Thursday, August 09, 2018

a railbus for the Grasse River Railroad

Robert Mills walking through the snow towards a motor car (a converted highway bus) on the Grasse River Railroad at Childwold Station

GRR Speeder No. 11 ( on the right) on display at Rail City Museum in 1956. Both of these vehicles were constructed via the creative genius of Roy L. Sykes. The Speeder was converted from a former White bus

This little coach of the Grasse River R.R.was built with a discarded 1906 Thomas Flyer Model 31 chassis and engine, by Roy O. Sykes.

 It was called “Rolliam” for Roy and William Sykes of the family who owned the railroad, with the first two letters of Roy and "lliam" for the two Williams who founded the Emporium Lumber corporations (William Sykes and William Caflisch


  1. Small world. I lived in Cranberry lake for 21 years and still have a small place in the village. I lived approx. 1/8 of a mile from the Emporium Lumber Marina office on Cranberry Lake (which still stands) and across the street from the summer home of Virginia Sykes Dreby who was I believe a niece to the Sykes brothers. Shes actually 100 years old now! There was a tremendous railroad history throughout the Adirondacks.

    1. well, dang! That's a surprise! Small world indeed!
      Yes, true, so much railroad history in New England, but, how much is interesting enough to people who will share what they like about it online, or in magazine articles? That's a bit less. Frankly, not a lot of tv or movies are doing much history (in my opinion) as it doesn't get the ratings to make it profitable.
      Me, I skipped past so much history in the last couple years of doing this blog that it's mind blowing, as I had to skim through lightly and quickly to find things I am interested in and jazzed about enough to post.
      Like WW2 airplane nose art. I've looked at hundreds or thousands of photos of ww2, just to find good photos to post

  2. Here is a video of the later days of the Grasse River Railroad.

    The "doodlebug" is now in Strasburg Pa. working the rails at a scenic rail road, in the same valley where it first operated, before Sykes bought it...