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The New York Museum of Transportation


Volume 33, Number 1 January-February 2019

Bob Sass and Cody Catlin are seen bringing 168 back into the trolley barn. Car 168 operated from track 1 while 161 loaded at the brick platform. NYMT crew ran 168 through the yard track before placing a guest operator at the controls. Photo by C. Lowe



Eighty Guests from Area Electric Railway Museums Enjoy Rides and Exhibits at

Each February, volunteers from trolley museums in the northeastern United States and nearby Canada meet at one museum to see each other, exchange ideas, make trades, ride trolleys and enjoy the fellowship of the event. This year, the event was held at NYMT.

There was much preparation work in the weeks and months before Winterfest, and the event began on Friday, February 15. Volunteers began arriving in the morning, and by late morning the overhead power was “on” so that heaters in our two operable cars could warm the car interiors. By early afternoon, both cars were rolling to make sure all was in working order and to give car crews a chance to practice operating routines.

By 3:00 p.m. on Friday, guest operations had begun. One of the most important components of a Winterfest gathering is to permit guest motormen to operate the host museum’s cars. A motorman from the host museum guides

Car 161 is seen at one of its many trips to Midway on February 16, 2019 during Winterfest. Photo by C. Lowe

the guest through the steps of operating the car and serves as a pilot. The NYMT Railway is considered particularly challenging for motormen because of its steep grades and sharp curves, but this year’s guest motormen did well with the challenges. In all, about fifty attendees this year enjoyed guest operation on 161 and 168.

The pizza dinner started shortly after 5:00 p.m., and trolley operation was suspended for the next hour or so. After dinner, the crew brought out 161 for night runs. The headlight bulbs we use are not true headlight bulbs so a spotlight is used to illuminate switch points and other locations ahead of the headlight’s glow, and deer. Several deer came out to railfan the railroad so having the spotlight was a big help. Regular NYMT crewmen were used on these runs, and the cars were back in the barn by about 8:00 p.m.

The Winterfest crew re-assembled on Saturday beginning around 8:00 a.m. Some on the crew got the cars warming while other put out coffee and donuts to warm the volunteers and guests. A “job briefing” was held in the gallery between 9:00 and 9:30, at which point trolleys began running. This writer was very busy during the day as a pilot for our guests, but I did see that food magically appeared throughout the day. The weather was colder than the day before, and really did not make it out of the 20s; any time I was able to get to the hay barn I saw our guests availing themselves of our virtual “horn of plenty.”

All through Saturday, trolleys were running just as often as we could get one car back to NYMT and the next car rolling. This permitted as many guests as possible to guest operate. A giant book sale also drew the attention of our guests, and enormous sales resulted. With fading light and the Saturday banquet about to begin, the trolleys were placed in the trolley barn, crew cleaned up a bit, and then all made their way to the banquet hall.

One of the special aspects of this Winterfest was the inclusion of a shuttle train to allow guests to view Rochester Transit Corp. car 60 at Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. The shuttle ran from 1:00 to 3:00. All meets between trolley and train were executed with a professional level of timeliness.

Bob Achilles and Jack Tripp spent most of Winterfest in the gift shop, tending to the needs of our guests. Photo by Joel Salomon

A lot of the action during Winterfest took place on the cars. Photo by Joel Salomon

It’s rare to catch a photo with both 161 and 168 out on the line but you can see 168 in the background if you look closely. Photo by Joel Salomon

Night runs are an integral part of Winterfest events. Two photos by Joel Salomon

Car 60 at RGV was of great interest to Winterfest guests. Photo by Joel Salomon

The banquet was held at the Ely-Fagen Post 1151 of the American Legion, in Henrietta. About one hundred Winterfest attendees filled the hall to capacity. A very fine dinner was served, after which a slide show was presented which showed in-service photos of cars which have survived at museums as well as a brief look at Rochester’s Subway as it was in the 1950s. And with that, Winterfest came to a successful close.

The NYMT volunteers took a bow at the Banquet. Photo by Joel Salomon


Philadelphia and Western 161 and 168 — Jay Consadine and Jack Tripp worked together to oil various bearings on both Strafford cars just before Winterfest.

Philadelphia and Western 168 — Bob Sass and Charlie Lowe worked with others and re-wired the cab heaters so all four worked. To keep this heat concentrated in the cabs, the bulkhead doors were re-installed.

Track — The track crew snugged up several loose bolts and installed a gauge rod at one spot of wide gauge. They also opened the derail at Midway to permit passage for RGV trains on the Saturday of Winterfest.

Grade Crossings — Jay Consadine made sure the grade crossings were ice-free for the passage of trains both before and during Winterfest.

