The Rochester area boats a large amount of abandoned railbeds due to the decline of rail business in the last century, and the consolidation of routes from the never ending procession of mergers. Many are now either "rails-to-trails" and or power company right-of-ways. Others have been paved over, built upon, or still in the ownership of the railroads for possible future use. In many cases, bridges and other structures still remain, despite years of abandonment. Part of the original Rochester Subway still exists in downtown under Broad Street, and until this past June, part of the tunnel was used for newsprint delivery to the Gannett building on Exchange Street by the Rochester and Southern Railroad. Some of the long abandoned roads, marked by tree-lines and overgrowth, are visible from the air - something to look out for when flying to/from Rochester on a clear day.

A separate page for the Hojack Line, as well as the BeeBee line has been created and can be found by clicking here.

Abandoned right-of-ways for the Lehigh Valley and Erie railroads still exist, including some bridges that cross the highways and canal. An old Erie bridge over I-390 near the airport was removed last year as a part of the highway project there (the bridge over the canal a short distance away still stands), and the Lehigh Valley bridge south of that near West Henrietta Road is still in place. Another Erie bridge was right next to it, which has since been torn down and replaced with a pedestrian bridge.

In 1995, 12 miles of the Falls Road line was torn up by Conrail from Owens Road in Brockport to Lee Road in Rochester. The remainder of this line is in operation by the Falls Road Railroad from Brockport to Lockport, where it meets with Conrail Had this section been maintained and still in place, it would have been a great help when a Conrail train derailed in Churchville in July, 1997. Rail service through Rochester was suspended for a good part of a day - when it could have been rerouted (at least one way) over the Falls Road, also giving the FRR another access point to Conrail should access through Lockport become impossible for whatever reason.

The Rochester area has had it's share of trolleys and interurbans until the early part of this century. Some stations still stand - the Rochester, Eastern & Syracuse station in Fairport is in splendid condition. Those who frequent the Mall at Greece Ridge Center have seen the numerous murals of the Maintou Beach - Charlotte Railway -- a trolley service that ran from the turn of the century from Charlotte to what is now Braddocks Beach in Greece. The increased popularity of the automobile and deterioration of the railway's tracks (including a wooden trestle that spanned Braddocks Bay) led to the demise of this once popular trolley. Another trolley long gone is the Rochester, Lockport & Buffalo, which paralleled the Falls Road line, serving communities west of Rochester.


Here's some information on local junctions that have been abandoned, or no longer used as junctions, but with active service running though. This information was gleaned from the newsgroups, with credit given when possible.

This page has only begun to scratch the surface of Rochester's abandoned railroads. I'll keep adding to this page over time - please e-mail me with any corrections/additions. The Rundell Memorial Library in Downtown Rochester has some excellent resources for studying abandoned lines in their Local History section - particularly old maps in excellent condition.

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UPDATED: February 20, 2005