Search Results for: coal trestle

On top of the coal trestle


On top of the coal trestle watching the unloading of the railroad cars into a coal ship. Photo courtesy of Dick Ransley


Coal Trestle

Coal Trestle and Road

Sodus Point trestle - road
Photo courtesy Sandi Hamilton

A Pennsylvania GP7 locomotive pulling a string of coal cars off the coal trestle at Sodus point. 1950’s. Photographer unknown

Coal Trestle Fire Videos

Coal Trestle Fire 2 – 11/05/1971


The following 5 minute video was filmed on Nov. 5th, 1971 from a boat in Sodus Bay. The video is courtesy of Lou Rambo. A special thanks to Sandy Hopkins for obtaining a copy of this video. Editing by Bruce Farrington.


This video has some very spectacular footage of the Coal Trestle Fire that was accidentally set on fire as the structure was being dismantled on November 11, 1971. Lou Rambo took the video and at the time worked for Stu Sill. The video was shot from Stu’s tugboat: Sueanne S


Coal Trestle to Close

This article is from the November 18, 1966 edition of the Rochester Times Union.

A special thanks to Liz Ekkebus for sharing this clipping.


Background: The  time is November 1966. The coal trestle is coming off a very bad year for shipping coal. The demand for coal is down, the coal ships are not coming like they used to and the “Pennzy” is not delivering coal by rail as much either. There are layoffs and rumors that the coal trestle may close soon.


The coal trestle would in fact close  the following year. You can zoom in and out of the newspaper article by clicking the link below:

Coal Trestle Fire – 11/5/1971


This movie was filmed on Nov. 5, 1971 by Cora Houck


The movie was donated by her daughter, Mikey Mullins (DeVeris)


Filmed from Chets Donut Shop


Some of the Sodus Point firemen up on the trestle in the film are:
Fred Harrington, Donnie Riggs, Joe Bednar, Frank Woods, Bill Huff, Frank Wackerle


On the whaler (lower dock of the trestle) was Ralph Houck, George Baste and Red Mull. Ralph Houck was hit by a stream of water from a high pressure hose and fell into the water. He was not hurt.


On the Tug Boat Suzanne was Stu Sill


Before the fire was finally extinguished all Wayne County Fire Departments assisted


Railroad and Coal Trestle

Coal Trestle Workers


sp trestle workers (700x589)

We sometimes forget how big the coal trestle was. In 1927, it was rebuilt and made larger to the tune of 800 feet long and 60 feet high. Such a structure required a large number of carpenters to maintain not to mention a couple of cooks to feed all those men. Here we see a photo of those men.


Sodus Point , New York Railroad Trestle Maintenance Workers’ Photo

Believe taken in 1940.   Shared with us by Joan Herrold Carter, owner of Pop’s House, Sodus Point.


Starting with the front row, left to right :

1.  A. B. Wagner                                           Row 3

2.  John DiRocco                                          25. Auckmooey

3.  M. Stryker                                                26. Painter ?

4.  Wm. Flayhart                                           27. Jim Eroman

5.  J. Buzzell                                                 28. C. Marotti

6.  Wes Miller                                               29. C. Hoover

7.  Fred Flad                                                 30. D. Bogar

8.  R. Gallagher                                            31. H. Schlegel

9.  Wm. Grosz                                              32. E. Snyder

10. H. Kratzer                                               33. J. Byrcey  

Row 2                                                           34. E. Schrander

11. N. Cease                                                  35. B. Moyer

12. L. Borgenstice                                        36. Al Kramer

13. J. Herrold                                                Row 4

14. M. Midstifer                                            37. T. Ready   

15. R. Kennedy                                             38. G. Danghler

16. Frank Long                                             39. J. Lewis

17. H. Herrold                                               40. C. Rappille

18. T. Jones                                                   41. J. Taber

19. J. Eroman                                                42. N. Fox

20. Ed Neal                                                   43. Fenstemacher

21. F. Bystrom                                              44. J. Williams

22. B. Kosmer                                              45. C. Stromecker

23. M. Mattern                                             46. P. Mestler

24. B. Fenstemacher                                  47. M. Conway

                                                                      48. Ski Dombroskie 

                                                                      49. J. DiRocco



To view a larger version of the photo, click the link below:






Coal Trestle Plaque




Located at 7390 Rt. 14, Sodus Point, NY East side of road on the old cement coal trestle slab.


GPS Coordinates: Latitude:   43.2650  Longitude:  -76.9925



The plaque reads:




The Sodus Point Coal Trestle

As early as the 1850s, local Sodus Point businessmen realizing the advantage of Sodus Bay as a commercial port, proposed construction of a dock for exporting and importing goods. In 1852, recognizing the increased demand for coal, the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad Company was organized and construction was begun on a railroad line that would connect the coal fields of central Pennsylvania with Sodus Point by way of a section of the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was not until 1873, however, that the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad line was completed with its terminus at the west end of Sodus Bay at this site. This connected Sodus Point with the coal fields of central Pennsylvania. Here , a small, heavily constructed dock was built that was 400 feet long and stood 40 feet above the water. It had two sets of rails on top that ran to its outer end with two coal pockets under each set of rails. Coal pockets were structures into which the coal was dumped from the cars. Manually operated coal chutes would carry the falling coal to the boats hold. When a boat arrived, a coal car was placed over the top of a pocket and the doors at the bottom of the car were opened to permit the coal to drop into the pocket and run down the chute into the boat’s cargo space.

In 1884, the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad Company, which was experiencing financial difficulties.


When the dock first started operations coal was shipped only to Canadian ports. By the turn of the century, coal was being shipped to American ports as well. Between 1892 and 1927, well over three million tons of coal were loaded.


In 1927, because of an ever increasing demand for coal, the dock was completely rebuilt with heavy yellow pine timbers and was extended to 800 feet in length and 60 feet in height, with eight pockets and chutes. In addition to the work on the new trestle, the company added a storage yard for up to 12,000 cars. Because the size and capacity of coal boats jumpted from 2,500 tons in the 1870s to 13,000 tons in the 1960s, it was necessary to maintain a dredged channel 21 feet deep and 150 feet wide from the present day pier to the trestle, as well as a 700 foot turning basin at the loading area.

In the early 1950s “shakers” were added to the trestle. Those fitted over the tops of the cars and shook them until all the coal dropped into the pockets. Prior to that, men had to climb into the cars with shovels and loosen the coal by hand.

Yearly tonnage shipments increased from 32,174 in 1872 to 2,401,676 tons in 1956. However, in the mid 1960s when boats were being built that could carry 25,000 to 28,000 tons of coal, the Sodus Point coal trestle, with its antiquated coal dumping operation and small coal storage area, found it could not compete with other more modern facilities and the operation closed in 1967.


After the trestle had lain dormant for nearly three years, a businessman purchased the property with the idea of dismantling the trestle and using the lower section as a marina with 125 slips for pleasure boats.

The dismantling project progressed well for over three weeks. Then, on a windy day in November 1971, while men were working with an acetylene torch near the outer end of the trestle, a bolt that had become red hot dropped onto a dust covered timber below. The result was a fire that virtually destroyed the trestle. Demolition work continued, however, and today the site is the location of a large and modern marina.

Beginning as a small coal dock, expanding to a large coal trestle and finally a marina, the Sodus Point coal trestle property continues to aid the economy of Sodus Point. The spirit and technology of the people who envisioned the bay as an active commercial port have been preserved.


This information is courtesy of the Sodus Bay Historical Society


Photos from the collection of Bill Huff, Jr.


For more inform about the Coal Trestle, visit: or click the QR code below: