• Electrification on the Erie Rochester Division

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by Schaffner
I could have sworn that I was once able to find a few websites that had some history and equipment photos of the electrification on the Erie’s Rochester Division. However, no matter what word string I use to search, I can’t find them. Anybody have any web addresses of websites dealing with the electrification?
  by Otto Vondrak
Schaffner wrote:Anybody have any web addresses of websites dealing with the electrification?
If there were web sites, I'd love to know about them!

The electrification was interesting, operated more like an interurban than a heavy electric railroad. Also interesting was the commuter service offered between Mount Morris and Rochester via Avon. It would certainly be a heavily traveled service today!

  by erie2521
Here is a list of all arrivals and departures at Avon in 1912. This is taken from an article I wrote for the Semaphore a few years back.
Passenger Trains, Avon, NY 1911

Arrival Train Depart.
Orig.Branch Origin Time Num. Time Destination Dest.Branch

433 6:25 Attica Attica
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 7:00 401 7:05 Rochester Rochester
Corning-Lakev. Lakeville 7:35 4xx 7:37 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 7:36 462 7:40 Elmira Corning-Main
4xx 7:45 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Corning Corning 7:52 463 8:00 Rochester Rochester
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 8:00 403 8:06 Rochester Rochester
Mt.Morris-D&M Dansville 8:50 441 8:52 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 8:52 406 8:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 10:10 4xx
Corning Corning 10:20 467 10:32 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 10:20 464 10:33 Elmira Corning-Main
Attica Attica 10:28 430
435 10:28 Buffalo Attica-Buffalo
4xx 10:30 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 11:15 409 11:18 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 11:52 412 11:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 1:15 411 1:18 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 2.52 414 2:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 3:15 413 3:18 Rochester Rochester
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 4:45 4xx
Rochester Rochester 4:52 416 4:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Attica-Buffalo Buffalo 5:00 476
Corning-Main Elmira 5:05 469 5:20 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 5:10 440 5:12 Dansville Mt.Morris-D&M
437 5:12 Attica Attica
Rochester Rochester 5:21 4xx 5:25 Lakeville Corning-Lakev.
Rochester Rochester 5:38 468 5:44 Corning Corning
4xx 6:00 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Rochester Rochester 6:52 420 6:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 7:15 419 7:18 Rochester Rochester
Attica Attica 8:35 436
Corning Elmira 8:42 471 8:50 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 8:50 422 8:55 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
Mt.Morris Mt.Morris 10:15 421 10:18 Rochester Rochester
Rochester Rochester 12:10 424 12:15 Mt.Morris Mt.Morris
I notice the grid lines didn't copy - sorry. Neither did the boldface letters for PM times but I think you can figure out which they are. They are in chronological order. However, the columns also got screwed up but I tried to clean that up a bit.( I notice that when I previewed this to send, it rescrewed the columns up again. Sorry. Trains with numbers 4xx are those for which I don't know the number. These are the Mt. Morris connector trains (see below) and the Lakeville trains.

There are about 36 passenger trains here. I would guess Avon handled at least a dozen freights - we're talking close to fifty trains here.

Anyway, there were seven electrics each way between Mt. Morris and Rochester. (There were also the steam-hauled Genesee Valley Flyers, #440-441, between Rochester and Dansville on the D&MM) In addition to these seven electrics, there were also three south-bound and two north-bound electrics between Avon and Mt. Morris that connected with either/and Corning and Attica trains.

Note that between 4:45pm and 6pm, there were nine different passenger trains in Avon. How would you like to go back in time and do some train watching? Over the course of the day, in addition to the electrics, you would have seen some 4-4-0's, and probably some 4-6-0's many of them mother hubbards. I don't know if the McKeen car on the Attica run was running then or not. Ted
  by Aa3rt
A couple of photos from "Dave's Electric Railroads":


About the only reference I'm familiar with Middleton's "When The Steam Roads Electrified" which has about 5 pages on the topic.
  by TB Diamond
Bill Gordon's book entitled Erie Railroad Rochester Division has a wealth of information on the electrification Rochester-Mt. Morris (1907-1934) and many photos of the operation.
  by CarterB
Do any of the Mt. Morris line (once electrified) from Rochester stations, bridges, or other structures still exist?
  by scottychaos
CarterB wrote:Do any of the Mt. Morris line (once electrified) from Rochester stations, bridges, or other structures still exist?
Most of the ROW is a bike path between downtown Rochester and Henrietta:
Bridge over the Genesee river north of UofR campus..plans in the works to turn that bridge into part of a trail!
(ROW is now mostly covered by parking lots alongside UofR, between the bridge over the Genesee and 390)
Bridge over Elmwood ave.
Bridge over route 390.
No other structures I can think of..

Tracks are in place between Henrietta and Avon, in use by the LAL..no major bridges,
just a few small ones over small creeks and streams.

The station in Avon served the electric line..(only standing station on the line I can think of)

Probably the most well known surviving structure is the "5 arch bridge" just south of Avon:


http://static.panoramio.com/photos/orig ... 584037.jpg

I cant think of anything significant between the 5-arch bridge and Mount Morris..
there is a bridge abutment on Nations road, but its nothing to write home about..

anyone know of anything surviving in Geneseo?

  by Roadgeek Adam
  by erie2521
The author of those two articles on the Erie electrification was W.N.Smith, an engineer with Westinghouse. He actually wrote a number of these articles for various trade magazines. (Another one was the Electric Railways Journal.) These articles were very similar but would go into more detail about those details which were of most interest to the readers of that particular journal. Ted
  by johnliccini
Hello, I am looking for a picture, postcard, drawing or painting of the Avon Geneseo and Mount Morris bridge that spanned Jaycox’s creek and Nations road approximately one mile north of the Geneseo Village line. This line was also known as the Dansville branch of the Erie’s Rochester branch. The line was active from 1859 to September 1939. I am working with the Livingston County (New York) Historian’s office and the report I’m writing will be submitted for their website for public use. To be clear, I am not interested in the Five Arch Bridge over Conesus Outlet. Jaycox’s creek and Nations road are located approximately eight miles south of the Five Arch Bridge.

To answer some questions here about electrification.
Electrification on the entire line from Erie’s Court Street northern terminus to Mount Morris started in late 1906 and was completed about March of 1907. The Avon yards were also modernized and expanded at the same time with a five stall roundhouse, machine shop, car shop and a wye. The AG&MM ran steam with the overhead catenary electric lines. This was done on purpose to monitor any affects to the electric system by the steam locomotives. Many other tests were run by Erie and the American Railroad Association concerning electric operation. Test runs started about April 1907 and opened to the public about May, 1907 (I can obtain the correct dates if needed from my notes). Power came from the Niagara Falls generating station to a power house at Mortimer Junction where it was transformed down and sent to another transformer station in the Avon yards. I have the voltages and phases in my notes if anyone needs them. Avon was used as the power distribution source because it is approximately 1/2 way between Rochester and Mount Morris to minimize transmission loss to both ends. The trollies handled passengers, dairy products including milk and light freight which was mail. All other freight went by steam. Electric cars were an immediate success and most passengers preferred them over steam as they were cleaner, quieter and quicker. In 1934 the trollies were removed due to declining passenger numbers and gas electric cars took over. In 1938 buses running on the public roads took over the passenger service. On September 30, 1939 the last train left Avon for Rochester and the Erie filed for abandonment. All except the spur to the Birds Eye (now Kraft/Hienz plant) was salvaged in January 1941. Hope this helps.
Thank you in advance if anyone can help with the Jaycox’s/Nations road bridge picture.