The path you will ride once carried two electric trolley lines operated by the Rochester, Syracuse, and Eastern Rapid Railroad from 1906 until 1931. It was part of the Beebe Syndicate, a group of 12 high-speed, interurban, electric train lines which ran from Buffalo, through Rochester and Syracuse, then north to Oswego. The Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Rapid Railroad portion ran from downtown Rochester to Auburn through East Rochester, Fairport, Egypt, Palmyra, Newark, and others. A car house was located between Port Gibson and Newark. The dockmaster building in the village of Fairport is a renovated trolley stop building that was saved and moved to Fairport.
In 1908 the fare from Fairport to Rochester was $0.15 one way and $0.25 round trip. People of the time complained about the excessive fees. The RS&E cost $144,000 per mile to build (far more than an average railroad) and never made a profit in its short 25-year history. There were three reasons for its failure to prosper. First, it competed with an existing steam railroad and was never able to garner enough lucrative freight business. Second, its initial cost was too great for its earning capacity. And, finally, like all interurbans, it lost out to competition from the gasoline engine, as cars became the transportation mode of choice.
East Rochester was changed by the RS&E. Originally established as the town of Despatch in 1893, the townsfolk voted to change their name after the trolley came to town. A substation in the village still bears the Despatch name and is used today by Xerox Corporation.
There is no parking at either end of this trail. The route described leaves from Egypt Park, heads northwest to the Erie Canal. It then reverses, goes past the start point, and heads toward the eastern end at Pannell Road. Once again it reverses and returns to the start at Egypt Park. So, a round trip (8.8 miles) is achieved from a parking spot midway between the ends of the trail.
Add to your trip by riding the new loop trails within Center Park, behind the Perinton Community Center. Center Park also has restrooms, a playground, hiking trails, and an amphitheater where concerts are held during the summer. Plans are in place to build a bridge over the Erie Canal within the next few years. This will connect the Perinton Hike-Bikeway to the 85-mile long Erie Canalway Trail.
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Date Enjoyed: ___________