The Auburn Road: A History of the Rail Line

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Date(s) - 11/12/2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Geneva History Museum-Geneva Historical Society


As part of the Geneva Historical Society’s fall lecture series, Railroad historian Paul D. Shinal will present an historical overview of Geneva’s first rail line, the “Auburn Road,” a line that still runs today from Canandaigua through Geneva to Solvay. 2016 marked the 175th Anniversary of the line, which Mr. Shinal will highlight with maps, train schedules and photos, some depicting the early years of its existence. In railroad history, the line is recognized as one of the oldest railroads still operating in America. The presentation will explore the line’s history from its beginning as the combined efforts of the Auburn & Syracuse and Auburn & Rochester Railroads; through its place in the New York Central, Penn Central, and Conrail years; and bring it to the present, as the traffic hub of Finger Lakes Railway.

A life-long resident of Seneca Falls, Paul Shinal is a CPA and retired member of the faculty of Cayuga Community College, where he taught for 35 years. When not at home operating and tweaking his own HO scale model layout, Paul enjoys researching the Finger Lakes region’s railway history. Along with various railroad brochures, he has compiled a comprehensive booklet highlighting historical facts about nearly all the railroads that once traversed the Finger Lakes. He is a member of the Central NY Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in Syracuse. His love for trains began when he was very young, after receiving a Lionel train set originally given to his sister. His earliest memory of a train experience was riding with his mom on the last westbound passenger train from Seneca Falls to Geneva on May 18, 1958.

This lecture is supported in part by the Samuel B. Williams fund for programs in the Humanities and is free and open to the public. For more information about the program, call the Geneva Historical Society office at 315-789-5151.