New York State Railways

New York State Railways

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New York State Railways

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New York State Railways was a grouping of several large city streetcar and electric interurban systems in upstate New York. It included the city transit systems in Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Oneida and Rome, plus various interurban lines connecting those cities.

The company was formed in 1909 when the New York Central Railroad (NYC) consolidated its previously purchased (in 1905) Rochester Railways, serving that city, with the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway and Rochester & Sodus Bay interurban companies. In 1912 it added the Rochester & Suburban Ry., the Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway, the Oneida Railway, and the Utica & Mohawk Valley Ry. In effect, the big steam railroad system (NYC) was able to monopolize local and intercity passenger business along its Mohawk Valley mainline.


In June 1920, the total value of the New York State Railway Corporation franchise in Syracuse as determined by the New York State Tax Commission was $2,320, down from $2,407,000 in 1919.

Patronage on the streetcar and interurban lines declined in the 1920s, thanks to autos, buses, and paved roads — but the electric utilities owned by the company grew. As a result, in 1928 the New York Central sold its control of the New York State Railways system to what became the Associated Gas & Electric Co.


Shortly after the transaction, the stock market crashed, and on December 30, 1929, the company was put into......
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