The Syracuse and Onondaga Railway, a horse-drawn city railway, was chartered on April 29, 1863, and opened on July 25, 1864, in Syracuse, New York. The line commenced in Downtown Syracuse at Washington Street and terminated at Oakwood Cemetery at Brighton Avenue where it connected with the Onondaga Valley Railroad. By 1890, the total length of the road was 2 miles (3.2 km).
In late 1890, the company merged with People's Railroad and ceased to exist.
The Syracuse and Onondaga Railway had a franchise to run a trolley line from Washington Street to Kennedy Street. This line ended at Washington Street on the north because the New York Central Railroad would not give permission for operation of the cars across its tracks.
At the south end of Kennedy Street, passengers were required to change to a steam railroad which ran out South Salina Street to Seneca Turnpike and then west to Candee Corners and Hopper Glen. In 1890, the company finally received permission to cross the New York Central Railroad tracks in Washington Street and also across the old swing bridge over the Erie Canal. The line was next extended to Willow Street, then to North State Street and finally to Wolf Street, but the latter franchises were secured under the name of the Central City Railway Company.
In 1874, when Danforth was incorporated as a village, the railroad ran along South Salina Street and connected Danforth with Syracuse to the north and Onondaga Hollow to the south. Danforth incorporated with Syracuse in 1887.
The company was first formed in 1863 under the direction of A. S. Newell, Lyman C. Smith, Anson N. Palmer, H. L. Duguld, Charles P. Clark, Wilbur M. Brown, I. E. Britton, M. W. Hanchett, J. C. Chase, T. W. Meachem, D. Pratt and George W. Garrett, all of Syracuse. Peter Burns was president and Lyman C. Smith was secretary and treasurer. Henry Thompson was named as superintendent.
Officers of the company in 1875 included; Charles Tallman, president, Charles P. Clark, vice-president; Anson N. Palmer, secretary and treasurer and Henry Thompson, superintendent.
During 1890, Anson N. Palmer was president, Charles P. Clark was vice-president, George W. Garrett was secretary and treasurer and Henry Thompson was superintendent.
By 1890, the road employed both 28 and 47 pound rail and had 18 cars and 38 horses.
On November 1, 1890, People's Railroad, founded in 1860, took a perpetual lease of the Central City Railway and the Syracuse and Onondaga Railway and those lines then merged into the company.
In 1896, People's Railroad merged into Syracuse Rapid Transit Railway.