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The story of the Genesee Valley Canal reflects the rapid changes in technology that occurred during the 19th century. Almost as soon as it opened, the canal was obsolete in the face of expanding railroad networks. The emergence of new technology, however, often comes with tradeoffs. Railroads quickly replaced New York’s canals as the main choice for transporting freight, and the Genesee Valley Canal closed in 1878. Railroads were faster and more efficient than the canals, but also required more energy and generated more pollution. Today the Genesee Valley Greenway recreational trail follows much of the original route of the canal. Artifacts, such as locks, dams, and canal houses, can still be seen in our local towns and villages.