Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

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Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby DonPevsner » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:55 pm

Can anyone supply the dates of the last passenger trains from Buffalo on the following routes? :

(1)DL&W to Hoboken, via Scranton (probably E-L).

(2)Erie to Hoboken via Portageville, Hornell and over both the former DL&W and Erie routes east of Binghamton after the 1960 E-L merger.

(3)PRR Washington route, via Harrisburg.

(4)Lehigh Valley.

(5)West Shore to Weehawken.

(6)Auburn Road from Rochester to Syracuse.

(7)Falls Road from Niagara Falls to Rochester.
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby TB Diamond » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:02 pm

1.) E-L Tr. 10. I believe April or May 1969. Departed from Babcock St.

3.) Penn Central Tr. 574. Operated every other day just prior to Amtrak. Last would have been during the final week of April, 1970.

4.) LVRR Tr. 8, The Maple Leaf, 03 February 1961 during a blizzard.

6.) NYC Trns. 3, 7, 18 & 8 came off 19 May 1958.

7.) NYC Trns. 42 & 49 came off 26 Nov. 1957
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby H.F.Malone » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:24 am

Amtrak Day:

May 1, 1971.

The PRR-PC train was known as the "Buffalo Day Express". At the end, it was one battered E-unit, one B-60 baggage car and one or two coaches. A ragged train on a ragged railroad.
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:30 am

H.F.Malone wrote:The PRR-PC train was known as the "Buffalo Day Express". At the end, it was one battered E-unit, one B-60 baggage car and one or two coaches. A ragged train on a ragged railroad.


That would have been a neat train to see. Maybe not so much if you were a passenger.
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby jr » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:48 am

It ran occasionally with one coach, and no baggage cars. They apparently also used it to transfer power between Buffalo and Harrisburg. My Dad recalled seeing it with four E-units, and a very short train (possibly just one coach, although I'm not certain of the car-count).

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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby charlie6017 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:06 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
H.F.Malone wrote:The PRR-PC train was known as the "Buffalo Day Express". At the end, it was one battered E-unit, one B-60 baggage car and one or two coaches. A ragged train on a ragged railroad.


That would have been a neat train to see. Maybe not so much if you were a passenger.


I would have loved to have been a passenger on that train......be kind of cool to ride the Buffalo-Harrisburg route over Keating Summit! :-)
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby TB Diamond » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:36 pm

HF:

Correct, my post above under 3.) should have read "April, 1971".

Otto & charlie:

I did ride 575 north from Olean and, the next day, 574 south from Buffalo to Olean. Believe that it was in late winter, 1971. I don't think that there were more than 10 people in the lone coach on either train. Took a couple photos of the coach interior.

Photographed the trains between Olean and Buffalo several times, 1970-1971. One time it had about 7 or 8 baggage/mail cars plus a coach and another two E7/8 units plus a lone baggage/mail car and a coach.
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:19 am

TB Diamond wrote:I did ride 575 north from Olean and, the next day, 574 south from Buffalo to Olean. Believe that it was in late winter, 1971. I don't think that there were more than 10 people in the lone coach on either train. Took a couple photos of the coach interior.

Photographed the trains between Olean and Buffalo several times, 1970-1971. One time it had about 7 or 8 baggage/mail cars plus a coach and another two E7/8 units plus a lone baggage/mail car and a coach.


Wow, didnt realize the Buffalo Day Express lasted so late!! Pictures of it seem to be few, though. What was the schedule like?
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby Aa3rt » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:19 am

Otto Vondrak wrote:Wow, didnt realize the Buffalo Day Express lasted so late!! Pictures of it seem to be few, though. What was the schedule like?


I can't refer to my trusty "Official Guide of The Railways" right now but if I believe TB Diamond is correct, operation of these trains had been reduced to alternating days (One day northbound, south the next.) by the time "A" Day came in 1971.

When the trains were operating they both passed through Williamsport, PA between 2 and 3 AM.

I recall heading to Olean on a cold, rainy day around Easter break of 1970 to photograph the train. As others have mentioned, the consist was an E-unit in PC paint with a baggage car and coach. Unfortunately most of my railway photography back then was done with a Super-8 movie camera. :( The films are still languishing in a closet at my father's home in northwest PA.

EDIT: I'm home now and have my trusty Official Guide in front of me. In October of 1968 the schedule was:

Train 574, the southbound, is shown leaving Buffalo @ 9:00PM, Olean @ 10:50PM, Renovo @ 1:12AM, Williamsport @ 2:20AM, Sunbury @ 4:10AM, arrive in Harrisburg @ 5:40AM, leave Harrisburg @ 6:40AM, Baltimore @ 9:10AM, Washington @ 10:10AM.

Train 575, the northbound, left Harrisburg @ 11:35PM, Williamsport @ 2:20AM, Renovo @ 3:51AM, Olean @ 6:18AM, arriving in Buffalo @ 8:15AM. (Strangely the connecting train from Washington to Harrisburg is not shown.) I can only imagine that the schedule changed between the fall of 1968 and the spring of 1970 when I made a special trip to Olean to photograph the train.

(As an aside, I did ride this route once, way back in the fall of 1956. The Buffalo Chapter of the NRHS (IIRC) sponsored a trip from Buffalo to Renovo to see the last of steam still operating there. [I still have the flyer advertising this filed away somewhere in my "archives".]

We were living in Jamestown at the time and rode a bus to Olean, catching the train to Renovo and return. I had turned 3 in July of that year. (Guess I must have been potty trained or the old man never would have had the patience to take me along. :wink: ) I still have some vague memories of getting off the bus in Olean and boarding the train and seeing the steamers in Renovo. Still have black and white photos of a lot of PRR steam locomotives in Renovo, both active and in the dead line.)
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby NE2 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:12 am

I know you didn't ask for it, but according to http://www.prrths.com/Hagley/PRR%20PASS%20Jun%2005.pdf the last Buffalo-Corry train was March 5, 1949.
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby amtrakhogger » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:11 pm

Did the Buffalo Day Express have a crew change en route from Buffalo-Harrisburg or did the crew go all the way through?
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby charlie6017 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:36 pm

I think Renovo was a crew change point........
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby DonPevsner » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:43 pm

Thanks for details on all but one key train: on the West Shore all the way from Weehawken to Buffalo. One source speaks of a deluxe through train all the way from Weehawken to Chicago, which ended after World War I. However, I am fairly positive that through service from Weehawken to Buffalo ended in the 1930's, prior to World War II. Can anyone ferret-out this key missing detail, please?
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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby jr » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:31 pm

Don,

I have a July '39 Official Guide that shows the West Shore as freight-only, west of Albany.

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Re: Last Passenger Trains From Buffalo

Postby TB Diamond » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:32 pm

The only item that I can find on the West Shore passenger service in central/western New York State:

Trns. 83-84 between Syracuse and Wayneport, discontinued in 1930.
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