The End of Erie Railroad Passenger Service in Rochester

Erie TimetableLast Erie Trip Draws Score

Democrat & Chronicle – September 28, 1941

They went down to Avon as paying passengers and came back as “deadheads.” Thus did 20 men yesterday experience the “feel” of riding the Erie rails for the last time.

This farewell to the Erie, which will discontinue its Rochester-Avon run Tuesday afternoon, was made by members of the Rochester [Chapter of the National] Railway Historical Society and the Rochester Model Train Club. They are men who have been interested in trains since they received toy sets for Christmas presents when they were boys.

Several, carrying cameras with which to record the trip, climbed aboard the Saturday special at 12:25 p.m. (EST) and arrived in Avon at 1:05. They had a 35-minute stopover in the Livingston County village to inspect the Erie Railroad property. Then they “deadheaded” back to Rochester.

It was a nostalgic experience for the men, most of whom have watched the rise and decline of the 87-year-old run for years. Among them was an Episcopal rector from Sodus, the Rev. John Williamson, a model train operator.

The Erie will run its last passenger train out of Court Street Station at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday and the station will be closed. Bus service will be substituted between Rochester and Avon.


Erie to Quit Service Today

Erie Railroad TicketsDemocrat & Chronicle – September 30, 1941

Eighty-seven years of Erie Railroad passenger service for Rochester will come to an end at 6:15 p.m. today when the last train leaves the Court Street Station for Avon. But increased freight business in and out of Rochester means a virtual rejuvenation of the line, which once had frequent passenger service to points south of the city in the Genesee Valley.

All the Rochester personnel of the passenger department is being absorbed by the freight agency because of heavy shipping, James H. Hagans, local representative of the Erie, pointed out. The Erie received permission from the Public Service Commission to abandon its Avon-Rochester passenger service because of poor financial return. In turn, the PSC authorized the Valley Bus Lines to operate a bus line via West Henrietta Road into Avon. The line seeks to change its route to the East River Road, which parallels the Erie’s tracks, along a great part of the way to Avon.


Erie Closing Hits School at Industry

Democrat & Chronicle – October 9, 1941

Suspension of Erie Railroad passenger service in the Genesee Valley has left the State Agricultural and Industrial School “high and dry,” the Board of Visitors learned from Superintendent Clinton W. Areson yesterday.

Thus fathers and mothers who come to visit their sons are forced to find private transportation to come to the school, he pointed out.

Nearest bus service is 1½ miles to the east and 2 miles to the west, he said. The Erie had a station at Industry and its service is not supplanted by the Valley Bus Line which operates between Avon and Rochester on the West Henrietta Road, east of Industry.

Areson admitted that the staff of the school infrequently used the Erie passenger service but claimed that travel to the school was fairly heavy because of parents who visit their sons on visiting days, the first Saturday of each month and the other weekends.

It was his suggestion that the Valley Bus Line operate two trips daily into Industry as a sort of spur line off West Henrietta Road, using Route 251, the Rush-Scottsville Road.

The Board of Visitors then named a committee composed of Thomas F. Triss, Eugene Raines, and Secretary Norman A. O’Brien to ascertain whether the Public Service Commission would give its approval to the establishment of this spur and whether the Valley Bus Line would undertake this service.