INVENTORY OF ABANDONED RAILROAD RIG!-ITS OF WAY REGION 4 NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OFQTRANSPORTATION RAYMOND T. QCHULER-, COMMISSIONER
INVENTORY OF ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHTS OF WAY, `ii', **,,*3.* HW YORK (STATE?. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. --=- REAL PROPERTY DIVISION. | REGION #4 COMPRISING THE COUNTIES OF: GENESEE, LIVINGSTON, MONROE, ONTARIO, ORLEANS, WYOMING 197}+
GLOSSARY BALLAST - Crushed rock or gravel, used in railroad beds to provide ground stability for laying ties and tracks. BERM - A longitudinal mound of earth used to deflect water; a narrow ledge or shelf. CULVERT - Any structure not classified as a bridge which provides an opening under any roadway. PRISM - As applied to canals, the entire area encompassing the sides which are parallelograms. TRESTLE - A braced framework of timbers, piles or steelwork 'for carrying a railroad over a depression. ABBREVIATIONS R.R. - Railroad Rte. or Rt. - Route R.O.W. - Right of Way E/S A East Side W/S - West Side 8 s M - Boston and Maine D s H - Delaware and Hudson P. C. - Penn Central
G. R. - General Electric Company
C. R. - County Road T/O - Termination/Origin II
TABLE OF CONTENTS GLOSSARY AND ABBREVIATIONS |^ R.i .%|^ R. II | * t @ O I O O O @ O @ O O O O O O O O O O 0 O O O O O . * V REGION #4 CASE STUDIES OF ABANDON|ENT LOCATION MAP CODE PAGE 4 ~ 1 Arcade and Attica Railroad Corporation |^~R. 4 - 1 Attica - North Java 4 - 2 Dansville and Monnt Morris Railroad |^~R. 4 - 5 Groveland Station Freightyard-Sonyea 4 - 3 Erie ; Lackawannaj|^~R. .|^~R.~. .`. 4 - 7 Livonia - Wayland ~ 4 - 4 Erie - Leckawanna |^~R. 4 - 13 Avon, Geneseo and Mt, Morris 4 ~ 5 Delaware, Laokawanna & Western |^~R. 4 i 19 North Dansville to Groveland 4. I | | `_ | . . - gm`-. O I. O O @ I O O O O O O O O O 4 3 | Dale to County Road #1 4 - 7 Erie - Leckawanna |^~R. 4 - 25 Genesee-Erie County Line to Hun Road 4 - 8 Lehigh Valley Railroad |^~R. 4 - 29 Hemlock to Lima 4 ~ 9 Lehigh Valley, Naples Branch |^~R. 4 - 33 Academy Street to Mt. Pleasant Street 4 - 10 Penn - Central . |^~R. 4 - 35 .Pittsford to Victor 4 - 11 Penn - Central . |^~R. 4 - 39 Batavia to Erie County Line A - 12 Penn - Central .. |^~R.||^~R. S |^~R. 4 - 41 Attioa & Batevia Branch 4 - 13 Penn - Central . |^~R.4|^~R. 4 - 44 Honeoye Falls - Holoomb o A - 14 Penn - Central . |^~R. 4 - 46 Churchville to Oakfield A - 15 Penn - Central ~. |^~R. 4 - 52 Rochester to Wadsworth Junction 111
LOCATION MAP CODE RAGE 4 - 16 Penn - Central |^~R. 4 . . . 4 - 57 Wadsworth Junction - Village of Pifferd 4 - 17 Penn - Central |^~R. 4 - 59 Piffard to Tuscarora Section 4 - 18 Penn - centml|^~R.4 - 61 Tusearore - Allegany County Line 4 - 19 western New York st Pexmeylvania|^~R.A|^~R.4 - 64 Nunda Junction to Nunda Section 4 - 20 | Western New York & Pehnsylvania |^~R. 4;F 66 Nunda to Swain Section 4 - 21 Penn - Central |^~R. 4 - 68 Holeomb to Caledonia (Peanut Branch) 4 - 22 Pennsylvania |^~R. 4 - 70 Scottsville and Garbutt 4 - 23 Rochester, Lockport & Buffalo |^~R. 4 - 73 City of Rochester to Orleans-Niagare County Line 4 - 24 Rochester, Syrecuse and Eastern Railroad |^~R. 4 - 77 Downtown Rochester and Nayne County Line ' 4 - 25 New York State Railways |^~R. 4 - 81 V Rochester & Sodus Bay Electric Railway City of Rochester and Wayne County Line 4 - 26 Rochester Rapid Transit and Industrial W|^~R, , , , . 4 - 84 7 Railroad or nsubway Rowlands Station and Troup t Howell Bridge 4 ~ 27 Halite and Northern|^~R..|^~R.4 - 86 Retsof and Cuylerville 4 - 28 The Rochester and Eastern Railways . |^~R. 4 - 88 City of Rochester and City of Geneva A - 29 Penn - Central |^~R. . . . . 4 - 91 Holcomb and Canandaigua 4 3 | | * | ` a Q @ ' I @ O @ @ * I O " ' . Q I I O O 4 3 | Canandaigua and Stanley | _ | | | | . ' . ` . @ @ @ @ O O O Q I I . O @ @ O 4 t | Ferry - Silver Springs 4 - 32 Lehigh Valley ||^~R. 4 - 97 ^ University of Rochester - Court Street IV
A. Approximate length 13 mi.
B. Approximate width 66'
C. General Conditions
Main business office of this railroad is located in Arcade, New York and continues to operate daily handling freight, etc., to neighboring businesses. The railroad also operates an old time passenger train service complete with the old steam engine from Arcade to Curriers, New York, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.
Railroad is operational to North Java, New York where it services the Reisdorf Feed and Grain Company. Reisdorf's have their main building and office on the south side of Centerline Road and the feed and grain storage bins on the north side of Centerline Road and freight cars are brought to this point on a single track system. The tracks extend for some 500' to the north and at this point dead end. This is so that several cars can be brought in at one time to remain for whatever purposes needed.
Proceeding northward beyond the grainery and continuing to Attica, New York, the railroad abandoned a segment which totals some 13 miles in January of 1957 due to an embankment washout near Attica. All track and ties have been removed leaving only the earth berm which supported the original one track system. Our investigation indicates that limestone ballast was probably not used in the construction of this road. The railroad right of way is 66' in width. We have also been told by the railroad Attorney's office that about ten years ago the above right of way was conveyed back to some of the original owners through quit claim deeds which information he has made available to this office and we are submitting herewith.
Said railroad bed is passable on foot from Centerline Road, North Java beyond Reisdorf's in a northerly direction-for approximately one half mile then due to heavy undergrowth and general deterioration of the original earth berm becomes impassable. Investigation was reestablished from Johnsonburg Road, Johnsonburg, New York southward for about l l/2 miles until heavy undergrowth prevented further inspection. It should be noted at this point that the old Johnsonburg Railroad station house is now occupied as a residence and that several barbed wire fences cross said right of way indicating various ownerships. Original earth berm remains in good condition up to the heavy undergrowth.
Proceeding northward from said Johnsonburg Road to Varysburg Route 20A the said railroad bed is near grade level and is passable and many barbed wire fences were encountered. Near Route 20A a portion of a dirt road now occupies some of the old railroad bed and the old station house still stands empty and in poor condition. The terrain at this point is rather rolling.
Continuing in a northerly direction from said Route 20A the old railroad bed is for the most part at grade with what appears to indicate a dirt drive used for farm equipment and this continues for approximately 4 miles to a gravel road named Cotton Hill Road which extends to the right to Route 98. This appears to be an entrance to the railroad perhaps for farmers in the area. Continuing northward about ½ mile said right of way becomes impassable for any kind of equipment but is passable only on foot due to general deterioration of the original berm support. A clearing is reached with the original earth berm intact and at this point said railroad is clearly visible from Route 98. Continuing northward several washouts were observed and we were told these particular washouts were the reason the railroad abandoned the road.
Railroad bed continues gradually reaching a point where it is crossed by Route 98. It should be noted that 3 houses were built since the abandonment on the west side of Route 98 and occupants are using a portion of the old right of way as part of their back yards all nicely seeded. The first house is owned by W. Colombek and the house number is 762 Route 98. Said railroad crossed Route 98 about 300' north of Dunbar Road which runs to the east.
From this point on no visible remnants of the railroad could be observed and it becomes totally impassable because of heavy growth. Attica prison can be seen to the east of Route 98.
In the Village of Attica said railroad crosses Exchange Street. A portion of about 600' on the south-west side of said Exchange Street is used for the Attica Rodeo. On the other side of Exchange Street continuing in a northwesterly direction Exchange Motors (Chrysler-Plymouth) have erected a small building on the old bed and in the rear of this building a portion of the bed is used for the parking of new and used cars. No observable remnants could be found here and to progress further towards the end of the line would be impossible because of heavy growth.
The right of way ends at the Westinghouse Plant which is not too far distant to the northeast. Only a few remnants could be observed near this factory namely railroad ties and what appeared to be a barricade.
Last, it may be of interest to know according to residents that people have used the old right of way from Varysburg, Route 20A to Route 98 near Attica for snowmobiles and that the old bed has proved useful for this particular sport.
SUMMARY 1. Approximate length of Abandoned Railroad is 13 miles. 2. Railroad ROW width is 66'. 3. General condition of the roadbed can be considered good for say 60% of the abandoned line. 4. All track, ties and signal facilities have been removed. 5. Ownership by private individuals has been sent to this office by railroad's Attorney. 6. Surrounding terrain is mainly level except for that section extending from Johnsonburg to a point about a mile from Route 98. 7. The principal land use is farmland and in the Village of Attica, industrial. 8. Possible recreational possibility could be snowmobiling as mentioned above. 9. Since the northerly end of the railroad extends into Attica, and Batavia, New York is about 20 miles distant, facilities could include bus, train and air services.
ARCADE & ATTICA RAILROAD Conveyance Liber Page Date Grantee Location-Town of Cons 333 457 11/5/60 E. J. Murphy Sheldon $1.00 333 472 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Bennington 1.00 333 473 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Sheldon 1.00 333 474 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Sheldon 1.00 333 475 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Bennington 1.00 333 476 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Bennington 1.00 333 477 11/5/60 Arthur E. Flury Sheldon 1.00 335 25 11/5/60 F. H. Volk Bennington 1.00 335 26 11/5/60 F. H. Volk Bennington 1.00 335 27 11/5/60 F. H. Volk Bennington 1.00 335 28 11/5/60 F. H. Volk Bennington 1.00 336 3 11/5/60 John Bray Sheldon 1.00 336 111 5/25/61 Victor H. Blom Attica 1.00 336 293 11/5/60 Gladys Twiss Sheldon 1.00 336 294 11/5/60 Gladys Twiss Sheldon 1.00 336 301 11/5/60 Harold Almeter Sheldon 1.00 336 333 11/5/60 Donald Kem Sheldon 1.00 336 334 11/5/60 Donald Kem Sheldon 1.00 338 209 5/25/61 Beryl M. Day Bennington 1.00 342 294 11/5/60 Linus G. Eck Sheldon 1.00 342 295 11/5/60 Linus G. Eck Sheldon 1.00 342 296 H/5/60 Linus G. Eck Sheldon 1.00 345 637 10/18/62 George Knoblock Attica 1.00 347 134 4/1/63 Anna V. Leiser Sheldon (Exchanges ST) 1.00 348 8 11/5/60 Charles Kumpf Attica 1.00 350 628 9/13/68 Bernard L. Almeter Sheldon 1.00 350 645 9/13/63 Robert W. Kohl Sheldon 1.00 352 395 11/5/60 Clifford R. Smith Sheldon 1.00 352 475 7/29/64 Arthur J. Welker Jr. Attica 1.00 352 474 7/29/64 Thomas R. Spink Attica 1.00 352 543 7/29/64 Paul Kreigel Attica 1.00 352 572 11/5/60 Donald Van Son Attica (Exchange ST) 1.00 352 786 11/5/60 Edwin H. Francis Sheldon 1.00 352 787 11/5/60 Edwin H. Francis Sheldon 1.00
355 77 7/29/64 Ivan Boss Attica $25.00 359 324 5/3/66 Victor H. Blom Bennington 1.00 363 399 3/30/67 Village of Attica & Village of Attica 1.00 363 417 3/30/67 Village of Attica & Village of Attica 1.00 366 476 1/9/68 Charles A. Reisdorf Sheldon 1.00 366 767 3/9/68 William J. Mueblbauer Sheldon 1.00 366 818 1/31/68 Village of Attica & Village of Attica 1.00
A. Approximate length 2.75 mi.
B. Approximate width varies
D. General Conditions
There is virtually nothing left of the railroad to make it discernible as the bed of a former railroad. It has been incorporated into the three farms through which it passes.
The abandonment began just west of the Erie Lackawanna Freight Yard in Groveland Station and proceeded northwesterly 1.75± mi. across the Kennedy farm to Pioneer Rd., a l rod dirt road, which crossed at grade. This is rich muck land and is almost entirely covered with water every spring. It then proceeded westerly across the Brady farm to Keshequa Creek on the State Farm where the bridge is out. The piers are still standing. The D & M M then proceeded l/4± to join the Pennsylvania Railroad which is also abandoned in the hamlet of Sonyea.
E. On August l3, 1971 the owner of the Dansville and Mount Morris Railroad was interviewed and it was found that the railroad never had title to any of the section which was abandoned.
This section was laid entirely against the wishes of the owners. The owners of the northern-most part which runs generally east and west refused to let the railroad through. The railroad laid the tracks around 1869 anyway and their open and notorious possession was never fought with any great vigor. On the southerly section the tracks were apparently laid by moonlight to complete the railroad in 1871. The railroads only claim to this land was their physical possession of it. When the R.R. was abandoned the owners took possession and are now farming it when the flood levels permit.
The railroad abandoned this line because of the constant flooding of the Canaseraga Creek and Bradner Creek Basin. Shortly after the abandonment Niagara Mohawk installed a utility line along the former line of the railroad and the route of the R.R. is still discernible only because of this line.
There are three parties occupying the bed of the former railroad. At the Sonyea end it is farmed as part of the State Farm at Craig Colony in Sonyea. North of Pioneer Rd. is farmed by Arthur Kennedy.
F. Terrain: Slightly undulating but generally flat bottom of valley.
G. Abutting properties are operating farms with some wooded areas.
H. Recreational possibilities are remote because of the constant flooding, and limited access from public roads as well as the private use presently being made of the ROW.
I. Proximity of Existing Facilities. Just east of Rte. 36 the bridge over Keshequa Creek is out making the ROW inaccessible from the west.
At the southeast end access is very difficult over the Erie Lackawanna Freight Yard.
The only place where there is access is from Pioneer Rd. which is a 1 rod dirt road in poor condition. Pioneer Rd. runs easterly from Rte. 36 south of Sonyea to Rte. 63 north of Groveland Station.
A. Approximate length 19 mi.
B. Approximate width 66' - 100'
C. General Conditions
The Erie-Lackawanna Railroad is abandoned from a point several hundred feet south of the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Station in the Village of Livonia, Livingston County, to an undetermined point south of the Village of Wayland, Steuben County. For the purpose of this report, however, only the 18.5± miles between the abandonment starting point at Big Tree Street, Livonia, and South Main Street, Wayland, is considered. The remaining Steuben County abandonment was surveyed by personnel from Region #6.
With a few exceptions, which will be noted below, the roadbed is in excellent condition. Rails and ties have been removed, and the overgrowth is limited to vegetation of a kind which is subject to removal with a brush hook.
Basic width of the right-of-way is 4 rods (66'). When it widens, it goes either to 6 rods (99') or to a variety of greater widths, usually for depot purposes. The terrain through which it passes ranges from open pasture to dense woods and from flat expanses to very steep side-hill contours. There are cuts as deep as 20± feet and fills as high as 30± feet. Abutting land is typically either brush and woods or devoted to crops and pasture, although there are a few instances of contiguous residential occupancy. The condition of the grade and its scenic route make this right-of-way close to ideal for recreational development. It is easily accessible, being close at all times to State Touring Route 15, which it crosses twice and from which it can be reached over a large number of intersecting roads.
BIG TREE STREET (IN THE VILLAGE OF LIVONIA) TO VANZANDT ROAD, 1.00± MILE:
Abandonment begins in cut with a footpath through light overgrowth which continues to a point where the slope has been bulldozed onto the ballast to accommodate the activities of the Champion Athletic Wear Mill which abuts on the east. From this point the ballast is clear and is suitable for traverse by automobile and light truck. Two field drives enter the right-of-way, indicating that it is used by farmers for rear-field access. There is occasional flanking box-wire fencing which is consistent with a 4-rod width.
VANZANDT ROAD TO CLEARY ROAD, 1.00± MILE:
Except for a partial washout at one point on the east side, this segment could be driven, and is apparently so used. There are fills as high as 30± feet, and the grade crosses a large cattle pass in excellent condition. An abandoned spur, which will be described in the appendix, is visible to the west.
CLEARY ROAD TO DECKER ROAD, 2.00± MILES:
Condition similar to that of foregoing segment. There are two farm drive crossings and one farm drive intersection. At a point just north of Decker Road there is an apparent encroachment by a small coal company on the east side. Sheds and coal piles are found within the right-of-way.
DECKER ROAD TO ROWLAND ROAD, 1.00± MILES:
Again, mostly drivable. One farming crossing. Right-of-way widens temporarily on south side of Decker Road where there appears to have been a freight station stop. There are two barns and one shed, all in fair-to-good condition.
