The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation
A BUSY YEAR WITH MORE TO COME
With several weeks still to go in 2002, your museum can already look back on this year as one of activity and progress, both in the ongoing tasks that keep us open and serving the public, and in the unique jobs and opportunities that come along to enhance our collection and help us in our mission.
Throughout this issue you’ll read about these activities and this progress. We hope you will share our pride in these accomplishments, and we look forward to your support—through your membership, your donations, and especially your participation as a volunteer. Whether selling tickets to our visitors, organizing the books in our library, maintaining the buildings, or providing special expertise in a vehicle restoration effort, you are needed and welcome to join us. This fall, as you renew your membership, please consider areas of interest listed on the renewal form and check those you can help in. Make 2003 the year you help make it happen!
Reviewing museum attendance through the Third Quarter of this year, we find we are lagging behind this time last year, but ahead of the same period in 2000. Last year we enjoyed the largest attendance since 1996, and that was due to two things: the two-day special event "Trolleys Return to Rochester", and our first attempt at boosting winter visitor count with "Bring Your Own Train." 2002 tracked almost exactly with 2001 as the year began, confirming the popularity of BYOT. Cumulative attendance this year actually exceeded that of 2001 through June, dipped in July, and then picked up again in August with the popular two-day "Diesel Days" event put on by the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.
Group tours once again are contributing in a major way to total attendance. Through the Third Quarter, over 36% of the visitor headcount is attributable to group tour visitors. School classes typically come in the spring—after track car season starts but before school breaks for the summer. We also get summer camps and day care groups, assorted scouts, group homes and organizations that deal with people with a variety of handicaps, as well as auto and model railroad clubs, senior citizen homes, and professional societies. An example of the latter was the Annual Conference of the New York State Association of Transportation Engineers, hosted by the local section. A busload of transportation professionals came to visit one afternoon of the 3-day conference, and despite some rain, they had a great time.
We always enjoy the feedback from groups, often in the form of drawings from each child in the class depicting their favorite experience at the museum. Their recreations of track cars, trolleys, and some of the oddest things that apparently "stuck" are really entertaining. One particular response came from Dave Fiorito of Genesee Bakery and Deli. His son’s history club has come several times and they are always very
interested and knowledgeable…something that makes it more rewarding for us. Dave was kind enough to provide the cookie tray for our end-of-track-car-season cookout, thanking all the track car operators and Gift Shop personnel for their summer’s efforts.
Glancing through our Visitor Log, we find that many of our visitors come from far beyond the Rochester area. Antioch, Illinois told us we are "A very enjoyable place to visit", and Hegins, Pennsylvania proclaimed us a "Great tour and facility. Fun!" Warren, Ohio offered "Kudos and good luck". And from Safat, Kuwait: "A great effort to restore railroad history". Less verbose (but, we trust, just as satisfied) visitors signed in from Bath, England; Garland, Texas; St. John’s, Newfoundland; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Sherwood,
Dick Luchterhand, a regular on group tour guide duty, tells Oregon. Oahu, Hawaii is in the book too. "Awesome", they said.
The Internet is extending our reach to a worldwide community of people interested in transportation history. Through "contact us" on our web site, we’ve entertained a number of questions from researchers and students. The number of hits on our website is now around 14,000. We hope you’ve had a chance to check us out atwww.nymtmuseum.org to see what it’s all about.
Of course, there’s much that happens at the museum behind the scenes and not directly in support of visitor operations. In separate articles in this issue, read about the great progress we’ve made on New York State Railways Rochester & Eastern 157! Note the work being done to organize our Archives and improve storage of our many artifacts, books, and paper items; and learn about the many other accomplishments that add up to keeping us growing and improving.
We tend to picture our volunteers shoveling ballast or selling books in our Gift Shop, but there are also many behind-the-scenes jobs that keep the doors open and the museum’s accreditation up to date. Although this issue’s Spotlight victim has gasoline in his veins, his contribution is in number crunching and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Meet Steve Morse.
