The former Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Bridge carried the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Rapid interurban (RS&E) over the Erie Canal in Lyons, New York.
The Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern (RS&E) rapid interurban was a part of the Beebe Syndicate, a group of twelve high-speed interurban railroads that stretched between Buffalo and Syracuse via Rochester, then north to Oswego on Lake Ontario. 2 Approval for construction was granted by the New York State Board of Railroad Commissioners for a double-track interurban which could handle electric cars at 70 miles per hour 5 on September 1, 1902. 2
The RS&E was completed between Rochester and Lyons, a distance of 36 miles, for $2 million by March 1905. 5 It included the erection of several bridges that were ordered from the Owego Bridge Company at a cost of $10,500 to $12,000 each. More than 1,000 workers labored on the project, which opened on January 1, 1906, to revenue traffic. By 1907, the RS&E had opened between Rochester and Clyde, to Port Byron by late 1910, 4 6 and to the New York State Fairgrounds west of Syracuse in 1911. 6 The total cost for the interurban was around $7 million. 2
Generally, the RS&E paralleled the New York Central Railroad and the Erie Canal, and only had one grade crossing with another railroad for its entire length. 3
In June 1910, the interurban announced plans for the construction of shops and buildings, and the erection of four stations at Lyons, Newark, Fairport, and Brighton. 6 Each passenger station would have a waiting room for 35 persons, have a freight house measuring 50 feet by 20 feet, and cost $16,000. The buildings were completed later in the year.
The RS&E never made a profit in its 25-year history because of its high construction costs of $144,000 per mile and its inability to attract a sizable freight business because of the competing New York Central Railroad. 2 Additionally, gasoline-powered automobiles began to chip away at the passenger business. Financial problems forced the RS&E to merge with the Auburn & Northern Electric Railroad and the Syracuse, Lake Shore & Northern Railroad to form Empire United Railways. 2 The new company failed in 1915 and was dissolved into individual interurbans a year later. 3 Beebe soon withdrew from interurban operations and the railroad was reorganized as the Rochester & Syracuse Railroad in 1917. 3 It remained in operation until June 27, 1931. 7 The railroad bridge superstructures were later removed.
A Warren truss bridge to carry a gas pipeline was constructed on some of the piers of the RS&E crossing of the Erie Canal in Lyons in 1956. 1
- State: New York
- Route: Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Rapid Interurban
- Type: Warren through truss
- Status: Active - Other
- Navigational Clearance:
- United States Department of the Interior, National Register of Historic Places. New York State Barge Canal Historic District.
- “Perinton Hike-Bikeway.” Foot Print Press, 2011.
- Hilton, George Woodman; Due, John Fitzgerald. The Electric Interurban Railways in America. Stanford University Press, 1960. p. 314.
- Beauchamp, Rev. William Martin. Past and present of Syracuse and Onondaga county, New York. Vol 1, New York: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1908.
- “36 Miles Ready by 1 January Next.” Post-Standard [Syracuse], 6 Mar. 1905.
- Electric Railway Journal. Vol. 35, June 1910.
- McFarlane, James R. The Story of the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Railroad and Associated Lines. Central Electric Railfans Association, 2010.