Looking around Western New York

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Looking around Western New York

Postby SST » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:15 pm

The trip starts at Lockport and heads east along the Falls Road. No movements. Of course I find out afterwards that they don't move anything on Tuesdays. I did see a few cars and possibly a caboose parked in the Lockport yard but we were to far away to be sure. After that we just flew east to Brockport. Only cars that were noticed were the passenger cars parked in Medina. Lots of water going over the falls in Albion! It was a mini Niagara Falls.

After passing Brockport we swung NE to Webster. Saw the High Speed ferry docked near the swing bridge. Passed east of Rochester over the RR yards. Lots of cars in the yard but saw no movements. After that we flew over Pittsford then to Leroy, Batavia and then Akron. No traffic on the mainline. Track crews were out near Batavia. That's all I saw from the air.

Afterwards, I drove to N. Tonawanda and rode my bike around. I came upon Robinson road and the railroad. Smurfit corp. The signal was lit for rail traffic. I was surprised to see rail traffic coming off the "Lockport" line that services 2 or 3 customers near Niagara Falls Blvd. He had one engine and 9 cars in tow. I don't know which line is active. NYC or the Erie. He cut the cars loose before crossing Robinson and I was thinking he's going to pick up the cars at Smurfit.

There was a MOW vehicle parked at the switch at Smurfit. I think there were about 9 cars on the siding. He attached something to the switch. Looked electrical. Not sure. Another MOW vehicle came to help out. Then the engine crossed Robinson and rolled across the switch. They had to "persuade" the switch into position. The engine sat for a few minutes while they discussed this situation. Eventually the engine crossed back over the switch crossing over to the mainline. Then he left towards the Canal. I figured something was wrong and they didn't want to drag the "lockport" cars across it or pull out the Smurfit cars so they left.

Just as I was about to leave the signal came on again with a solid yellow over blinking green. I waited of course. Then came a CSX frieght. CSX was in the lead, followed by a leased unit and BNSF in the third spot. Lots of tankers and a few boxcars. The signal turned to double red then went dark. I waited another minute and just as I was about to leave it comes on again with a solid yellow over solid red. I waited a while but decided to leave. It was getting dark and I wasn't prepared for night riding. Next time.

One other item that may have been discussed last year. All the rails, plates and spikes on the ERIE in Tonawanda from Fillmore to the Peanut and from Fillmore to the Ellicott Creek Bridge and beyond have been pulled up. Rail ties are still in the ground. Did I "hear" that a path was being developed for the Erie? Who's paying for it? Erie County?
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Lockport line

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:32 pm

Any activity you saw coming to/from Lockport is definitely on ex-NYC tracks. The ex-Erie was torn up by CR in the late '70s 'cause it was a duplication and no longer had any customers between Tonawanda and Lockport.
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WNY by air-4/09

Postby SST » Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:47 pm

Today my friend and I flew south along the Lake Erie shore line. Today there was much rr activity. Of course today I didn't bring the camera.

There wasn't any movements above Dupont, GMPT or NRG Huntley. But each had plenty of cars in their yards. I did see a green switcher at FMC. I also noticed the 3 bew sidings that NOCO has along there storage tanks. Nice to see something new.

Further along the River we caught the back end of a mixed freight going over International Bridge at Fort Erie. One CN train was holding on the Belt Line waiting for traffic to clear the bridge I assume. The Fort Erie yard was pretty full today. Far more than usual. That's also nice to see. I also saw the steam locomotive parked at the museum just to the south.

Lake Erie is pretty ice free at this point. Just a few areas of ice immediately against the shoreline. Shipping traffic will probably begin soon.

Lots of train movements south of CP Draw. At least 5 or six trains going in either direction. I saw one train with BNSF on the lead and a green leased unit in the #2 position. All autoracks.

After that we continued down the shoreline to Silver Creek and then turned east. I was hoping to catch a train going over the trestles at Silver Creek but no such luck. Beautiful rolling hills with pine trees around the area. I wish we hand tundra tires on the plane because there were some interesting places to land.

Eventually we came upon Gowanda. We entered the area between the prison and the city. The Lake Erie units and cars on the right in there usual spot. We flew along Zoar Valley and the rafters are already in the water.

We turned north at Springville and eventually joined the B&S row where the 219 crosses it. When driving to Ellicottville I always check out the B&S from 219 and can see the culvert pipe that it went over. With no leaves on the trees I was able to see it from the air. Although I could see it, it was still heavily treed and it wouldn't have made a good aerial photo.

