‘Oneida’s Third Rail’ Back by Popular Demand


When the Oneida Railway Co. electrified its rapid-transit system in 1907, Oneida residents could travel comfortably and swiftly from downtown Oneida to Syracuse or Utica with only one transfer, as shown here circa 1910. (Photo courtesy of the Madison County Historical Society)

Oneida Public Library News

(Oneida, NY – Feb. 2012) Back by popular demand, railroad historian John Taibi will reprise at the Oneida Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. his talk on “Oneida’s Third Rail,” the story of the Oneida Railway Co. and the West Shore Third Rail connecting Utica with Syracuse between 1907 and 1930.

Because many in the overflowing crowd who came to hear Taibi speak early in January had to be turned away for lack of room in the library’s Meeting Room, he has offered to repeat his presentation for those who missed it the first time around.

The Oneida Railway Co. began service in Oneida in 1885 with horsedrawn coaches that shuttled between Madison Square near Oneida’s New York Central Station up Main Street to the West Shore Station in Oneida Castle, now the site of the Rite Aid on Rout 5. In 1907, electrification of the West Shore opened up interurban rapid transit, making Oneida a key junction for east-west and north-south travel.

Taibi is the author of “A Ride through the Countryside: on the Syracuse and Chenango Valley Railroad,” “Remembering the New York, Ontario and Western Railway,” “Rails along the Oriskany” and other works about Central New York railroads.

The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 363-3050.

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