonia.
1895 - The LV extended its line past Lima, through the valley below Livonia Center and all the way to the shore of Hemlock Lake.
1896 – Lehigh Valley
The Black Diamond Express.
1898 – After being
2 years, the Lima & Honeoye Falls RR is converted to an electric
1899 – The Lehigh Valley
to remove it's Hemlock Lake terminal on the lake shore when the city of
1900 – WNY&P Railroad (former Genesee Valley Canal Railroad) is absorbed by the PRR, becomes PRR Rochester Branch.
1900 - At the beginning of the 20th Century, Rochester is served by 5 railroads:
This 5-railroad network will remain essentially unchanged for the first half of the 20th Century.
1902 – NYC introduces The 20th Century Limited.
1905 - Hojack swing bridge built at Charlotte. (bridge still exists today. (2006)
1907 – LV builds its
on the East side of the river at Court St.
1907 - Kodak Park Railroad opens.
1913 – NYC builds its 3rd (and largest, and last) Rochester passenger station. The “Bragdon station”
1913 – BR&P builds Brooks Ave yard.
1915 - The last trollies
the "Lima-Honeoye Electric Light & RR Co"
1932 - BR&P becomes B&O
1935 – NYC ends passenger service on the Hojack.
1938 - NYC Peanut abandoned between Holcomb and Caledonia.
1941 – Erie ends passenger service out of Rochester, on its electric commuter lines.
1947 - Kodak Park Railroad expands West of Mount Read Blvd.
1950 – September, LV ends
passenger service out of Rochester.
1953 – B&O ends passenger service out of Rochester.
1958 – NYC ends passenger service on the Falls Road and Auburn lines.
1959 – NYC’s 3rd (and
last) Rochester passenger station. The “Bragdon station”, is torn down.
1960 - Erie becomes Erie Lackawanna.
1960 - NYC Auburn Road
between Pittsford and Victor.
1963 - PRR abandoned from Wadsworth Junction south to Hinsdale.
1964 - The Livonia, Avon & Lakeville is born. (The LAL reaches Rochester in 1997)
1968 - NYC and PRR become Penn Central.
1968 - LV removes Hemlock branch between Hemlock and Lima.
1970 - October 7, EL
LV between Mortimer Junction to Erie/LV interchange just north
1972 - LV abandoned between downtown terminus and UofR. (River Junction, between Erie & LV, alongside UofR)
1971 - PRR Rochester branch removed between downtown and the Erie interchange.
1972 - B&O becomes Chessie system.
1973 - The LV's Rochester Junction station burns to the ground on Easter Sunday. arson is suspected.
1974 - Genesee coal dock torn down.
1976 - March 31, Last day of operations for the LV, EL and PC. Last revenue run is made over the LV Mainline.
1976 - April 1, Conrail is formed. Former LV, EL and PC lines in the Rochester area are all now Conrail.
1976 - NYC Auburn road abandoned between Victor and Canandaigua.
1976 - Conrail never
former EL between Avon and Leroy.
1977 - LV Mainline
from Victor to Buffalo. (Conrail never actually operated any of the LV
1977 - PRR from
Junction (junction of LV and PRR) north to Genesee Junction is removed.
1979 - Conrail removes the Hojack from Webster west.
1979 - October 1, Ontario Central begins operation of the former LV main between Manchester and Victor.
1979 - October 5, Ontario Midland begins operation of former Hojack between Webster and Sodus.
1981 - Conrail abandons
the LV Rochester
branch between Lehigh station Road, south through Rochester Junction,
1982 - Abandonment of Auburn Road between Brighton & Pittsford.
1982 - Conrail abandons former NYC Peanut between Caledonia and Batavia.
1982 - Conrail abandons the former Erie between River Junction (UofR) and downtown.
1984 - PRR removed between
interchange (near Flint street) south to the PRR Scottsville Road Yard
(the yard was east of
1985 - LV torn up
River Junction (UofR) and Mortimer Junction. Was in use into the 80's
Conrail to supply coal to
1985 – Chessie System sells the former BR&P/B&O/Chessie lines in Rochester to the Rochester & Southern RR.
199(?)- PRR tracks removed between Scottsville Road Yard and the BR&P/PRR interchange. (was not in use for many years)
1995 – Conrail removes Falls Road line between Rochester & Brockport.
1996 - Conrail sells the Falls Road between Brockport and Lockport to the Falls Road RR. (GVT)
1997 – Conrail removes BeeBee station line. (State Street Branch)
1997 - Conrail sells Avon
to the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville. LAL arrives in Rochester.
1998 - Work begins on the Genesee
Valley Greenway Trail. The first "rail-trail" in the region. The
trail is built
1999 - Conrail lines around Rochester become CSX.
2000 - CSX abandons the
Falls trackage to the Genesee Brewery. (east side of the river, High
2000 - The Genesee &
(between Caledonia and Dansville) is formally merged into the
2004 - The former Lehigh
Mainline is opened as the new Lehigh
Valley Trail between Victor and the Genesee
2007 - Livonia Avon &
Lakeville sells the Ontario Central, which ran from Shortsville to
Victor, to the Finger Lakes Railway.
2007 - RG&E annouces
they are shutting down Russel Station, the coal powered powerplant up
on the lake shore in Greece.
2008 - February, the last
CSX coal train is delievered to Russel station.
2008 - April, Russel
Station shuts down,
"Old Yellow" is:
The locomotives are stored for a few months at Kodak Park,
then move south to the Museum in December 2008.
2009 - Rails are
still intact on the Charlotte Runner..CSX uses the small yard to store surplus
cars due to the 2009 recession.
2012 - An iconic
Rochester Railroad structure is demolished! The "Hojack Swing Bridge"
over the Genesee River in Charlotte,
Slideshow of Maps:
The slideshow will start and run automatically when you press "start".
you can also scroll forward and backwards with the arrows.
A note about the maps..
In 2006, Three Railroads serve
Rochester & Southern -
ancestral BR&P between Rochester & Silver Springs.
Livonia, Avon & Lakeville - operating ancestral Erie branches between Lakeville and Rochester.
and three other shortlines
Going out slightly further,
map) other railroads operating nearby.
Timeline compiled by Scot
Rochester, NY - October 2006.
by Blake McKelvey, City Historian, Volume XXX, No. 4, October 1968.
The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway - by Paul Pietrak. published 1979.
Paul Worboys gave some
and new details for the timeline. thanks!
thank you everyone!
updated May 5, 2013.