ADDRESS & PHONE: 1372 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624

OWNERSHIP: Genesee & Wyoming Industries, Inc.


RADIO FREQUENCIES: 160.770 road (repeater located in Weathersfield), 161.100 yard, 160.445 (PBX & MOW - unconfirmed),   & 161.445 (repeater input?). Others: 160.800 (talk with CSX), 161.070 (talk with NS), 160.500 & 160.590 - salt mine operations. EOT/FRED: 452.9125 & 457.9125


ANNUAL TRAFFIC: 19,600 cars

INFRASTRUCTURE: 62 miles of track, 120-131 lb welded and jointed rail


Note, the designations (i.e., BL-66, C-9 are old B&O customer identifiers which are still used today on the radio. BL stands for Belt Line which runs up north, and C stands for the city line which runs into downtown)



INTERCHANGE POINT & RAILROAD: Rochester with CSX at CP 373 on the Mainline, Genesee Junction and  Brooks Avenue Yard in Chili with the Livonia Avon and Lakeville, and Silver Springs with Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific.

LOCOMOTIVE ROSTER: Engines located at Brooks Avenue Yard

See the Genesee & Wyoming Industries page for the complete company locomotive roster, since power is pooled and frequently reassigned.

Power assigned to the Rochester & Southern (including the G&W Subdivision) as of 4/23/02:

  • BPRR 887
  • BPRR 922
  • BPRR 3119
  • BPRR 7822
  • GNWR 50
  • GNWR 51
  • GNWR 1000
  • GNWR 1001
  • GNWR 1003 (caboose)
  • RSR 101
  • RSR 879

The RSR is the only short-line serving the city directly. It has a yard in Rochester from which it serves several local companies and interchange with CSX. The RSR began service in 1986 after the line was sold to Genesee & Wyoming, Inc by CSX. In June, 1997, service to one of their largest customers, the Rochester Gannet Newspapers on Exchange Street in Downtown Rochester, was terminated when the printing press operations were located elsewhere offline -- less than a mile from where the old Falls Road line abandonment begins in Rochester and the Kodak Park Railroad with plenty of land for ROW (gotta love the possibilities, eh?). What made the old connection to Gannet Newspapers interesting was that it used part of the former Rochester Subway tunnel underneath Broad Street. They still come out as far as West Main Street to deliver an occasional box car to Morse Lumber.

The RSR also formerly served the Delphi Automotive Lexington Avenue plant. The tracks behind the plant (nee Rochester Products and AC Rochester) were torn up in 1995, however the lead onto the property still exists and ends somewhere near where one of the original Rochester Subway car barns now stands. The Lee Road plant was served by Conrail. The Valeo plant on Lyell Avenue (nee ITT, nee General Motors Delco Electronics) now relies on tractor-trailers for shipping and receiving. During a recent drive behind the plant earlier this summer (8/97), I did notice a beat-up, empty gondola sticking out of one of the car barns. There are two storage tracks extending the length of the property next to I-490. According to former ITT employee Bill Keller on 7/10/98: "The gondola at ITT is used for collection of scrap metal from 16 high speed punch presses located in ITTA's dept 218. a conveyor runs below the presses and delivers the scrap into the gon. Every morning the scrap is transfered to a trailer and removed. I don't believe they've been an online customer for about two years now."

The RSR connects with the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville in Chili at Genesee Junction and Brooks Ave Yard, and the CSX Mainline at CP 373 in Rochester. There is also a connection to the Norfolk Southern's Southern Tier line at Silver Springs, 50 miles southwest of the city in Wyoming County for interchange with Candian Pacific (CP has trackage rights on NS's Southern Tier Line) and NS. RSR has haulage rights over the NS tracks between Silver Springs and Buffalo for a connection with its sister railroad, Buffalo & Pittsburgh (B&P), making a through route to connections with other railroads in Pennsylvania. The RSR's northernmost terminus is located at Matthews and Fields Lumber on Stonewood Drive in Greece, with abandoned right-of-way continuing north, over the Lake Ontario State Parkway (yup... the bridge is still there but slated to come down in 2001 or 2002) to CSX's Charlotte Runner (remnants of the Hojack Line).

I found this tidbit of information while searching through the Surface Transportation Board's web site:

Surface Transportation Board
[STB Finance Docket No. 33375]

Rochester & Southern Railroad, Inc.--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--Consolidated Rail Corporation

Rochester & Southern Railroad, Inc. (R&S), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to acquire and operate the 0.7-mile line of Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) known as the Rochester Industrial Track (Line Code 4835) [I think the correct name is Mortimer Industrial Track] between milepost 5.2 and milepost 5.9 in the State of New York. In addition, Conrail will grant incidental overhead trackage rights over the 0.3-mile West Shore Branch (Line Code 4833) between milepost 362.0 and the switch to Conrail's Genesee Junction Yard at milepost 361.7. The transaction was expected to be consummated on or about March 14, 1997.

According to Ken Freeman, he states that the R&S has "been running over to Lyell Metal on Scottsville Rd. for a month now. Apparently this is just the legalese for the whole thing. That section is all that's left of the old Pennsy line. Last time I walked that, about 4 years ago, it was very nasty looking track. As far as the purchase of it, I guess they were seeing how it would work out." Also, Marc confirms that 84 Lumber on Scottsville Road is also a customer on this line. I walked this line a few weeks ago. There is a cement and gravel company along the line, but nothing indicates they are an online customer (they are now as of 4/99). Note that the R&S talks with CSX on 160.800 so they can get permission to cross over the West Shore Branch from Genesee Junction to the industrial track serving Lyell Metal 84 Lumber and Genesee LeRoy Stone Corp..

On 7/2/98, Ken Freeman wrote: "Heard over the radio this AM that Lyell Metal is putting in a scale at the end of the track behind the facility. R&S had some high water presumably at Genessee Jct. today, did not deliver to someone out that way anyway. R&S also now has B&P 926 up here."

The R&S has filed to abandon a portion of their line in Cattaraugus County, from Ashford Junction to Machais Junction (the line from Machais Junction to Silver Springs was abandoned in the 80's). This abandonment, which has since been denied by the STB, was filed alongside the B&P's request to abandon their mainline from Salamanca to Buffalo, as they're now running through traffic over the Norfolk Southern Buffalo Line.Click here to view the R&S's petition to file for abandonment in Cattaraugus County.

The R&S is now delivering coal to Kodak.  NS won the coal contract after the Conrail break-up.  NS train 528 brings the coal to Brooks Ave Yard using NS power.   A R&S local delivers the coal to Kodak and the R&S brings the empties back to Silver Springs.

HISTORY: The line was built by the Rochester & State Line Railroad, which was incorporated October 6, 1869, and opened between Rochester and Salamanca on January 28, 1878. The company was reorganized January 20, 1881, as the Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad, and in 1886 became part of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway. Balitmore & Ohio purchased the BR&P in early 1932. GWI purchased the Rochester - Silver Springs line from CSX in 1985 and the RSR started service on July 21, 1986.

CREDITS: Jeff Bochman, Genesee & Wyoming Industries, Ken Freeman, Ken Distefano, John Stewart's and the American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th ed. by Edward A. Lewis

Hit Counter
Hits since 2/27/00

UPDATED: February 20, 2005


Copyright 2002 by Les Wilson - all rights reserved