ROWLAND ROAD TO FEDERAL ROAD, l.25± MILES:
Most of this segment is currently undrivable and is traversed only by a footpath. The overgrowth at times is fairly thick. One l5± foot culvert is missing. The right-of-way crosses Touring Route 15 and arrives shortly at Cole Road on a fill of 25-30± feet. At this point, the grade separation superstructure (a span of 25±') has been removed, but the headwalls and wingwalls remain and are in good condition. To the south of Cole Road, the right-of-way continues to-be overgrown with light brush up to the vicinity of Federal Road where it again shows signs of vehicular use. The northwest quadrant of the Federal Road crossing is occupied by a landfill operated by the Town of Conesus. This installation is moderately odoriferous.
FEDERAL ROAD TO RAILROAD AVENUE (IN THE VILLAGE OF CONESUS), 1.50± MILES:
Footpath only; overgrowth light to heavy. High fill; one cattle pass in excellent condition with well-established and attractive footpath running through it. Surrounding area wooded. At Railroad Post "JC 348", in a cut of 20± feet, the right-of-way is totally blocked by a transverse fill which was installed to replace a grade separation structure and carry Durkee Road across the abandoned railroad. South of Durkee Road the right-of-way goes through a swampy area with standing water on both sides. Approaching Railroad Avenue, the roadbed dries and becomes drivable. At this point the east side is apparently encroached upon by two residentially occupied shacks whose access to Railroad Avenue is via the railroad. The right-of-way in this vicinity is cluttered by a number of junked automobiles.
RAILROAD AVENUE TO MAY ROAD (IN THE HAMLET OF WEBSTER'S CROSSING) .7± MILES:
Leaving Railroad Avenue, the right-of-way is lightly overgrown as far as Marshall Road, where it becomes clear and drivable. An old foundation just south of Railroad Avenue is all that remains of what probably was Conesus Station. South of Marshall Road the grade goes through a low, muddy area for a short distance, then dries. There are two intersecting farm drives and one missing 15± foot culvert. At one point a low berm and a box-wire fence have been built across the right-of-way where a drainage ditch crosses from east to west. Just to the south and upstream, this ditch has been dammed, outside the right-of-way, to maintain a watery, swampy area which extends southerly for some distance along the west side of the grade. The easterly right-of-way line, as indicated by fencing, is at some points actually in a foot or two of water. There is an 8± foot drainage ditch on the west side on the approach to May Road.
MAY ROAD TO BECKER ROAD, 5.50± MILES:
Just south of May Road, junked automobiles and miscellaneous trash have been dumped on the right-of-way, but the occupants of a residence on the east side have extended a wall-kept lawn across the grade. Further south, an unidentified dirt road crosses. In this area, the railroad ran immediately adjacent to Route 15 on the west. The Genesee Valley Peat Corp. (Formerly Flower City) owns the abandonment for 3,000± feet (see title search, appendix), in addition to a separate dirt driveway from Route 15. After being drivable from May Road, the grade now becomes heavily overgrown.
Two culverts have been exposed by surrounding excavations or washouts. There is a 15± foot drainage ditch to the east, flanked by extensive swamp. Approximately 1/4 mile north of a point where the abandonment crosses Route 15 the grade has been mowed, and this condition continues to a point about 1/10 mile north of Route 15, where the abandonment becomes an un-named dirt Town of Springwater Road. This point was formerly known as Totten's Crossing.
South of Touring Route 15, the grade is clear and drivable to Harper's Ferry Road. South of the latter, it continues drivable all the way to the end of this segment at Beaker Road. Just north of the point where Harper's Ferry Road crosses, Springwater Station was once located, but there are today no visible remains other than an expanded roadbed.
The subsection from Route 15 to Beaker Road is scenically the most attractive of the entire abandonment. In the vicinity of Springwater Station it is high in the hills west of the Village of Springwater. From there to Becker Road it runs mainly through dense forest and along steep slopes, with deep outs and several spectacular fills, until it reaches open country in the floor of Springwater Valley.
BECKER ROAD TO SOUTH MAIN STREET (IN THE VILLAGE OF WAYLAND), 1.50± MILES:
From Becker Road to the Livingston County-Steuben County Line, a distance of approximately ½ mile, there is a footpath through light overgrowth. Just south of Beaker Road a residential occupant on the west has extended his lawn over the right-of-way. There are several other residences nearby, and there are two small ponds close by the grade. At the county line, Steuben County Highway 93 swings alongside the right-of-way and is adjacent to it all the remaining distance to Wayland. Near the village limits, a driveway crosses to a residence on the east, and the lawn again has been extended over the grade. Just north of Pine Street, in the village, a milling or woodworking plant is located west of the right-of-way and a scrap pile covers the grade almost in its entirety. Between Pine and South Main Streets in the village, the right-of-way widens appreciably, and it is apparent that there were at least three tracks. Present structures include a poured concrete garage and a long, concrete block cold-storage warehouse, but it appears that this was the location of the Wayland Depot.
APPENDIX "A" RAILROAD LANDS IN THE TOWNS OF LIVONIA-CONESUS-SPRINGWATER
Liber/Page Eggs Grantee EREEL Eggs 346 - 60 Springwater Flower City $1.00 4/25/1957 Peat Co., Inc. 361 - 84 Livonia Champion Knit- $1.00 ll/4/1959 wear Co., Inc. 369 - 3** Livonia The People of $12,000. 5/18.1961 the State of NY 373 - 673 Conesus County of $1.00 4/25/1962 Livingston
Ran in Granter Indexes the following:
Buffalo N.Y. a Erie R.R. Erie R.R. Erie Lackawanna R.R. Rail Road Company
International Salt Company Company Livonia Salt
**--(1) Kuders Corners-Sprinqwater Town Line, SH 828, Map 30 (2) Conesus -Wayland, SH 132lA, Map 2 1 (3) Conesus-Wayland, SH 1321, Map 80
LIVONIA SALT WORKS SPUR LINE:
The Livingston County Atlas of 1902 shows the Livonia Salt Works situated on the west side of the Erie Railroad approximately mid-way between Van Zandt and Cleary Roads. It also shows a spur, or service, railroad which leaves the Erie just north of Van Zandt Road, loops westerly around the salt works, and returns to the Erie just north of Cleary Road. This is a distance, therefore, of about a mile.
In the field, one finds that the roadbed of the Erie-Lackawanna did widen from one track to two just north of Van Zandt Road. South of the latter, however, where the Erie-Lackawanna goes into a high fill section, there is no evidence of any split-off grade. It is not until one reaches a point several hundred feet south of Van Zandt Road that this grade appears at the foot of the fill, and then it is well defined as it moves to the west and south to reach the site of the salt works. At this point, it is apparent that the single track became two, and possibly more, as it passed the buildings. It can be followed, as a single track again, for several hundred feet south of the plant site, after which it disappears completely. No remains can be found in the vicinity of Cleary Road.
This grade, from the time it first emerges south of Van Zandt Road, to the salt works, is in good condition and relatively clear. Rails and ties are gone. One structure, a double span culvert 30± feet long, is missing. It makes an interesting side-excursion for anyone hiking the Erie-Lackawanna.
Title appears to be in the International Salt Company, Retsof, New York.
A. Approximate length 15 mi.
B. Approximate width 66'
C. General Conditions
The Avon, Geneseo, and Mt. Morris Railroad, Inc. owned this right of way but it was operated throughout its existence by the Erie Railroad under lease. Its primary function was as an electric trolley line linking the three villages with Rochester for which it is named. It generally parallels New York Route 39, and the Genesee River, through the towns of Avon, Geneseo, Groveland, and Mt. Morris.
It is not in the Genesee River Valley but skirts the valley and river in some places.
The right of way was abandoned in approximately 1935, and sold in 1940 to the Avon, Geneseo, and Mt. Morris Realty Corporation (Liber 258, Page 333). The Realty Corporation has since conveyed the right of way to various private parties.
Tracks and ties have been removed and only replaced on one short section. Otherwise, the condition of the right of way varies widely. There is considerable evidence of private ownership.
The right of way will be described in sections because of its variations in condition and ownership.
In general, while the right of way possesses great scenic beauty, and could be used for recreation purposes, the fact that it has many private owners might make this difficult to implement.
AVON VILLAGE TO LIVINGSTON COUNTY ROAD 22
This segment is approximately 1.1 miles long between Spring Street in the Village of Avon and Livingston County Road 22 running west from Route 39 approximately .4 miles south of a small roadside park adjacent to Conesus Creek, where the right of way crosses Route 39.
The first approximately 2 city blocks of the right of way are in active use by General Foods, Inc. as a railroad siding. These tracks are at grade with Spring Street and the track, ties and ballast appear to be relatively new.
Beyond the operating track the right of way is at grade for several hundred feet with little vegetation and the ballast nearly gone.
At this point it gradually drops below grade and becomes quite thick with vegetation although still passable. It has been filled completely at one point immediately north of the Avon Village boundary for crossing by Linden Street, a small village of Avon Street. At this point a water pipe was visible above ground for a short distance (apparently property of General Foods).
South of the village boundary the right of way gradually rises above grade and crosses little Conesus Creek on a large fill section the right of way drops in grade and becomes impenetrable with vegetation until it reaches Route 39. It is approximately 25' above Route 39 at this point.
The bridge over Route 39 has been removed, but a large concrete section of this bridge over adjacent Conesus Creek is still in existence and is a well known local landmark.
A large quantity of fill has been removed from the south end of the bridge section making access to it difficult.
From the bridge to Livingston County Route 22 the right of way has almost disappeared and is nearly impenetrable with vegetation. (An unnamed unimproved town road crosses it at grade.)
As most of this section is in a small village, it passes through a wide range of properties industrial, agricultural, residential, and woodland.
This section would have limited recreational uses such as small linear parks and short hiking trails but the excessive cutting and filling would make it difficult to develop extensively for other uses.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY ROUTE 22 TO ROOTS TAVERN ROAD
This section is approximately 3.3 miles long, is generally at grade with a minimum of cut and fill. It crosses Hogmire Road an unimproved town road, South Avon Road, a macadam town road, and Houston Road an unimproved town road.
It is easily traversable on foot, or with a four wheel drive vehicle as the ballast is intact and cinders have prevented excessive vegetation growth on the roadway. (8' - 10' trees, mostly poplars line the ditches, however). In fact the majority of it could be driven in a passenger automobile. Two small culverts have washed out a short distance north of South Avon Road, but repairing them would present no serious difficulty.
The bordering land is almost entirely agricultural, flat and occasionally wooded. The presence of fences generally indicate which former abutting owners now own the various sections of the right of way.
Because of its excellent condition and scenic beauty this route could be used for a variety of recreational and transportation uses.
ROOTS TAVERN ROAD TO N.Y. ROUTE 63 (GENESEO VILLAGE)
This section is approximately 3.5 miles long generally level and at grade with a few large fill sections. It crosses Nations Road, an unimproved town road. In the Village of Geneseo; its eastern edge constitutes the entire western boundary of the village. (see foot note)
Between Roots Tavern Road and Nations Road the right of way is easily traversable on foot. It is, however, no longer a farm road but rather a broad grass covered strip apparently used as part of an adjacent hay field on the east side. (Only the west side is fenced). The right of way is still sharply defined, however, by shallow ditches lined with poplar trees.
A large bridge over Nations Road and Jay Cox Creek has been removed, and a substantial amount of fill to the north of Nations Road has been washed out by the creek. The grade of the right of way is about 20' above the road at this point. (Nations Road is in the stream valley).
South of Nations Road the right of way continues as before for a distance of about 1.25 miles where the right of way approaches the Genesee River and substantial fill sections are used over culverts which carry tributary streams. At this point the right of way becomes somewhat more grown-up with vegetation but is entirely passable.
Near the Village of Geneseo the right of way is used as a street (partially improved) for .7 miles ending at Court Street (see foot note).
Between Court Street and Route 63 (.4 miles) the right of way has almost disappeared. It crosses a construction site apparently connected with the adjacent State University Campus. There is also an abandoned foundry which apparently used the rail line when it was in existence.
A small bridge over an unnamed stream has been washed out about 1.2 miles north of Court Street, a short distance. North of this there is an area where the ballast has been washed away, but a path remains which is easily traversable on foot.
The bordering land is of several types: agricultural, industrial, residential, institutional (S.U.N.Y. at Geneseo), and some which is probably too wild for anything but recreational use.
The presence of fences on only one side of the right of way indicates private ownership. In addition, there are fences across the right of way at the following points approximately one mile north of Court Street (wood) approximately 1.5 miles north of Court Street (barb wire) on the north and south sides of Nations Road (barb wire) and at the south side of Roots Tavern Road.
Because of its scenic beauty, most of this section would have considerable recreational possibilities, and indeed some of it is probably useful for nothing else.
N.Y. ROUTE 63 (GENESEO VILLAGE) TO CANASERAGA CREEK
This section is approximately 4.2 miles long generally level and at grade with a few large fill sections near the Genesee River. It crosses Big Tree Lane, Dewey Hill Road (Routes NY 63, and US 20A), Jones Bridge Road (an unimproved town road), and an unnamed town road .9 miles south of Jones Bridge Road.
Between Route 63 and Big Tree Lane the right of way has largely disappeared into a flat field, although enough traces remain to make it distinguishable.
From Big Tree Lane to Dewey Hill Road, the right of way is at first almost gone, and just traceable by the small amount of gravel remaining. Gradually, however, it becomes more visible and completely choked with vegetation. It may be followed from an adjacent open field and farm road.
Approximately .l miles north of the Village of Geneseo a small section of the Town of Geneseo has been annexed to the Village of Geneseo. It lies between the right of way and the Genesee River to the west and is approximately 7 acres. It is used as a sewage treatment plant by the Village of Geneseo.
The right of way is apparently inside the village limits for at least the section leading to the sewage plant to connect its parcel with the remainder of the village. The purpose of the road which has been built on the right of way is apparently primarily to serve the sewage plant.
The right of way south of Dewey Hill Road is overgrown with vegetation for a short distance and then becomes a private farm road which is easily drivable in a passenger automobile for .6 miles until it reaches Jones Bridge Road where it begins to directly parallel the Genesee River.
From Jones Bridge Road south to Canaseraga Creek the road bed is completely choked with vegetation, but appears to be largely intact where accessible. The fill sections are along the river. The bridge over Canaseraga Creek has been removed.
Power lines parallel the right of way between Big Tree Lane and Dewey Hill Road. They do not appear to be on the right of way but at one point a guy wire crosses the right of way.
There are barb wire fences on the south side of Big Tree Lane and Dewey Hill Road.
The abutting land is residential, industrial (gas pumping facility immediately south of Big Tree Lane) and woodland. The route has recreation potential in some places because of the relatively good road bed and proximity to the Genesee River (especially the Jones Bridge Area).
CANASERAGA CREEK TO MOUNT MORRIS VILLAGE (ERIE STREET)
This section is approximately 2 miles long and is in varying condition. It crosses New York State Route 408 approximately .25 miles South of Canaseraga Creek, and an active line of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad approximately .3 miles east of the Mount Morris Village Line.
For a short distance beyond Canaseraga Creek the right of way passes through heavy vegetation, and then disappears almost completely into corn fields for .8 miles. It is visible here as a very slight hump in these corn fields. It crosses Route 408 in this area.
Beyond the corn fields it enters a swampy area and is in good condition having been built about 10' above the level of the swamp. It crosses the Erie-Lackawanna Line at this level (this line being built up in the same manner). The line enters the Village of Mount Morris about .3 miles west of the Erie-Lackawanna Line and disappears completely in the vicinity of Erie Street where it appears as a slight hump.
Abutting land is extremely flat except in the Village of Mount Morris and agricultural, residential, or swampy in nature.
It is doubtful if this section would have any particular recreational possibilities.
AVON GENESEO AND MT. MORRIS REALTY CORPORATION
Liber 258 CP 333 LIST OF SELL OFFS FROM 1940 TO DATE
RECORDING LIBER PAGE OWNER CONSIDERATION DATE 258 359 Frank P. Conlon S 1.00 3/26/1940 258 508 Fred D. Neff and Wife 1,150.00 5/ 7/1940 259 253 Kendall Refining Company, Inc. 800.00 8/ 6/1940 259 485 Samuel H. Masten 1.00 12/ 6/1940 259 535 Bath Iron & Metal Co., Inc. 1.00 l/ 7/1941 260 200 Big Tree Supply Company, Inc. 1.00 6/ 3/1941 263 427 Stuart H. Bush 200.00 10/l9/1942 264 40 Village of Geneseo 1.00 3/10/1943 267 52 Clarence C. George 125.00 2/ 7/1944 267 176 General Foods Corporation 250.00 4/13/1944 270 51 Western New York and Pennsylvania 400.00 10/l3/1945 Railway Co. 274 3l5 William P. Wadsworth 750.00 12/16/1946 277 ll2 General Foods Corporation 1.00 4/28/1947 329 48 George T. Stewart 27.50 3/30/1954 338 547 Louise M. Miner, James Welsh and 100.00 12/23/1955 Irene Welsh, his wife
A. Approximate length 9 l/2 mi.
B. Approximate width 66'
C. General Conditions
The ROW has been cleared of all tracks, switches, ties etc., except for the ties which are still in place over one of the bridges over Rte. 256.
There is a growth of weeds l to 2 ft. high over the entire length of the R.R. with only a nominal amount of small shrubbery restricting use of the R.R. bed. The entire length could actually be driven-on except for about l/2 mile stretch north and south of CR5l where the weeds are somewhat thicker and higher (2 to 4 ft. high).
D. Sharles Hill Road at the county line crosses over the railroad on a 2 lane wood plank bridge 20± ft. above the railroad grader.
Approximately 3,000 ft. west of the county line there is an active spring on the north side of the ROW and a 10' x 20' concrete holding tank with an 8" feeder.
Approximately 1,000' x 1,500' NW of the holding tank there are concrete culverts in fair condition under the ROW serving two natural drainage channels. From a point approximately 1,000 ft. west of the aforementioned culverts the ROW follows a course approximating the NE village line of Dansville for about 7,000 ft.
Approximately 1,600 ft. from along this village/R.R. line a telephone line crosses the ROW is a N/S direction.
