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Friends of the Railroad has canceled meetings until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and offer hope for your health and safety during this time. We look forward to hosting our Santa Trains and other events soon.

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Meetings of the Friends of the Railroad are cancelled until further notice. Please stop back, as updates will be posted.

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The Rochester & Eastern Rapid Railway

by Joel Richter 

The Rochester & Eastern Rapid Railway provided high-speed electric interurban service from Rochester to Geneva, through Victor and Canandaigua.

The Comstock, Haigh & Walker Company of Detroit, Michigan started construction in 1903 in Canandaigua with service between Canandaigua and Victor beginning later that year. The line officially opened on June 15, 1904 with 14 cars providing hourly service. The R&E’s express car service, known as the Orange Limited, traveled from Rochester to Geneva in 1 hour, 30 minutes. In 1904, when you traveled locally by foot or horse this was an amazing feat. (more…)

About Railroads: The Transcontinental Railroad

by Allen Johnson

Many of the Union Pacific workers were Irish and German immigrants, and many had seen service in the Civil War. As the railroad move farther west, it entered Sioux territory. While the Indians had largely ignored the occasional wagon train, this was clearly a serious threat to their way of life. Attacks became more frequent and progress slowed as the ex-soldiers were diverted into armed units assigned to protect the remaining work crews. The work went on at a relatively fast pace; one Central Pacific crew laid about 10 miles of track in one day — a tremendous accomplishment since they had no power equipment. (more…)