The Syracuse and East Side Street Railway, an interurban rail in Syracuse, New York, was chartered on August 25, 1894, and was a successor to the Syracuse, Eastwood Heights and DeWitt Railroad Company. The company was also known as the Syracuse and East Side Railroad.
The company went bankrupt and was placed in receivership on May 11, 1898, and on December 29, 1898, the property was purchased by the bondholders. The East Side Traction Company was chartered on January 14, 1899 after a reorganization.
Franchises were granted for the Eastwood Height's Company on August 27, 1894, and the East Side Railway Company was incorporated three days later after articles of incorporation were filed with the City Clerk in Syracuse for organization of the street railroad. On February 16, 1895, the Syracuse and East Side Railway was opened. The capital of the new company was $200,000, divided into 2,000 shares of $100 each.
This was a "revival" of the old project for a railway connection between the center of Syracuse and East Syracuse.
In July 1895, the railway was purchased by the Syracuse Street Railroad Company but was not operated until 1897. In that year, the Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway Company leased this road for 22 years, with guaranteed five percent interest on bonds and five percent interest on the preferred stock.
In August 1894, the route began at the corner of Burnet Avenue and Pear Street where the DeWitt line proper began. From there it traveled to Vann Street, Teall Avenue, Robinson Street, Sherwood Avenue, Pattison Street, Walnut Street, Sedgwick Street and a piece of private property, Elm Street, Henderson Street, Oak Street, Burnet Avenue, Townsend Street, Grape Street, East Water Street and Warren Street.
The next portion of the line was planned from the intersection of Pear Street and Burnet Avenue on the line from the city to East Syracuse along Burnet Avenue to Massachusetts Street, Jay Avenue, Boston, Thompson, to the Messina plank road and on to Manlius Street to East Syracuse.
The Elm Street, rail contract was held by the company.
Most of the stockholders and officers of the new company in 1894 were creditors of the old Syracuse, Eastwood Heights and DeWitt Railroad Company.
At the end of June 1897, total earnings were $6,674 and had decreased to $882 by 1898. The company had a total deficit of $35,765 that same year. The first mortgage for $250,000 was dated on November 1, 1864, and was due in 1919. Municipal franchises granted in 1890 and in 1891 were renewed in 1895 for 50 years. Capital stock outstanding was $250,000 and total assets was $561,205.
In June 1897, passengers carried totaled 653,624 and by June 1898, the number had declined to 68,627.
The railway had 7.46 miles (12.01 km) of electric track. Rolling stock consisted of 12 motor cars and 2 rail cars, 400 H. P. engines and 300 H. P. dynamos. The company also owned Allis engines and General Electric dynamos and motors, American cars and Peckham trucks.
When the company was established in August 1894, officers were George B. Leonard, Frederick R. Hazard, Clifford D. Beebe, Hendrick G. Holden, William Nottingham, John L. Kyne, Willis A. Holden, Jay B. Kline, all of Syracuse and David Botherson of Dansville, New York.
Directors of the company at the end of 1898 were Paul T. Brady, T. H. Conderman, Robert E. Drake, Edwin H. Lozier, G. E. Herrick, H. S. Newton, William Nottingham, W. W. Hazzard and G. B. Leonard.
Company officers were president, Paul T. Brady; vice-president, T. H. Conderman; secretary, Robert E. Drake; and treasurer and secretary and general manager, E. B. Lozier. The receivers were George D. Chapman and Matthew J. Myers and the receiver's office was located at 105 South Warren Street in Syracuse, New York.
The company passed into the hands of George D. Chapman and Mathew J. Myers, as receivers for creditors, on May 7, 1898. When the sale came it was to a reorganization committee for $30,000. The committee in turn, sold out to Clifford D. Beebe. The sale marked his entrance into "railroad life and the beginning of that power which was later known in suburban trolley extension as the Beebe Syndicate."
The East Side Traction Company was chartered on January 14, 1899, as a reorganization of the Syracuse and East Side Street Railway Company. On March 8, 1898, the company was organized with capital stock of $200,000. The Beebe people agreed to part with their holdings in Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway which closed the deal to buy the East Side on July 22, 1899.
The Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway Company owned the capital stock and operated the property of the company.