Approximately 100 ft. NW of the telephone line an abandoned town road crosses the ROW in a north/south direction at grade with the R.R. This is the extension of the existing McNeil Hill Road which formerly led into the Village of Dansville. Approximately 2,800 ft. NW of the old road there is a 2 ft. round steel culvert encased in concrete in good condition. It was built in 1928, 1,600l ft. NW of the 1928 culvert is a 3 ft. round concrete culvert with concrete retaining walls.
This was built in 1923. Extending SW from the culvert is a 6' wide wooden sluice 20± ft. long. This culvert extends under the railroad and the abandoned town road which parallels it at this point. The R.R. ROW is graded 50t ft. wide at this point.
500± ft. to the NW the R.R. crosses the old Rte. 256 at grade. This is the site of the Dansville Station which has been demolished. Old Rte. 256 is a 2 lane macadam Road in very poor condition. Proceeding northwesterly the R.R. leaves the town of North Dansville and enters West Sparta. The ROW is on a fill section as it approaches Rte. 256. At this point Rte. 256 is a 4 lane highway with sidewalks. The railroad crosses this highway on two parallel bridges. The railroad at this point was 3 tracks wide.. The westerly bridge carried a single track over the highway. The ties are still in place on this bridge. There was no date plate found on this bridge.
The second bridge is 1± ft. to the east of and parallel with the first. This bridge was built in 1941 by the American Bridge Co. Both of these bridges have 8' high steel trusses on concrete abutments and are in good condition. The ties have been removed from the two lane bridge. 450± ft. northwest of Rte. 256 there is a 3' x 8' box culvert with wing walls built in 1920 which is in good condition.
50± ft. NW of the culvert is an at grade farm crossing.
900± ft. NW of the farm crossing is a grade crossing of Dieter Road, which is a gravel town road. Thence 900± ft. NW to a grade crossing with Harter Road, a dirt and gravel town road.
Thence NW l/4 mi. ± to a 1/4 mi. ± stretch of ROW where the ballast is being stripped by some individual(s). l/2± mi. NW of Harter Rd. is an 8 ft. wide x 10' high concrete cattle pass under the R.R.
Thence 1,000± ft. to a farm crossing at grade. Thence 1,500± ft. to a culvert 30 or 40 ft. below the grade of the railroad.
From here to the former grade separation at County Road 51 22± mi. there are 10 such culverts between 20 to 40 ft. below the grade of the railroad. County Rd. 5l formerly passed under the railroad. The 15-20± ft. concrete abutments are still in place. The bridge has been removed. The county is presently planning to remove the remainder of this structure and straighten the s curve in CR5l at this point. Survey stakes have been set crossing the R.R. Right-of-Way for 300t ft. each side of the R.R. The county has not begun any property acquisitions or other work at this time. Thence ½± mi. NW/to a small concrete culvert for an intermittent stream. At this point there is also a 2 wire utility line crossing the ROW.
Thence ½± mi. NW to a l5± high, 5± wide cattle pass in good condition.
Thence 40± ft. to an at grade farm crossing.
Thence .4± mi. to Hammond Rd. a dirt and gravel town road crossing at grade.
Thence 1,000± ft. to the grade crossing of the old V Route 63 which is now a seldom used narrow dirt road. Thence N 3,000± ft. to a cattle pass 20± ft. high with a l5± ft. clearance, 25± ft. wide opening.
Thence .2± mi. to Anderson (Bean Hill Rd.) a macadam town road. The 20± ft. high bridge abutments are still in place, the bridge itself is removed. 18.5 ft. from abutment to abutment. Rochester Telephone Corp. has a buried cable under the ROW along the west side of Bean Hill Road.
Thence 1,500t ft. to Caldwell Rd., a dirt town road at grade.
Thence ½± mile to the grade separation over Rte. 63. This is a two track bridge over a 2 lane asphalt highway with sidewalks. The bridge is in excellent condition and is scheduled for removal under this departments current work program PIN 4024-01.
The Erie-Lackawanna Railway Co. freight yard is immediately to the NW and this is the end of the DL&W Railroad.
E. Ownership: The County Clerks records were searched for conveyances from the DL&W and the Erie Lackawanna Railway from 1963 to present and none were found. The entire length seems to be owned by the railroad, and the only indication of other interests are the farm crossings and cattle passes mentioned above.
F. Terrain: see G.
G. Land Use:
At the County Line the R.R. passes through very hilly farmland and then proceeding northwesterly the railroad bed roughly parallels a long mountain and outs into the southwest side of it. The railroad runs along the mountain about halfway up its side for about 2 miles. Adjacent to the ROW the hillside is heavily wooded and unused. From here northerly to Groveland station the terrain is very hilly farmland, much of which is wild because of the rough terrain. The R.R. is on very deep fill for about four miles and crosses many gullies which run east and west.
From CR 5l northerly the hillside is not quite as steep and more of the adjoining farmland is usable. The area between Hammond Road and Anderson Road is in a l0' to 15' cut.
The R.R. then reaches the hamlet of Groveland, the ROW to the station is on a 5 to 15' fill.
H. Recreational Possibilities: The route of this R.R. passes through Some very scenic countryside and provides a spectacular view from the mountain side overlooking the valley wherein lies the Village of Dansville.
The southerly 6 mi. from the county line to CR 51 provides an uninterrupted trail which is presently being used in the winter as a snowmobile course. During warmer weather it would make an excellent hiking and bicycle trail if some finer grade Surface were put over the coarse ballast.
Access to this section could be provided at CR 51. The R.R. line continues SE from the southerly terminus of this study and this ROW is undoubtedly used for several miles to the SE.
The only public access points to this 6 mi, of the ROW are at the old Rte. 256, Dieter Rd. and Harter Rd. The 3 ½ mile section from CR 51 northerly to Groveland Station could be adapted to similar usage by bridging CR 51 and Bean Hill Road or by providing grade crossings. The latter however may prove to be a traffic hazard as these are fairly heavily traveled roads.
If these shorter sections are not made contiguous with the 6 mile section to the south they could readily be developed into rifle ranges or archery ranges or something of this nature.
A. Approximate length 5.75 mi.
B. Approximate width variable
C. General Conditions
The right of way originally followed the bed of a small creek just east of the present Wyoming County Road No. l, in the vicinity of the Hamlet of Dale. The terrain is low and flat with much evidence of flooding, perhaps explaining the relocation of the right of way one-half to one mile west on higher ground.
Intersection of County Road l and County Road 45 north to Taber Road in the Hamlet of Dale.
In sections the right of way is encroached upon by farmers and is actually tilled and planted with crops. It is practically impossible to discern. In the vicinity of the Hamlet of Dale the right of way is almost completely obscured with overgrowth with some large trees measuring over two feet in diameter. Length one mile.
From Taber Road to Pflaum Road the right of way has been completely overgrown with secondary growth. The only discernible line of the right of way is the line of willows that originally grew alongside the right of way. Also on Pflaum Road there is a one story farm shed which has been built alongside the right of way. Length three-fourths of a mile.
From Pflaum Road to Thompson Road. Length two miles.
This section has been completely overgrown and is not discernible. The right of way has been plowed over in many spots by the farmers in the area and has lost all physical indications of ever running through the area. There is no evident means of estimating the width of the right of way.
From Thompson Road to County Road No. 1 and intersection with tracks of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company. Length two miles.
This section has one elevated area which is still clearly discernible. This identifiable section is about one-eighth of a mile long and lies in the middle of a mining field operated by the Texas Brine Company. All other parts of the right of way are gone as far as physical features are concerned. Where the right of way would cross County Road No. l the area has been paved over by the road and the new railroad line has been raised approximately 4 to 5 feet above the road.
The railroad company was originally known as the Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad Company and was later changed to the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company. A careful search in the Wyoming County Courthouse divulged no property transfers from the above company in the Township of Middlebury, indicating the title to the subject right of way apparently still vests in the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company.
Although the right of way passes through aesthetically pleasing terrain and could have recreational possibilities in terms of access to fishing in the aforementioned creek, the extremely poor condition of the right of way would make such use very difficult.
A. Approximate length 13 mi.
B. Approximate width 100'
C. General Conditions
A 12.64 mile segment lying between the Genesee-Erie County Line to Hunn Road (the limit of investigation) on the west and an intersection with an active section of Erie-Lackawanna Railroad at its intersection with Hunn Road on the east.
The easterly limit of abandonment is a point where a new connecting spur has been installed by the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad to connect the East-West DL & W with the North-South Erie Railroad to provide services east of this point. From a point at Hunn Road westerly to the former overpass with Old Creek Road, Erie Railroad and former New York Central Railroad, at this intersection there is a large post marked 360 which is apparently a mile post.
The width of ROW is primarily 99' having been somewhat wider for location of station and service facilities at some points.
Tracks, ties, and other improvements have been removed from the entire length. All bridge structures consisting of vertical abutments and horizontal spans have had such spans removed. All culvert type structures remain intact and serviceable.
Commencing at the easterly limit of abandonment, at the grade intersection with Hunn Road and the connecting spur to the North-south Erie Railroad, the grade rises to an elevated crossing of a road, creek and two railroads. The structure located l/4± mile west of the above beginning point has been fully removed with 20±' abutments and piers left standing, forming a 250±' gap. One-eighth of a mile further west, the span of a wet area and tributary to Tonawanda Creek is removed leaving a 40±' gap. 400±' further west another span over a tributary is removed leaving a similar gap. l/4 mile further west a large span over Tonawanda Creek leaving a gap of l50±'. 2400±' further west there is an intersection at grade with Alexander-Batavia Road, Route 98 at the hamlet of North Alexander. This 1.6 mile segment is primarily on an elevated grade, has a course, even gravel surface and has little overgrowth and no signs of encroachment or private ownership of the operating right of way. This segment passes through low wet lands and marginal agriculture lands.
North Alexander was apparently a railroad station area and some support buildings and dwellings were located outside the operating area. Sell off's of these are noted at the end of report.
Alexander-Batavia, Route 98 to Day Road is a straight level section passing through, low, wet and marginal agricultural lands on a slightly elevated grade. There is no removal of bridges or culverts and no washouts or landslides in this 1.751 mile section.
Day Road to Seward Road is a straight level section passing through flat, marshy, overgrown lands which are designated as a private wild life area. This 1.35 mile section is in good condition with no obstructions in the form of bridge removal, washout or landslide.
Seward Road to Hickox Road is 0.64 mile of flat road bed with one bridge removed, 400±' west of Seward Road. The section passes through flat cleared agricultural lands. There are no washouts or landslide problems.
Hickox Road to Simons Road is 2.l mile of straight and level road bed passing through rolling and hilly farm land with no obstructions.
Simons Road to Harper Road is 0.8i mile of straight and level road bed with a bridge over Murder Creek having been removed 1200' west of Simons Road, passing through flat farm lands.
At intersection with Harper Road is the hamlet of Sawens which was formerly North Darien Station where there was excess land for station and service facilities. The lands in excess of operating were sold off as indicated at the end of the report.
Harper Road to Colby Road is a 0.75 mile section through rolling land which is primarily fallow farm land or second growth woods.
Colby Road to Allegany Road, Rt. 77 is a 1.1± mile section where the gravel road base has been fully stripped by use of large earth moving equipment and therefore is somewhat below the grade of surrounding land which is primarily fallow farm land or second growth woods.
Northerly adjacent to the road bed and on the easterly side of Route 77 is a large private camping and recreation area known as "Sniders Darien Lakes."
This area has some artificial lakes and about 600 campsites.
Route 77 to Fargo Road at the hamlet of Fargo is 2.3± mile of straight level road bed passing through primarily fallow farm field and some second growth woods. l400' east of Fargo Road a bridge has been removed.
Fargo Road to County Line Road at the Genesee-Erie County Line; 1.41 mile of straight, level road bed through low flat land which is principally fallow farm land. l00±' east of the County Line Road bridge is removed and at about 2200±' east of the same road two bridges are removed.
At the Fargo Road intersection the railroad bed is about l ½ miles north of Darien Lakes State Park.
This abandoned railroad bed runs east and west somewhat parallel to Route 33 and Route 20 and about equidistant from each, and is crossed by a number of good town and county roads as well as Route 77. There are no commercial or mass transportation facilities in close proximity.
The road bed is basically in good condition and clear of overgrowth and well drained and easy to traverse. It would be well suited for recreational trail use and if any demand were found for a transportation use, it would present a good corridor.
The general character of land use is marginal agriculture and fallow land in the surrounding area.
There are no apparent encroachments by private interests on the operating right of way area, the physical improvements were removed about 1965.
The following transfers of properties from the railroad are recorded at the office of the County Clerk.
Liber Page Year Grantee Map 280 97 1938 Charles Baur 625 293 220 1945 Sara B. Ryan 681 294 7 1945 Lawrence Mulcahy 683 296 49 1945 Anthony Emasie 685 403 424 1968 * County of Genesee (Permanent Easement)
* Easement for highway maintenance of cross roads on abandoned section.
The 1938 sale was of excess lands at Faroo Road and the others were of excess lands at North Alexander.
A. Approximate length 10 mi.
B. Approximate width
C. General Conditions
PROCEEDING FROM NORTH TO SOUTH
Segment: FROM ONE END OF THE JOSLYN MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLY COMPANY, PINCO DIVISION SPUR TO ROUTE l5A
A drivable two-track lane with a cinder base traverses the right of way in this section. The right of way is buffered by approximately 30 feet of heavy brush on each side, and tilled fields abut the brush. There are four farmer drives which open off this portion, to provide access to adjacent croplands. Some areas of the right of way are considerably above the grade of abutting land. A 12 foot wide bridge, approximately 25 feet in length, passes over a ravine which is about 40 feet deep. The bridge is constructed of railroad ties, and is covered with crushed stone. It has no walls or guard rails, and would be definitely hazardous to children.
Segment: From Route l5A to Michigan Road. -
This section is also a two-wheel cinder path bordered by about 50 feet of brush which is abutted by cultivated fields. It is at grade level, and has three farmer exits to adjacent tilled fields.
Segment: Michigan Road to Jenks Road.
Michigan Road runs along the easterly edge of the right of way, and is separated from the right of way by approximately 50 feet of heavy brush. The westerly side of the path is bordered by heavy woodland. The two-track cinder lane is slightly above grade of adjacent lands in this section.
Segment: Jenks Road to Woodruff Road.
Posted no trespassing signs are at the Jenks Road entrance, signed by "Ken Sackey, Lima, New York." A two-track cinder lane with a 30 foot brush buffer on each side passes by areas of cultivated fields and flat brush land. Discarded railroad ties lie alongside at intervals. A Tennessee Gas Company hi-pressure gas pipe line crosses under the right of way at one point.
Segment: Woodruff Road to Stone Hill Road.
A two-track cinder lane with a130 foot brush buffer zone on each side passes through tilled and open fields. Three farmer access exits are present. The right of way is generally at or slightly above grade. A wooded area abuts some portions of the path.
Segment: Stone Hill Road to Cox Road.
A two-track cinder land buffered by brush passes through tilled fields. Discarded rubbish including stoves and refrigerators lie at the Coy Road end.
Segment: Coy Road to Route 20A.
A two-track cinder lane bordered by brush passes through cultivated fields. Two farmer access paths run off this section. At the end of the path at Route 20A, the right of way is blocked with two junk cars, assorted auto motor blocks, and vast piles of old tires. This offal has obviously been deposited by the "Whipples," the occupants of the house situated on Route 20A westerly abutting the right of way.
Segment: Route 20A to Big Tree Road.
A two-track lane buffered by very wild brush travels through tilled fields. Much of the right of way is slightly below grade. Some crushed stone is present through marshy areas. A junk car lies at the 20A entrance, just off the path. One farmer's access lane runs off the right of way.
Segment: Big Tree Road to Adams Road (also known as Cadyville Road.)
A two-track cinder path, usually above grade of surrounding land, passes through wooded areas and untilled fields. Two farmers' access lanes run off the right-of-way - one provides egress to a cattle grazing pasture. The right of way culminates at an old boarded-up frame railroad station in the Village of Hemlock. A sign nailed to the station building reads: "FOR SALE OR LEASE-LVRR co., Real Estate Department, 452 Brighten Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania." This segment of the right of way passes through pleasantly scenic areas.
The right of way is almost wholly owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. Ownership of parcels by private individuals as disclosed in Livingston County Courthouse records are attached herewith.
The approximate length of the right of way is ten miles, extending from the Village of Lima to the Village of Hemlock. The approximate width appears to average about 50 feet. There are no tracks or ties at any point from the beginning of the abandoned right of way (where the railroad tracks and ties end at the termination point of the spur owned by Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Company, Pinco Division; about ½ mile south of their manufacturing plant situated on Route 5 & 20 in the Village of Lima) to the end of the right of way in the Village of Hemlock. There is no evidence of any other railroad paraphernalia along the right of way.
The general condition of the road bed is good over its entire length, and it would provide a fine snowmobiling and/or hiking trail from Route 15A to the Village of Hemlock. It is our considered opinion that the first or most northerly segment of the right of way (which runs from the end of the spur owned by the Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Company, Pinco Division, to Route l5A) is not presently suitable for development for recreational purposes. Access to its origin at the end of the Pinco Company Spur is not available. Moreover, the presence of a high bridge over a chasm on this segment presents a distinct safety hazard-the bridge has no protective guard rails whatever.
The right of way from Route 15A just south of Lima to its terminus in Hemlock seems especially well-suited for recreational purposes. The automobile roads which are crossed by the right of way are all carrying very low traffic density; most of the roads are dirt surfaced. Both Lima and Hemlock are on bus routes, and both are situated on Route 15A easily accessible by automobile.