Steve was born in 1963 and grew up in Penfield, NY, the son of Gary and Joan Morse (Gary is also an NYMT volunteer…most associated with his restoration of our Rochester Subway "Casey Jones" track car). Steve’s first real brush with transportation was as an 11 year-old employee at the family Amoco station on Broad Street, pumping gas and doing general maintenance work. It was a full-service station, back in the days when a fill-up meant you got your oil checked and windshield cleaned too. However, "more than once I managed to forget to put the gas cap back on before a customer drove off", Steve recalls with a chuckle. Not feeling any inclination toward mechanics, he didn’t get involved in auto repair, but admits he could have enjoyed someday running the business had circumstances permitted.
Other early part-time and summer job experience included a Times-Union paper route, baking donuts at a Tops Market, and a summer building roof trusses on the 3:30 p.m.-to-2 a.m. shift at Morse Lumber Company (Steve says the lumber company Morses are distant relations, but doesn’t think it was a factor in landing this plum of a job!).
Steve majored in accounting while at Rochester Institute of Technology; he worked part time doing accounting work at Lake Shore Country Club and handling the books for the several business ventures of a local attorney. After graduation in 1986, he worked for two regional public accounting firms prior to joining Deloitte & Touche LLP in 1991. He had advanced to Audit Manager there by the time he left in 1999 to take a position as Corporate Consolidations Manager at Genesee Corporation, his current employer.
At Genesee Corporation, shareowners voted to follow an orderly plan of liquidation and dissolution in October 2000, and the process was started to sell off the Genesee Brewery and numerous other businesses. Steve became Vice President and Treasurer upon the closing of the brewery transaction in December 2000, and is currently Vice President and CFO of Genesee Corporation. Meanwhile, High Falls Brewery Company LLC was formed by its new owners and continues satisfying the world’s thirst for the Genesee family of beers.
Other businesses were then sold, including Ontario Foods (private label dry foods like bullion cubes, noodles and sauce, etc.), real estate holdings, and equipment leasing. Steve expects to see the process through until all assets are sold and all collections are in; then he’ll look forward to new career challenges with a nice page in his portfolio for his efforts.
Outside of work, Steve and Kim, his wife of 16 years, live in Penfield with their two children, Kayla (12) and Austin (8). Both kids like sports, with Kayla especially into horseback riding and swimming. Austin particularly likes playing in the Penfield Little League, and does well despite being profoundly deaf.
Steve somehow finds time to serve on several local boards, including the Rochester School for the Deaf (where he is also Treasurer), and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Foundation. He’s also on the Board of the Susan B. Anthony House, and is Chair of the Community Services Committee of the Rochester Chapter of the New York State Society of CPA’s. This doesn’t leave time for one of Steve’s early interests—serving as a volunteer fireman (he served on the Penfield corps from 1982 to 1986, and in Hamlin’s outfit in the late 1980’s). He has, however, started piano lessons and says he likes just about any kind of music. We wonder if he’ll be a candidate for our calliope someday…
Steve likes open wheel auto racing and follows the Formula One races. A recent acquisition is a 1983 Porsche 944 which is in good condition and that he enjoys tooling around in and working on with his dad.
The museum’s Board gains much from Steve’s financial knowledge and from his perspective serving on other boards. He has set up a whole new accounting system for us, with revisions to our Day Sheets and Treasurer Tony Mittiga’s bookkeeping journals, and including computerized financial statements as well. The latter are generated by Steve’s dad, and they give us not only a more up-to-date picture of our finances, but also provide professional-quality reports when applying for grants and reporting to various agencies. Steve also handles our annual IRS tax reporting—a big load off the shoulders of those who had been struggling with this annual burden.
Looking to NYMT’s future, Steve wants to see us develop a Strategic Plan, with appropriate fund raising, that would get us to a point where a paid Director could handle the routine tasks of managing and maintaining the museum. This would render the volunteers more available to operate, restore, guide groups, and the like. In time, we could be open more days, increase our visitor count, and continue to grow.
That’s a noble goal, in line with our Vision for the museum. With Steve Morse’s continued valuable contributions of time and expertise, we should be able to achieve it.
PORTAGE CROSSING TURNS 150
Reporting on the 75th anniversary of Centralized Traffic Control and the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes didn’t leave any space in the Summer issue of HEADEND to commemorate another important date. We thank David Minor for alerting us to the fact that it was on August 9, 1852 that the first train crossed the Genesee River on the high bridge at Portage, New York.
