Visits to Museums

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NSG Visit September 15, 1996

Two Transportation Museums

by Bill Treichler
Related articles:
Where the Clang, Clang, Clang of the Trolley Bell is Still Heard:
the New York Museum of Transportation

by Donovan Shilling
Rural Rails to Rochester: The Story of the Depot Museum
by Donovan Shilling

The New Society of the Genesee visited the two railroad museums on September 15, 1996. It was a drizzly morning when we arrived early to be on time for the 11:00 a.m. departure time of the first rail car ride. The visitor's entrance to the New York Museum of Transportation wasn't open yet, so we went in through the back door with the museum volunteers and followed them to the ticket desk and gift shop. Bob Koch bought himself an engineer's cap. Everyone bought a ticket for the ride from "Stationmaster" Jim Dierks, then we went into the main exhibit hall and admired the beautiful restoration work that has been carried out on the outside and the inside of the former R&E interurban car 157, climbed through a Genesee & Wyoming caboose, and viewed the all-wood frame of the 1893 Rochester streetcar numbered 162.

By then the rain had let up a bit and all went out on the platform to board the rail cars for a trip to the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.

Our tickets were punched; we climbed onto the back-to-back seats running the length of the two passenger-carrying cars that are drawn by gasoline-powered tractor cars. Ed Van Horn and Larry Kastner eased the cars away, across switches for the spurs that run into the main building, past the cross-over for the Museum entrance road and swung west, then southwest, swooping down-grade across open meadow to skirt along wet lands, passing a farm-lane crossing and then entering tall woods.

The grade ran along a side hill for more than a mile before the tracks of the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville became visible below. We soon rattled through the yards of the Genesee Valley and Rochester Museum, past diesel locomotives, cabooses, and passenger cars to roll up to the Museum's depot.

Don and Yolanda Shilling had ridden with us and now Don got us updated on the museum activities, members' articles on transport history, and announcements of upcoming events like "Transortation Day" in May, "Phoebe Snow Day" in June, the "Antique Truck Show" in July, "Railroad Days" in August.

The New York Museum of Transportation is open from 11 to 5 on Sundays all year, and on Saturdays during the warm months. The Rochester and Genesee Valley Museum is open Sundays from June through September.Basic membership is $15.
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