FAIRPORT, N.Y. — A new train-watching platform has opened in this historic village east of Rochester in Upstate New York. Located at the junction of the CSX Rochester and West Shore Subdivisions, the three-track line sees 40-plus trains a day on the route linking the Midwest with the New England and the New York Metro areas.
The Fairport Junction train-watching platform provides a covered, safe space to take in the action that includes a mix of transcontinental intermodal, manifest, auto-rack, ethanol/crude oil, and grain traffic, plus up to eight Amtrak trains a day, including the New York-Chicago Lake Shore Limited. With a number of run through freights, foreign power units are frequent.
“Railfans will find Fairport warm and welcoming, and we look forward to hosting their visits, whether for a few hours or a few days,” says Scott Winner, director of the Fairport/Perinton Partnership for a Better Community, which spearheaded the platform’s construction. “They and their families will find Fairport has so much to offer to enhance their experience.”
The platform was built with primary funding from the Village of Fairport, the Fairport Office of Community Economic Development, and the Fairport/Perinton Merchants Association, with additional supporting grants from the CSX Corp. and the Fairport Rotary Club.
“We’re pleased that in the short time it has been open, it has been safely hosting many railfans despite the challenges of the current times,” Winner says. “We look forward to growing this base of fans as our society returns to more normal times.”
The platform provides a good sight and photo line to the nearby crossing of the village’s Main Street, and has a speaker connected to a scanner that monitors CSX radio traffic.
Fairport has a rich transportation history, starting with the Erie Canal in the 1820s and continuing with the coming of the New York Central and Hudson Railroad in the 1830s. Both remain centerpieces today, running within sight of each other through the heart of the village. A unique lift bridge, more than 100 years old and soon to reopen after a comprehensive rehabilitation project, carries Main Street over the canal less than 100 yards south of the tracks.
The Fairport Junction website includes information and links about visiting Fairport. The village offers a variety of dining and shopping options within walking distance of the plaform, as well as parks and playgrounds. There are bike trails following the canal, as well as other paths, and bike and kayak rentals are available. Nearby Rush, N.Y., features two connected museums, the New York Museum of Transportation and the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.