Throwback Thursday: From canals to metal rails, to asphalt, Syracuse as a transportation middle

Posted: Mar 4, 2021 / 08:06 AM ESTUpdated: Mar 4, 2021 / 08:40 AM EST

Freight trains bypassed downtown going around the North Side. This 1930s train is heading to the station on Franklin Street.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse went from a small village to an industrial city, thanks to the Erie Canal and then the railroads that followed.

Transporting raw materials, manufactured goods, and people is important for economic growth. And being on the Erie Canal got Syracuse growing.

Transportation is the focus of this week’s Throwback Thursday with the help of our friends at the Onondaga Historical Association.

We’re going to try something new today. We are comparing some of our Throwback Thursday phots to what the scene looks like today.

At left is the New York Central’s train station in downtown Syracuse, located on Franklin Street between Fayette and Washington. At right is the location today as seen from Google Maps of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Kitty Hoyne’s is across the street.At left is the New York Central Railroad station that opened in 1936. Behind it are the elevated tracks and the station platforms for the many tracks that served the station. the photo at right from Google Earth. The station now is used by Spectrum News. The elevated tracks and platform were taken over by I-690 in the 1960s. The station that serves Amtrak passengers is located on Park Street on what used to be the freight bypass.

If you have an idea for a future Throwback Thursday send it to

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