A new exhibit featuring two monorail cars suspended from the rails that once encircled Midtown Plaza is now open to visitors at the New York Museum of Transportation. With accompanying photos and text, the exhibit will bring back happy holiday memories for Rochesterians.
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The monorail was a popular holiday feature at Midtown Plaza from 1968 to Christmas Eve 2007. The cars were in storage until this past summer when the City of Rochester agreed to provide the cars and associated equipment for an exhibit. Museum volunteers designed and constructed the exhibit, with generous help from several local industries.
The Rocket Express Company built the monorail, and several of their systems were installed in department stores throughout the country. With 230 volt 3-phase electric power, the cars operated in a similar fashion to the trolley cars at the museum, using spring-loaded arms riding on overhead wires.
The only trolley railroad in the state, the New York Museum of Transportation features exhibits of trolley cars, a steam locomotive, horse-drawn and highway vehicles, model trains and much more. The museum now proudly adds the Midtown Plaza Monorail to its array of exhibits, offering one more chapter of the transportation story of our area.
The museum is open Sundays only, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at 6393 East River Road, West Henrietta, NY. Take I-390 south to exit 11, NY Rt. 251 West, then 1 mile north on East River Road. www.nymtmuseum.org (585) 533-1113.
photo by Jim Dierks