April 10th, 2006


Rochester Subway: Part One of Two

n the early 20th century, the city of Rochester, NY built a transit system. It was comprised of a system of rails which operated at street level and below street level (in open-air, recessed causeways) utilizing single-unit passenger cars similar to trolleys. The transit system ceased offering passenger service in the 1950's with the rise of the American automobile industry and few remnants of this old transit system remain. The street rail were removed and the open causeways were filled.

In the original system was a two mile portion which ran below Broad Street through downtown. It provided service to the City Hall as well as the local newspaper building and was the only portion of the transit system that was a true subway. After the end of passenger service, the subterranean portion of the rail system was used as late as the 1970's for bringing freight into the downtown area, primarily for the newspaper building which at one time printed a morning and evening edition. This two-mile portion of subway still exists beneath the city, providing shelter for the homeless and secluded canvas for graffiti artists. This subway is reasonably well-documented on-line, both historically and photographically. This is mine, if you care to follow me in.

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