Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

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Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TheBeaver101 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:17 pm

Have questions about this line.
I know after the Conrail merger they altered the Lehigh, PRR, and NYC cutoffs in West Seneca/Lackawanna to make an ideal cutoff for themselves, but when did traffic stop?
Ive seen pictures of the route in use around 1999 but since Ive first seen the line Ive slowly seen it start to deteriorate, which is a sign that it was probably still in use maybe 1-2 years before I checked it out for the first time.

Currently, I believe NS uses it basically as a dump line to hold lines of old cars that usually appear and disappear every once and a while.

Talking about the line that crosses over Abbott Rd, and can be seen on Lake Avenue crossing over the CSX NS and BSOR.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:48 pm

it's out of service account issues with a bridge over Electric Ave.

It doesn't really cut anything off because the eastern end of it is abandoned, past where it crossed the ex-PRR Buffalo line. At the west end, it only connects back RR east (physically north). Had the other leg been retained it could serve as a bypass route.


Under NYC there were large yards along it that other than a visible scar of roundhouse foundation near Losson and Hillpine there's not a trace of today. Between the PC merger and the general loss of traffic from Buffalo they became surplus.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:39 pm

lvrr325 wrote:Under NYC there were large yards along it that other than a visible scar of roundhouse foundation near Losson and Hillpine there's not a trace of today. Between the PC merger and the general loss of traffic from Buffalo they became surplus.


That was Gardenville Yard, and it was gone before the PC merger. Essentially it was replaced by Frontier. I have seen pics of the engine facility at Gardenville, but none of the yard itself.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:56 pm

Strictly speaking of the NYC line that cutoff through the area.... When Gardenville was built, what is now Frontier was a much smaller operation used for local trains, whereas the layout of Gardenville and its location seems to indicate that it was meant more for through-trains with little switching. This bypass of Frontier was deemed unnecessary by NYC when they rebuilt Frontier in the 60s.
The "North" end (RR East) only connected to the NYC mainline for trains traveling east of Frontier yard.
Another leg of this connection went straight north to the West Shore south of the Airport. (A portion of this is still in service as the "A" Industrial)

The yards were built very quickly in the late 1800s and resulted in a lot of commotion from residents and a number of formerly straight roads being rebuilt with long bridges. Some of these still exist (French and Union has actually been done twice, the original bridge combined French and Union over one bridge, it was later rebuilt with a new bridge keeping Union straight and breaking French's western end off) while some have been re-flattened and re-straightened (Losson, for example).


When CR took over, the connections that exist today didn't. What is now CP2, CP437 and what was Tower FP were all in different configurations, and those configurations didn't leave Conrail with a good way to get from Frontier Yard to the PRR Buffalo Line heading south without use of the former NYC cutoff connection in Lackawanna. At what is now 437, the BCK did connect, but the NYC mainline still continued west along what is now the Compromise (or "Track 3") towards the city. There was no connection at FP Tower allowing a train traveling south on the BCK to turn east/south onto the PRR Buffalo line. While there was a connection traveling north on the BCK to turn east/south onto the PRR, (which one might think would have allowed a train from Seneca Yard to the PRR) a connection from the NYC to BCK didn't exist at what is now CP2. Their only option, if they had a train in Frontier that needed to get to the Buffalo Line, was to take it down to the south end of the old cutoff and come back north. This is why, if you look at CR (or even NS) ETTs and follow the "Buffalo Line" it changes mileposts and continues in this direction as a holdover from this time period. When CP2, 457, and FP were rebuilt into what they are today, the Ebenezer Runner (which is actually the former PRR Buffalo Line) allowed the "new" CR Buffalo Line connection into Lackawanna to become obsolete because CR could get into the heart of the mainline (the "new 1 & 2 Main") and get to yards without the Buffalo Line.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TheBeaver101 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:55 pm

About what year would you say the final real train would have ran through gardenville? Real as in transporting something, not dumping a line of cars on the track.
Also, what railroad company? I know Norfolk Southern was given the cutoff but since the cutoff connects to the CSX main near Lake Ave, what purpose would it serve?
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TrainDetainer » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:28 am

ct - Correction. No such thing as FP in Buffalo. What you're pointing to was FW. http://northamericaninterlockings.com/i ... am.jpg?924. And there was a connection from BCK to PRR on both sides of PRR south. The diagram clearly shows the connection from the BCK siding (adjacent to their Eastbound (geo north)) to the PRR Northward Main and the entrance to the PRR from it was signal 20. The diagram is upside down geographically - note the Fillmore and Smith crossings, which are geographically west of FW, and the NKP Jct Yd leads are at top (geo south). The connections are also very visible in the Erie County 1927 aerial photos.

