About the Friends of the Railroad (FORR)
The Friends of the Railroad, Inc. established in 2008 is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Victor, NY. Our mission is the preservation and education about local railroad history, people and equipment.
The Auburn & Rochester Railroad (A&R), one of the first railroads in New York State, opened 18401 in Victor, NY. In 1853, the Auburn & Rochester Railroad was consolidated with eight other regional railroads and became the New York Central Railroad. The historic Cobblestone Pumphouse, pictured below and on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1845 for the Auburn & Rochester Railroad in the hamlet of Fishers NY. It stands today, thanks to J. Sheldon Fisher and the Town of Victor. Part of our national historic railroad heritage, a local treasure here.
In 1892, the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV) opened from Jersey City, NJ to Buffalo, NY and transported passengers and freight, anthracite coal know as black diamonds, to heat homes and fire the steel mills that built this country. For more than 138 years, Victor Coal & Lumber sold and delivered coal to help keep local homes warm and businesses productive.
The first high-speed interurban railroad for its time in the area, the Rochester & Eastern (R&E) Rapid Railway, opened in 1904 transporting folks from Victor to cities of Rochester, Canandaigua and Geneva at 60+ miles per hour. You could get aboard the express in Victor and be in downtown Rochester in less than 60 minutes. Remember, this was when the horse and buggy were the most popular form of transportation.
Today, Finger Lakes Railway (FGLK) continues over 176 years of railroad service and tradition in Victor, providing local businesses with rail service to customers around the world using the railroad tracks of the former Lehigh Valley and New York Central Railroads.
Each year, Friends of the Railroad, Inc, partnering with Finger Lakes Railway, local businesses, municipalities and organizations, provide Santa Trains and other rail-related events for the joy and delight of families and friends of all ages – young and the young at heart. Join us for the pride and satisfaction of preserving our rail history.