Steam whistles will echo among the hills of the Genesee Valley when the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, 282 Rush Scottsville Road, Rush, hosts real steam train rides Aug. 25-26.
The museum will host Viscose Co. No. 6, a vintage steam locomotive that operated for the American Viscose Co. in Roanoke, Virginia. Purchased by a private individual in 2004, No. 6 was restored to operation in 2007 and makes appearances at festivals and railroad events all around the northeast.
Steam locomotives were once the backbone of the American railroad industry. After World War II, diesel locomotive technology began to replace steam as railroads looked to reduce operating costs. Diesels provided an alternative allowing a reduction in labor and maintenance facilities. By the 1960s, American railroads had converted to diesel power, and steam locomotives were relegated to history books and museums.
Museum volunteers constructed a special open-air touring car so that visitors can experience the sights and sounds of the steam locomotive as it works hard to pull against the steep grades. Because of the cooperation of the neighboring New York Museum of Transportation, visitors will be able to enjoy an extended 2-mile round trip through the bucolic museum grounds just 20 minutes south of Rochester.
Visitors will enjoying touring the exhibits of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, home to New York State’s largest collection of historic trains. Banjo player Mike Kornrich will provide live entertainment. A live blacksmithing demonstration will be part of the exhibits on display throughout the weekend. Refreshments will be available for purchase, and the museum gift shop will be stocked with railroad souvenirs.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for youth and seniors. Kids ages 4 and younger ride free, no ticket required. Advance ticket purchase is required; visit RochesterTrainRides.com to purchase tickets.