• Unfinished Railroads of New York State

  • 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

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  by dj_paige
 
Nice pics, Bob.

I could see the line of trees at Stottle Road, but no grading (perhaps it was under the snow). What exactly is visible at Stottle Road?
  by nydepot
 
After Rt 259, the straight line route stops and it reverts to a meandering route to the SW. Before it hits Morgan, is where it starts curving.
FarmallBob wrote:Not surprisingly all these bits of grading lie on nearly straight line running diagonally across southwest Chili.

...FB
  by FarmallBob
 
dj_paige wrote:What exactly is visible at Stottle Road?
Not much!

The grading is best observed after the snow melts and before the underbrush takes hold; it's pretty well hidden the rest of the year. It's pretty well eroded - only a few inches above the native soil where it still exists. In some spots there's still a hint of ditches evident on both sides.

Incidentally as a kid I lived across the block on Scottsville-Chili Rd. I recall stumbling over remnants of grading in the fields but never gave it much thought. I then lived nearby for another 20+ years before it dawned on me the odd diagonal "fencerow" crossing the fields near Stottle Rd might have been grading for a railroad.
  by FarmallBob
 
RussNelson wrote: Wow, those photos make it very obvious. May I republish them on my Unfinished Railroads page?
Absolutely Russ!

Incidentally there's another bit of unfinished RN&P grading in the woods about 1/4 mile northeast of this one. It's quite not as substantial but still plainly evident. Will post a photo when time/weather permits.

...FB
  by dj_paige
 
FarmallBob

Any idea on why these two sections of grading aren't connected with some sort of grading? It doesn't really make sense for the graders to build a grade, skip a quarter of a mile, and then resume.
  by FarmallBob
 
dj_paige wrote:FarmallBob

Any idea on why these two sections of grading aren't connected with some sort of grading? It doesn't really make sense for the graders to build a grade, skip a quarter of a mile, and then resume.
A few possibilities come to mind:

1 - Both graded sections traverse hardwood swampland. Between them is an abandoned farm field. Could be grading across the field was delayed waiting for a crop harvest and the RN&P folded in the interim?

2 - The area between the gradings is essentially level - the elevation just a foot or two higher than the adjacent gradings. Perhaps the plan was to simply lay ties/rails directly on the ground here? Would make sense since the RN&P was cash-strapped throughout its brief existence.

3 - It's likely grading was performed in short sections; each section by a different contractor. Likely also many (all?) of the "contractors" were farmers whose land the ROW crossed. (The nearby Genesee Valley canal was dug this way) . More aggressive and energetic contractors might have completed rough grading of their section before the contractor on an adjacent section moved a shovelful of dirt.

Just guesses however....
  by lvrr325
 
Most likely, any grading across the field was plowed back into the field for farm use when the railroad never came to fruition. I can point to examples where this was done on what were completed lines in operation as late as 1976 -
  by FarmallBob
 
lvrr325 wrote:Most likely, any grading across the field was plowed back into the field for farm use when the railroad never came to fruition.
Definitely another possibility. However the north end of the southern piece of grading ends very abruptly still in the hardwood swamp, somewhat short of the edge of the field. So it's uncertain whether the grading was actually completed out into the old field only to be plowed under later.
  by nydepot
 
No need to guess. Bob's right on #3. Just read the deeds!

Charles

FarmallBob wrote: 3 - It's likely grading was performed in short sections; each section by a different contractor. Likely also many (all?) of the "contractors" were farmers whose land the ROW crossed. (The nearby Genesee Valley canal was dug this way) . More aggressive and energetic contractors might have completed rough grading of their section before the contractor on an adjacent section moved a shovelful of dirt.

Just guesses however....
  by Gunsnclapton
 
Hey, theres a section of my garden railroad which I surveyed and graded about 10 years ago but never laid track on. Does that count??? lol
  by FarmallBob
 
nydepot wrote:No need to guess. Bob's right on #3. Just read the deeds!

Charles
Charles -

Is there a map detailing the planned route of the RN&P?

I’m aware of the ROW through southwest Chili; also the section that was actually completed between Sonyea and Swain. However the route between Chili and Sonyea – also the planned northern terminus – is a mystery to me.

Bob
  by nydepot
 
Not specifically. Most of my notes are from going through all the deeds. Russ has captured the section graded through York and Fowlerville on his site. The section I'm missing is Mt. Morris to Retsof. North of Fowlerville to Mumford was not graded. Mumford north was in parts. I know the grade from Mumford to center city.

One big help was realizing that the topo maps that came out later (after the old ones on the Historic Topo site) show the grade in Livingston County as a dashed line. This was helpful in matching up the deeds but also in confirming lines you think you "see" in aerial photos and other topo maps are really ROW. But Monroe County topos never showed the RN&P. For Monroe it's deeds all the way.

It also gets hard to decipher because the G&W and B&O wipe out the ROW both on the ground and in the deeds. So you may find a G&W reference and you have to verify if that's the first railroad or if there was RN&P action first which reverted and then was sold again to the G&W. Some land didn't revert back.

In general:
You have a railroad planned from the Clearfield PA coal fields to Rochester. It gets graded from Sonyea south to the NY boarder. The section from Swain to the boarder is graded and becomes the Allegany Central, later PS&N. Rosses to Sonyea gets rail as a standard gauge RR (not narrow!!!!) Rosses to Swain added later. Sonyea to Rochester is graded in places. G&W and Rochester & State Line use parts of ROW and/or planned path.

Charles
  by RussNelson
 
nydepot wrote:Not specifically. Most of my notes are from going through all the deeds. Russ has captured the section graded through York and Fowlerville on his site. The section I'm missing is Mt. Morris to Retsof. North of Fowlerville to Mumford was not graded. Mumford north was in parts. I know the grade from Mumford to center city.
What parts am I missing?
One big help was realizing that the topo maps that came out later (after the old ones on the Historic Topo site) show the grade in Livingston County as a dashed line. This was helpful in matching up the deeds but also in confirming lines you think you "see" in aerial photos and other topo maps are really ROW. But Monroe County topos never showed the RN&P. For Monroe it's deeds all the way.
What maps are these? Are they available online?
  by dj_paige
 
With the help of a local farmer, I was able to photograph an intact culvert under approx 30 ft of fill, created by the Rochester, Nunda and Pennsylvania RR, between Fowlerville and York. I also photographed another culvert, now collapsed, which is visible from Mt. Pleasant Road near York. All my photographs of culverts, fills, cuts and a few cows of the RN&P RR can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 482063104/ Also shown are four pages of property deeds relating to the RN&P RR.
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