• Manchester NY Round House

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by jehall1970

Taking a moment to wonder in the old Manchester NY Round house the other day made me sad and uneasy, seeing the that the FingerLakes RailRoad has rebuilt the old classifacation year a few years back, and left the round house to go to bums. I have been visiting this site since 1972 when I came to live near by, and knew that the yard was there. I am new at all this and have my first visit to the yard as well as my newer pictures of just the round house.

My only question is how do I attach my pictures to this note ? I Love to share what I have seeing some are in black and white and my last were digital.

  by Otto Vondrak
Welcome, Jim!
jehall1970 wrote:Taking a moment to wonder in the old Manchester NY Round house the other day made me sad and uneasy, seeing the that the FingerLakes RailRoad has rebuilt the old classifacation year a few years back, and left the round house to go to bums.
I haven't visited the area in a few years, but are you saying that FGLK has put back some of the tracks of the old class yard? Why? I didn't even think they still owned that property.

I am fairly certain the railroad does not own the roundhouse, it had been sold off by the LV estate by the time Ontario Central started operations in 1979. Neither ONCT nor FGLK have any use for a roundhouse, especially located in Manchester. FGLK's principal shop is in Geneva. ONCT maintains an enginehouse in Victor. Everybody is happy. Not to mention that we have discussed the state of the roundhouse here before, and we have all determined it is beyond repair. After it was sold, the new owners turned it into a warehouse and added a foot-thick concrete floor covering up all the rails and inspection pits. The roof is now failing and the walls are starting to weaken.
My only question is how do I attach my pictures to this note?
You can scan your photos and upload them to a photo sharing service (and there are many, like Flickr, etc). Then you copy and paste the link into your message, like this:


See also: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=20014
  by scottychaos
Yep, Otto is right,
Ontario Central and Finger Lakes Railway have never owned the Roundhouse, they have nothing to do with it.
(actually, Conrail didnt even own it 1976!..they never owned the LV mainline through Manchester)
the last railroad to own it was the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

Since '76 it has been privately owned, not by a railroad..it was used for a time in the late '70's as a warehouse,
a new smooth concrete floor was poured at that time..
but that was a short-lived operation, a few years maybe,
and the roundhouse has been abandoned for the better part of 30 years now..
I believe Ontario County technically owns it now..and has for decades.
the sad fact is that no one needs it, no one has any use for it..its a ruin.
its amazing it has stood this long! im surprised it wasnt torn down about 1980..
probably the only reason it hasnt been demolished yet is simply because its cheaper to let it stand than to tear it down,
and no one has felt the need to pay for the demolition yet..

  by BR&P
The trackwork consisted of removing 3 of the old LV tracks and building two new tracks, and that was not part of the class yard. It was not done by Finger Lakes. At the time, the line was Ontario Central RR, the work was performed by contractors and paid for by New York State as part of the project to remove the Rt 21 bridge. The old alignment would have placed the turnout right at the edge of the highway.

The roundhouse was, in the late 70's, owned by Stoda Warehouse and was a big ONCT customer at one time. It was then sold to Springbrook Grain - whether directly or through channels I don't know. I believe Springbrook went out of business and the building was essentially abandoned. There are environmental concerns which at one time deterred the county from foreclosing and taking possession of the property.

As has been stated in other threads, the building is worthless. At least three times ONCT looked at it to evaluate whether a portion of it could be returned to railroad use. Each time it was obvious it would be far cheaper to make a new building. The tracks have been covered with a thick layer of concrete, the roof and in some places the walls are falling down, there reportedly are asbestos and ground contamination problems, and while from a romantic perspective it's sad to see it, it just makes no sense to try to save it. People see it with reflections of Steamtown in their eyes, but the surrounding area is industrialized so there would be no place for related facilities. The tax dollars required would be staggering and when all was said and done you still could not make enough of an attraction to make it worthwhile.
  by Otto Vondrak
"Enjoy it while it lasts" might be a good way to look at this. The structure still stands, we can learn from it what we can, but it will never be restored to its original grandeur.
  by jehall1970
Thank you for the welcome and I have been poking about the Manchester area for ages, and glad I did back in 1972 when there was still something there. I do have many pictures of the area, but I am not much for photo sharing, if some one wants to see what I have, just send me a email address and I will gladly share that way. I am not publishing anything seeing others will not enjoy what I have. Sure the 1972 are of a long gone age, but I have recently gone to a Lehigh Valley HIstoric Society pen house and have snitched some photos from there. I am sorry to say that the society is just that and they dont know what they are sitting on. I could imagine if they just scanned what they had, and put them on a PC that is doing nothing, and archive the rest. They have so much to give us there, but are not thinking of the future people that still ask about that railroad.
Once again the visit to the round house was very interesting, I just wish back in 1972 I went into it, back then there was a pit for a turn table, a sanding tower, some rolling stock, and some out buildings. Back then there the round house was used as a storage shed, and the local business near-by was into it. Now the local youth have labeled it, and the ghosts live there as well.

More from me later, I am in Farmington NY and have walked many miles of the Peanut Line, Rochester Eastern, and Auburn that is a bit further away.
  by snitkofj
Stopped by today. The whole area is being cleared of brush and debris for EPA study of the soil contamination. This is my first visit to the area, from what I gather, it's much more visible than it has been in decades.
  by twinship
I did get to tour the roundhouse while it was at least somewhat in use, as part of a Cub Scout tour in 1960. I was only 7, so my memories are fuzzy and
somewhat unreliable, but what stuck in my mind was a cold, grey day in November when we rode the turntable around a couple of times, touring the roundhouse (grimy, poorly lit, full of parts but no locomotives), crossing the tracks on a rusty pedestrian bridge as a smoky switcher passed beneath us, and climbing a rickety wooden staircase up to the reefer icing platform---still in use. I was a disappointed there were no steam locomotives, but we did get to watch a couple of F units being fueled and sanded. Big day for a little kid!