• Looking for 1970s Buffalo Central Terminal interior photos

  • 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 EastCleveland
The link below will take you to the best photos I've seen of BCT during the 70s, when it was still a functioning station.

I don't know if you'll find what you're looking for, but it's worth taking a look.


  by Urban D Kaye
Those photos are AMAZING.

Allow me a bonehead question or two...
Why again doesn't Amtrak serve Central Terminal?
And where in Buffalo DOES Amtrak stop?
Last edited by Urban D Kaye on Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Franklin Gowen
I'll second the motion on those photos. I am in awe. A fantastic subject...captured with emotion via superb composition. Truly stunning. I should drop that site's webmaster a note of thanks.

  by EastCleveland
Amtrak stopped using Buffalo Central Terminal in 1979. The railroad simply couldn't afford to maintain such a huge facility -- especially when only a handful of trains stopped there (compared to the 200 per day that used the facility during its heyday).

These days, Amtrak calls at the small Buffalo-Depew station (a few miles east of Terminal) as well as at the equally small Exchange Street station (built by the New York Central) in downtown Buffalo.

The Terminal is now in extremely sad shape. A local preservation organization will run monthly tours of the old building this summer.

  by Urban D Kaye
EastCleveland -

Thanks for the info. A damn shame about the terminal. Seems that Amtrak coulda found a way to spread the cost burden around. That is, rent the office space in the tower to local businesses...and rent the station space to shops and food stands.

I live in Philly, and 30th Street station is filled with eateries, carts, stands, a book & magazine shop, a McD's, and more. There must be at least two dozen tenants who help cover the costs of the building. As for our two commuter-only stations...Market East is a thriving mall that happens also to be over a train station, and Suburban Station is topped by an office building packed with paying tenants.

Granted, Buffalo sees less Amtrak traffic than Philly, but people gotta eat and shop don't they? Dual-use design has helped preserve alot of our railroad past...I have to wonder, why not Central Terminal?

  by EastCleveland
Philly's 30th Street Station is, relatively speaking, in the central part of town. It's near office buildings, a major university, and various residential areas. It's also extremely well-served by many public transit services, and heavily patronized by rail commuters.

Buffalo Central Terminal is on the outskirts of the city, in a poor and decrepit neighborhood nearly three miles from downtown.

Various entities have proposed the new uses that you mention. But none are practical, given the Terminal's "dead" location, current state of deterioration, and the fact that the city of Buffalo is experiencing extremely hard times.

Then again, Cleveland Union Terminal (built during the same period as the Buffalo terminal), was a beautiful station as well. It had the advantage of being in the center of town, and was part of a major office complex, so it was never abandoned. Once the railroads left, it hung on by its teeth for years, without serving any significant purpose.

The place was finally gutted about a decade ago and turned into a full-blown indoor mall. But apart from a brief flurry of activity each weekday afternoon (when local office workers arrive for lunch), the entire complex is often nearly empty. Its goal -- to entice droves of suburbanites to "rediscover" downtown Cleveland in a major way -- has turned into a disappointment.

When it comes to old train stations -- especially those in the Rust Belt -- even a "prime" location is rarely a guarantee of success.

  by arnstg
I grew up in Buffalo and remember seeing my Brother off to WWII in 1944 when I was 5 years old. My Dad worked for the NYC and I went into Central Terminal innumerable times.

Your dads pictures are awesome and I appreciate seeing them.

There are going to be tours through the terminal again this year. I went through on a tour last year and must admit that a little tear came down the side of my face when I saw the main hall. I had forgotten how high it was.

The organization which now owns the terminal is online at :


  by Urban D Kaye
EastCleveland wrote:Buffalo Central Terminal is on the outskirts of the city, in a poor and decrepit neighborhood nearly three miles from downtown.
Location, location, location. I guess that old real estate saying is true.

Drawing folks (and their money) into the inner cities can be a challenge, especially in those scarred industrial towns that have made a ragged transition into the service economy. And as you say, if Central Terminal isn't so "central" in terms of foot traffic, well, it's hard to start from nothing.

I know Philly has had a few failed malls, even in seemingly busy areas. New Market comes to mind. Intended as a trendy inner-city mall at the foot of South Street in the early 80s, it soon closed and became a ghost town of ramps and stairways to noplace. So even location (as you point out) isn't a guarantee of success.

I'm fortunate to live in a town where so many of the old RR stations survive-- Broad Street Station being the notable exception.

I wish the preservationists the best of luck in Buffalo.

  by arnstg
In answer to the original question, This is the best I could find about the replacement ticket office.


Hope that helps.
  by d-squared

While on the subject of BCT I have a question in regards to the mainline routing which passed BCT or may have gone through BCT for all that I know. Being more specific, how was the mainline routed in the vicinity of BCT? I've seen pictures of the stockyard tracks immediately South of the terminal which could have had dedicated trackage for though-traffic to bypass the terminal itself then again I've seen other pictures of freight traffic routed over the tracks just North of the coach yard facilities, through the terminal area, under the concourse, past the mail yard, and back onto the mainline again. Does anyone have knowledge of this or can at least directly me to sight where I can find this information?

Thanks in advance,