Liber Page Date Grantee Location Consideration 354 473 1958 O. G. Smith Livonia $ 1.00 406 961 1970 Joslyn Mfg. Lima $4,300.00 & Supply Co. Pinco Div. 176 424 1909 Levi Simmons Lima $ 1.00
A. Approximate length 2.5 mi.
B. Approximate width 30 to 66'
C. General Conditions
Academy Street to Mt. Pleasant Street (within the Village of Naples) - approximately 3900 feet in length. At extreme end of line the Railroad at one time served as a warehouse. Between the warehouse and the former Depot remains of a turntable were found. The Naples Depot is now occupied by the same firm that occupies the Depot and are used for storage of lumber and other building supply projects. In speaking to the Real Estate Agent of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem, PA., he informed us that the property is presently under contract of sale to the Building Supply Company. Through the Widmer's Wine Cellars Incorporated property the former track ROW is nearly obliterated. Widmer has built a small concrete block building with a hopper for loading fertilizer into trucks on one portion. A gravel road has been constructed along the former ROW leading to this building. In another section Widmer has constructed a portion of a sewage treatment plant over the former ROW. (Two deeds attached show that Widmer purchased the ROW from the Railroad).
From this point in a northeasterly direction to the easterly line of the Town of Naples, which is also the easterly line of Ontario County, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Real Estate Agent informed us that the ROW width is a 4 Rod ROW width and is still owned by the railroad.
Mt. Pleasant Street - State Route 2l (approximately 2100 feet) ROW is passable by walking only. Although four rods in width as noted above former occupation lines look to be only about 30 feet wide. Brush is very thick adjacent to the former roadbed. Rails were moved but ties are still in place. Roadbed is at grade.
State Route 21 to Parrish Road (approximately l 1/4 mile) ROW is above grade of surrounding land; in some places it varies by 20-30'. Surrounding land is very swampy. As ROW proceeds toward Parrish Road it returns to grade. In this area there are five small stream crossings and one large bridge crossing a creek. The bridge and culverts are all in usable condition. The roadbed has had the rails removed and the ties have been stacked in several piles. Two former lanes also cross the ROW in this area.
Parrish Road to East Line of Town of Naples, which is also the Ontario County-Yates County Line (Approximately 800 feet).
ROW is at grade with surrounding lands. Roadbed has rails and ties removed.
Abandoned railroad ROW proceeds in a northeasterly direction through Yates County and enters Ontario County at Rushville. The portion in Yates County was not inspected as it is not in our Region. From Rushville to Geneva the Railroad is not abandoned but the condition of the roadbed is very poor. In conversation with the Real Estate Agent for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, he informed us that the railroad has made several applications to abandon the railroad. These applications were turned down.
A. Approximate length 10 mi.
B. Approximate width 85'
C. General Conditions
Segment: Route 31 to Mitchell Road - A walking path with a cinder base, approximately two feet in width, traverses this segment. Heavy brush borders the path, which is above the grade of the adjacent land. The surrounding land is used primarily for agriculture. A steel gate bars egress to the south end of this section at Mitchell Road.
Segment: Mitchell Road to Barge Canal - A steel gate bars egress to the north end of this section at Mitchell Road. The general conditions are similar to the aforementioned segment. The walking path blends into the Barge Canal dirt road. The bridge over the Barge Canal is missing; so there is no way of crossing the waterway.
Segment: Barge Canal (Route 96) to Mill Road - The
N.Y.S. D.O.T. has a gravel and crushed stone storage lot at the northerly end of this section. The right of way is above the adjacent grade level, and is bordered by the back yards of houses along East Street along its east side, at the northerly end of this section. The west side of the right of way is bordered largely by cultivated crop land. A steel gate bars the southerly end of the segment, at Mill Road. The right of way is cleared and graded to an approximate width of l0 feet in this area.
Segment: Mill Road to Thornell Road - The same general conditions as in the aforementioned section are present. A farmer has a drive across the right of way on the east. Mill Road travels closely along the west side. A Mr. John Brugler has a paved driveway across the right of way and part of his lawn extends across it. The grade of the right of way is above on the north end, and below at the south end of this segment. A steel gate bars the Thornell Road Portion.
Segment: Thornell Road to East Street - The path is well-maintained with light brush adjacent to it on one side, and back yards of residences abutting it on the other side. Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation power line poles run down the center of the path. A steel gate bars the Thornell Road end of the right of way.
Segment: East Street to Railroad Mills Road - Electric power poles run along the middle of the right of way. A concrete building housing an electric booster station blocks the East Street end of the right of way. Back yards of tract homes abut both sides of the right of way.
Segment: Railroad Mills to Woolston Road - A power line runs parallel to the right of way. Residential back yards abut both sides. A steel gate bars the Woolston Road end, The path is well-maintained.
Segment: Woolston Road to Probst Road - Three separate driveways leading to the homes of Messrs. Horsford, Stahl, and Sundsted run across this section of the right of way. Electric lines and poles parallel the right of way. One of the driveways has a post fence alongside which blocks the right of way. Chain barriers cross the path at odd intervals, and the path has deteriorated beyond recognition at the Probst Road end.
Segment: Probst Road to Fishers Road - An abandoned car lies in the path. The path crosses a stream, and the bridge is out. However, one can climb down and up the sides of the embankment to cross at this juncture. A steel guard rail has been erected across the path at this point, apparently by the owner of a nearby cabin and is painted with the admonition "Keep Out." The path travels through a swampy area, and by a large pond. Basically, this portion is above grade of adjacent land and is in good condition for walking. Steel gates bar access at both ends of this segment.
Segment: Fishers Road to Main Street - Fishers Residences abut both extreme ends of this portion. The path is well defined and passes underneath the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway through a viaduct bridge. At the Main Street, Fishers end of this segment, the path merges into the side lawn of a property owner. Tilled fields abut the major length of the path. A steel gate blocks the Main Street-Fishers end.
Segment: Main Street, Fishers to Phillips Road - The path travels through a wooded area and through fields. Steel gates are at both ends. Four auto car bodies are in the path. Fill dirt has created a mound about four feet high across the path at one point. The walking area is flat and cindered, except for the last Several hundred yards at the Phillips Road end, which consists of heavy crushed stone.
Segment: Phillips Road to Route 251 - A steel gate bars each end of this segment. The path is heavy crushed stone at the Phillips Road end for several hundred yards. The path goes under a bridge of the Lehigh Railroad. Three discarded auto bodies lie alongside the traveled way. A stream meanders along the center area of the path. A Village of Fairport water main crosses underneath the path. Fields and woods border the path.
A. Approximate length 12.3 mi.
B. Approximate width 60'
C. General Conditions
Total estimated length of abandoned ROW - 12.3 miles. For the sake of clarity and ease of identification, this abandoned ROW is divided into sections as follows, with crossroads as points of reference.
BATAVIA CITY TO ROUTE 33 a) Length: l mile b)) Width: 66 feet, est. c) Condition: Excellent, no washouts, landslides, flooding, etc. observed d) All railroad appurtenances have been removed, with the exception of railroad ties e) No evidence of ownership other than Niagara-Mohawk Power Co. f) Flat, level terrain g) Usage: Typical city - Industrial, Commercial, Residential h) Aesthetically poor - handy access from city i) No transportation facilities other than highway
ROUTE 33 TO LOVERS LANE ROAD
a) Length: 1.6 miles b) Width: 66 feet, est. c) Condition: Excellent, no slides, washouts, fill, etc. observed d) All railroad appurtenances have been removed e) No evidence of ownership other than Niagara-Mohawk f) ROW is above grade on flat, level terrain g) Usage: Farm n) Aesthetics: "C" - monotonous terrain i) No transportation facilities other than highway
LOVERS LANE ROAD TO HOPKINS ROAD
a) Length: 1.9 miles b) Width: 66 feet, widening to 80-100 feet at culverts and bridges c) Condition: Good - some minor leaching near culverts. Well drained d) All railroad appurtenances have been removed with exception of Tonawanda Creek Bridge e) In the Village of East Pembroke, ROW is encroached upon by two large coal piles, and two abandoned tank trucks. The encroachment is by Joseph Ronorst Coal and Oil Company of East Pembroke, New York. ROW is also encroached upon by two barbed wire fences, comprising a cattle chute, which apparently connects pasture land situate on both sides of the ROW, and prevents cattle from wandering on ROW. This encroachment completely blocks ROW and is situate approximately 1500 feet East of Route 5 f) ROW is slightly above grade on flat, level terrain. There are some marshy areas and some hillocks, but they are minor g) Usage: Farm. Some Commercial and Residential in East Pembroke h} Aesthetics "C" - monotonous terrain i) No transportation facilities other than highway NOTE: Tonawanda Creek Bridge is structurally sound, with concrete abutments, steel girders, and 6H x GM hardwood stringers. However, there are 8" gaps between stringers, making the structure impassable to all but foot travel.
ROUTE 5 TO N.Y.S. THRUWAY (PENBROKE INTERCHANGE)
a) Length: Approximately 2.5 miles b) Width: 66 feet average 80-100 feet at culverts and marshes c) Condition: Very poor. Railroad ROW at one time cut through a ridge of small hillocks. (Depth of cut est. 35-40 feet maximum; total length of outs 500-600 feet.) Since abandonment quite massive amounts of fill have been brought in and deposited in three places, each forming a tractor path, apparently to provide farmer's access to rear lands. Consequently, two sections of the abandoned ROW are completely surrounded by high deposits of earth, and have filled with water. Length of these "ponds", from East to West, are roughly 100 feet and 200 feet, respectively. d) All railroad appurtenances have been removed e) No indication of ownership other than Niagara Mohawk and comments set forth in Item "C". f) ROW is on both fills and outs in moderately undulating terrain g) Usage: Farm h) Aesthetics: "C" somewhat better than other sections Some undulating terrain i) Thruway nearby
THRUWAY TO ERIE COUNTY LINE
a) Length: l.l mile b) Width: 66 feet average o) Condition: Fair - ROW becomes obscure in places, with overgrowth and other power-line easements d} All railroad appurtenances have been removed e) No evidence of ownership other than Niagara Mohawk f) ROW is slightly above grade on flat, level terrain g) Usage: Farm h) Aesthetics: "C" - monotonous terrain i) N.Y.S. Thruway nearby
A. Approximate length 10 mi.
B. Approximate width 66-74'
C. General Conditions
On May 24th, 25th and June 4th, field investigations on the Attica Branch of the New York Central Railroad were made. Historically, this was formerly part of the Tonawanda Railroad dating back to 1842 before becoming a branch of the New York Central System. Since the New York Central System (now the Penn-Central Company) relocated their main line to south of the City of Batavia and various parties on Maple Street have purchased and constructed buildings on the segment between Jackson Street and Tonawanda Creek and all that remains is a spur to Doehler-Jarvis Co. Likewise, the Attica Terminus has an Agway complex on Main Street and Favor Street, and the Erie-Lackawanna switching yards encloses the 3± Ac. still owned by the N.Y.C. and still assessed as improved although not used as part of the railroad.
This report will be limited to that portion between these improved parcels and is ten miles in length from Tonawanda Creek in the City of Batavia (Genesee County) to Favor Street in the Village of Attica (Wyoming County). The width of the ROW varies, as noted on Batavia's maps and the 1955 grade crossing elimination in Batavia, from 50' in the City to 4 rods (66') and in some places widens further for short distances in the Town. In Wyoming County at Attica the width is 74'.
The various improvements associated with a railroad such as tracks, ties and bridges are 99.9% removed with some ties still in the Attica Streets and one lawn, however, all culverts (under 20' in length) are still in fair to good condition for their 60-70 year age. Since this ROW runs in the same area as Tonawanda Creek, the topography is flat with numerous culverts for this built up roadbed, but only the bridges in Batavia at the beginning of this route and the bridge South of Cookson Road, approximately 3.7 miles from the beginning, have been removed. The relocated Penn Central main line about l/2 mile south of Batavia was built on a fill to bridge over the Erie Railroad tracks and physically severs this abandoned ROW at this point with a high embankment prohibiting continuous access within this ROW.
The vegetation covering the roadbed varies with the abutting land growth, however, in places where the ROW passes through or next to wooded areas and 30 years of various tree growth makes passage difficult. There are parts easily accessible by autos or motor bikes since abutting farmers use this as a farm lane to get to their isolated fields along Tonawanda Creek. Generally the abutting lands are used for farming or are swampy by nature. In the more rural areas of Alexander around Telephone Road and the Old Creek Road some farmers have fenced the ROW for a pasture lane and the tree growth around the wire fence notes adverse occupancy probably in excess of 25 years.
There are two segments of the ROW that have either been sold or are occupied by structures. South of Law Street in Batavia the property owner between this ROW and the operating Erie-Lackawanna ROW has placed a garage type shelter on the ROW and has maintained and kept clear the abandoned ROW from Law Street to the Erie track crossing south of Law Street. From Favor Street, in Attica, North to Stroh Road in Alexander, is a continuous Niagara Mohawk Power Co. line from a substation between Pearl and Jefferson Streets in Attica. This is over a mile in length with poles and electric lines placed in the center of the former railroad bed which was sold in 1938.
Along the entire length of the abandoned ROW is the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad still operating on the East side of this abandoned ROW from Law Street in Batavia to the switching yards in Attica. Aside from numerous town and country roads paralleling and crossing this ROW, the State has recently rebuilt Route 98 paralleling this ROW l/2 to l mile distant to the west. About halfway between Attica and Batavia another abandoned railroad ROW, formerly the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western from Alden Junction to East Alexander, crosses this ROW.
Since this ROW is broken in several places by railroad embankments, missing bridges and either fenced lanes or reclaimed wooded parts, it is the opinion of these writers, there appears to be little use as part of a transportation route and thus with some clearing would be better suited for recreational and/or agricultural purposes.
A hiking trail could be developed over the southerly half of this abandoned New York Central ROW from the abandoned D & H line in East Alexander that passes between Darien Lake State Bark and a private camping area known as Snyder Darien Lake. This abandoned New York Central ROW also crosses an established North-South hiking trail from Medina to Allegany State Park in the area of the Erie-Genesee and Orleans County lines, this abandoned section would also lend itself to development for hiking. Local and other hiking clubs in the state are currently clearing trails and maintaining existing trails in the State and due to a lack of any in this six county region some of these clubs may be desirous to being able to make use of an abandoned portion of an ROW even if it means clearing a 3' path as they have done before. Some areas of this ROW would even be wide enough for the possible construction of a lean-to for overnight hikers.
An obvious route should be considered from the Medina-Allegany State Park trail starting in Alden via the abandoned D.L.&W., southerly half of this route, and having the option of using part, all or none of the abandoned Arcade and Attica ROW between North Java and Attica, to get to Letchworth State Park at its Portageville entrance where another existing hiking trail begins. Permission would have to be obtained from Niagara Mohawk Power Co. and possibly others, however, the hiking clubs now cross private lands with permission from owners to have these trails.
Sales of parts of the ROW are as follows:
|Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co.||222||76|
|Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co.||278||558|
|*Batavia Waste Material, Inc.||387||284|
A. Approximate length l3 mi.
B. Approximate width 66'
C. General Conditions
An investigation reveals that this railroad has been abandoned from Honeoye Falls, New York to Holcomb, New York and from said Holcomb to Canandaigua the railroad is operating on a one track system to supply several businesses in the Holcomb vicinity. A few of the larger subscribers would be Stuart S. Caves, Inc., Lumber, Agway, Bennett Farms which operate a mink farm. We have been told the railroad is not too enthusiastic about continuing this line.
Observing in an easterly fashion from Honeoye Creek which extends through the Town of Honeoye Falls all that can be found with respect to the old railroad bridge are portions of the old footers which supported the bridge. Continuing in the same direction throughout the town no remnants could be found. Roads have been constructed and in some instances houses have been built which appeared to lie within the old railroad right of way.
Reaching one half mile from the center of town the Cutler Mail Chute Co. is erecting a new office and manufacturing building. Directly in front of said building some 200' to the north being the end of their parking area there appears to be a portion of the old bed at grade level with no tracks, ties or signal equipment whatsoever. This portion extended only about 300' then disappeared and merged with farm land.
Continuing towards Holcomb and upon reaching Quaker Meetinghouse Road nothing could be observed. Stretching further crossing several roads namely Olmstead, West Bloomfield, Pittsford, Cox and County Road 14 the pattern of ownership seems to have absorbed all railroad right of way.
Where the railroad crosses Route 64 in Ionia, New York the only indication of the old bed is an elevated earth berm heavy with undergrowth. There are no tracks, equipment or limestone ballast. Recently Route 64 was rebuilt and a segment was relocated through the old bed.
Progressing southeasterly in the direction of Holcomb only a few areas could be detected that were once railroad property. This was done by noting the various fills near roads where it crossed. The general appearance shows that most of the said railroad bed has been merged with neighboring farm land and this carries on until a small creek is reached approximately l/4 mile northwest of Holcomb. At this point old remnants of a bridge still remain and a single track system then extends on to Holcomb connected to the currently operated portion of the said railroad. A portion, say 200', of the above track is used for the parking of railroad freight cars for unloading purposes.
The Railroad informed us that all right of way from Honeoye Falls to Holcomb has been sold and submitted herewith is that information.
NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD
(Holcomb to Caledonia)
Section: Honeoye Falls to Holcomb Page 2
1.) Approximate length of Abandoned Railroad bed is 13 miles. 2.) Right of way width is 4 rods (65') 3.) Generally 95% of all former right of way has been merged into farmland. 4.) Only two sites show remnants of old bridges namely Honeoye Creek and l/4 mile northwest of Holcomb. 5.) Pattern of land indicates ownership by private individuals. 6.) The terrain is rather level with some hilly areas but not extreme. 7.) Principal land use as observed is farmland. 8.) Recreational possibilities could be considered nil. 9.) Proximity to transportation facilities would be Rochester, New York, 20 miles distant.