Soon after the completion of the Erie Canal, the dream took hold of a direct, through transportation route between New York City and the Great Lakes, one that didn’t involve first going to Albany as was the case with the Canal and would be the case with the still-forming New York Central. After many long years of effort, in April 1851 the last spike was driven near Cuba, New York, and the New York and Erie Railroad brought that dream to reality.
The western terminus of the line was at Dunkirk, New York. But during the long years of NY&E construction, the Erie Canal had brought phenomenal growth to Buffalo, which inspired a branch line from Hornellsville (later Hornell, New York) to that city. The one big obstacle on this route was the Genesee River gorge at what we know today as Letchworth State Park.
A timber trestle was envisioned to bridge the 900-foot width of the canyon. According to Edward Hungerford’s "Men of Erie", 1,600,000 linear feet of timber and 106,280 pounds of iron were assembled to create this amazing structure. Hungerford tells us, "In its 50-foot spans and benches, it was so fabricated that if any one of the members was found to be defective, that member could be taken out and replaced without disturbing the rest of the structure". Cost of the bridge came to $175,000.
It took two years to complete the bridge, and on August 9, 1852, the Erie’s favorite locomotive, the "Orange", pulled the first train across to much celebration. Again with thanks to David Minor, we have this report of the great event from the August 17, 1852 edition of the Wyoming County Mirror, published in Warsaw, New York:
Portage Bridge—First Crossing
Last Saturday, at 4 o’clock, p.m., an engine, and train of cars crossed Portage Bridge for the first time. We were there, and never felt happier in riding on a railroad than we did in going with that train over this stupendous structure. It was one of the most thrilling scenes we ever beheld. Thousands had congregated on each bank to witness the performance, who chose to be spectators rather than actors in the first scene; and as the old Orange, (the pioneer of all railroads, by pre-emption right,) came down with its train to the west bank of the river, preparatory to crossing, and sent forth a long, wild scream from her startling whistle, a thrill seemed to pass through the concourse which cannot be described; and the conversation of many indicated that they almost expected to see that mighty fabric of timber and iron belts, as the train approached its center, tumble with its thousand human beings into the awful chasm below, to be hurried in an instant over the great falls that roar almost beneath. There were three open cars, a baggage car and two passenger cars, which, with the engine and tender, were completely covered with persons eager to take the ride. Everything was admirably arranged, and our old friend Doty, the conductor, performed his part like a gentleman. Messrs. Lauman and Rockafellow, of the Contractors, Col Seymour, Chief Engineer, Mr. Haywood, President of the Company, and several of the Directors, were present, and occupied the tender. The train started from the west side with as much speed as possible, and probably did not occupy over one minute in crossing. When the train arrived directly over the river, and 240 feet above it, the people on board, and those on the bank, sent up such a shout as drowned even the roar of the falls; and as the train passed, the cheers continued, amid the whirling of hats by the men, and waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies who were scattered over the east bank and filled the balconies and windows of the Mountain House. Many ladies passed over in the train, occupying the passenger cars, and seeming to enjoy it as much as those who have sometimes been considered bolder than they. At 5 o’clock the train crossed again, on its return to Attica, filled with people.
But the Bridge itself—It was as firm as the rock on which it is founded. We do not believe it moved in any direction to the amount of one hundredth part of an inch. The surface of the water, which stood upon it in tubs, showed but a slight tremor as the cars passed. This Bridge is the most wonderful structure of the kind in this, if not in any country. The chief builder is Joseph Pencil, of Pennsylvania—W. R. Watous, builder of the mason work. The work is so perfectly constructed, that in looking across the top and ends of the top timbers, not the eighth of an inch variation from a straight line can be observed. Both the masonry and wood work reflect great credit upon the builders; its design is equally creditable to Col. Seymour, and the whole thing, with its completion so much earlier than had been expected, is creditable to the enterprising Contractors, Messrs. Lauman, Rockafellow, and Moore. In fact, we believe it has been the salvation of the Company that the work went into their hands; and they are now doing much, with others, by affecting important connections of the road with others at Buffalo, &c., to render it one of the most important roads in the country.
