Monday, September 26, 2011

Finger Lakes Live Steamers holds fall event

By Richard Palmer
What better way to spend a summer-like day than riding and watching trains, even if they are miniaturized versions of the real thing? At Marengo, a remote area some 40 miles west of Syracuse, literally thousands of young and old alike twice a year to the semi-annual public open house of the Finger Lakes Live Steamers at Marengo has grown to be a tremendously popular event, drawing large crowds of parents and children to ride and watch trains of different gauges in one of the rural corners of Wayne County "somewhere" between Lyons and Clyde.
The Finger Lakes Live Steamers is an educational non-profit organization started in 1969 by people interested in building and operating large scale model railroad equipment. Locomotives are powered by steam, internal combustion, or electric batteries.
Members are experienced in railroading, machine shop practice, model building and related activities. Skills in these areas are quickly attained and we welcome anyone with an interest in this hobby and a desire to learn.
Members often work on projects at the club on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and regularly run trains on Saturday afternoons from the middle of May through the middle of October. For further information go to Here is a selection of photos taken at the most recent open house on a glorious early autumn day.
Here are some photos of the most recent open house.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Remembering the Last RPO Through Syracuse

By Richard Palmer
(During my career as a newspaper reporter I wrote many railroad-related stories. The editors knew this and when such a story idea surfaced they assigned them to me, if I was available. I wrote this one in the Herald-Journal on Monday, Nov. 17, 1969. This was five years into my newspaper career. The headline was "Railway Post Office Makes Last Syracuse Deliveries." I rode the eastbound train to Utica, returning on a later westbound train. As a side note, reporters didn't usually write headlines).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crossing at Canastota

A Lehigh Valley way freight crosses over the Erie Canal at Canastota during the early 1900s, possibly returning from Camden. View is looking east along the towpath.

'Peanut Branch' Timetables

It's interesting to study ancient timetables, particularly those from this region. This one is an employee timetable of the Canandaigua & Niagara Falls Railroad, more familiarly known as the New York Central's "Peanut Branch." It was called it because Dean Richmond, the president, dubbed it a "peanut of a railroad," or so the story goes. (Click mouse on images to enlarge). Richard Palmer collection