CONVEYANCES ONTARIO COUNTY
New York Central Railroad to Harry D. Norton Liber 461, Page 127 ll-18-47 $100.00 New York Central Railroad to Fred B. Howes t Liber 404, Page 592 3-28-40 $100.00 New York Central Railroad to Owen Keenan Liber 581, Page 506 10- 4-55 $100.00 New York Central Railroad to City of Rochester Liber 401, Page 89 3-28-40 $100.00
New York Central Railroad to Village of Honeoye Falls Liber 2456, Page 525 ll-18-47 500.00
A. Approximate length 30 mi.
B. Approximate width 75' - l00
C. General Conditions
The railroad is abandoned from a point approximately 800-900 feet west of Union St.(Route 259) in the Town of Chili, Automobile distance starting at Rte. 33 and 259 proceeding west along Rte. 33, Parish Rd. 19, Swamp Road., and Rte. 262 to Pearl St. in Oakfield, is approximately 30 miles. Most of these roads parallel the railroad.
The following is common to the entire length of the abandoned railroad.
(1) Roadbed is in excellent condition. The railroad apparently operated (2) parallel tracks. The northerly tracks must have been abandoned further back than the south track. Trees 4 to 8 inches in diameter are growing in the area of the northern track.
(2) Starting in the Section of Savaga Rd. to Baker St. in Churchville and proceeding west; Niagara Mohawk Power lines run within and parallel to the Railroad Right of Way along the north property line.
(3) In some areas Niagara Mohawk has a power line running parallel along the north line but not within the Right of Way.
(4) No building encroachments occur along the entire length.
(5) Bridges over streams are all in good condition and are usable.
(6) Some bridges over intersecting roads are still in good condition and are usable.
(7) Approximately 50 junk cars have been abandoned within the Right of Way. Most of these are in the western portion approximately between Attridge Rd. and Rte. lg.
Union St. Rte. 259 to Attridge Rd. - approximately 1 ½ miles ROW seems to vary from approximately 75' to 100'. First 8-900 feet has an operating track and one abandoned track. Remainder is two abandoned tracks.
South track line is good for any purpose. North track has ballast and small trees and brush growing. Trees are poplar and cherry 4 to 8 inches in diameter. Two farm crossings appear to be in use.
A power line parallels the track on the south side. This is not on the R.R. Right of Way.
No building in any area of Right of Way for distance of 600-800 feet.
Attridge Rd. to Main Line of Penn Central (Savage Rd. approximately 200-300 ft.)
Abandoned tracks-crossed over Main Line. Bridge is out. Retaining walls for bridge in excellent condition. Heading east, Right of Way is at least 35 ft. above existing ground level. The fill section runs easterly from the Main Line to approximately the abandoned crossover. Condition of Right of Way is same as above. The crossover from Right of Way to Main is passable with heavy underbrush. Ties are still in this portion. The crossover width is approximately 50-60 feet wide.
Abandoned Right of Way is very wide; estimated to be 300' from Centerline to the south to the Crossover point.
In a northerly direction the Right of Way line could not be distinguished for a considerable distance from the Main Line. Possibly the land between Main Line and West Shore is all owned by the Railroad. It is very swampy with stagnant water. (Could be drainage area.) Estimated distance is 2000'.
After this 2000' Ponds are on either side of embankment and are approximately 2000' long by 75-l00' wide and look to be within Right of Way. Right of Way in this area looks to be approximately 250-300 feet wide.
From crossover to Attridge Rd. Right of Way is the same as Union to Attridge. Power lines still run parallel and adjacent on the south side not within ROW.
Penn Central Main Line (Savage Rd. to Baker St. or Savage Rd.)
Survey stakes appear in this area. From Penn Central Main Line heading west roadbed is above grade approximately 25 feet for a distance of approximately 1000 feet. Roadbed then runs at grade for approximately ½ mile. It then runs approximately 15 feet above grade for remainder. Condition is excellent for any purpose including car driving. Ties are mostly buried in cinders and dirt (no ballast). Width of Right of Way heading west is approximately 300-400 feet wide for 1600 feet; narrows down to 75 feet then seems to widen 100 ft. Approximately 6 farm lanes cross Right of Way. Power line parallels on south for 1000' then runs on ROW for 1000' cross and runs on North within ROW for remainder along northerly border.
Baker St. or Savage Rd. to Rte. 36
Approximately 900' long; crosses Black Creek. Bridge is in good condition and safe for all uses except automobile. Width to northerly line 40' Southerly portion not determined. May run to Main Line between Rd. and Creek from creek to Rte. 36 approximately 75 to 100 in total width. Power line on ROW along northerly boundary.
Churchville Supply Co. encroaches on ROW between Rte. 36 and Black Creek. The encroachment is junk. .Survey appears in this area.
Rte. 36 to Rte. 33
Right of Way is Being used by the Railroad from Rte. 36 to approximately 1000 feet East of Route 33. Looks like a switching from Main Line to Agway and other feed dealers in Churchville. On the southerly side there is evidence of an abandoned track. Width is approximately 60 to 100. Power line is on Northerly line within Right of Way.
Ditches seem to contain raw sewage.
Rte. 33 to Rte. 19
Roadbed is in excellent condition - driven by car along former South track. Former North track overgrown with bush and small trees. Power line along North ROW line within ROW. Posted along ROW lines by Monroe County Parks in some locations within the Monroe County portion. Westerly portion of segment between County Line and Rte. 19 appears very swampy off Right of Way. Right of Way width varies from approximately 75 to 100 feet.
Rte. 19 to West Sweden Rd.
Roadbed in excellent to above average condition - driven by car westerly and quite bumpy. Power line along north ROW line within ROW. Also another power line appears along the north ROW and is not in ROW. Width approximately 100 feet. Swampy areas appear off ROW. Land is posted on both sides.
West Sweden Rd. to Swamp Rd.
Roadbed is excellent to very good condition. Possibly could be driven. Approximately 6-8 farm lanes crossing. One cattle pass still being used. Right of Way 100 ft. wide in some areas. Railroad is above existing grade in others below. Approximately l mile of swamp on both sides. Power line on North side and in Right of Way. Another on North not on Right of Way. Able to identify as Niagara Mohawk.
Swamp Rd. to Swamp Rd.
Roadbed in excellent to very good condition. Possibly could be driven. Three farm lanes, ROW 100 ft. wide. Power lines still exist as above.
Swamp Rd. to Unnamed St. - & same to Rt. 237 Same as above
Rte. 237 to 19A
Same as above but one farm lane is fenced with barbed wire across Right of Way; 2 other farm lanes. Bridge crosses Black Creek, in excellent condition. ROW 100 to 150 ft. wide. Power line on North side still in Right of Way. Other power line crosses ROW approximately 500 ft. West of Black Creek and heads in a southerly direction.
Rte. 19A to Chapel Rd.
Can be driven. ROW seems to be only 75 feet wide. Two farm lanes cross. Power line still within along northerly boundary. S.P.A. lines cross approximately .2 East of Chapel Rd.
Chapel to Transit
Viaduct crosses over Transit Rd. and is probably in drivable condition. ROW is 150 feet wide at Transit, 75 feet wide at Chapel. Approximately 90% of ROW is above grade and varies from 30 to 50 feet above. At Chapel end it is at grade. ROW condition is very good and probably drivable. ROW crosses Spring Creek and the large culvert is in excellent condition. Power line still within ROW along Northerly line.
Transit to Norton
Norton Rd. at one time was over the Railroad. Bridge is out and Norton Rd. filled. Railroad is mostly below grade 10 to 20 feet. ROW width approximately 100 feet. Condition good. Power line within ROW. Approximately half way other power line crossed from South to North and runs westerly adjacent and parallel. Several farm lanes cross ROW.
Norton to Village of Elba Rt. 98
Around Rt. 98 Right of Way seems wider than 100 ft. May have been a small Railroad yard. An old depot is boarded up at the Railroad and Rt. 98. Immediately East of the Village of Elba Right of Way is narrow around 75' for approximately ½ mile then ROW widens to approximately 100'. Power line same as above; condition of roadbed good. A farmer has but an open ditch across ROW for drainage. Several farm lanes. It also appears the farmers are using ROW to get to fields. Surrounding land intensely farmed in this area.
Rte. 98 to Pekin Rd.
ROW very wide from Rte. 98 westward to Elba Village line. Roadbed in good condition. ROW seems to vary from 75' to 100' with several farm lanes. For approximately ½ mile from Pekin Rd. eastward, swampy on both sides. Power lines same as above.
Pekin to Fisher Rd.
ROW seems to vary from 75' wide at Pekin Rd. to 100' wide at Fisher Rd. A section approximately midway is approximately 20' above grade and is wider than 100', maybe 150'. Several farm lanes cross ROW. Power lines the same as above.
Fisher to Rte. 63
Railroad crosses Rte. 63; bridge still in good condition. ROW 75 to 100' wide. Several farm lanes cross; one is fenced. Bridge over creek still in good condition; approximately 1/4 west of Fisher Road. Power line the same.
Rte. 63 to Pearl St.
Approximately 75' wide. All else the same. Railroad active west of Pearl Street.
West Shore Railroad - County of Genesee
Title to right of way originally taken by deeds recorded in Genesee County Clerk's office in Liber 159 Cp 1 to 95 each deed has map of right of way attached.
Title originally in New York West Shore and Buffalo Railway Company and then after foreclosure of Mortgage title passed to West Shore Railroad Company by deed recorded in Genesee County Clerk's office in Liber 164 Cp 343 in 1885.
Whole right of way leased sometime between 1885 and 1891 to New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, this lease is not recorded in Genesee County Clerk's office but reference is made to said lease in a mortgage made by West Shore Railroad Company in 1891.
No Easements are recorded in Genesee County Clerk's office affecting the right of way in Genesee County.
West Shore Railroad - County of Monroe
Title to right of way originally taken by deeds recorded in Monroe County Clerk's office in Liber 358 through 383, each deed has map of right of way attached.
Title originally in New York West Shore and Buffalo Railway Company and then after foreclosure of Mortgage, title passed to West Shore Railroad Company by deed recorded in Monroe County Clerk's office in Liber 403 Cp ll.
Whole right of way leased sometime between 1885 and 1891 to New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, this lease is not recorded in Monroe County Clerk's office.
No easements are recorded in Monroe County Clerk's office affecting right of way in Monroe County.
A. Approximate length l5 mi.
B. Approximate width 75 - 300 feet
C. General Conditions
The Pennsylvania Railroad from Rochester (Main Street West) to Wadsworth Junction approximately l5 miles, was secured by the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad which took over the prism and total banks of the Genesee Valley Canal from the Erie Canal in Rochester to Mill Grove, New York by an act of the Legislature dated May 19, 1880. In 1881 the Genesee Valley Canal Railroad was leased to the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad for a term of 999 years. Later the entire stock was owned by the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad which in turn was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Due to ownership, the portion of this line within Monroe County can be broken down into three sections.
I. From the Rochester City Line to Genesee Junction (the crossing of the Penn Central West Shore Branch Railroad about ½ mile northwest of Ballantyne Bridge). This was a crossing at grade, however, the subject tracks were removed at the crossing. The entire right of way is owned by the Penn Central Company.
a. This section is about 3 miles long and is active as a switch line from the west end of the Goodman Street yard to 84 Lumber Company located on Scottsville Road about one mile north of Genesee Junction.
b. The right of way varies from 75±' to 300±' in the yard area south of the Barge Canal (Rochester City Line).
c. The single line track is used as far as "84 Lumber Company." Some vine growth and weeds are beginning to grow in the track area.
d. Three major structures l) Railroad crossing the Barge Canal 2) Scottsville Road Grade Crossing Elimination and 3) the Railroad-Canal aqueduct bridge crossing over Little Black Creek are in use. In addition the right of way from Genesee Junction to Scottsville Road is improved with overhead electric transmission lines and an inactive segment of railroad communication lines. Track signal facilities are inactive.
e. There is no indication of ownership other than the railroad. However, it was stated by Mr. Mccutchan of the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation that the right of way has been offered to them and/or to abutting owners for purchase.
f. The land area is flat.
g. The principal land use is light industrial and commercial.
h. This section is in close proximity to the Genesee River and is across the river from the Genesee Valley Park. The Monroe County-Rochester Airport is on the west side of Scottsville Road in this area. A few privately owned poor summer type cottages are built on the westerly bank of the Genesee River.
Historically, part of the bed of the Genesee Valley Canal which operated between 1840 and 1878 is visible although overgrown with trees and brush. However, in this section the aqueduct bridge carrying the railroad and canal over Little Black Creek is still in use and there is the remains of a stone spill gate used to drain this section of the canal still visible.
i. State Touring Routes 252A and 383 give highway access to the area. The Penn Central (West Shore Branch) and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroads and the Monroe County-Rochester Airport are in close proximity. Also the subject line is extended into the City of Rochester to the vicinity of Clarissa and Exchange Streets before being discontinued.
II. The section of this line from Genesee Junction South to the New York State Thruway, where the towpath of the canal has been retained by the railroad and the bed, prism, or cradle of the canal, has been sold to the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation who own extensive acreage west of the canal section.
a. This section covers a distance of 4 ½± miles.
b. The right of way varies from 75± to 200±'.
c. Even though there is a single line track in this area broken at the crossing of the Penn Central West Shore Branch at Genesee Junction, it has been inactive for several years and vegetation is reestablishing itself within the tracks. The vegetation is primarily grasses, weeds and small brush.
d. The roadbed, track and ties appear to be sound and usable with the exception of an occasional woodchuck hole that would require filling.
Major structures in this area are the aqueduct Canal - railroad crossing over Black Creek and the Thruway structures over the railroad.
e. Gates, Chili, Ogden Sewer Agency has a trunk sewer line in the canal bed at Genesee Junction. Several farm lanes cross the tracks.
f. The terrain is flat and well drained. Land west of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line, situated l/2± mile westerly is low and swampy.
g. The northerly terminus of this section is a small business and residential area at Ballantyne Bridge. The new Rochester Institute of Technology campus is situated southeast of Ballantyne Bridge.
h. Other principal land use is for crop farming and horse breeding and stock farms.
The Genesee Valley Canal is overgrown, however, still visible are the stone walls of a lock located about l/2 mile north of Coats Road.
i. The New York State Thruway and New York State Touring Routes 252 and 383 in addition to a good system of town and county roads service the area. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is in close proximity. The meandering Genesee River ranges to a mile distant from the subject railroad line with the lands being well improved and owned by influential people.
Two minor waste disposal areas are in evidence between Coats road and The Thruway.
III. The third section of this line is from the New York State Thruway south to Wadsworth Junction (Lehigh Valley Railroad Crossing). This section is owned by the Penn Central Company; however, according to Mr. Mccutchan of the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, this section has been offered to them for purchase and is on the market to adjacent owners for purchase.
a. This section is about five miles in length and passes through the easterly edge of the Village of Scottsville. At one time the facility had a ticket and baggage station in Scottsville. These improvements are now gone, and the only visible evidence of a station is the partial remains of an old open frame baggage shed.
b. The right of way is variable in width and appears to conform to the other sections widths varying from 75'± to 200'±.
c. An unused single line track continues to the spur junction with the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Wadsworth Junction where the tracks have been removed. There is no evidence of recent use of the tracks in this section and both the tracks and the canal section are reverting to natural growth. The growth is grass and weeds and brushy deciduous plants.
d. The roadbed, tracks and ties appear to be sound and usable except for holes dug by ground hogs that would have to be filled.
There are no signal facilities.
e. The section between New York State Touring Route 253 and 383 was blocked by snow fence and posted by the adjoining owner. The Village of Scottsville has leased and improved part of the ROW with a trunk line sewer. Several farm lanes cross the tracks.
f. The terrain is flat.
g. At Wadsworth Junction there is a crushed stone plant. Scottsville is a village having minor commercial and industrial development, but good residential development. State Industrial School is situated east of the Genesee River two miles southeast of Scottsville. The land has a predominant agricultural use with one large acreage farm located on State Touring Route 253 at the northeasterly edge of Scottsville being improved as a horse breeding and stock farm.
h. A New York State Historical marker situated at the intersection of New York State Touring Routes 383 and 251 in the Village of Scottsville identifies Feeder Gates, Lock, Dam and Toll House of the Genesee Valley Canal operated 1840 to 1878. However, they are not obvious from the railroad and the members of the town offices questioned any physical remains of such features.
i. State Touring Routes 383, 253 and 251 as well as a good network of town and county roads provide excellent automobile access to the area.
The Lehigh Valley Railroad crosses over the subject line at Wadsworth Junction and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad runs parallel approximately ½ mile west of the subject line. The Genesee River continues to meander in close proximity to a mile distant from the subject line.
A. Approximate length l5 mi.
B. Approximate width l36'
C. General Conditions
The Pennsylvania Railroad owned and operated on this right of way until 1963. This section extends along the western edge of Genesee River Valley in a north-south direction through the Towns of Caledonia and York.
The right of way was abandoned in 1963, and sold the same year to the Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation which currently uses it as a pipe line right of way. There are no other private owners.
The tracks and ties have been removed along the entire l5 mile section, and the condition of the section does not vary greatly.
In general, the right of way could be used for recreational purposes since it has great scenic beauty, and relatively cleared land. The fact that there is only one owner would make it relatively ease to implement such a project.
The right of way will be described in more detail in three sections with main roads being the points of separation.
WADSWORTH JUNCTION TO NEW YORK ROUTE 5
This segment is approximately 5 miles long and extends southerly from Wadsworth Junction to New York Route 5 about 1 mile west of the Village of Avon.
At Wadsworth Junction a Lehigh Valley Railroad bridge which is not in use, passes over the right of way. Approximately l mile south the right of way is out off by a private road and cattle corral for about 250 feet. The corral is fenced in and is used by adjacent farm. Continuing south the land remains flat and the right of way is cleared.