The trains are hereafter to pass the Bridge daily; and we understand that after to-morrow there will be the same number of trains west of the river, as east of it. We will publish the time table, if the officers desire it.
Separate articles in the Mirror inform us that no one was killed or seriously injured in the construction of the trestle, although a brouhaha broke out just before the celebratory train made its triumphant crossing, leaving several men with more traditional injuries. Seems the track workers and the bridge workers disagreed on who got to occupy the first car on the train behind the locomotive.
One footnote: as if all this technological accomplishment were not enough, a fire destroyed the wooden bridge in 1875, and in just 47 days a new wrought iron bridge was designed, fabricated, erected and put in service!
HO MODEL RAILROAD ROOM
By Vern Squire and Dick Luchterhand
The breadth and variety of the museum’s public offering often evokes praise from our visitors. We have trolley cars, a steam locomotive, highway and horse-drawn vehicles, a shiny red fire truck, numerous displays and small artifacts, and a large operating model railroad. Regarding that HO layout, a small but dedicated group of volunteers operates and maintains this major attraction. We recently asked the people in charge for a review of the layout activity, and they came up with the following article. If this sounds like fun, call the museum at 533-1113 and express your interest. You’d be a welcome addition on the team.
Always a popular exhibit at the museum, the model railroad is forever in a state of flux. For those unfamiliar with the history of the model railroad, a short review might be in order. It began as a project of the Employees Activities program at the Gleason Works [Gleason Corporation, on University Avenue in Rochester] over thirty years ago. In 1990, the building in which the layout was housed was sold, and the model railroad was donated to Monroe Community Hospital. There, Vern Squire and Dick Luchterhand commandeered a cadre of helpers, and the 11 ft. by 21 ft. layout was upgraded and changed for the benefit of patients in the hospital.
Some eighteen patients came on a weekly basis to run the trains, which were maintained by Dick and Vern, plus a few other volunteers. The hospital built a ramp and accompanying stages for easier wheelchair access. Those ramps and stages are still with the layout today at NYMT, and improve viewing by children and handicapped visitors. About seven years ago, the hospital needed the layout space to provide more room for patient care, and it was necessary to again move the layout. Space was negotiated at NYMT and arrangements were made between the museum and the hospital for the layout to take up residence in its third home. A large room was built around the layout, with good lighting and gas heat.
Since then, Dick and Vern have been assisted by Jack Allen and lately by Bob Nesbitt in maintaining and running the HO pike. They meet every Thursday at the model railroad room to work on the layout, do maintenance and make improvements.
Some of the upgrades made during this past year have been hardly noticeable to the visiting public. Indicator lights have been installed on the Yard Panel as well as the Tower Panel that controls the three main lines. These indicator lights make it possible for operators to determine which way switches have been set on many of the tracks. This is important on Sundays when we often operate more than one train over the same stretch of track, and many of these switches are not able to be seen. We have been especially grateful to Doug Anderson for the creation of many wiring harnesses that are necessary for the electrical currents to flow properly to the green and red indicator light bulbs. More obvious to visitors is the installation of two main line crossovers, one in front of the main station and the other near the city downtown area. These crossovers permit trains to switch between the "red" and "blue" main lines. Other switches have been replaced, including a double crossover in front of the main station that allows operation of the Autotrain into and out of the main station, and also provides flexibility in operating the "Doodlebug".
Early on, public operation of the layout was limited to the three continuous-loop main lines. Visitors enjoy seeing the trains go round and round, and it gives the operators the freedom to talk with visitors, answer questions, or remedy a temporary problem without interrupting the action. Soon, the trolley line was activated, so that a city car could wend its way from the amusement park through the streets of the city and to a point where it meets an interurban trolley. The latter heads out on its cross-country trip while the city car returns to the park with a new load of fun-seekers.
More recently, several previously unused and unelectrified blocks of track have been reactivated, and manual switches have been installed to access those blocks. This now gives the operators the ability to run things at greater capacity. The protocol is to be able to operate all three main line trains on any of the three lines so that, for example, the freight train normally operated on the outermost loop can navigate all the way into the freight yard and back again. This provides more realistic operating opportunities and variety for our visitors, but also eliminates the need to remove a train by hand and put it back down when the need arises.