Also, the Ebenezer Secondary from GJ west did not make the CP-GJ to CP-5 part of the CR Buffalo line obsolete. It was still in use right until the last CR BUPI/PIBU movement and a couple of track patrols after the Split. IIRC the last Buffalo Line ML train was taken off a little earlier in the Split traffic changes. After rationalization the Ebenezer still went to/ended at CP Draw (at the Buffalo Creek bridge), and still does, just west of the DL&W bridge. There was never a way to get directly from EBES to Frontier post rationalization at old FW - the old connection was turned into the Howard Street Running track connecting 437 to Clinton Street/William Street/Southern Tier. You could only go east to get to SK yard (old Erie, later D&H), Bison yard (which disappeared under CR) and the Southern Tier Line via the Transco Wye off the EBES at Babcock Street. All Buffalo Line trains in and out of Frontier went via CP-5/GJ. Had tower 47 remained after rationalization Buffalo Line trains could have gone to Frontier via EBES/Transco/Clinton Street/Howard Street Runner/IQ/Lovejoy/47, but 47 was gone in favor of the new 437/Frontier connection.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby NYCRRson » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:35 pm

"Back in the day" my Father got called as a fireman on an eastbound helper move out of Gardenville yard. This would be '42-'43.

There was a bit of a grade out of the yard and up onto the mainline to head east bound. The track leaving the eastbound end of Gardenville yard connected to the mainline near the intersection of Walden Ave and Burkhardt Ave. There was an under pass that connected the westbound mainline tracks into Gardenville yard.

He was assigned to stoke the fire in a large Mallet (normally used for hump yard work). These engines had no stoker, they didn't need them for the normal slow speed yard work. The NYCRR had several of these at the larger yards, mostly designed for slow moving in the yards with big cuts of cars.

Anyway, they left the engine terminal at Gardenville and headed out towards the eastbound connection to the mainline. They connected to the rear end of the stalled train they were going to help.

As soon as they coupled up to push the crew in the caboose went "Up Top" to the roofwalks and started heading towards the front of the train....... Dad asked the hogger what's going on.... The engineer said, just watch..... It sounded like the whole train was going to crush, it was mostly wooden bodied reefer cars.... The train crew was afraid the pusher would crush their train....

Dad shoveled as fast as he could to keep up, but he had a hard time, as soon as the pushed train was going and they cut off the fire was almost out...

Last time i was in that area (Stiglmeier Park is there now) you could still see the line of telegraph poles that ran alongside the yard, just a straight line of old poles with no wires attached anymore.

Gardenville Yard was "replaced" by Frontier Yard back in the late 50's. Most of it is long gone, although one span of the two track bridge over Cayuga Creek is still there according to the Satellite.

Cheers, Kevin.
Last edited by NYCRRson on Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby NYCRRson » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:26 pm

lvrr325 wrote:Under NYC there were large yards along it that other than a visible scar of roundhouse foundation near Losson and Hillpine there's not a trace of today. Between the PC merger and the general loss of traffic from Buffalo they became surplus.


Gardenville yard was "surplus" after the NYC created Frontier Yard (officially opened in 1957). The main reason to build Frontier yard was to consolidate a bunch of other scattered NYC yards around the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. This all happened quite a while before the PC merger and the increasing loss of traffic.

See my other post about my Father helping shove a stalled train out of the east end of Gardenville with a NYC Mallet loco (yes the NYC had Mallets).

Cheers, Kevin.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:39 am

TrainDetainer wrote:ct - Correction. No such thing as FP in Buffalo. What you're pointing to was FW.
Yes, you're sorry, brain fart, I meant FW.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:41 am

It was before my time, but Rochester had a regular train to Gardenville, RG-9.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby CPSmith » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:34 pm

NYCRRson wrote:"Back in the day" my Father got called as a fireman on an eastbound helper move out of Gardenville yard. This would be '42-'43.

There was a bit of a grade out of the yard and up onto the mainline to head east bound. The track leaving the eastbound end of Gardenville yard connected to the mainline near the intersection of Walden Ave and Burkhardt Ave. There was an under pass that connected the westbound mainline tracks into Gardenville yard.

He was assigned to stoke the fire in a large Mallet (normally used for hump yard work). These engines had no stoker, they didn't need them for the normal slow speed yard work. The NYCRR had several of these at the larger yards, mostly designed for slow moving in the yards with big cuts of cars.

Anyway, they left the engine terminal at Gardenville and headed out towards the eastbound connection to the mainline. They connected to the rear end of the stalled train they were going to help.

As soon as they coupled up to push the crew in the caboose went "Up Top" to the roofwalks and started heading towards the front of the train....... Dad asked the hogger what's going on.... The engineer said, just watch..... It sounded like the whole train was going to crush, it was mostly wooden bodied reefer cars.... The train crew was afraid the pusher would crush their train....

Dad shoveled as fast as he could to keep up, but he had a hard time, as soon as the pushed train was going and they cut off the fire was almost out...

Last time i was in that area (Stiglmeier Park is there now) you could still see the line of telegraph poles that ran alongside the yard, just a straight line of old poles with no wires attached anymore.

