• Repost-Buffalo 1944 operations-credit to Coalmine

  • 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 CP169
Somehow this got mixed in with another post I made yesterday. Let's try again...

Another "old board" post that I found. When I put this one together for the old board, I did it like a set of "notes" I read in Trains yrs ago about a wartime day at Chicago Union Station.

The interesting part about this is to stop and consider that these were just secheduled passenger trains. There was also a huge wartime volume of freight, troop trains, etc.

work safe

New York Central Passenger Service at Buffalo - 1944

We'll begin our day a little before midnight because of the way the NYC schedules its trains at Buffalo. It's 11:00 p.m., and we're out on the platform looking toward the west.

Train 6, the Fifth Avenue Special, a 10:50 a.m. departure from Chicago is due at 11:00 p.m. It carries Pullmans from Chicago, Toledo and Cincinnati for New York. It picks up a 12 section/2 double bedroom Pittsburgh-New York car from train 84 at Buffalo. Train 6 is out at 11:11 p.m. and is due in New York at 7:45 the next morning.

At 11:10 p.m. train 41, the Knickerbocker, is in the station. This is the first big train of the evening with four New York-St. Louis Pullmans, and two set outs at Buffalo. Here comes the switcher, so let's step back. There goes a New York-Cincinnati car for train 15; and here's a Boston-St. Louis car for train 49. Train 49's coaches from Boston join the consist here, also. The Knickerbocker will leave at 11:29 p.m.

Wait a minute! Here comes an eastbound

At 11:12 p.m. train 8/98 arrives. This is the combined AWolverine/New England Wolverine which leaves Chicago at 12:01 p.m. and operates via the MCRR before reaching Buffalo. 8/98's arrival is coordinated with train 382, the Toronto-Buffalo Express which provides connecting service from Toronto. Trains 8 and 98 split at Buffalo. Let's watch the activity.

An 8 section-buffet Pullman, a 10 roomette/5 double bedroom. a 14 section, and an 8 section-drawing room-2 compartment car go to New York on train 8 along with an 8 section-drawing room-2 compartment car picked up in Detroit. 248 contributes an 8 section-4 double bedroom car which originated at Niagara Falls. A dining car and coaches round out the Wolverine's consist which leaves at 12:19 a.m. for a scheduled 8:40 a.m. arrival at Grand Central.

While this has been going on, train 37, the Advance Commodore Vanderbilt has arrived at 11:30 p.m. for a seven-minute station stop. Seven Pullmans, a diner, and some coaches are in the consist tonight.

Just before midnight comes train 15, the Ohio State Limited It has five through Pullmans for Cincinnati from New York, picks up another New York-Cincinnati car from train 41, picks up the Boston-Cincinnati 10 section/drawing room/2 compartment car from train 49 and adds a 14 section Buffalo-Cincinnati sleeper. 15's rolling again at 11:59 p.m.

A little later, a few tracks over is the westbound Commodore Vanderbilt en route to Chicago. This is train 67, all Pullman, does no work at Buffalo, and leaves at 12:34 a.m.

12:34 a.m. - another headlight - from the west. This is train 16, the Ohio State Limited arriving from Cleveland. It has the Cleveland-Boston and Cincinnati-Boston cars for 98 which is waiting in the station

Meanwhile, what's going on with train 8/98? Train 98 carries a Chicago-Boston Pullman and a pair of sleepers from Detroit. Train 12 has handed off two St. Louis-Boston sleepers and a pair of Cincinnati-Boston Pullmans. These are added to train 98 at Buffalo. Train 16 has a 12 section drawing room car originating in Cleveland for Boston. A dining car and coaches from St. Louis complete the train. The New England Wolverine rolls out at 12:50 a.m. for an 11:59 a.m. arrival at South Station.

While train 8/98 is being broken up, train 82, the Ontarian, leaves for New York at 11:25 p.m. It carries Toronto-New York Pullmans from train 382 and originates a pair of Pullmans for New York. It's due at Grand Central at 8:00 a.m.

Train 66/28 is the Advance Commodore Vanderbilt/New England States. It's a massive consist that pauses at Buffalo at 11:48 p.m. to pick up a 12 section/2 double bedroom car from train 88. That done, it's on its way east as quickly as possible.

Train 2 is the APacemaker. It doesn't stop at Buffalo.

Train 68 is the Commodore Vanderbilt which does no work at Buffalo.

Train 26, the 20th Century Limited, does no work at Buffalo either.

It's 1:00 a.m. and here comes train 27, the ANew England States with six through Pullmans for Chicago. It sets out a 12 section/2 double bedroom car for train 279 which will carry it south to Pittsburgh. The States picks up a 12 section/drawing room Buffalo-Chicago car and leaves at 1:19 a.m. for a 9:20 a.m. arrival at La Salle St.