Visiting kids are fascinated at the layout’s miniature world.
What’s next on the timetable? There are still several indicator lights to install, and some switch machines to install and activate on the double crossover, as well as considerable deferred maintenance on locomotives and rolling stock to take care of. A major new addition now underway is construction of an N-scale model of the Rochester Subway system. A project of the Young Modelers, the Subway layout will be a nice addition to the model railroad room.
Then too, the layout has much more operating potential than can be handled by the current crew. Full operation would entail at least six operators, one or two roving ground personnel to pick up trains when they "go on the ground", and a Division Superintendent to coordinate things. The crew assembles every Thursday, and works together from 9:30 in the morning until mid-to-late afternoon (depending on what mischief they get into). They brown bag their lunches and invite anyone with an interest in building or operating model railroads to join them. Leave a message at the museum (533-1113) or call Dick Luchterhand at 334-9228 to get involved.
"B.Y.O. Train" will once again be a popular feature at the museum, Sundays January through April.
YOUNG MODELERS BACK IN BUSINESS
Dick Luchterhand informs us that with the end of summer, it’s time again to convene the monthly sessions where boys and girls can meet to operate the museum’s HO model railroad and learn techniques for constructing layouts, making scenery, and dispatching trains. Their major project this season is an N-scale model of the Rochester Subway.Meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month from now through spring, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Kids aged 8 to 14 are welcome, accompanied by one parent. If you would like to participate, leave a message at the museum (533-1113) or call Dick Luchterhand at 334-9228 to get involved.
SHOP REPORTby Charlie Lowe
Hornell Traction Co. 34:Additional work on this car’s shop truck, including proper longitudinal supports for the car body and strengthening of the frame, has recently been performed. All is in readiness for Matthews Building Movers to place the car on its shop truck.
New York State Railways, Rochester & Eastern 157: Repair work on this car’s
Baldwin trucks was completed in August by Don Quant and Jim Dierks.
A steel angle was bolted onto the transverse frame member on each truck bent slightly during the July movement of the trucks, bringing the attached brake rigging back into alignment. Work then proceeded on giving both trucks a coat of black paint to both arrest any ongoing rusting and to make a better presentation to the public. Very little original paint remained on these trucks but it seemed to be gray in color. Motor leads have been inspected and knuckle joint cable connectors have been soldered onto the appropriate cables. On October 24, 2002, Bob Miner piloted L-3 and brought 157’s new trucks inside for placement under the car. On 157 itself, considerable effort was put in by Charlie Lowe, Tony Mittiga, Randy Bogucki, and Gary Morse removing the old bolster bearing plates and several rusted-in mounting bolts. Bearing plates that came with the Baldwin trucks were modified to fit 157’s bolsters by Charlie, and bolster areas that will be difficult to reach once the trucks are in place have been painted black. Unlike most surviving steeltrolley cars, 157 is almost completely rust-free, thanks to its long-time (1932 to 1970) use as a cottage supported by an elevated foundation.
Philadelphia & Western 161: Paul Monte has set up a new area for painting window frames and light fixtures. Evicted from the former sanding room by substation construction, he has placed the 161 parts he is working on in the area between 409 and C-130.
Philadelphia & Western 168: Charlie Robinson is now refinishing the side windows on 168. In the six years that the two
former P&W cars have been at the museum, rain and snow have been attacking the wood window parts, while assorted rust holes have been growing.
The museum has invested in two high-grade truck tarpaulins to place over car 168 to protect it from Rochester winters. Come spring, the tarps will be removed and the car will be readied for operation once the substation is built. Speaking of operation, Roger Harnaart has fabricated and installed a new stirrup step so our operating crew can climb on and off more easily.
New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 437: Plans for replacing rusted steel members on platform beams is underway. Such strengthening will be necessary for placement of heavy controllers and other apparatus needed to operate the car. Composite wood and steel construction was used whereby wood beams were strengthened during construction with steel plates bolted to the sides of the wood beams. Unfortunately, the car’s platforms sat very near the ground during its years (1936 to 1997) at Lake Lamoka, and steel plates and connecting bolts are very rusted with heavy flaking and some holes in plates being present.
