• Help on a train reference from Blasdell, NY, 1923

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by eskultety
I am doing genealogy research and came across a newspaper clipping mentioning the death of my great grandfather. I am wondering if someone can clarify what this is telling me?

The clipping came from "The Sun and the Erie County Independent" Thursday April 12, 1923:
Another sudden death has saddened the town. The flyer on the New York Central killed Albert Melander, aged 53 years on Saturday night......
My specific question is 'flyer' a type of train or is it a specific part of the train / engine?
Might he have been on or near the tracks to have been killed? Was this common during that era?

The town is Blasdell, NY, just south of Buffalo.

Thank you in advance for any information you might have.

Eric Skultety
  by ExCon90
Flyer was a term commonly used throughout the U. S. to refer to a fast express passenger train. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad had a train actually named the Katy Flyer, but the term was informally used all over. In this case it was probably an express that went through town without stopping, very likely during the day when people were out in town, but possibly also after dark if it went through roaring and whistling. The newspaper clearly expected its readers to know what train was meant. (I see on re-reading the clip that it was a night train.)
  by SteelRail
Your great-grandfather's death made the front page of the Sunday, April 8, 1923 edition of The Buffalo Courier. Here's a link to an archived copy: http://www.fultonhistory.com/Newspapers ... 202137.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

From the article titled "Train Kills Man Near Bayview":

"A man believed to be Albert Melander of Blasdell was instantly killed late yesterday afternoon, when he was struck by a fast passenger train while crossing the railroad tracks near Bayview".

I will warn you that the rest of the blurb does go into some gory detail about his death.
  by joshuahouse
There are very few happy articles in that day's paper. Several auto accidents, a baby playing with fire, people hitting kids with on a bike with their car, lake tugs burning, fiscal shinanigans at the city tax office, a whole section for fires, and safe crackers.
  by eskultety
I'd like to thank all of you for the wonderful pieces of information on my great-grandfather. The newspaper clipping was especially helpful in defining a date, we had both the 6th and 7th as possible death dates, but can now say that the 7th is most accurate. I suspected the flyer was a fast train, but recall movies where 'arms' come off the engine to help remove snow drifts. I could imagine both answers fitting in some way. Now i just wonder why someone would cross the tracks in broad daylight without looking......I would suspect from that era, 5:00 came a bit earlier in the day.

I am familiar with the Katy Trail that runs through Missouri. It is supposed to be a great and beautiful hiking trail that pretty much runs the length of the state. It was reserved land around the Katy line. It's on my bucket list, as are lots of other local sites. Seems we never have time to see that great thing so close to us.

  by pumpers
Here is a 1923 Timetable of passenger trains on the New York Central: http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/ptt/ ... t-0923.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

See Tables 19 and 20 for trains going westbound from Buffalo and Eastbound into Buffalo. Note Bayview (on the timetable) is just next to Blasdell.

It could have been Westbound express train #83 (leaving Buffalo 5:35) or 3 (leaving 7:27) or
eastbound express 82 (arriving Buffalo 4:10) or 52 (arriving 5:39).

  by Railroaded
Interesting newspaper. Donner Steel, IRC street cars, NYC trains, tug boats, lake freighters, & B&LE bridges. Just seeing this awareness in the articles goes to prove the media & the public were a lot more in touch with industry back in those days. Too bad the stories are so depressing.