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Rochester Subway
Rochester Industrial and Rapid Transit Railway

When I first heard about the abandoned subway system in Rochester, NY, I foamed at the mouth at the prospect. Coming from Toronto, where the only "abandoned" subway was the closed-off Bay Lower Station, the prospect of a completely abandoned system was tantalizing. However, at that time, I had no car and no contacts in Rochester, so seeing it remained a dream.

Location attributes for Rochester Subway
(Rochester, New York, United States)
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
1927 :: 1996   Partially Demolished   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
None Specified   None Specified

Fast-forward to five years later (has it really been that long since I first really got into UE?)... and the opportunity rises. Now, with both the aforementioned problems taken care of, little stood in my way. Well, except for the City of Rochester beginning to fill in the tunnel near the Broad St. end of the system and their demolition of structures within the system...

Sadly, by the time of my visit, the loading docks once used by Gannett Newspapers were no more; only a large empty space signified where they once stood. The aqueduct over the Genesse River, now used as the subway river crossing, stood untouched (if one considers the work of the graffiti artists to not be damage... there were a lot of tags but also some good art).

Most of the stations have long since been removed, save for Court St, which stands at the remaining tunnel portal, decaying away. This section has been closed since 1956, when actual passenger travel on the system ended and the south/east part of the system was removed for the construction of I-490. The remaining system from Court to the General Motors terminus was used until 1976 for freight; and the tunnels themselves were used until 1996 for Gannett.

And now it all sits unused, with questions remaining about what to do with it; some want to see it filled, while others want it preserved as part of the city's history.

To me, the end result at this point is moot... I finally set foot in the Roc Subway, something I set out to do five years ago. And it was worth the hassle at the border crossing to do.

Desolation - July 2010
Tunnel Rat - August 2012
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