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Syracuse Interurbans

Maps and Details on the Interurbans Systems in New York

Middletown TrolleySometimes known as "Salt City,” Syracuse has thrived from the early days and has been a major transportation hub with a robust history of trolleys.

As early as 1859, street railways were begun throughout Syracuse and by 1889, there were twelve separate, distinct lines which became the nucleus of a "single system" in place by 1908. Oyward growth in the city wards and suburbs followed these early trolley lines.

The interurbans ran longer distances and connected the major cities in an east/west corridor as well as a well-traversed line to Oswego on the Shores of Lake Ontario. The Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Railroad began operations in 1906 and grew to 87 miles at its peak. Eventually it became part of the Beebe Syndicate. The Beebe Syndicate consisted of 12 high-speed interurban electric train lines which ran from Buffalo, through Rochester and Syracuse, then north to Oswego on Lake Ontario.

Frequent mergers and consolidation make notating the exact history of individual trolley lines difficult but fortunately, a lot oi information is available online.

Syracuse Area Map

Pan and zoom in and out on the map below for a detailed understanding of the various trolley companies in service in 1924.

Zoom in and out using the mousewheel. Once enlarged, left mouseclick and drag to pan. On mobile touch-enabled devices the usual pinch gestures can be used to zoom in and out and tap and drag to pan around.

Interurban Timelines - Predecessors/Mergers/End of Life

Syracuse (overview)

  • 1859-1896 - several companies
    1896-1905 - Syracuse Rapid Transit Co.
    1905-1910 - Mohawk Valley Co.
    1910-1928 - New York State Railways
    1928-1935 - New York State Railways (Associated Gas & Electric Co.)
    1935-1939 - New York State Railways
    1939-1972 - Syracuse Transit Co.
    1941 - streetcars discontinued

Syracuse (details)

  • 1891-1894 - Syracuse and Oneida Railroad
    1889-1894 - Syracuse, Eastwood Heights and DeWitt Railroad Comp
    1894-1899 - Syracuse and East Side Street Railway
    1899-1912 - East Side Traction Company
    1912 -1930 - New York State Railways
    1930-1939 - various dates of streetcars dicontinuance and ROW abandonment

1895-1921 - Syracuse and Suburban Railroad
1921 - Abandoned

1896-1921 - Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway
1912 - Merged with New York State railways

1898-1905 - Syracuse, Lakeside and Baldwinsville Railway
1896-1905 - Lake Ontario and Riverside Railway
1905-1913 - (Merger) Syracuse, Lake Shore and Northern Railroad
1913-1931 - Empire United Railways

1900-1917 - Syracuse and South Bay Railway
1917-1932- Syracuse Northern Electric Railway
1932 - Abandoned

1901-1930 - Auburn and Syracuse Electric Railroad (Beebe Syndicate)

1906-1913 - Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Rapid Railroad (Beebe Syndicate)
1913-1916 - Empire United Railways
1913-1931 - Rochester and Syracuse Railroad
1931 - Abandoned

Empire United / Empire State Railway

  • 1912-1917 - Empire United Railway
    1917-1931 - Empire State Railway

Further Details

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The Electric Interurban Railways in America
by George Woodman Hilton, ‎John Fitzgerald

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

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