Six minutes behind 27's departure is train 267, the Water Level Limited, It has five New York-Chicago Pullmans, a diner, and coaches and leaves at 1:34 a.m. It'll be in Chicago at 10:00 a.m.

Train 25, the 20th Century, passes by about now, but does not stop.

There's a break until 2:15 a.m. when train 268, the AAdvance Water Level Limited rolls to a stop. This train left La Salle St Station at 4:00 p.m. It has a nine-minute station stop in Buffalo.

Its 2:35 a.m. Here's number 33, the New England Wolverine. This has a lot of sleepers from Boston en route to Detroit and Chicago, a diner, and some coaches. The switcher cuts out a 12 section/drawing room car for train 19 and adds a 12 section/drawing room Pullman to the consist. This last car originated in New York and arrived at Buffalo on Lackawanna train #5. Train 33 will travel from Buffalo via the MCRR and leaves at 3:04 a.m.

Right close by is train 17, the Wolverine. It arrived at 2:45 a.m. with Pullmans, a diner, and coaches for Detroit, Grand Rapids and Chicago via the MCRR. It does no work at Buffalo and leaves at 2:54 a.m.

There sure is a lot happening right now. I see train 11, the ASouthwestern Limited. It left New York at 7:30 p.m. and is due out of Buffalo at 3:34 a.m. en route to Cleveland. This is a monster with enough cars to delight the most dedicated Pullman fan. Here's five New York-St. Louis cars, two Boston-St. Louis cars, a New York-Cincinnati sleeper and a Boston-Cincinnati sleeper along with a diner and through coaches from New York to St. Louis and Boston to Cleveland. A look at the timetable tells me that en route, #11 handed off a pair of Boston-Cleveland sleepers and a Boston-Toronto car to train 57 at Albany. I'll see 57 in a little while.

Train 10 is the Water Level Limited and it's due at 320 a.m. It carries Pullmans from Chicago to New York, Chicago to Boston, Cleveland to New York, and Cleveland to Toronto. The Toronto cars are cut out for train 371, and a 12-section 2 double bedroom Buffalo-Albany Pullman added. It's out at 3:35 a.m.

Train 24, the Knickerbocker, is en route from St. Louis to New York. It leaves at 4:09 a.m.

Train 57, the ACleveland Limited, is due about now. It's not on the timetable for Buffalo, but it stops to hand off a 10 section/drawing room/2 compartment Boston-Toronto sleeper for TH&B train 371. This was the car that started its trip on train 11.

Right behind 57 is train 21, the Ontarian-Lake Erie which stops at 4:50 a.m. To hand off New York-Toronto Pullmans to train 371. It leaves at 5:09 a.m. en route to Cleveland.

The switcher has to hurry to get these cars onto train 371 which leaves for Toronto at 5:01 a.m.

Here comes train 22, the venerable Lake Shore Limited. It left Chicago at 5:30 p.m. and is here at 5:24 a.m. It does no work at Buffalo and leaves at 5:38 a.m. for New York.

The sky is somewhat lighter now as train 29, the Niagara, rolls in at 6:45 a.m. It ends its run at Buffalo. Sleepers for Buffalo from Boston, Albany, and Montreal are set out. The passengers can sleep in until 8:00 a.m. if they want. A sleeper and coach from New York for Niagara Falls is set out for train 207. A New York-Chicago (via Niagara Falls) sleeper is set out for train 39 and a Boston-Detroit car is set out for train 35. This car will operate via St.Thomas. The coaches and diner move off to the yard as does the locomotive.

No. 18 is an unnamed train that runs with 22 as far as Cleveland where it splits from the Lake Shore to operate as an all-stops run between Cleveland and Buffalo. It's 6:50 a.m. and here comes train 18. It's a big one, however, as it carries sleepers to Buffalo from St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Cleveland and coaches from Cleveland. No need to disturb the Pullman passengers as they can stay on the cars until 8:00 a.m.

Train 35 is the Fast Mail and it arrives at 7:20 a.m. The switcher's busy with this one. A 12 section/drawing room car is set out for Chicago. This will go west on train 151. The Boston-Detroit car from train 29 is coupled into 35's consist. That's done, and the Fast Mail's rolling toward Chicago at 8:04 a.m. and underway for Detroit at 8:15 a.m.

The terminal trackage is really active again. Train 59, the AIroquois, pulls in at 7:38 a.m. with six New York-Chicago Pullmans, a New York-St. Louis sleeper, and a New York-Cincinnati car. Right behind it is train 159, the Chicago Express, at 7:45 a.m. 159 hands off coaches to train 59 at Buffalo and 59 departs 7:50 a.m.