Sound interesting? We can use your help on projects like these. Call us at 533-1113
ELECTRIFICATION REPORTby Charlie Lowe
Substation construction is about to begin, but preliminary work has been underway during the past few weeks. The former sanding room has been mostly cleaned out for conversion into the substation room, and the old wood walls have been removed. The windows and light fixtures for car 161 have been moved into the main car house for further work and the type M control system for car 157 has been moved into the parts storage area.
At a meeting held on October 8, 2002, the construction plan for the substation was determined. Work is to proceed from the inside to the outside. First, the substation room will be created by replacing the former wood and plastic interior walls with floor to ceiling cinder block walls. A large steel door will be provided about where the former door was located. To minimize condensation problems, all electrical apparatus will be located on the new interior walls of the substation room. A propane furnace will heat the substation room to at least 40 degrees F throughout the winter. All necessary conduits for the A.C. and D.C. cables will be run out of the substation room laid in the former manure chute, a concrete lined trough under the exterior wall. Trenching for the conduits will extend from the manure chute in a direct line toward the last Niagara Mohawk pole about 150 feet to the south. Initial construction will extend the conduits only as far as just beyond the loop track pending final determination of how our system will tie into the Niagara Mohawk line.
Most of the substation components, including switches and the rectifier, are on hand. Although many hours of work lie ahead, construction of this final piece of the electrification puzzle will permit routine operation of trolley cars at NYMT. An optimistic schedule might include testing of the system as soon as next summer, with public operation late next year.
TRACK REPORTby Charlie Lowe
Track reconstruction on Track 1 in the car house is now completed. Randy Bogucki and Tony Mittiga performed most of the work with Charlie Lowe providing some assistance. The final stage of work was to spike the rail in place by hammering spikes through the plank ties and into the underlying asphalt flooring of the car house.
Now standard-gauge and ready to support car 157 with its replacement Baldwin trucks, this 60-foot-long extension was the longest addition of track to the museum complex in recent years. Work has now shifted outside to the loop track where Randy and Tony are currently removing ballast and ties from areas where substation conduit will be laid under the museum railroad. All ballast removed is screened to separate out any dirt and debris so that the former Lehigh Valley rock ballast can properly support new ties once the conduit is laid.
CLEANING UP THE ARCHIVE ROOM
Any museum devotes a lot of space and time to the items in storage awaiting restoration, exhibit space, or the probing eyes of a researcher. It’s true at NYMT too. Recently we received a number of donations of books and transportation related documents and artifacts, and they started to pile up in the few feet of available space in the Archive Room, awaiting cataloguing and storage. While we still had room to move around in the room, Ted Thomas decided to take some time away from cataloguing older items and put some time in on the problem, and the results have been good.
First, he dealt with the fact that we had outgrown the existing shelf space, by reviewing the hoard of paint and related supplies being stored in the room for reasons of temperature control. Out went any paint that had long ago dried up or become unusable; similarly, all oil-based products were sorted and placed in a separate, unheated storage location. The remaining few cans of water-based paints were put on a shelf unit John Corzine installed, and will remain there until a separate, heated location can be arranged.
The former paint shelving, plus the new shelf unit, added about fifty feet of shelf space to expand our library, which had reached critical mass a long time ago, with categories expanded in haphazard fashion and books piled on top of books. New volunteer JoAnn Lewis will be rearranging the books and cataloguing them through the winter.
Ted went to work in his home woodshop and built an extension to one of the main archive shelf units, providing room for another four or six of the standard lawyers’ cartons we use. A lot of miscellaneous items that accumulated in the Archive Room were moved to storage in the milking parlor to make room for this shelf extension, and while Ted was at it he put in a major effort culling out the many donated railfan magazines, sorting them and placing them in a separate spot for eventual sale in the Gift Shop.
The ongoing cataloguing of the many cartons that Ted has been doing has had the benefit of consolidating them. He often finds books, manuals and artifacts lurking in cartons, which can be stored elsewhere, freeing space for catalogued photographs and documents.