We continued north and picked up the BR&P into Buffalo. Followed the rails north and returned to Lockport.

As a little icing on the cake [for me anyway] a Northwest Airlines 747-400 from JFK to NRT flew over the area.

A great day for fanning....anything.
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Postby Alcoman » Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:13 pm

What is the proper name for the ne owners Power Plant along River Road. The former Niagra-Mohawk Plant ? They have a former SB switcher # 80.
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Huntly Plant

Postby Railroaded » Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:37 pm

The Huntly Plant is now owned by NRG Corp. This is the former Niagara Mohawk Plant on River Road in Tonawanda. The orginal name was Buffalo General Electric or "BGE" to the boat and train people.
Coal deliveries by boat should be starting up soon and rumor has it that the Maumee will be back in service this year so maybe we'll get a mix between her and the Calumet.

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Postby videobruce » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:09 pm

Brian, you sure it wasn't Buffalo Gas & Electric?
CSX is nothing but a continuous joke. No matter who this Capitalist Hedge Fund puts in, it will never be a REAL railroad!
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Postby Railroaded » Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:06 pm

Check out the book "The Town of Tonanwanda" Images of America Series ISBN# 0-75240423-7 by Arcadia Pub. On pages 44 & 45 there's shots of the plant under construction taken from the air showing the original rail road spur into the "Buffalo General Electric" plant and the Erie Canal running where River Road is now. The plant even had it's own lighthouse. It's awesome dude.

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Re: Lockport line

Postby DGC-24711 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:20 am

Matt Langworthy wrote:Any activity you saw coming to/from Lockport is definitely on ex-NYC tracks. The ex-Erie was torn up by CR in the late '70s 'cause it was a duplication and no longer had any customers between Tonawanda and Lockport.


My apologies for the approaching 14 year-later bump, but I caught this and couldn't let go. I don't know how long ago it was, but in my 35+ years of travelling T-NT, I've never seen activity on the NYC tracks that go from the Niagara Branch to Wurlitzer and beyond. There were rails still that were east of Payne Av that crossed NY 425/Twin City Hwy and made it just over Walck Av. (I remember having to brake when seeing the large pieces of lumber sticking out of the pavement at the top of the "hill") Those were removed (and curbs put in place on TCH and Division Av) circa 2010.

There has been and still is activity on the former EL "Lockport Spur" (I quote because it doesn't reach LKPT) that you can see along Erie Av. There's a lubrication plant (the Harley Davidson store across the street) that has a siding and one tanker is left there. There's a siding a bit closer to Wurlitzer Drive that once fed a lumber yard, but currently looks like the switch has been taken out and whoever has that property now covered the siding. Past Niagara Falls Blvd there's a plant garden nursery/pet food store and then a green house with sidings. I walked back there one recent summer because there's double tracks and a fancy new CSX traffic light, but I didn't get to the end of the tracks. I do know they end before Town Line Road in Pendleton. On the NE side of Town Line Road, is the start of a paved (put in drainage this past summer) Recreational Rail Trail right on that ex-EL ROW. It passes Killian Road now too and connects to it at Meyer Road. The paved path, with signs for the path and auto traffic, goes to Hinman Road approaching Lockport. Further north on Hinman, the north side of NY 93, there are rails in the pavement that go off into the trees to the right/east. I wanted to walk in there but I just noticed a gate across the rails yesterday.
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Re: Looking around Western New York

Postby videobruce » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:19 am

That track ends behind that plant that is just North of NF Blvd. past that dime a dozen sub division. That facility has changed name numerous times, I not sure of the current name/owner. I'm not even sure if they still get rail service, thou I assume they do.
CSX is nothing but a continuous joke. No matter who this Capitalist Hedge Fund puts in, it will never be a REAL railroad!
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Re: Looking around Western New York

Postby SST » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:19 pm

Several years ago I rode the bike path from Pendleton to Lockport. The condition of the path was getting poor. It's clear they don't spend a lot on upkeep. Somewhere along the line the path ended [Lockport Road I think] and I either rode the ROW or ended up on the streets. I like looking for any remains of a railroad but saw very little. As I got closer to Lockport, I came upon an abandoned factory/plant. I was fascinated as I rode past it. And sad to see it abandoned.

I haven't been lucky in catching any RR traffic at Robinson Rd crossing. Either the line to the falls or for local delivery.

Speaking of Niagara Falls. We are losing another plant. Globe Metallurgical. Looking at a Google aerial view it appears they have/had rail service. Another rail costumer gone.
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