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Rochester Subway: Part Two of Two
n Part One of this series we looked at the entrance to the subway and the section that ran just beneath the public library, but we never got really into the subway tunnels proper. We still have a ways to go before we get there, but it's not far off. There's actually still a bit beneath the library that's worth examining.

There were evidence of stairways that went nowhere....

...and all sorts of steam pipes which ran beneath the streets here.

The most interesting thing here, however, was the remains of an old building.

Inside, someone had been doing math equations and calculating Pi.

Behind the building was a doorway, with some humorous and ominous warnings spray painted on the wall.

The doorway was gated with an iron door, but it was ajar. It led into a small filled with refuse. A small arched tunnel led out of the rear of the room, a shopping cart partially blocking it. This is the scary tunnel is was referring into in the first entry.

There were knocking noises coming from out of the tunnel, which in reality probably just loose steam pipes or some noise traveling down from the library above. Our little exploration group had separated a bit at this point and continuing into the tunnel to see what was on the other side was a bit daunting with the noises emanating from it, so I opted to back out of the room and continue further into the subway.

The old train beds now crossed the river at this point, on the lower level of the double decker bridge mentioned in the first entry. The light became good again, shining in from the arches on either side of the bridge.

The graffiti was still heavy, but becoming less and less sophisticated.

This bridge was a brief respite from the relative darkness behind us....

...and the real darkness which lie just ahead.

This is where things began to look more like what you expect a subway to look like. There were long tunnels leading into the darkness.

There were also still old train rails in the beds.

It wasn't long before we encountered a very large interior room, accessed on this end by a doorway.

We soon discovered that it was a huge receiving area for the newspaper building above us. According to the little I've read about the subway system, it was utilized well into the 1970's for bringing freight into the city, primarily reams of paper for a company which printed both morning and evening editions. From our vantage point at this end of the receiving area, this must've been the end of the line, with trains coming in from the other side, evidence by the large car bumper at the end of the rail.

And confirmed by the huge doorway at the other end of the room where the cars entered.

Between these two features of the room were the receiving doors themselves along the side of the rails, outfitted with dock plates for ramping in and out of boxcars.

The docks were completely accessible as well. Using the photo of the door with "Gannett Newspaper" from above, if you went around the corner of the wall to the left, there was a large open doorway which led to what looked like a small trucking dock and a set of steps leading onto the dock.

The dock ran the length of this area. In the photo below, the wall on the right side of the dock corresponds to the receiving doors facing the rails on the other side. On the left side, you can see the remnants of old doors which probably used to lead into the basement level of the newspaper building above, but have since been covered with cement block.

At the other end of the docks, was a long ramp leading out of it back into the main room.

Also here in the receiving area was another set of stairs leading to nowhere.

We continued on our journey into the subway tunnels. For the next mile or so, it was rather non-descript. Two rail beds ran parallel to each other separated by concrete columns. The tunnel was so large with respect to both width and length, taking any photos proved to be largely pointless. The only times they were even interesting is when we came to locations along the tunnel that appeared to have been stops from its days as a passenger transit rail. More of the stairs going to nowhere.

Or in the case of the following, remnants of it. You can see the railings are still attached to the wall and you can see the outline of where the stairs were once attached, probably wooden or metal. They went up from both directions on this side of the wall into a common entrance near the ceiling.

We soon came out the other side, where there were huge cross beams helping to support the elevated street above us.

It was here that I was afforded the opportunity to take the pretty amazing photo that I used as a teaser in the first entry.

Over by the concrete wall where the light was streaming down from was a rail bed leading out of the subway to street-level, in the general direction of some of the local industry.

The subway's rail beds continued maybe another hundred yards before dead-ending at a large chain-link gate. We opted for heading back up to street level on the side up a small driveway, thus ending our adventure.

It's a good thing we didn't start our adventure at this end. I doubt you can read it on the photo above, but there is a warning written on the concrete column just in the shadows that might have dissuaded us from venturing down there.

Nah. I don't think it would've made a bit of difference.

I took nearly 150 photos in the subway and around downtown Rochester that afternoon. If you're interested in seeing the entire set, you can check them out in my photo gallery.

x-posted to abandonedplaces and urban_decay.
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I love all the stairs to nowhere and especially the "house" photos...I love your descriptions as well...makes me believe that I'm right there with you!

liked all the stairs to nowhere either, although it would've been kinda cool to have found one that went to Mezzanine level like some of the larger mainline stations in NYC. No such luck, though.

hope that's you in your icon, because if it is, that is one swell userpic.

Wow! I knew that many of the older eastern and MidWestern cities tried to follow in NY and Boston's lead in establishing subway systems. Notable among the great failures and unrealized attempts were Philly, Cincinnati and Louisville. I'd never knew that Rochester had made a go of it too.

o you have any information, or at the very least, could you point me in the direction of where I can find information about Louisville nad Cincinnati proejcts? Being from Lexington, KY that would be of great interest to me. I tried doing a Google search for Louisville subway in various syntaxes and came-up empty.

those shots are amazing. thanks for being adventurous and sharing with the internet!!

hank you, although I wouldn't go so far as to say amazing. Light was a serious problem.

Top quality post! Thanks for sharing these, they are amazing!

hank! Coming from someone with such obvious taste in wine, that is a compliment among compliments.

I bet that newspaper was sad when the RR closed...they have to probably truck their paper in now. Boy those rolls are BIG too...I once worked at a newspaper & remember when the crane dropped a roll once-it wasn't a loud noise but you FELT it throughout the entire building! ^_^

ell, like most papers in the country in the wake of television news programming, they've since gone to a single morning edition so I'm sure they don't use nearly as much paper as they used-to. Still though, I'm sure it was nice getting the paper delivered right to their doorstep in the basement via rail.

hanks. That's a cool icon. Where'd it come from?

These are exactly the kinds of photos that I love. And your storytelling takes me along for the ride. Thanks so much for taking all the time involved to get this up and share these.

hank you. And thank you for appreciating the effort. The length of time between this and the first post was because of time constraints and serious lack of motivation. Comments like this keep me encouraged. :)

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'know, Rochester is only about a half day's drive from Gary. ;-)

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thanks for this amazing free trip through the "dungeons"...amazing shots! thanks for sharing!

t was very dungeon-like, especially that doorway with the iron gate and the spooky tunnel. I certainly wouldn't want to be detained down there against my will.

I love graffiti art- they are some really neat pics- I always wonder who painted it- why they painted it- what they were thinking, wearing and feeling- what was the meaning- so many things- i think that is why I like to look at train cars so much- very cool :)

t's one of the bonuses of exploring urban settings as opposed to rural ones. Sure there is some graffiti at rural sites, but not of this scale or sophisitication usually.

Excellent. A great selection of photos there and a brilliant location. Kind of place I'd love to visit myself. Scotland is slightly light on abandoned subways...


ondon obviously has a very famous subway down in England, but are there any cities in Scotland which have subterranean rail at all?

All of thatlooks so creepy. You captured the place well.

I wouldn't have the guts to go in a a place like that.

It's intresting, that graffiti that said "Entropy of a black hole".

t was creepy. That one tunnel I just couldn't muster the courage to explore. And in other areas, I kept half-expecting to to run into mole people or something.

I liked that "Entropy of A Black Hole" graffiti, too. :)