Headend in PDF

New York Museum of Transportation


Volume 34, Number 5 August 2020


An Outdoor Museum Visit

You Can Make Now

Ever since the earliest years of NYMT, outdoor exhibits have been an important part of any visit. In this article, we will examine each of these in order as seen when driving into the museum grounds from East River Road.

   1. Rochester and Eastern Shelter House: When waiting for the interurban in poor weather, a shelter house was a welcomed feature of any electric railway. Riders could wait inside and look for approaching trains through portholes on the sides of the building. NYMT’s shelter greets museum visitors just before crossing the museum’s rail line. This shelter house, seen below, came from Johnson’s Crossing, about five miles north of Canandaigua.

   2. Line Car 2: Line cars were used to reach the overhead wire when repairs were needed. NYMT’s line car 2 can be seen at the north end of the NYMT buildings. Originally Philadelphia snow sweeper C-125, it was used alongside NYMT’s snow sweeper C-130 (located inside) in Philadelphia. Line car 2 spent many years at Pennsylvania Trolley Museum before coming to NYMT in 2010. It now is the center of NYMT’s overhead shop.

   3. Work Flat Car 03: This car is stored under line car 2. It is used for track work jobs and can haul tools and parts to remote spots on the NYMT Railway. It has been rebuilt several times and is of unknown origin but probably dates to the 1940s.

   4. Interurban Trucks: The wheelsets under electric railway cars are known as trucks. These can swivel to permit the car to traverse curves in the rail line. Two pairs of trucks are stored near Line Car 2. The uncovered trucks are intended for Rochester Lockport and Buffalo car 206 while the trucks under cover were obtained for Northern Texas Traction 409 (stored inside), a one-time feature of Rochester’s long-gone Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant.

   5. Town of Rush Highway Snow Plow: “Big Bertha” dates to 1925 and was used by the Town of Rush for decades. It was repainted in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Town of Rush in 2018.

   6. Stationary Engine: This apparatus, shown at left, was obtained to supply a now-rare Leroi gasoline engine for gas-mechanical locomotive L-2 which once ran on the Rochester Subway and remains in storage inside NYMT’s display area.

   7. Buffalo Springfield Road Roller: Road rollers have been used to compact asphalt pavements for the past century. NYMT’s road roller, shown above, is a classic.

   8. Rochester Transit Service 233: This bus, shown at right, was used on the streets of Rochester in the 1970s.

   9. Rochester Transit Service 815: Bus 815, shown here, served Rochester in the 1980s and 1990s. This style of bus almost exclusively served Rochester for about ten years but is now entirely gone except for NYMT’s example.

   10. Greyhound bus: Interurban bus service in the 1940s was provided by buses such at this. Comfortable seats made long-distance highway travel by bus a practical and economical travel alternative. This bus recently served in a major motion picture.

   11. Bucket Truck 26 and 12. Auger Truck 27: The numbering of these trucks follows on the numbering of trucks used by New York State Railways in maintaining its surface street railway system. The white bucket truck can safely lift workers to the level of the overhead while the yellow auger truck, seen behind the bucket truck in our photo, can drill holes in the ground for the placement of poles and ground anchors for the overhead. It also has a crane to lift poles and place them in pre-augered holes.

   13. New York Central Crossing Shanty: Before automatic crossing signals came into use, a crossing guard would stop highway traffic when a train approached. In between trains, the guard was stationed in a small shanty. NYMT’s shanty was recently repainted into authentic colors.

   14. New York State Railways, Rochester Lines car 1402: An open car is often the most popular car at a trolley museum. Our open car 1402, awaiting restoration, is shrouded under a protective tarp.

   15. Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo car 206: A classic 1908 wood interurban, car 206 operated between Rochester and Lockport until 1931. It ran to Buffalo between 1914 and 1919, and today is the only known remaining electric railway car to have operated in that city.

[Museum grounds lie within the Town of Rush park system and are open to the public during daylight hours.]


It is with distinct sadness that it is my duty to inform readers of the passing of Carlos Mercado. Carlos served since 2015 as a museum Trustee and since 2007 as a motorman (badge 14). As a child, he had ridden Philadelphia streetcars to school so he brought a wealth of trolley-riding experience with him that few others at NYMT could ever hope to match.

Carlos attended Colgate University from 1964 to 1968, moved to Rochester after graduation and worked in banking. Carlos served as President of the Greece Chamber of Commerce and, at the time of his passing, worked with Visit Rochester. Occasionally, when I talked with him, Carlos would mention famous people of Rochester with whom he had spoken. I recall a story he told about talking with Bernard F. Perry, long-time NYS Dept. of Transportation Regional Director, who told Carlos that, while they might not agree on the issue at hand, he always appreciated Carlos' forthrightness.

Caring deeply about our museum, Carlos loved being a motorman and Trustee. Carlos was a regular attendee at the annual "Winterfest" events held in February, and managed many aspects of our "Winterfest"; in 2019.