Ted’s cataloguing has led him to build a copy stand for making digital copies of photographs and small items, in order to put these images in the computer catalogue and onto our website. An interesting plus in this new technology: negatives, illuminated with a light box, can be photographed and digitally converted to a positive image. Anyone who has tried to "read" a negative can appreciate the benefit this brings.
We’re happy to report that Shelden King has been able to return to archive duty on a regular basis, at least until winter weather slows him down. Shelden’s encyclopedic knowledge of trolley and railroad facts is a great help in correctly identifying subject matter in those "mystery photos" that come up from time to time. His current undertaking is a review of the Vertical File, originally the John Woodbury collection of files on trolley lines around the country. We continue to file information there when appropriate, and add files too. Shelden is inspecting each folder, assuring that the contents are in the right place, sleeving any photos, and putting his librarian background to work with proper "see also" files. This latter point is critical in cases where a company had several names over the years.
We’re extremely fortunate to have the time and talents of Ted and Shelden in our Archive Room, and we welcome JoAnn to the team!
We’re always glad to hear from readers of HEADEND and we were pleased recently to receive a letter from Vince Reh, former volunteer and now NYMT’s Official Vermont Representative. Vince writes that he particularly enjoyed the CTC article in our Summer issue, as well as Don Shilling’s "Journey From Geneva on the "Orange Limited".
He has some additional information to share about the glass insulators that the story said were made in Victor, NY at the Locke Insulator Company. Vince writes that the idea that the Rochester & Eastern’s glass insulators were made in Victor "…isn’t entirely true. Because Locke was pioneering some radical designs in porcelain insulators at the turn of the century, he was having problems getting his insulators to function. Until he could get his process down, he contracted with Brookfield in Brooklyn, NY to manufacture his designs in glass. Brookfield was a major manufacturer of glass insulators. Once Locke got things in order, he stopped supplying glass and switched totally over to his own porcelain designs".
Vince goes on to tell us that his hikes along the R&E right of way in years past netted a few souvenir insulators of both Brookfield and Locke manufacture. He also suggests that anyone interested in learning more about Locke and his insulators should check out a great book, "Fred M. Locke—a Biography", by Elton N. Gish
ROCHESTER STREETCARSNo. 24 in a series
by Charles R. Lowe
While Rochester Railway Company (and successor New York State Railways) was well-known for its car rebuilding, the company also built a few complete cars. Built in 1906 at Rochester Railway’s St. Paul Street shops, car 516 joined identical Rochester-built cars 510-514 constructed in 1904 (510-513) and 1905 (514). The 510-series cars, duplicates of the Brill 500-509 cars delivered to Rochester in 1904, augmented the Rochester city streetcar fleet at a time when traffic was growing and the company’s old single-truck cars were becoming ever more worn out and undesirable.
Cars 510-514 closed out their careers as two-man double-end rear-entrance-rear-exit cars, but 516 received further upgrades in 1929 when it was one-manned but remained a double-end car. Safety automatic air brakes, which would stop the car automatically should the motorman become disabled, were installed. Doors at the right-rear and front-left corners of the car were sealed, permitting the car operation to be changed to front-entrance-front-exit so the motorman could collect fares. White safety stripes were added on car sides for higher visibility, and a white safety sunburst design was applied to both ends of the car. "Front Entrance" designations were painted on dashes near doors to alert the traveling public as to what style car they would be riding in. Thus prepared for the onslaught of the Great Depression, car 516 survived in active service as a shuttle car. From about 1930 to 1933, car 516 (and 517, also rebuilt as a one-man, FEFE car) saw service on the Glen Haven line from East Main Station down to Irondequoit Bay. When this line was abandoned in 1933, car 516 (and, again, car 517) saw continued use on the Durand Stub from Durand Junction on the Seabreeze line, just south of Seabreeze Park, to the bath house in Durand-Eastman Park. As seen in our present view, car 516 is waiting in the yard at East Main Station for another day of service, probably on the Durand Stub line. This last assignment ended on August 23, 1936 when the Durand Stub was finally abandoned. Car 516 was scrapped soon thereafter.
HEADENDis published four times a year by the New York Museum of Transportation, © 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.
Editor Jim Dierks
Contributing Editor Charles Lowe
Printing James Root, Doug Anderson, Peter Leas
Publication Gil and Ruth Magraw