Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by Matt Langworthy
Does anybody know or recall how PC handled local operations in Canandaigua?
  by TB Diamond
Will try, Matt: Circa the 1970s there were two jobs that came into the city. One job came in over the old PRR, EC-15. Do not know what the schedule was and only caught it once, on August 7, 1970. Possibly it only came up to Canandaigua as required. This job origionated in Elmira. The Stanley-Canandaigua line (11 miles) was abandoned in 1972. The other job operated over the old NYC Auburn branch, CTS (Canandaigua Team Switcher). This job origionated in Geneva and operated on over to Victor or Holcomb as required. The Canandaigua-Holcomb line (8 miles) was abandoned in 1972. Do not know the schedule of this job, either but can recall the crew outlawing in Canandaigua.
  by Matt Langworthy
Thanks TBD! What kind of power did PC normally use on those trains?
  by TB Diamond
Matt: The one time I caught EC-15 coming into Canandaigua it had unit number 7098, a EMD GP9, I believe. All the other times I observed EC-15 Watkins Glen-Stanley it always had EMD power. The CTS, on the other hand, always had Alco power, either a RS2/3 or RS11. This trend continued on into the early ConRail years, at least until 1978. After that, I do not know.
  by CPSD40-2
Very interesting! I know there was a roundhouse or turntable at the East end of the yard in Canandaigua - I think I heard that was PRR's, right? Was the CTS based there, or did they just park it on a siding?
  by TB Diamond
Stands to reason that the turntable was PRR. However, there was no water tower in Canandaigua, the nearest being at Stanley. When CTS was observed as tied down in the city, it was on the MT. Will go out on a limb to state that this would be within yard limits therefore the operating rules would have been complied with. The CTS origionated in Geneva but the crew would exceed the hours of service on occasion.
  by Matt Langworthy
CPSD40-2 wrote:Very interesting! I know there was a roundhouse or turntable at the East end of the yard in Canandaigua - I think I heard that was PRR's, right? Was the CTS based there, or did they just park it on a siding?
PRR had an engine house and a small turntable in Canandaigua. The turntable was small and larger engines had to be turned on the wye at Stanley. NYC had their own facility in Canandaigua until the 1930's, when they consolidated with Pennsy. This information is courtesy of Pennsylvania Railroad's Elmira Branch.

I'm just speculating here, but PRR may not have needed a water tower in Canandaigua for the same reason the B&H didn't have one in H'port- it was probably easier to pump water directly from the lake than to maintain a water tower.

  by BR&P
Minor correction, "CTS" would be Canandaigua TRAVELING Switcher", not "TEAM".

The PRR would not have pumped water directly from the lake to their engines. I'd speculate PRR used the NYC water tank.
  by TB Diamond
Looking through my old photo notes I find "team" not "traveling". Would have received the info from the GY tower operator, so will assume that he was incorrect.
PRR had no water facilities at Canandaigua, at least towards the end of steam operations. This info from a slide show put on at the Rochester NRHS chapter in the early 1970s. One slide showed a PRR steam loco at Canandaigua. The person putting on the program said to note the sweat line on the tender which showed about 12" of water. He went on to state that the engineer was getting very nervous and wanted to depart for Stanley as soon as possible as they could not obtain water at Canandaigua. The year was 1956.

  by BR&P
I'm not in a position to argue with either the GY operator or your notes, LOL. The "...TS" designation was a common one on the NYC, among others in the area were ERTS, (East Rochester Traveling Switcher) and GTS (Geneva Traveling Switcher). Others were known by a similar "...TA" for "turnaround". Examples include "MTA" for Middleport Turnaround on the Falls Road, and "CTA" which was Charlotte Turnaround, the local on the West Hojack in later years. (Never could figure why it was CTA when it STARTED out of Charlotte, rather than MCTA for Model City Turnaround).

Anyway, based on that, CTS would seem to be "Traveling", but as that was a bit outside the territory I dealt with, I can't state from personal experience either way. Next time I come across one of the old timers I'll try to ask some questions, maybe there's a story why it was called "Team".
  by TB Diamond
BR&P: You are no doubt correct. I probably copied the info down incorrectly 33 years ago. Doubt seriously if PC would have made an exception in nomenclature for this one local. Thanks for the correction. Will ammend my notes.
  by Matt Langworthy
BR&P wrote:The PRR would not have pumped water directly from the lake to their engines. I'd speculate PRR used the NYC water tank.
I don't doubt your historical accuracy, but why wouldn't PRR draw water from the lake?

  by trwinship
It's a good, oh, say, 3/4 of a mile from the Canandaigua yard downhill to the lake--a fair ways to pump water independent of the city water system . The Pennsy did have a siding going east and south down to the city pier but, AFAIK, never had any engine facilities down there. Just out of curiosity, when was the Pennsy engine house and turntable demolished? The circular foundation still exists but, dating from my childhood in the mid fifties, I have no recollection of any structure there.

  by lvrr325
A few notes per May 1974 -

The PRR south of Newark was part of the Central Region/Alleghany Divison, while the NYC was part of the Northeastern Region/Buffalo Division. Info is from the Northeastern Region timetable for Auburn branch specific to Canandaigua:

Movement is by Timetable & Train Order, notes 1 (Rule S-97 does not apply) and 2 ( See special instruction 1097-A2).

1097-A2 states "In the application of rule S-97, extra trains may be run without train orders, between:" The table below states between MP 4.7 and Auburn and between Cayuga and Victor, which is most of the line. Notes state that trains need permission from the operator at GY to operate between Auburn and Cayuga, and that Auburn Branch Crews must call operator at GY upon arrival at Auburn, Cayuga and Canandaigua and also recieve permission from operator prior to departure.

No yard limit is noted west of MP 53.4, which is just outside Geneva.

Phleps Jct. where the PRR to Sodus Bay crossed was protected by a stop sign.

Pleasant St. and Ontario St. were Stop & Protect crossings, as was Maple St. in Victor.

Speed limit was 30 in most of this territory, a 10 MPH restriction in Canandagua is noted and one crossing has a 6 MPH limit.

ERS-20, EF-30, GF-30, GF-33, GRS-22 (GP20, GP40, U30B, U33B, and I believe U23C [numbers 6700-6718]) were prohibited west of Phelps Jct..


Victor to Canandaigua was removed around 1979, but for a short time was used to access the segment of LV operated today as the Ontario Central while the LV overpass east of Shortsville was removed and the current ramp constructed. In PC days the current connection track from the LV to the PC, did not exist, and Victor Insulator Co. was a PC customer.