About l/2 mile further south there is the remains of an old railroad bridge abutment along each side of the right of way. The next 3 miles of right of way are bordered on each side by farm land and have three separate narrow dirt roads passing across it. These dirt roads are apparently used by farm vehicles which allow them access to the various fields.
Included in this 3 mile section are Dudley and White Creeks which cross underneath the right of way by means of conduits.
About ½ mile north of New York Route 5 there is a bridge where the Erie Lackawanna crosses over the right of way. There is a two-lane concrete bridge passing over the right of way at New York Route 5.
This entire 5 mile section is flat, relatively free of heavy overgrowth, and is bordered on both sides by farm lands and some small areas of swamp lands.
NEW YORK ROUTE 5 TO LIVINGSTON COUNTY ROUTE 5
This segment is approximately 3 miles long between New York Route 5 to Livingston County Route 5 about l mile east of the Village of Fowlerville.
It is easily traversable on foot and-the cinders have prevented excessive vegetation growth on the roadway. A two-lane concrete bridge on New York Route 20 passes over the railroad bed and 3 private dirt roads used by farm vehicles also cross the right of way.
The bordering land is densely wooded and flat, and the presence of fences on both sides of the right of way indicates private ownership.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY ROUTE 5 TO VILLAGE OF PIFFARD
This segment is about 7 miles long and extends from County Route 5 to the State Route 63 within the Village of Piffard.
The entire 7 miles can be traveled by passenger automobile and is flat and level. The edges of the right of way are covered with light brush and the adjacent lands are either farm acreage or vacant fields.
There are 5 dirt roads crossing the right of way which are used by farm vehicles. The roadbed is in good condition with cinders preventing the growth of heavy vegetation. All railroad equipment has been removed.
A large portion of the right of way parallels the Genesee River and provides an excellent view. This section has considerable recreational possibilities-because of its good condition and scenic views.
A. Approximate length 14 mi.
B. Approximate width 66'
C. General Conditions
This l4± mile section, abandoned about 1963, was sold as part of the transaction whereby the Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation acquired title to 851 miles of the former Pennsylvania Railroad R.O.W. from Penndel Company by deed dated December ll, 1963 and recorded March 4, 1964 in Liber 379 Page 956 in Livingston County Clerk's Office.
R. G. & E. officials report that they have an agreement with State of New York whereby fee title to the right of way within the confines of the Craig Colony State School at Sonyea, New York would be traded for a permanent Easement at another location over land of the State School's choice. Legislation permitting this was accomplished but actual paperwork may not be completed or recorded. The R. G. & E. also stated that they agreed to honor a commitment made by Penndel to the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad whereby the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad would have right to lease the subject roadbed or 66' right of way from the Erie Lackawanna Junction just north of Mt. Morris to Piffard. (The Genesee & Wyoming Railroad is a closely held firm which provides rail transportation to the International Salt Company mines at Restof, New York).
There are also numerous farm grade crossings, pipe and wire line crossings and driveways which were termed by R. G. & E. officials as revocable licenses. Some of the crossings are by written agreement and some are not. R. G. & E. officials have no idea i how many actual crossings there are. The roadbed itself consists of cinders with all tracks, ties and other railroad appurtenances having been removed. It is in good condition with only a nominal amount of plant and scrub brush overgrowth infringing on the roadbed. The road bed is elevated above adjacent land and is well drained.
From Route 63 at the Village of Piffard southerly to the northern outskirts of Mt. Morris the right of way roughly parallels River Road. The right of way crosses Route 39 and 20A at Cuylerville. The adjacent land is devoted to agricultural purposes and passes near an abandoned salt mine just north of Cuylerville. The land is generally flat and the roadbed is drivable by vehicles nearly the entire length.
At the northern outskirts of Mt. Morris there is a cut in the railroad embankment to permit a drive to a new Curtiss Burns Food Processing facility. The right of way also crosses, at grade, the operational Erie Lackawanna Railroad. From here the right of way crosses Route 36 and the Genesee River (bridge out). The right of way is adjacent to an existing Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation power facility.
The railroad roadbed then crosses Route 36 and Route 408 as it passes through Town of Mt. Morris. South of Mt. Morris to the Craig Colony at Sonyea the right of way is immediately adjacent and runs parallel to Route 36. This stretch is flat and agricultural land and is drivable in an auto except in one spot where a culvert pipe has been removed.
From Sonyea north to Piffard the right of way could be best described as point to point transportation route suitable for almost any purpose but void of any particular scenic beauty.
From south of the Craig Colony at Sonyea to Tuscarora the roadbed follows the Keshequa Creek and crosses the creek several times. In each case the bridge has been removed and the creek represents an obstacle since the bridges were high and the creek quite wide. This area is wild and heavily wooded. The gorge is 100' to 150' in depth with creek and railroad in bottom. The right of way climbs about 150' in elevation as it winds south to Tuscarora. The right of way is not easily accessible at Sonyea but is at Tuscarora. This 5± mile stretch has several scenic panoramas and could be a good recreational trail if creek crossings and a northerly access point could be worked out.
The abandoned right of way crosses all intersecting roads at grade and access to the right of way is available at each location. There was no evidence of individual random sell offs nor were there any encroachments which could be termed serious. The severest encroachment is situated at Tuscarora where a trailer sits adjacent the rights of way and the yard and driveway are upon the right of way. The right of way has an average width of 136±'. The Rochester Gas and Electric has a print of the railroad valuation maps showing entire length of their purchase.
A. Approximate length 20 mi.
B. Approximate width 70' - 200'
C. General Conditions
Within the Village of Tuscarora the right of way of the former railroad is in good shape. The right of way is drivable in most parts with no serious washouts or encroachments.
As you leave the Village and cross N.Y.S. Highway 256 the right of way cuts diagonally across several farmers fields. Approximately one-half mile from the Highway a bridge across a small creek has been removed. Approximately one and one-half miles from that point a second bridge across the same creek has also been removed. The right of way proceeds along to a Dudley Road (dirt farmers road). The local farmers are using this stretch of roadbed access to their fields. The roadbed itself is level and above grade with a small growth of vegetation. There is no serious hindrance along the roadbed except for the bridges which were removed.
From Dudley Road the right of way proceeds southwest to County Road 15 (Creek Road). This stretch is level and at grade with moderate vegetation growth. When the right of way reaches Creek Road there is an encroachment by a dairy farmer who has blocked the right of way with fences and removed some of the fill to allow his cattle to cross the right of way with greater ease. The farmer stated that he has an agreement with Rochester Gas and Electric which ale lowed this construction across the right of way.
The right of way crosses County Road l5 and continues toward Nunda. Again the right of way is in extremely good shape with no major obstacles to hinder travel upon it. Some farmers to use this roadbed for an access route to fields but no construction has occurred until you reach N.Y.S. Highway 401. As you approach N.Y.S. Highway 40l the local golf course (BrooksLea) has built over the right of way. A practice putting green has been built in the path of the right of way. A short section of the right of way has been cleared and is being used for a service road for the golf course.
From Route 40l the right of way proceeds to County Road 25. This section is also in good condition with no evident encroachments except where used for access to farmers rear fields.
From County Road 25 to the Letchworth State Park the right of way picks up the old canal route through the seventeen locks which raised the canal to cross the Genesee River gorge. This right of way is both above grade and below grade of the surrounding lands. The bridge over Oakfield Road is still intact and crossable. The right of way is clear and walkable causing no problems. In the area of Shortract Road the right of way passes beneath Shortract Road and is in a swampy area with the right of way being low and becoming muddy after a rain storm. After this spot the right of way again becomes dry and is in excellent condition. From Shortract Road to the State Park the right of way is along side the old canal, with the canal being clearly visible and still full of water.
As you enter the State Park the right of way is mowed and kept clear by the State Park. The Park uses this right of way for a hiking trail but has not put in any improvements. Several Park roads cross the right of way but cause no problems. The right of way through the Park is in good passable shape except for an area along the gorge which has suffered serious land slides and is sliding into the river gorge. Also, the railroad bridge across the Genesee River has been removed and Route 245 has been built across the right of way and severed same.
From the Village of Portageville to the Allegany County Line the right of way is in good passable condition. The right of way runs along the Genesee River and has not suffered encroachments except in the area of the Blue Stone Quarry. The Finishing Plant at the Quarry used to have a spur line but now is defunct due to the abandonment of the line. The Quarry has moved their open air storage on to the right of way and is encroaching on the right of way.
This section of line is in generally good shape and could be quickly converted to hiking, nature, bicycling and snowmobile trails. The encroachments are minor and could be corrected with little or no cost. Also, this line has historical value since it follows the old canal that was used from the l850's to l880's.
ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHT OF WAY INVENTORY FORMER PENNDELL COMPANY RIGHT OF WAY VILLAGE OF TUSCARORA SOUTH TO ALLEGANY COUNTY LINE
DEED INFORMATION - LIVINGSTON COUNTY SECTION
Grantor: Penndell Company
DEED INFORMATION - WYOMING COUNTY SECTION
Grantor: Pendell Company
NOTE: Same Deed is on file in Wyoming County as is in Livingston County. Apparently consideration of $137,500 was for all Right of Way in above counties, perhaps for entire Right of Way, Rochester to Olean.
STATISTICS (Received from Robert Mccutchen, Engineering Dept. R.G.&E. for widths)
Length Width Section in miles of ROW
Route 256 to Dudley Rd; 2.5± miles 120 Ft. Average Dudley Rd. to County Rd. 15 2.0±miles 130 Ft. Average County Rd. 15 to Rte. 401 2.5± miles 130 Ft. Average Rte. 401 to County Rd. 25 1.5± miles 70 to 92 Feet County Rd. 25 to State Park* 4.5± miles 200t Ft. Average Park Area of Right of Way* 3.0± miles 200f Ft. Average Portageville to Allegany Co.Line3.5± miles 136t Ft. Average
Total Length in miles 19.5± miles
*Area following exactly in old canal route. Some spots have a width of up to 300± Feet in wide waters but average width is 200± Feet.
A. Approximate length 2± mi.
B. Approximate width l25±'
C. General Conditions
This section of abandoned railroad right-of-way is free of obstructions for most of its length. Its nearness to existing State and County highways makes it easily accessible. The general area it passes through has a highly attractive natural setting and furthermore it lies just three miles east of Letchworth State Park, which is one of the scenic marvels of the State. These factors combine to give this right-of-way a small degree of recreational utility.
The roadbed was abandoned in l953 and two very distinct paths exist where each rail formerly ran. The rest of the roadbed, with a width varying from 20 to 30 feet, is covered by short grass. The northernmost ½ mile of the right-of-way is totally covered by dense brush which made it difficult to pass through.
The remaining width of the right-of-way was covered by dense growth including deciduous forests. This area runs on both sides of the strip where the right-of-way was built-up and the track actually was laid.
Evidences of several intermittent streams were seen. These are tributaries of the Keshequa Creek which runs east of the right-of-way. These were nearly dry but during the early spring they probably carry a moderate amount of water. Some of these streams stopped flowing at the easterly edge of the right-of-way and formed small patches of stagnating water. None of these streams would have a detrimental effect on the utilization of this land.
A cross-section of the slope of the terrain on the right-of-way would show that the western side is as high or higher than the roadbed. The easterly side of the right-of-way slopes gently from the built-up portion of the roadbed. Nowhere does the gradient of these slopes exceed 10 degrees from the horizontal and as a result they would not be a major hindrance to the use of this land.
At the southern terminus of the right-of-way there is an Agway Store. This large two story building lies within the area abandoned by the railroad and lies on the southerly side of State Route 245. On the opposite side of the road there i= a privately used driveway running along the course of the right-of-way. This driveway is used to gain entrance to a warehouse adjacent to the right-of-way. It runs for approximately 100 feet.
From this point, to the northern terminus of the right-of-way the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation holds unencumbered possession. About one mile from the Village of Nunda there is a dirt path which encroaches on the right-of-way. It runs for about 50 feet on the easterly side of the right-of-way and serves as an access for farm vehicles to the adjoining corn field.
There are few evidences of railroad structures remaining on the right-of-way. There are a few loose ties lying along it but other than that it has been completely cleared of all railroad structures. Most of the abutting property along the right-of-way is not put to use. It is a wild forest area. In the Village of Nunda there are several residential structures abutting the right-of-way as well as a warehouse. About a mile from Nunda there is an extensive corn field running along the east side.
Several recreational uses of this land are feasible but there are several factors which would lessen the attractiveness of this land for various purposes. Snowmobiling is a possibility yet a 2 mile strip is unsatisfactory for vehicles that can travel up to 30 miles per hour. Camping would be difficult due to the slope of the terrain within the limits of the right-of-way. Naturalists would not be drawn to this stretch due to a lack of any outstanding features. A bicycling or jogging path would be possible but the demand for this type of facility would be slight in a rural village which lies near miles of tranquil dirt roads and farm paths.
Enveloping the right-of-way are County and State roads. The State Route 408 crosses it in the Village of Nunda and then runs north nearly parallel to the deserted bed. County Route 15 runs just east of the right-of-way. The old railroad grade cuts across 2 village streets and Holstead Road and Pentegass Road as it makes its way north to Nunda Junction. Transportation facilities seem to be adequate for the population that lives in this region.
Title Information Grantor: Penndell Company Liber: 379
This deed covers abandoned Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way in Wyoming and Livingston Counties. The two mile spur from Nunda Junction to the Village of Nunda is just a small part of the right-of-way purchased by the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation.
A. Approximate length 4.5i mi.
B. Approximate width 125±'
C. General Conditions
This old railroad grade has been obscured by dense deciduous growth. Bushes, high grass, and trees have hidden nearly all evidences of where the railroad once had passed through. This is not surprising because the right-of-way has not been used since 1910.
The utilization of this land, regardless of its nature, will require a monumental clearing operation. Due to the wild unspoiled appearance of this strip of land, camping would be one possible use of the property. Even this use would require extensive clearing operations.
Ownership of this abandoned right-of-way is not clear. A search of the land records at the Livingston County Court House did not uncover any transaction involving this section of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad. It was the opinion of the County Clerk that no deed was filed transferring this property.
Several instances of encroachment upon the right-of-way were observed in our survey. Within the Village limits on Nunda there are a few buildings that are situated on the right-of-way. The Nunda Lumber Company is a large business which surrounds the right-of-way and lies on it in the village area just south of Route 245. There is also a dilapidated, empty warehouse lying on what we have determined to be the abandoned railroad grade.
As the old roadbed weaves southeasterly from the village it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish. It runs through dense forest areas and desolate scrub lands. Occasionally it runs near cleared areas where farming takes place. The last half mile of the right-of-way before it crosses into Allegany County crosses through wheat fields and corn fields,
The abandoned right-of-way crosses several roads. It crosses State Route 408 just south of the Nunda Village limits. It also crosses three dirt roads. The furthest east of these roads is the Chidsey Corners Road. After the right-of-way passes this road, it runs for two miles parallel to State Route 408A. In this stretch it also runs parallel to the Erie Railroad Mainline. It is obvious that the right-of-way is easily accessible to existing transportation facilities.
In summation, the right-of-way has an attractive natural setting. The last two miles are situated in a valley surrounded by scenic foot-hills. Despite this, the land does not have any practical use for recreational or transportation purposes. The cost of clearing this strip would be prohibitive. Added to this difficulty is the problem of encroachments and the need to straighten out the question of ownership on certain sections of the old roadbed.
A. Approximate length 14.3 miles.
B. Approximate width 66'.
C. General Conditions
The 'Peanut Branch' of the former New York Central Railroad historically the Niagara Falls-Canandaigua Railroad dating back to 1853 when it connected the Pennsylvania Railroad in Canandaigua and the New York Central in Batavia, was abandoned in 1941 according to sales of the right of way.
This report encompasses the section from Honeoye Creek in Honeoye Falls to Caledonia with deed transfers as follows:
Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co. 263 487 Buffalo, Niagara Electric Corp. 285 448
Lehigh Valley Railroad Co. 1958 39 Beulah Donegan 2005 339 Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co. 2107 202 Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Co. 2107 179 Village of Honeoye Falls 2456 525 Joseph M. & Hilde E. Dovey 2900 57
The above transfers cover most of this abandoned section of 14.3 miles in length with the exception of a 2 mile segment from the Genesee River to a point east of River Road in the Town of Caledonia. However, the Niagara Mohawk Power Company occupies the ROW from Barks Road just east of Caledonia Village to Lima Road near Honeoye Falls, and it is assumed that they own that portion not found in the transfers also. The width is generally 66' and in some places 106' for short distances.
This abandoned ROW is generally in good condition due to the Niagara Mohawk Power Co. clearing it, however, from Rt. 15A (Lima Road) in the Town of Mendon to the
L.V.R.R. yards in Honeoye Falls it is overgrown and impassable. The bridges over Honeoye Creek and the Genesee River have been removed as have the bridges over a creek between the Genesee River and River Road in Caledonia, and the railroad overpass bridge formerly over Rt. 15A. With the termination of the reservation in the Niagara, Lockport & Ontario deed, somewhere between 3/28/40 and 7/ /41 the railroad probably removed all ties, trunks, bridges and other railroad appurtenances completing abandonment in 1941. The only encroachments found were a lumber yard storage at River Road in Caledonia.
The R.O.W. roughly parallels the L.V.R.R. still in operation from Caledonia through Honeoye Falls and also State Highway Routes 383 and 251. Various State and County roads cross this R.O.W. and the existing transportation network of roads and railroads appear adequate in this east-west location.
The terrain generally is low and wet in Caledonia and Rush having the roadbed elevated in some places substantially over these wet areas. From Stony Brook Road to Lima Road (Rt. 15A) the abutting lands are posted by private owners as a Game Preserve and basically that type of land with intermittent agricultural uses could be said to be the present usage for the entire route in addition to the utility line. use. Only at main road crossings in Rush does there appear to be some spotty residential developments.
