Pullman sleeping car, original to the William Crooks locomotive, on display in Duluth, Minnesota

This day in history: December 16, 1886

In addition to the Erie Canal, railroads played a very important role in the development of villages, towns and Cities across the Mohawk Valley. In a post by the Oneida County History Center in 2020,

The Utica Belt Line Street Railroad Company was chartered on June 18, 1886, and quickly expanded throughout the city. The West Utica line was the first to be finished in April 1887, followed by the New York Mills extension in June 1887. The Blandina Street trolley, pictured here, began transporting passengers in August that same year. The company merged with the Utica and Mohawk Railroad Company and became the Utica and Mohawk Valley Railway Company in 1901.

Here in the December 16, 1886 edition of the Utica Daily Observer:

Opening Another Belt

The Belt Line Street Railroad Company met men at work to-day cleaning the track for opening the eastern half of Belt No. 1. The work will occupy a few days. When completed, the present Oneida Square car will run from the depot to Oneida Square, returning via Park avenue, Eagle, Steuben, Upper, Blandina and Genesee streets to the point of starting. This route will be taken as an experiment, the cars at first running in only one direction from Oneida Square over Park Avenue and Eagle street.

A proposed Grand Holiday Excursion encourages holiday travelers to visit New York City in the comfort of the Pullman Sleeper cars.

Grand Holiday Excursion.

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Rail road (Lackawanna route) announces an Excursion to New York for the Holidays

Fare only $6.00

for the round trip. Tickets good going December 23. returning on any regular train to and including January 3, 1897. Pullman Palace Sleeping cars leave D. L. & W. depot, foot of Genesee street daily at 7:45 P.M. arriving in New York at 7:10 A.M. For tickets a full particulars apply to G. L. Fay, City Passenger Agent, in new city office, 16 Genesee street, (United States Express office) or at D. L. & W. depot.

New York State Historic Newspapers

The sleeping car or sleeper (often wagon-lit) is a railway passenger car that can accommodate all passengers in beds of one kind or another, for the purpose of sleeping. George Pullman was the American innovator of the sleeper car.

The first such cars saw sporadic use on American and English railways in the 1830s; they could be configured for coach seating during the day. (Wikipedia)

Interior of a Pullman car on the Chicago and Alton Railroad, c. 1900, configured for daytime operation