About the Friends of the Railroad (FORR)
The Friends of the Railroad, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization, established in 2008 with headquarters in Victor, NY whose mission is to educate and preserve local railroads and their history, equipment, and artifacts.
Since the 1840s, Victor, NY served by three different national and regional railroads, has maintained its position at the fore-front of railroad transportation and heritage. Beginning with the Auburn & Rochester Railroad (A&R), one of the first in New York chartered in 1836, opened in 1841. In 1853, the Auburn & Rochester consolidated with eight other regional railroads to become the New York Central Railroad. This historic Cobblestone Pumphouse, pictured below, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built for the Auburn & Rochester Railroad in 1845 in the hamlet of Fishers NY and stands today, thanks to J. Sheldon Fisher and the Town of Victor. A national historic treasure in this country's railroad heritage.
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.