The Genesee, train 63, finishes its run at Buffalo at 7:45 a.m. having left New York at 11:45 p.m. the previous night. It has six New York-Buffalo Pullmans, a New York-Toronto car for TH&B 375, and a New York-Niagara Falls car for train 211. 375 is due out at 8:45 a.m.

It's daylight now, 8:05 a.m., and here's train 58/72 the Niagara. This one operates from Central Station in Chicago. It's spent just over 12 hours on the road getting here. The switcher's busy with this one, also. A 12 section/drawing room car from Chicago to Albany is cut out. This will be handed to train 72. Train 44 gets an 8 section-drawing room-2 compartment car. Here's two sleepers from Chicago to Buffalo that are cut out along with some coaches. The work's done and what's now listed as train 72 in the timetable departs for New York at 9:00 a.m.

At 9:29 a.m., we see No. 40, the North Shore Limited. This has a 16 minute station stop to set out a 10 section 3 double bedroom car from Chicago.

Two minutes after 40 departs, train 38 arrives. This is the Missourian from Cleveland. It carries sleepers from St. Louis to New York and a 12 section-drawing room car from St. Louis to Buffalo. The Buffalo car is cut out, a 14 section Chicago-Boston car added and 38 is out at 9:54 a.m.

Train 90, the Advance Forest City, arrives at 11:00 a.m. having left Chicago at 11:30 last night. 90 does no work at Buffalo and leaves at 11:15 a.m.

At 12:55 p.m. train 43, the ASouth Shore Express, arrives. It sets out a Boston-Buffalo car and departs at 1:14 p.m. It will connect at Cleveland with train 431, the St. Louis Special.

Train 50 is next. This is the Empire State Express. It arrives at 1:10 p.m., picks up coaches and leaves at 1:30 p.m.

There's a break in the action until a little before 5:00 p.m.

Train 42, the Boston Express departs at 4:55 p.m. It's due in Boston at 6:30 the next morning. It will pick up and set out other Pullmans en route, but for now it leaves Buffalo with a 10 section sleeper, coaches and a diner.

Five minutes later comes the Easterner which has been on the road from Chicago since 9:45 a.m. It stops to pick up a 10 section/2 drawing room/2 compartment sleeper for Boston and to set out a coach from Pittsburgh. 52's moving again at 5:15 p.m.

Also at 5:00 is train 51, the Empire State Express. It sets out coaches and is out at 5:15 p.m. for an 8:40 p.m. arrival in Cleveland.

Train 5, the Mohawk, is in at 7:48 p.m. after a daylight run across New York. It has through Pullmans from New York to Chicago and picks up at Buffalo Pullmans for Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago The Mohawk pulls at 8:10 p.m.

At 9:50 a.m., trains 14/46 the combined Interstate Special/Boston Special departs LaSalle St. At 8:45 a.m. train 44, the ANew York Special leaves Central Station in Chicago. 14/46 operates via the NYC and 44 runs on the MCRR. Everything arrives at Buffalo at 940 p.m. In the meantime, TH&B train 380 from Toronto pulls in at 9:22 p.m. The switchers are busy again as train 14 terminates at Buffalo.

It hands off two Chicago-Boston cars to no. 46. One sleeper is a 12 section drawing room car and the other's an 8 section/buffet car. A 14 section Chicago to New York car goes to train 44 and a Chicago-Boston coach is passed to train 46. Train 46 gets an 8 section/drawing room/3 double bedroom car from train 44 and a Toronto-Boston car from the TH&B. Two other sleepers originate at Buffalo for train 46; one is an 8 section/5 double bedroom car for Boston and the other a Montreal-bound 10 section/buffet car which will be passed to Adirondack Division #5 at Utica.

Since it's not Saturday, train 44 gets a pair of Niagara Falls-New York Pullmans. It gets one Niagara Falls car on Saturday. We understand from looking at the timetable that train 44 will have 15 Pullmans in its consist by the time it gets to New York. It will split again at Albany with one section going to Boston and the other to Grand Central. 46 is out at 10:00 p.m., and 44 rolls away ten minutes later.

Train 39 is the North Shore Limited, due at 10:02 p.m. for a 17-minute station stop. It carries cars from New York to Chicago and picks up a 10 section/3 double bedroom Pullman at Buffalo for Chicago. It handles other sleepers en route.

It's 10:55 p.m. and we see train 49, the Advance Knickerbocker which has been traveling all day from Boston. It will had off a Boston-St. Louis Pullman and coach to train 41 at Buffalo and will hand off a 10 section/2 drawing room/2 compartment car to train 15 at Buffalo.

The parade's starting again, but that's enough for one day.