Insofar as current ownership, the Niagara Mohawk Power Company owns most and uses this R.O.W. as an electric utility R.O.W. with a major substation at Golah on the Genesee River and a smaller station at Five Points Road both in Rush. The possible recreational uses to which this could be put appear to be limited to a wildlife reserve, since abutting owners in Rush have posted the lands and the swampy nature in Rush and Caledonia would prohibit other recreational use. Due to these limitations and the terrain, we cannot foresee any other usage than as present, namely a power line R.O.W.
A. Approximate length 3 miles
B. Approximate width 33 feet - variable
C. General Conditions
The subject railroad was a branch line of the Pennsylvania system, more specifically designated as the Western New York and Pennsylvania Division-Garbutt Branch, which ran between the Village of Scottsville and the hamlet of Garbutt, in Monroe County. The line connected the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad (now the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) with the Pennsylvania system, Western New York and Pennsylvania Division-Rochester Branch (now the Penn-Central Company). The section of the Penn-Central from Rochester south to Wadsworth Junction is more fully described in the Inventory of Abandoned Railroad Rights of Way, Code 4-15, Region 4, New York State Department of Transportation, Real Property Division, March 1972.
The subject railroad was abandoned in 1947. The single track line was built on a narrow right of way, primarily 33 feet in width, and was approximately three miles in length. The roadbed was level,and followed a serpentine course slightly above and generally following the northerly bank of Oatka Creek. Adjacent land was creek-side and rolling farm land. The line served the now-abandoned gypsum mines and calcimining plants in Garbutt. To maintain the flat grade of the roadbed, several relatively large outs through side hills of the rolling countryside were required. A major structure was required at the crossing over Oatka Creek. All highway crossings were at grade.
Since abandonment, all operational railroad equipment has been removed and the entire right of way, except perhaps for one small part between River Road and the Rochester-Wadsworth Junction section of the Penn Central Railroad, has been sold to private owners. This area is situated in the southeasterly part of the Village of Scottsville and has recently been graded and cleared. All traces of the former railroad have disappeared.
West of River Road to Bowerman Road, the right of way has been sold to Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation which has built an overhead electric transmission line on the westerly side of Oatka Creek. In this area, the right of way contains the southerly village line of Scottsville. The right of way is further identified by some remaining railroad ties.
It is overgrown with light brush and weeds, and the concrete abutments for a two-span bridge crossing Oatka Creek remain in place. The remainder of the right of way from Oatka Creek to Bowerman Road is characterized by heavy brush overgrowth, short sections of dilapidated right of way fencing and several railroad ties remaining in the roadbed.
The entire length of the right of way between River Road and Bowerman Road is traversable on foot with difficulty,except for the crossing of Oatka Creek where the superstructure of the bridge has been removed and the stream bed is 30± feet wide.
West of Bowerman Road toward Union Street for a distance of approximately one mile, a two wheel-track earth and gravel path follows the roadbed. This narrow lane runs over many ties and the remainder of the right of way is overgrown with heavy brush. Extensive sidehill cuts were made to maintain a level roadbed and the right of way follows closely the course of Oatka Creek. The lane ends at the crossing of an overhead electric transmission line and a buried pressure oil line.
For a distance of approximately one-half mile, the right of way traverses a heavily wooded area. It has reverted to heavy brush and trees, and only a few sections of dilapidated fence remain. North of this wooded area is cleared agricultural land.
For the last one-half mile before reaching Union Street at the hamlet of Garbutt, the right of way is traversed by a seldom used footpath and approaches Union Street in an improved road-front residential area. A concrete block garage has been constructed on the right of way in this segment.
The rails remain in the union Street crossing. Projecting the line westerly, the right of way, now in private ownership, is seen to pass between two residences to join the Baltimore and Ohio Line. At a point beyond Union Street the remaining right of way, about 1200 feet in length and containing about 1.05 acres, has been sold to the County of Monroe for development into the county-operated Oatka Creek Park.
RAILROAD LAND SALES IN THE TOWN OF WHEATLAND, MONROE COUNTY
From 1908 to Sept. 1, 1972
Liber/Page Grantee Year Premises 2643-425 Carey H. and 1950 In Village of Scott- Derrylee Law Brown ville Part of Right of Way of Pennsylvania R.R., Rochester Branch, Buffalo Division
2669-127 Herman E. Pearse 1951 In Town of Wheatland
2832-133 Elizabeth Ronzo 1953 In Village of Garbutt
2849-372 Herman E. Pearse 1953 Between Village of Scottsville and Garbutt 3060-81 Niagara Mohawk 1956 Village of Scottsville Power Co. and Town of Wheatland
RAN IN GRANTOR INDEXES THE FOLLOWING Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad Co. Penn Central Co. Penn Del Inc. Penn Central Transportation Co.
A. Approximate length 42 miles
B. Approximate width 66 feet
C. General Conditions
IN THE CITY OF ROCHESTER
Within the City of Rochester, this electric line ran in a northeasterly direction from Lyell Avenue and Child Street to the city line at the Barge Canal. From Lyell Avenue and Child Street it was routed over city streets. The City purchased the right of way from the Rochester, Lockport & Buffalo Railroad Corporation by deed recorded in Liber 1856, Page 147, on October 21, 1937. Presently, Ferrano and Fiume Streets are located upon the old right of way. The former car barn site west of Mount Read Boulevard is the present location of the Emerson Street trash transfer station, a former city incinerator.
IN THE COUNTY OF MONROE
The County of Monroe acquired the railroad lands from the west city line to the west line of Monroe County by deed recorded in Liber 1854, Pages l0l to 170, on October 9, 1937. It did not acquire rights through Spencerport and Brockport, where service operated over village streets.
Currently, this right of way is being used by the Monroe County Pure Waters Agency for sewer lines. Construction is under way at various points. The bridge across the Barge Canal, whose east line is the west city line, is still in existence. All the main beams and superstructure appear to be in excellent condition. There is, however, no floor. This bridge is located several hundred feet east of Lee Road and Trolley Boulevard. Trolley Boulevard runs westerly from Lee Road to Long Pond Road and lies on the old right of way of the railroad. From Long Pond Road westerly to the east village line of Spencerport,the trolley ran along the north line of the New York Central Railroad, which makes the abandoned right of way easy to find. In discussions with the County of Monroe right of way agent, it was learned that their acquisition is still intact. In many places, abutting property owners use it for gardens, pools, yards etc. by permit.
The right of way from the east village line to Union Street (State Touring Route 259) in Spencerport is very difficult to trace except for the area directly east of and adjacent to Union Street, where a shopping plaza is now located. West of Union Street, the line ran down the middle of West Avenue, at the end of which the village has its garage and equipment storage facilities. This land, which was acquired by the village from the County of Monroe, extends west from the end of West Avenue to Trimmer Road and covers the old right of way.
Following the trolley line from Spencerport to Brockport is difficult because most of the roadbed has been obliterated. Directly west of Trimmer Road, a road paralleling the canal runs along the old right of way for a very short distance. In the Village of Brockport the trolley ran over village streets. On the west side of the village, the State University of New York College at Brockport covers some of the-right of way. From Brockport to the Orleans-Monroe County Line, the roadbed is obliterated. The county right of way agent stated that a portion of this was sold to a developer for an apartment project.
IN THE COUNTY OF ORLEANS
In Orleans County, the right of way is obliterated to such an extent that it is nearly impossible to locate. The only identifiable points are those which may be found with the aid of the booklet, "Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo R. R. 1908-1931", written and published privately by William R. Gordon. Sellouts are numerous, and they are contained in a list which is appended to this report. Planimetric maps of the N. Y. S. Department of Transportation indicate that State Touring Route 31 occupies the old right of way just east of Medina, and an electric transmission line uses it from State Touring Route 65 west of Medina to the Orleans-Niagara County Line.
ORLEANS COUNTY BUFFALO LOCKPORT AND ROCHESTER RAILROAD Liber Page Grantee HERE 160 1 *Willis Matson and Wm. 3/26/1919 Foster 184 368 Western N. Y. Utility 2/27/1917 1950 *Foreclosure of Mortgage 302/147 Niagara Co.) same Mtg. 87/154 Orleans Co. ) Referee's 491/140 Monroe Co. ) Deed WILLIS MATSON WILLIAM FOSTER From 1919 - 1950 (159-549)----same-----(159-549) as 601/1 55 miles R.R.
ROCHESTER LOCKPORT AND BUFFALO RAILROAD
Liber Page Grantee Date 160-136 Henry W. Lattim 9/29/1919 182-447 Wm. J. Gallagher 10/17/1931 182-509 Niagara Lockport 12/12/1931 Ontario Power Co. 182-511 " " 182-514 " " 182-513 " " l82-510 " " 186-169 Village of Medina 10/21/1931 186-187 Louis E. Gallarneau 8/7/1930 186-461 State of New York 4/28/1934
ROCHESTER LOCKPORT AND BUFFALO RAILROAD Liber Page Grantee Eggs 187-469 John A. Jackson 9/ /1935 190-197 Niagara Lockport & 3/12/1936 Ontario Power Co. 191-312 County of Orleans (160/1) 192-391 Niagara Lockport & 6/14/1937 Ontario Power Co. 192-393 " 196-181 " 1972 Deeds run to July 7, 1972
A. Approximate length 12 miles
B. Approximate width 70 feet to 100 feet and over
C. General Conditions
The Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Railroad was one of ten lines of the Clifford D. Beebe syndicate and one of five which operated out of Syracuse. It was different from his other railroad lines in that it was built from scratch by Beebe and was his pride and joy. Unfortunately, it was the least successful financially because of competition from the new gasoline automobile, hard surface roads and the established steam railroads. It is said, that had the electric interurban railroads been established before the arrival of the automobile and the hard surface roads, they still might be a part of our national economy.
Although it was not the first electrified railroad considered for the area, it was the first one to be built which offered the farmer a chance to become better acquainted with the nearby towns, and it first introduced city people to the advantages of suburban living.
The Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern was incorporated under New York laws on November 7, 1901 for the purpose of constructing a high-speed double track electric railroad between Rochester and Syracuse. Location surveys were run in 1902 and construction began in August, 1904. All operations were discontinued on June 27, 1931 and the property was subsequently dismantled.
The $144,000 per mile cost of construction made the railroad an over-improvement based on its short life-span. The original cost was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the road's demise within twenty five years. But the electric rivaled many of the steam trains in speed and excelled most of them in convenience and all of them in economy.
The railroad directly connected Syracuse and Rochester, a distance of 86 miles. It operated predominantly passenger service over a well-graded right of way, usually 70 but up to 100 feet or more in width, owned in fee simple, except for the typical street operation in the cities and villages. There were no at-grade crossings with steam railroads, except in the cities, but there were four grade separations at highway crossings.
The line into Rochester came from Newark, Palmyra and Macedon in Wayne County and served stations at Egypt, Fairport, Despatch (East Rochester), Brighton and Rochester in Monroe County.
Original ingress into the City of Rochester was via University Avenue and Main Street. However, as a result of a 1922 Rochester city ordinance, interurbans were ordered off the city streets, after which cars left the main line at Rockwood Street, passed through the connecting tunnel under East Avenue and joined the "subway" tracks just south of Winton Road station. The "subway" consisted of tracks laid in the abandoned Erie Canal to the heart of Rochester.
After the railroad was dismantled and operating facilities removed, the portion of the right of way outside the City of Rochester and incorporated villages was purchased from R and S Liquidating Corporation by the County of Monroe by deed dated August 13, 1937, filed in Liber 1843 of Monroe County Deeds at Page 296, and it is shown on maps filed in Liber 1018 of Monroe County maps, Pages 7 through 56.
The portion of the former right of way between the easterly Rochester city line and the westerly village line of East Rochester was appropriated by the State of New York for construction of the Eastern Thruway Connection.
The railroad operated on village streets through the Village of East Rochester. East of East Rochester the right of way was adjacent to the Penn Central main line. The structure carrying the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Railroad over Irondequoit Creek is in place. The area to the south is parkland and rolling overgrown meadow, and farther south is the island Valley golf course. A residential subdivision is situated just south of the right of way on the west side of Baird Road, and some private yards encroach.
The grade elimination structure over Baird Road has been removed. The right of way curved southerly between Baird Road and the westerly side of Thomas Creek west of the new Forman's Center for Handicapped Children, which is located on O'Connor Road, then moved easterly through a blocked structure under the West Shore Branch of the Penn Central. The right of way in this area is densely overgrown and swampy. It continues along the northerly side of the Fairport Little League Baseball Park and Fairport Park to O'Connor Road. In this area, larger outs and fills were required to maintain a relatively flat grade. The right of way, clearly discernible, is covered by brush and trees and traversed by foot trails.
From O'Connor Road to Mill Street, the right of way is adjacent easterly to the Barge Canal. This area contains a marina which appears to encroach.
From the east end of the marina, the railroad operated on village streets through the Village of Fairport. (Historical Note: The original Fairport station is still standing at the northwesterly corner of the intersection of Mill Street with Main Street. It is being used commercially.) It then continued easterly from the end of what is now State Street, running between the Penn Central Railroad and the Barge Canal, parallel with and adjacent to Thomas Creek. The area is swampy and heavily overgrown with vegetation, and there is no definite indication of the roadbed or the right of way.
Just east of the Watson Road crossing, both concrete abutments of the railroad bridge over the Barge Canal are standing, but the superstructure has been removed, as had the approach to the north abutment.
On the south side of the canal to Ayrault Road, the right of way passed through developing residential areas. It is made readily discernible by the rise in grade to meet the bridge abutment at the canal, thick over. Growth, footpaths and tracks of vehicles using the roadbed. In a cut just north of Ayrault Road, there is poor drainage caused by flat grade and shallow ditching. This area has also been blocked by public dumping.
South and east of Ayrault Road to the Wayne County line the right of way is flat with only minor outs and fills. It crossed all intersecting roads at grade. The alignment generally follows a tributary of White Creek, and adjacent areas tend to be swampy. The right of way is clearly marked by ditches, good dry foot trails and wheel tracks. The abutting land is farmed.
The right of way intersected New York Touring Route 31 (Pittsford-Palmyra Road) and Mason Road in the hamlet of Egypt. This crossing formed a small triangle in the northeast quadrant which is now occupied by the Egypt Volunteer Fire Department, and all features of the right of way are gone. On the southerly side of the highway, owners of abutting homes have recently cleared and graded the former right of way. The hamlet of Egypt is at the northeasterly end of an unusual glacial deposit of small rounded hills called drumlins. South and east of Egypt, the right of way passes through a posted wild life refuge and skirts the north side of the Humane Society's Lollypop Farm. Easterly from the Victor Road, it passes adjacent to one of the largest private gravel and borrow excavations in the area. Although this is not a pit excavation, large areas of standing water are visible from the right of way. Other adjacent lands are used for cash crop farming.
A. Approximate length 15 miles
B. Width 40' - 60' variable to 99'
C. General Conditions
This electric trolley railroad ended service on June 27, 1929 after 29 years of operation and only traces remain. Activated about 1900, it operated over tracks leased from the Irondequoit Park Railroad between East Main Street, Rochester and Glen Haven on Irondequoit Bay's west shore. From Glen Haven to the Wayne County Line the railroad operated over its own tracks on private right of way and in public highways. It continued through Wayne County to its terminus at Sodus Point, but this report will be confined to the portion within Monroe County.
From East Main Street to Fraser Street, the right of way lies entirely within the limits of property now owned and utilized by the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transit Authority as its bus terminal. From Fraser Street eastward to a point 300' east of Culver Road, the right of way has been sold, and most of it is incorporated with adjacent properties. It cannot be traveled over, but it appears to be delineated by utility poles still on its edges.
From 300' east of Culver Road to the south side of Empire Boulevard, the right of way is owned by the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, which acquired it in 1941. This section is cleared and maintained by R. G. & E., and it is used for underground and overhead transmission and service lines, and, near Wyand Crescent, a transformer station. This is in the best condition of any of the sections, but due to the multiplicity of company uses, R. G. & E. would no doubt find most public uses inconvenient.
From Empire Boulevard to the north side of Float Bridge, the right of way was acquired by the County of Monroe by deed in 1967. The section from Empire Boulevard looping northeasterly to Irondequoit Bay follows an unnamed stream and is situated in a gully. It is overgrown and difficult to traverse because of the Helendale Road grade and Sea Breeze Expressway, both of which are constructed on fill sections over the abandoned railroad right of way. Near the bay, the right of way has been incorporated in the bed of South Glen Road and it then runs southerly along the west shore of the bay in the bed of Bay Front South and then continues to Float Bridge.
The right of way was on the north side of the highway, as it crossed Float Bridge, but is no longer distinguishable because of changes in the bay shore and reconstruction of the highway.
Near the present Colonial Hotel, the rail line swung northward through private property, now owned by Charles Spies, and then looped back across the highway on a spur into the railway company's Power plant which was located at the site of the present Buccaneer Restaurant on land now owned by Anthony Liociardi.
The railroad continued easterly up the hill, then crossed northward under the highway. This segment is nearly indiscernible, and ownership of the land is in the name of Charles Spies, Meli Trucking, F. Mammano, and Ben DiFiore.
On the northerly side of Empire Boulevard, the railroad continued northward and easterly into the highway near Daytona Avenue where it again turned northward. This portion is now owned by Charles J. Normandl James and Joseph DiBenedetto, and the County of Monroe. It is still distinguishable near the north end. There are R. G. & E. pole line easements affecting this segment. From Daytona Avenue and Empire Boulevard, the tracks, all the way to the Wayne County line at Union Hill, were within public highways. They traversed Empire Boulevard, Bay Road and Ridge Road, running easterly on the latter all the way to Union Hill. There are few, if any, traces of the railroad left on this segment because the highways have been reconstructed several times during intervening years. The property on the west side of Bay Road at Ridge Road was once owned by the railroad and was the site of the manufacture of concrete poles to carry the trolley wires. This property is now owned by Anthony Orlen and his Glen Edith Restaurant is situated on the shore of Irondequoit Bay.
