Article From the Spring 2003 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation


Spring is a time of renewal for us all as we come out of hibernation and look forward to warm sunshine and the many activities that the coming summer makes possible. Itís true in our own lives and itís just as true at the museum, as we gear up for a busy season of track car rides, special events, maintenance and restoration efforts.

But looking forward can have a longer view as well. The Fall 2000 issue of HEADEND took a look at our status on the occasion of the museumís 25th anniversary and suggested readers imagine the NYMT of the future. Shortly after that, the Board of Trustees adopted the following Vision statement to help guide us to that future. Take a look. Weíve been happy to report significant progress along these lines, and thereís much more to do. Tell us what you think. Better yet, join the active ranks of museum volunteers and help make this vision a reality.


From our earliest days, honoring transportation history of our part of the country has led us to embrace many forms of transport. We will continue to include horse-drawn vehicles, highway vehicles, and trolley and railroad vehicles in our collection. We will also continue to accumulate paper goods and small artifacts relating to these many forms of land transportation, and to use them to interpret the evolution of transportation modes over time.


Operated solely by volunteers, our museum is currently open Sundays only, all year, as well as by appointment for group visits during other days of the week. Our vision for the future includes being open more days of the week in order to better accommodate area residents, and to attract more tourists passing through the Rochester-Monroe County area.

Someday more than group tours will visit us on weekdays.


We will add vehicles to our collection in order to more completely describe the evolution and technical development of the various transportation modes, and to maintain a full complement of exhibits when vehicles are removed from exhibition for restoration. For example, we expect to be able to exhibit a mid-1950ís transit bus in order to better connect our present buses with our early twentieth century streetcars.

Transit buses are the successors to our cityís trolley cars.


A full interpretation of transportation history naturally includes demonstration, something that is unique to us among Rochester-area museums and that has a special appeal to museum visitors. The future joint museum complex will be able to offer rides and demonstrations with motor vehicles, horse-drawn vehicles, steam locomotive-hauled trains, and a full array of trolley equipment including both streetcars and interurbans.


We will extend our overhead trolley wire to provide service between our museum and that of our partners, the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, at the far end of our joint rail line. A secure power substation will be constructed for safe and reliable power supply.

Recently installed poles will allow us to extend the trolley wire
over our rail line            Charles Lowe photo

Our museum will enhance its capacity to handle large groups, bus tours, and major events by enlarging parking and restroom and food facilities. We will extend covered storage and display areas to accommodate more vehicles. We will add open space for lectures, trade shows, special events, and private parties.


We will continue to add to our library of slide talks for presentation to community groups off-site; work with area teachers to more precisely align our group visit agenda with transportation modules being taught in schools; be available for high school and college student class assignments and for scout projects; and entertain historic research inquiries. We will also place our archive of historic photographs on the Internet for wider research availability.


We will continue the growth in membership that we have enjoyed in recent years, by providing attractive benefits to local families as well as accomplishments in historical restoration worthy of support from around the nation.