Gardenville Yard was "replaced" by Frontier Yard back in the late 50's. Most of it is long gone, although one span of the two track bridge over Cayuga Creek is still there according to the Satellite.

Cheers, Kevin.



I can't imagine firing one of these as a hand bomber - it must of gone through coal like a kid with a bowl of M&Ms.
From one of my stoker catalogs:
Attachments
NYC_Mallet_1.jpg
peddle your shorts
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby BR&P » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:27 am

Here's the info I have just been furnished regarding Gardenville Yard:

"Frontier yd was opened in 1956 and Gardenville was closed shortly after and tore out, including the new engine facility. I will pin the actual date down. My brother hired out in 1957 and went there once with a clerk to take paychecks. I hired out in 1962 and it was gone."

I will be talking to him further in a day or so and will add any new info if it will help this thread. Among my questions will be how long after the yard itself was removed did a through track remain in operation?
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TrainDetainer » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:21 pm

About what year would you say the final real train would have ran through gardenville? Real as in transporting something, not dumping a line of cars on the track.
Also, what railroad company?

Beaver - Depends on what you mean by transporting something. In the Trackside Buffalo book there's a pic dated June 10,1965 showing the Gardenville down to one track and the caption states only a few trains per day. My 1981 CR map shows it still there as a running track between JD/A/WN (the West Shore wye) and GJ, but no connection to the Mainline at Depew/429 and only connecting to the Buffalo line south (eastward) - and gone between that connection and Abbott Rd. Was probably only used for locals to access Ebenezer Yard and service the warehouses just east of Union Rd at that point. Locals could come out of the Frontier North Yard via the West Shore and head down the A/Gardenville. The 1987 map shows it abandoned (8/7/82) from 429 to just west of Slate Bottom Creek and that remaining portion GJ to the creek was still on the books in the 1989 charts, so it was still moving a little freight well into CR. The 1981 map also shows a connection at Abbott Rd from the old PRR W.Seneca Branch to the remaining west end of the Gardenville to access Seneca Yard (the connection to the LS&MS west was gone but PRR and L&LE/LV still in place to West Seneca with the L&LE out of service). As for what RR/last through train, I'd guess the last through train to bypass Buffalo from 46 to Lake Ave was Penn Central - I have nothing that shows when the WB connection at Lake Ave was removed. As additional info the 1987 map shows the Lehigh and Lake Erie abandoned 7/22/82 from Tifft Jct to just west of Indian Church Rd, and completely gone there to West Seneca.

I know Norfolk Southern was given the cutoff but since the cutoff connects to the CSX main near Lake Ave, what purpose would it serve?

Between 1982 and 1987 CR 'rationalized' Buffalo, which included removing FW and anything not really needed. At that point the old PRR to Buffalo, now the CR Buffalo Line, was reconfigured to turn left at Ebenezer Jct (which became CP-GJ) onto the former PRR West Seneca Branch to Abbot Road, then over onto the former NYC Gardenville Branch remains between the B&O OHBR and South Branch of Smoke Creek and connect eastbound to the Chicago Line at CP-5 (old NYC SS 'D") to access Seneca yard.

It's purpose was as I stated in my 11/29 post. The old PRR between CP-GJ and FW became the Ebenezer Secondary, including the Buffalo Creek connection that went from old FW/P&B Jct out to the 'new' CP-Draw. The EBES was the connection for any Buffalo Line trains that needed to get into the east end of Seneca Yard but most all went out to CP-5 and into the west end of Seneca so as not to tie up CP-Draw and CP-2 (old BC Cabin) with a slow crossover move under CR. When the Split happened in 1999, NS became owner of the Buffalo Line and EBES and traffif patterns at Buffalo shifted dramatically. Since any transfers between NS and CSX are (or at least were when last I had anything to do with it) handled at Frontier via 437 or WB moves at Draw, the Buffalo Line between GJ and 5 did at that time become irrelevant to any normal operation.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby TheBeaver101 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:08 pm

That's interesting. I guess the last train to cross the altered Gardenville line to transport something and not just dump cars would have been right around the end of Conrail in 1999.
Really hope Gardenville can someday be used again. It's unlikely but I'm sure if a couple new connections to some lines (such as the BR&P) were created it may serve a purpose.
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Re: Ex-NYC Gardenville Cutoff around Buffalo NY

Postby ctclark1 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:22 pm

Short of BPRR (working with NS) building a connection to the old B&O line south of Martin Rd, and utilizing the line as a bypass of CP-DRAW to get to the Buffalo Line (which is owned by NS and leased/operated by BPRR to get to Ashford via Machias in lieu of the now removed B&O line south of Orchard Park). As much as I'd like to see that happen, I don't right now unless BPRR for some reason loses their trackage rights on CSX across CP-DRAW or CP-DRAW is shutdown, but that puts a lot of RRs in a pinch, not just B&P.
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