Board — On January 15, 2019, the Board approved the movement of RGV trains north of the property line at Midway as part of the Winterfest event. The Board also determined the event schedule for 2019, and decided upon the 32-foot pit option as the one to pursue further. On February 19, 2019, the Board reviewed the recent incident with a snowmobile and asked that this be reported to the Town. Recent expenditures of $194 for fuses for 161 and 168, and $30 for pails for milking parlor roof leakage, were approved. A slightly revised budget, which allocates $1,000 for painting the north end of the trolley barn and $2,500 for applying new stone to the visitor’s entrance roadway, was approved.

Upcoming WinterFun Events at the Museum

March 24: A Look at Historic Trolley Cars Now at Museums and the
Rochester Subway (Charlie Lowe)

March 31: The Rochester and Eastern (Charlie Lowe)
April 7: The Glen Haven Line (Charlie Lowe)
April 28: Streets of Rochester (Jim Dierks)
May 5: The Coburg Ferry (Tom Brewer)

All shows begin at 1:00 p.m. in the gallery.

Upcoming Special Events for 2019 at the Museum

Sunday, May 19: Trolley Rides Begin
Sunday, June 19: Father’s Day Special
Saturday, July 13: Trolleys at Twilight
August 2, 3 and 4: Monroe County Fair
Sunday, August 4: Railroad Day
Sunday, September 15: Antique Fire Trucks
Sundays, Sept. 15 to Oct. 27: Fall Foliage
Saturday, October 19: Halloween Trolley Express
Sat. & Sun., Dec. 7, 8, 14 & 15: Holly Trolley

ROCHESTER STREETCARS......................... No. 93 in a series

Rochester Transit Corp. 850-series car
NYMT Collection

One of the most interesting anomalies in Rochester's streetcar system was at the traffic circle located at the east end of the Veterans' Memorial bridge. The circle, opened with the bridge in 1931, had the St. Paul streetcar line cutting right through the middle of the circle. Here, we see a southbound car waiting at the south edge of the circle, waiting for a gap in the traffic to pull out, cross the circle and then travel on into Rochester on St. Paul.

Long-time Rochester drivers may recall the confusion at this traffic circle in the 1960s. How could a streetcar possibly have pulled out into rush-hour traffic? The simple answer is that before traffic became too severe, the trolley line was gone. By 1939, cars on the long South-St. Paul line vanished into history. Congestion at the traffic circle, though, became severe enough that, as Rochester's No. 1 traffic headache, it was finally replaced with a bridge for St. Paul about 1968.


Volume 33, Number 1 January-February 2019

HEADEND is a publication of New York Museum of Transportation, © 2019. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.
www.nymtmuseum.org (585) 533-1113


Editor Charles R. Lowe
Associate Editor James E. Dierks
Printer Bob Miner
On-Line Publication Bob Sass

Board of Trustees

President and Trustee Charles R. Lowe
First Vice President and Trustee Carlos Mercado
Second Vice President and Trustee Jack Tripp
Third Vice President and Trustee Nancy Uffindell
Secretary and Trustee Jim Dierks
Treasurer and Trustee Bob Achilles
Trustee Doug Anderson
Board Member Bob Sass

Department Leaders

Archivist Jim Dierks
Chief Engineer Charlie Lowe
Chief Lineman Charlie Lowe
Chief Track Car Operator Rich Fischpera
Exhibits Manager Jim Dierks
Event Manager Nancy Uffindell
Facilities Manager Dave Coon
Gift Shop Manager Doug Anderson
Group Tour Manager Jim Dierks
Historic Car and Building Manager Charlie Lowe
Marketing Manager Jim Dierks
Master Mechanic Strafford Cars Charlie Lowe
Master Mechanic Track Cars Rich Fischpera
Model Railroad Manager Bob Nesbit
Membership Manager Bob Sass
New Volunteer Manager Carlos Mercado
Officer of the Day Manager Jim Dierks
Substation Manager Bob Sass
Track Maintenance Manager Rich Fischpera
Trainmaster Charlie Lowe


Winterfest is completed, and we are at a point in the year where we can sit back and enjoy our many accomplishments with that event. Soon, though, another season will be upon us and it will be time to press forward. See you soon-at the museum!

Charles R. Lowe, Editor


The New York Museum of Transportation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit museum chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. We are managed and operated entirely by volunteers, and the welcome mat is always out for anyone wishing to join our work. Open for visitors all year on Sundays only, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., we also welcome group visits during the week by appointment.

We are located at 6393 East River Road in the Town of Rush, and our mailing address is P.O. Box 136, West Henrietta, NY 14586. www.nymtmuseum.org is the place to find us on the internet and learn much more about us. Also, you can visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NYMTmuseum.

Want to contact us? Call us at (585) 533-1113 or send us an email at info@nymtmuseum.org. And, remember to tell your friends!

Consider becoming a member www.nymtmuseum.org/Membership.php .