Two of Carlos' visions for NYMT remain unfulfilled. One was creating a DVD from NYMT's collection of streetcar and Subway movies, a project which is partially completed. The other was to repaint the museum's PCC car into a Rochester Transit "tribute" paint scheme, as if the Subway had been re-equipped with PCC cars. Completion of both these visions would be a lasting tribute to Carlos he surely would have enjoyed. Charles R. Lowe.


Philadelphia and Western 161 — Car 161 was test-run over the full length of the railway on August 21, 2020. It is now out of service with its coach section heater system repairs underway. Jim Wiesner is working on shop drawings for replacement heat shields.

Philadelphia and Western 168 — Car 168 was test-run on August 21 and 24. Bob Sass, Jim Wiesner and Cody Catlin were among those participating in these runs.

New Jersey Transit 7 — The pedal box cover repairs were completed in August with the repainting of the cover back to its original green color.

Mowing Crew — The mowing crew of Dave Coon, crew leader, and Rick Holahan, Taylor Reed and Rand Warner, have kept the lawn areas mowed throughout the summer. The crew made emergency repairs to the Ford tractor's mower in August.

Overhead — Several branches interfering with the overhead near Remelt's Stop have been cut away.

Track — Brush clearing has been ongoing in August. Jay Consadine has been leading the charge through the ragweed along the line at the S-Curves.

Board — The members of the Board met informally on August 18 to discuss plans for reopening the museum to the public.


NYMT's purpose is to be open for public visitation so that the community can learn about the history of transportation in our area. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic holding steady, the NYMT Board of Trustees has considered when and how NYMT may once again serve the community in its mission.

The concept presently being examined is to create an outdoor-only operation centered around a trolley ride between NYMT and Midway.

Great progress is being made in adapting car 168 and our operating procedures for trolley operation in the COVID-19 era. Some photos of recent operations testing these new features follow.


Gerry Doerr, a long-time fixture in the model train room at NYMT, passed away on August 26. Even though he suffered in his last years with Parkinson's Disease, Gerry pursued his hobby of model railroading by keeping NYMT's model trains running smoothly.

Gerry's special interest in model railroading was traction, and he helped with the construction of NYMT's very popular N-scale Rochester Subway layout. Another accomplishment, performed despite his oncoming Parkinson's Disease, was completion of a 300-piece operating Ferris wheel for NYMT's HO layout, made in memory of Dick Luchterhand, who had a special interest in the layout's amusement park.

ROCHESTER STREETCARS......................... No. 101 in a series

Rochester and Syracuse 112
Photographer unknown

The most opulent electric railway ride one could have ever taken at regular fare on Rochester's street railway system was aboard one of Rochester and Syracuse Railroad's Chair Cars, in use from 1927 to 1931.

The R&S, an 87-mile-long double-track interurban between its two named cities, made several efforts to survive passenger losses to private automobiles in the 1920s. Two track changes, one in Lyons in 1923 and the other in Rochester (the Subway) in 1928, helped somewhat. Upgrading R&S cars also took place in the 1920s. Cars 110-129 were the mainstays of the roster. Purchased between 1906 and 1910, these cars were 53'-6" in length, seated 58 and had four 125-horsepower motors. Weighing about 43 tons, these cars gave a fine ride.

Beginning with car 112 in 1926, seven R&S cars were transformed into Chair Cars. Bucket seats and picture windows, created by the removal of window posts under arch windows, along with smooth steel siding and fresh orange paint, created a matchless luxury in travel. Our photo shows car 112 in early 1927 at Lakeland shops near Syracuse, just before entering service.

Alas, the Chair Cars were not destined to survive. After the last day of R&S service on June 28, 1931, the Chair Cars were held in storage at Lakeland for a year. No buyers came forward and all were scrapped in 1932.

[For further reading, see Jim McFarlane' s epic Travelectric, published in 2010 by Central Electric Railfans' Association as its Bulletin 143.]


Volume 34, Number 5 August 2020

HEADEND is a publication of New York Museum of Transportation, © 2020. 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
On-Line Publication Bob Sass

Board of Trustees

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

Department Leaders

Archivist Jim Dierks
Chief Engineer Charlie Lowe
Chief Lineman Charlie Lowe
Exhibits Manager Jim Dierks
Event Manager Nancy Uffindell
Facebook Managers Nancy Uffindell and Doug Anderson
Facilities Manager Dave Coon
Gift Shop Manager Doug Anderson
Group Tour Manager Jim Dierks
Historic Car and Building Manager Charlie Lowe
Information Technology Manager Bob Sass
Marketing Manager Jim Dierks
Master Mechanic Strafford Cars Charlie Lowe
Model Railroad Manager Kevin Griffith
Membership Manager Bob Sass
New Volunteer Manager Vacant
Officer of the Day Manager Jim Dierks
Substation Manager Bob Sass
Trainmaster Charlie Lowe
Water Quality Manager Jim Wiesner


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 .