In summary, the abandoned Rochester & Sodus Bay Electric Railway right of way is interesting local history, but, except for the county-owned segment west of Irondequoit Bay, it seems to have little potential for public use. The R. G. & E.-owned portion is in the best condition, but it is employed by the utility to the point where they would undoubtedly oppose ancillary uses. The many parts now in private ownership would in general seem to be gone beyond redemption.
A. Approximate length 5.0 miles
B. Approximate width 125'-variable
C. General Conditions
The subject double-track electric railroad line was built in the bed of the Erie Canal after the canal was abandoned. The Erie was opened in 1825 through the City of Rochester and was abandoned in 1920 after the 1903 relocation of the Barge Canal to its present site.
Common Council of Rochester, in August, 1921, approved purchase of the canal and construction of the subway. Title passed to the city in January, 1922 by letters patent. Construction was begun in December, 1922 and completed in April, 1928.
The Rochester Rapid Transit and Industrial Railroad (the phrase "Rochester Rapid Transit and Industrial Railroad" was short-lived and the line became known commonly as the "subway") extended a distance of 9± miles from the General Motors Plant in the northwestern corner of the city to Rowlands Station in the southeast, and served the following points:
1. General Motors 2. Driving Park 3. Lexington 4. Glenwood 5. Emerson 6. Edgerton Park (Felix) 7. Lyell Avenue 8. Main West at Oak 9. City Hall (Times Square) 10. Court Street 11. Meigs-Goodman 12. Monroe 13. Culver 14. Colby 15. Winton Road 16. East Avenue 17. Halfway 18. Highland 19. Ashbourne 20. Elmwood 21. Sunset 22. Rowlands Station
The purpose of the subway was to remove electric interurban traffic from the city streets, furnish rapid city passenger service and provide a freight switching facility which would enable any of the five steam railroads entering-Rochester to service local industry. Actual development more closely following the objectives of the subway's planners in the case of freight service than of passenger service.
The line was built at an approximate cost of $12,000,000. It was actually a subway only in the central section of the city after Broad Street was decked over the canal bed in 1924 for a distance of about one mile westerly from the business district. The remainder was in open cut.
City Council voted on September 14, 1954 to abolish passenger service effective December 31, 1955 inasmuch as the decision to use the eastern part of the subway for the Eastern Expressway had been made. Passenger service was extended on a month-to-month basis until midnight June 30, 1956. Even though dismantling of the eastern end began late in 1956, trolley freight service continued until August 31, 1957 when a New York Central switcher took over, and the Penn Central continues to provide freight service over the western end of the subway from the Gannett Newspaper building near City Hall to General Motors at the westerly terminus. This section involves about four miles of the railroad.
The Eastern Expressway is now completed and occupies about five miles of the former right of way of the subway from Court Street easterly to its terminus at Rowlands Station.
The unique remaining feature of the unused part of the railroad line is the bridge crossing the Genesee River. This bridge carries normal Broad Street vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the top level and the railroad within the old canal aqueduct on the second level.
A. Approximate length 3.4 miles
B. Approximate width 75 to 220 feet
C. General Conditions
As the name implies) and as its physical route indicates, this railroad formerly ran from a Sterling Salt mine in Cuylerville, New York, north 3.4 miles to the present Retsof center of the Sterling Salt Company. From all indications, it was built exclusively for the company's transportation of rock salt to a Genesee and Wyoming Railroad spur in Retsof which connected with the Pennsylvania Railroad system. It appears that there was no other use of this line from its origin in l9ll to its sale in 1935.
The southerly terminus in Cuylerville was a now-abandoned mine shaft, and although the roadbed is intact over most of its length, a residence has been built on a portion on the west side of Caledonia Road. The Genesee and Wyoming Railroad spurs, together with the still very active Sterling Salt Company mine at its northerly terminus in Retsof, occupy the former railroad bed in the area between the old state road (Chandler Road) and the Geneseo-Batavia State Highway, Touring Route 63.
The railroad varied in width from 100' at the Retsof mine, for l8l5±' to 150' for 7800±', 200' for 3135±', down to 75' for l040' through the lands of Wadsworth and l00' and l25' for 3044' and 1069±' at the now-abandoned mine shaft at its southerly terminus. There were two bulk land parcels, triangular in shape, of 4.75± and 2.44± acres.
Investigation in the Livingston County Clerk's Office reveals that this railroad was created in 1911 and abandoned by-sale in its entirety between 1931 and 1935 as follows:
DATE RECORDED PAGE GRANTEE CONS. 1/12/21 2/4/21 208 396 Genesee-Wyoming $1 Railroad Company 6/6/30 9/21/31 238 289 Sterling Salt Co. $1 7/15/35 8/2/35 248 64 Genesee-Wyoming $1 Railroad Company 7/15/35 9/18/35 248 115 Town of York $1 7/15/35 9/20/35 248 118 Retsof Mining Co. $1 7/15/35 9/30/35 248 140 James W. Wadsworth $1 Jr. 7/15/35 11/7/35 248 179 William D. Rowley $1 7/15/35 9/3/37 252 61 Frank R. Cuozzo $1 7/15/35 9/3/37 252 62 Joseph Cuozzo $1
The area is predominantly farm country with strip residential development along two of the highway crossing points. The land is on the edge of the Genesee River flood plain, generally level, with some traces of the right of way fencing remaining. All tracks, ties and miscellaneous appurtenances have been removed, with the bed generally still evident. The railroad's short length, its remoteness from existing highways and the abandonment of the southerly mines all suggest a very limited potential for transportation, but, so far as its physical condition is concerned, it might well be useful for a variety of recreational purposes.
A. Approximate length 44.51 miles
B. Approximate width 60' - l00'
C. General History
This was a high-speed electric interurban rail line, operating primarily on private right of way. As one of the fastest interurbans ever to operate in New York State, it connected Rochester, on the banks of the Genesee River, with Geneva on the shore of Seneca Lake.
Authorization to build and operate the line was granted on October 30, l90l. Actual construction began between Canandaigua and Victor in 1902, with passenger Service beginning between these two points on October 17, 1902. The section between Rochester and Victor was opened on November 15, 1903, and the road was completed between Canandaigua and Geneva on June 15, 1904.
In 1909, the Rochester and Eastern Railway merged with other traction companies throughout the state to become a part of New York State Railways. Poor economic conditions forced the company into receivership in l930. This was followed by foreclosure of a lien on April 26, 1930. The company ceased operation July 3l, l930. Efforts were made to refinance but were unsuccessful, and the line was subsequently dismantled.
The Rochester and Eastern served stations at Rochester, Pittsford, Victor, Canandaigua, Seneca Castle and Geneva with many intermediate stops. The first station in Rochester was at 74 Exchange Street. Cars were loaded here and backed across the Genesee River to Clinton Avenue South, headed south one block to Monroe Avenue, then turned left and east on Monroe Avenue to the city limits at Highland Avenue. Within the City, the company operated on tracks of the Rochester Railroad Company. From the city limits to the "Twelve Corners" in the Town of Brighton, the line was located in the northerly side of Monroe Avenue. A short distance east of Twelve Corners, it moved to a right of way of its own adjacent northerly to Monroe Avenue, 66 to 100 feet in width, wide enough for a double track. Leaving Monroe Avenue just east of French Road, it proceeded through the Village of Pittsford, the hamlet of Bushnell's Basin and the City of Canandaigua to the City of Geneva. In each, it operated in the streets.
A short distance west of Pittsford, at Rowlands, the line crossed the Erie Canal. Near this point it passed under the tracks of the New York Central. In Pittsford, it ran under the steel bridge of the West Shore Railroad over Main Street. From Pittsford, the line traversed lands owned by Duane Garnsey (the famous Shetland Pony Farms) to Bushnell's Basin where it crossed over the Erie Canal. Continuing easterly, it went through the villages of Victor and East Victor on its own right of way to Canandaigua. It was in this latter city that the power house, shops and carbarns were located.
From Canandaigua, the line passed through Dunkel's Corners, Seneca Castle and the Towns of Hopewell and Seneca to the City of Geneva, which it entered on Castle Street. There was a small station on Exchange Street at the foot of Seneca Lake.
The railway had a total of 44.51 miles of track, of which 2.89 miles were double. Only 3.5 miles of the entire route were not on its own right of way. In 1928, the line began using the "subway" to reach downtown Rochester, complying with a city ordinance requiring removal of interurban lines from city streets.
It entered the subway at the eastern end near Rowlands in Brighton (see Code 4-26).
After operations ceased, the assets were sold. Interurban cars became cottages, poultry houses and storage sheds, and the right of way itself was sold to private interests, including a large number of adjacent owners. Because these sell-outs are so numerous, no attempt has been made to list them in this report. Reassembly of the right of way would be a matter simply of starting "from scratch".
Physically, almost nothing remains of this interurban line. In city and suburban areas it has been obliterated by highway construction and reconstruction, and by subdivision developments. It is impossible, on the ground, to locate the points at which it crossed intersecting roads. With the aid of aerial photographs, a few remaining cut and fill sections can be located in the Rochester suburbs, where they could not be reworked into the later land use patterns, but these are few. And, since the rolling stock was light, the grade ballast in the rural areas was not sufficiently massive to survive.
A. Approximate length 8 miles
B. Approximate width 66 feet
C. General Conditions
(Note: This is a continuation of the report, Codes 4-13 and 4-21, contained in the Inventory of Abandoned Railroad Rights of Way, New York State Department of Transportation, Division of Real Property, Region 4, March 1972).
Investigation reveals that this segment of railroad is being abandoned from Holcomb to its intersection with the Penn Central (Auburn Road) in the northwesterly section of the City of Canandaigua, and it is a part of the "Peanut Branch" which once operated between Canandaigua and Batavia. This part of the railroad has been operating as a one-track system to supply several customers in the vicinity of Holcomb since January 15, 1939 when the section to the west between Caledonia and Holcomb was discontinued. None of the trackage has yet been removed.
Along this relatively flat grade, cut sections are minimal, but extensive deep fill sections are found. The right of way is marked at most points by a box wire and wooden post fence which is in poor condition and generally overgrown with vining vegetation. All highway crossings are at grade.
A major and unique structure on the railroad is an open steel trestle bridge over Mud Creek. This trestle, about 75 feet nigh over the deepest part of the ravine, is approximately 200 feet in length and in very poor condition. It is reported that personnel will not ride a train across it. The slow-moving train is sent across the trestle by itself, preceded and followed by its operators on foot.
Just east of the Village of Holcomb, the railroad passes a 200± acre privately owned swamp which has a local reputation for its animals and aquatic birds. The railroad then traverses rolling countryside with adjoining land being used for agricultural purposes. There are several farm crossings. As it enters the northerly part of the City of Canandaigua, it passes near several large industries which are served by the Auburn Road.
Canandaigua is the seat of Ontario County and is situated at the northerly end of Canandaigua Lake. It is well known as a recreational center in the Finger Lakes Region, for its proximity to the expanding winter sports facilities of the Bristol Hills area and its proximity to the Finger Lakes race track.
A. Approximate length ll miles
B. Approximate width 66-100 feet
C. General Conditions
This railroad, which connects Canandaigua with Stanley, is a branch from the Penn Central Auburn Road, which runs between Victor and Syracuse. The two lines have operated in conjunction with each other from the freight warehouse in Canandaigua to a point approximately 2800 feet east of the city line where the present segment begins.
(Note: The Penn Central Auburn Road connects the subject section with the Holcomb and Canandaigua section which is described under Location Map Code 4-29).
The Canandaigua-Stanley line was very recently officially abandoned from near East Street (the easterly city line of Canandaigua) to its intersection with the operating Newark-Elmira section of the Penn Central at Stanley. Investigation shows that the railroad being abandoned is still existent with its single track rails, ties and other appurtenances intact. Vegetation, however, is beginning to encroach on the roadbed.
Grade crossings are marked with advisory signs. Four railroad bridges cross highways and creeks. All are in good repair and can easily be converted to recreational use. All of the grade crossings are in good condition. Southeast of Canandaigua for a distance of about three miles, topography is rolling, and extensive grading has been required. For the remaining distance, topography is flat and the alignment is relatively straight. The right of way is abutted by good cash crop farms. There are several farm crossings to allow access to abutting fields. On Goose Road, a small residential driveway encroaches. At Depot Road, a siding has been removed.
Between County Road 47 and Freshour Road, the Tennessee Oil and Gas Company has a marked underground pipeline which is used to transport oil across the right of way. There is excellent access to the area over a good network of town, county, and state roads. It is close to the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway and two major airports in Syracuse and Rochester.
Canandaigua, at the northerly end of Canandaigua Lake, is the seat of Ontario County; As a recreational center, it is well known for its proximity to the Finger Lakes Race Track and winter sports activity in the Bristol Hills.
A. Approximate length 5.5 mi.
B. Approximate width 60' (average)
C. General Conditions
The B & O Railroad is abandoned from the west line of the Village of Perry to its intersection with the Erie Lackawanna Railroad in the hamlet of Silver Springs, Wyoming County.
The entire railbed is in excellent condition except for a few localized areas adjacent to Silver Lake where the shoreline is eroded. The rails and ties are in good condition from the Village of Perry to Weaver Road. From Weaver Road to a point north of Silver Springs both rails and ties are badly deteriorated. Vegetation has not encroached on the normal roadbed area.
The line parallels the east shore of Silver Lake between the lake cottages and the lake front. South of the lake, the terrain is generally flat and open with low volunteer growth intermingled with predominant small wooded areas. Most of the line south of the lake is in shallow cut except for a few areas where outs or fills may reach fifteen feet. The line has great recreational potential because it connects two population centers and provides continuous access along the east bank of Silver Lake and touches lands owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
PERRY WEST VILLAGE LINE TO EAST LAKE ROAD, 3.50± MILES: The railroad line follows the outlet of Silver Lake, crosses Perry Road at grade and then runs parallel with the lake shore. The line is about 100 feet inland from the lake and here the lakeside cottages are between the lake and the railroad. Vegetation on the east side of the railroad is scattered volunteer growth.
From Tank Road to the end of the settled area (south of Fairview) the railroad runs between the lake shore and the cottages on a level area on the edge of the shore bluff. The shore is a heavily developed vacation area with many structures dating to the nineteenth century, where many houses have been converted to year-round use. The area between the railroad and the shore is narrow (average 20 feet) and is either open or occupied by boat houses, docks or cabanas. In some areas, erosion threatens the roadbed which is generally in excellent condition. The land rises to the east of the roadbed and is heavily wooded with mature oak trees. Pedestrian access to the lake across the rail line is not defined and the railbed has provided a linear access system along the lake shore.
From the end of the settled area to East Lake Road, the line runs adjacent to the swampy south end of the lake, part of which is owned by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The vegetation on the east side of the railroad is predominantly young volunteer growth. The crossing at East Lake Road is at grade and sight distance is excellent.
EAST LAKE ROAD TO WEAVER ROAD, 1.00± MILE:
The terrain is generally flat, and covered with dense, low-growing brush through this section. However, some outs reach as much as 15 feet for short distances. The roadbed banks are covered with volunteer growth that will eventually result in a wooded right-of-way.
The crossing at Weaver Road is at grade and sight distance is excellent.
WEAVER ROAD TO THE HAMLET OF SILVER SPRINGS, l.00± MILE:
Parts of this section are similar to the one previous. In addition, active crop land abuts the east side of the line. Access to this land is by a farm drive across the right-of-way. The line enters a cut through a heavily wooded area before it reaches the water impoundment area of the Morton salt plant. The rails and ties in this section are in poor condition and dated nails in the ties show that many were laid in the l920's. A barricade has been placed just south of Weaver Road. The rails in the vicinity of the Morton salt plant water impoundment area are in good condition and are used as part of the siding system in the area.
No part of the abandonment had been sold by the railroad at the time of this investigation.
A. Approximate length 1.50 mi.
B. Approximate width 40' to 400'
C. General Conditions
The Lehigh Valley Railroad in the City of Rochester is abandoned for a distance of approximately 1.50 miles from the Court Street bridge on the north to a point at the University of Rochester on the south, approximately 0.80 mile south of the Clarissa Street bridge. The 19 acre parcel of right-of-way in the segment between Court and Clarissa Streets was highly irregular and varied in width from 100 to 400'. It has been sold in its entirety to the Urban Development Corporation and is a part of the Genesee Gateway Urban Renewal project, which went into construction in 1973. This portion, therefore, will not be described in further detail.
CLARISSA STREET BRIDGE TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, 0.80± MILE:
At the Clarissa Street bridge over the railroad, the abandonment is in a cut of 12±' on the east and 5±' on the west.
Flanking the westerly property line, and apparently beyond it, is a poured concrete retaining wall 8±' high. The grade is in excellent condition, crushed stone ballast is intact, both rails and ties have been removed, and there has been no overgrowth. With the exception that the retaining wall gradually lowers, and eventually disappears, all of these things remain true over the entire route.
The right-of-way abuts Joseph C. Wilson Boulevard, which is on the east, from Clarissa Street to a point where it curves easterly and crosses the boulevard on a major structure which appears to be perfectly solid. Shortly thereafter, the abandonment ends in a cut where the bank slopes upward 20±' to Mt. Hope Cemetery on the east and 12±' to the University on the west.
At about the point where the concrete retaining wall ends, the Genesee River becomes visible to the west and, until the railroad curves easterly for the boulevard crossing, it parallels the roadbed at a distance of about 50', approximately 15' below grade.
The right-of-way is 40±' in width from Clarissa Street to the start of the boulevard bridge approach. At this point it widens to 100±', and, with minor irregularities, retains this width to the end of the abandonment.
At the time of this investigation, there had been no selloffs, but the New York State Department of Transportation was negotiating purchase of the right-of-way in behalf of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.