JeffPo's Empire State Railroad Lantern Page

Last update:  07/09/10


This Dietz No. 6 lantern was used by the Empire State Railroad Corporation.  The brim of the lantern lid is stamped with E.S.R. Co.  The red globe means that it was used as a stop signal.

This Dietz No. 6 lantern is actually kind of strange.  While the top is marked No. 6, it's shaped like a No. 39  The only other place I've seen a lantern like this is in the book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Railroad Lighting, Volume 1 on page 120. That one is also marked with E.S.R. Co.

The Empire State Railroad Corporation was an interurban trolley system, serving the surrounding cities and areas.

Empire State Railroad Corporation

Empire State Railways trolley.

The Empire State Railroad Corporation was an electric interurban, or trolley service, that operated in New York in the early part of the 20th century.  Starting in 1898, trolley service from the Syracuse area along the shore of Onondaga Lake was provided by the Syracuse Lakeside and Baldwinsville Railway.  Because of a dependence on summer traffic, the company did not fair well.  It was reorganized as the Syracuse Lake Shore & Northern Railroad in 1905.  Part of the track was relocated from the highway to private right-of-way.  It was also extended north toward Oswego, on Lake Ontario.  It was double-tracked with catenary (electrical lines) overhead which permitted fast 60mph travel.

Syracuse Lake Shore & Northern trolley.

The Syracuse Lake Shore & Northern Railroad, the Auburn & Northern Railroad, and the Rochester Syracuse & Eastern Railroad were combined in 1913 to form the Empire United Railways

Rochester Syracuse & Eastern Railroad postcard.

The Empire United Railways was reorganized in 1917 and became the Empire State Railroad Corporation.  The Empire State Railroad  was acquired by the Rochester and Syracuse Railroad in 1922.  The direct interurban between Syracuse and Auburn was abandoned in 1930 with the lease of the Port Byron-Auburn line.  Bus travel was becoming common which spelled the demise of these type of trolleys.  The Byron-Auburn line was abandoned the next year, in 1931, along with the Oswego route of the Empire State Railways.

Rochester Syracuse & Eastern trolley, circa 1915.

Oswego, NY, 1909.  Click on the image to see it at full size and look for the trolley on the river bridge.

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