The Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR) was created originally to transport coal from Pennsylvania in 1846, but it soon began carrying passengers as well. To help with its growing needs, a large freight yard in Manchester, NY was constructed and opened in 1892 where the company apparently the company loaded and unloaded more than 100 freight cars per day. The yard was, at the time, was considered the largest in the world, employing over 1000 workers.
The first roundhouse here was damaged by fire in 1895, but was subsequently rebuilt. A new, "fireproof" roundhouse, the subject of this exploration, was a 30-stall construction built in 1916 and included a 100-foot turntable.
The company began to decline after World War II with passenger service ending on February 4, 1961. Its operations were taken over by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1962 as the LVRR fell into bad financial condition, but finally went bankrupt in 1970.
The roundhouse is said to have continued use as late as 1976 for diesel inspections, after which the rails were removed and a smooth concrete floor was installed as the building became property of Stoda Warehouse for a brief period of time. Afterward, it was also briefly used by Springbrook Grain but has remained unused since.
This location was a last-minute choice. It was the day I was to return after a great weekend of exploring but I wanted to get in one more target before returning home. While sitting in my hotel room that morning, I perused Google Earth, following various rail lines around until I noted this place. Perfect.
About an hour's drive from the hotel, and I had arrived. The roundhouse was everything I had hoped, although, like the two before it this weekend, completely empty. Despite this, I explored from end to end, enjoying every part of it. The other buildings on the property were also of interest, not just to me, but to the rather large, feral cat I encountered as well.
My research suggests these buildings may not be around much longer, but the red tape involved with any significant demolition keeps them safe for the time being.
Great find! I saw this on Google Maps, and found your pics with another Google search. Thanks for posting the pics!
My husband and I saw an article about this roundhousebeing on the list of "Five to Revive" by the Western New York Landmark society. in our local newspaper, D & C yesterday. since Manchester is only about 1 mile from us, we checked it. Really falling down as the pictures show but interesting to see anyway. Other web links have a lot of information about the Leigh Valley RR & Manchester.