West Shore Railroad bridge abutments at Bonta Bridge Road

Along Bonta Bridge Road, in Brutus, New York, are remnants of the old West Shore Railroad (WS). The WS tracks crossed over Bonta Bridge Road and the New York Central Railroad tracks which the WS paralleled in the area. Today, the ex-NYC tracks are part of CSX's Rochester Subdivision. The NYC and the WS competed directly with each other between the New York City area and Buffalo, New York. When the WS fell on hard financial times it was taken over by the NYC, eventually making much of the WS' route unneeded.

Bonta Bridge Road bridge abutment

According to an old map of the WS that I found, on the east-west segment of the two railroads' routes across New York, the WS ran just to the south of the NYC from the Schenectady, New York, and Albany, New York areas to Syracuse, New York. At Syracuse, the WS tracks crossed over and ran to the north of the NYC tracks, before crossing back over to the south side of the NYC tracks at Brutus, New York.

Only the eastern abutment still stands along Bonta Bridge Rd. The white concrete overpass is I-90
Looking north, the eastern abutment still stands along Bonta Bridge Rd., about 125 ft. south of I-90.

The WS crossed over Bonta Bridge Road, about 630 feet north of the NYC tracks. Only the bridge abutment on the east side of Bonta Bridge Road still stands. Going west from Bonta Bridge Road, the WS curved to the southwest and after about 1,500 feet crossed over the NYC.

An eastward view from of the West Shore right of way from Bonta Bridge Road. I-90 is to the left.
An eastward view from of the West Shore right of way from Bonta Bridge Road. I-90 is to the left.

Bridge abutments west of Bonta Bridge Road

In this westward view, the West Shore curves southwest and crossed over the NYC Chicago Line. I-90 is to the right.
In this westward view, the West Shore curves southwest and crossed over the NYC Chicago Line.

  About 1,200 feet west of Bonta Bridge Road the WS crossed over the NYC; today's CSX Rochester Subdivision. When moving westward on the WS, it crossed over the NYC main line from the northeast to the southwest. The bridge abutments on both the north side and south side still stand.

CSXT 3381 leads intermodal train I004-18 east past the southside abutment
CSXT 3381 leads intermodal train I004-18 east past the southside abutment.

The abutment on the south side of the Rochester Subdivision can be seen easily if you are on the north side of the crossing. From the south side of the crossing, if the trees are bare, the silhouette of the abutment on the south side can be seen. The abutment on the north side is completely obscured by the trees along the tracks and can't be seen from either side of the immediate area of the crossing, regardless of how bare the trees are.

BNSF 5180 leads grain train G107-06 east, past westbound intermodal train I009-07.
You can see the silhouette of the southside abutment mostly hidden by the trees.

However, from a vantage point about two-tenths of a mile south of the Bonta Bridge Road crossing, you can see the bridge abutment on the north side of the Rochester Subdivision when the trees are bare. In the photograph below, the bridge abutment is about 1,300 feet away from my vantage point along Bonta Bridge Road.

The bridge abutment on the north side of the Rochester Subdivision.

The map below will give a better idea of how the WS and the ex-NYC cut their paths across Brutus, New York, between Jordan, New York, and Weedsport, New York. The blue line is the CSX/ex-NYC line, and the yellow line is the now-abandoned WS right-of-way.

Photographs one and four taken on March 8, 2022.

Photographs two and three taken on December 15, 2022.

Photographs four and five taken on March 19, 2022.

Post updated on December 31, 2022, with new photographs.

Comments

  1. Neat find! I love finding old railroad related stuff. Nice BNSF shot too, my fav. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shelly. Between the railroads and the Erie Canal there is a lot of interesting transportation history here in NY.

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