RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

Todd's Railfan Guide to
BUFFALO NY
The Downtown Area

In General
Getting Here
Map
Sites
Historic Stuff

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Buffalo Railfan Guide Homepage
Map 1 - Downtown -You're on it
Map 2 - East - CSX's Frontier Yard and NS's Bison Yard
Map 3 - Seneca
Map 4 - South
Map 5 - North

Light Rail guide

Depew Railfan Guide

In General


The downtown area offers a lot of activity though out most of the day. 

Plenty of local switching takes place, working out of the yards that surround Buffalo.

Amtrak comes through, and has a fair number of trains coming through to keep you entertained.  Schedules are on the homepage.  Tracks heading north from the Amtrak station to Niagara Falls follow I-190 on the west side till just south of the Peace Bridge, and then goes under the interstate to the east side.

If you're into transit, you have the Buffalo Light Rail system to take in.



Getting Here

Exits 4, 5, or 6 off of I-190 take you to the sights on the map. 

Coming from Niagara Falls?  I-190 brings you down from Niagara Falls, and connects with I-90 just east of here.


Map


For the above map in PDF form, click here  


Sites


  Amtrak's Downtown Buffalo Station - Station Code: BFX
GPS Coordinates: 42.877742, -78.872723

    Amtrak schedules are on the Buffalo homepage.





  From Washington St looking (south) towards the Amtrak station, under I-190.

Below, the tracks head northward, and go thru another tunnel to get to the other side of the highway - picture from Google streetview from one of the exit ramps.

 

  The #68 serves the station, goes NB on Washington and SB on Pearl, the #16 goes by the station but does not pull into the Amtrak lot.

  A 68 bus at the station with a #16 going by.
 


  FW Interlocking





  Former RR Warehouses on Exchange Street







 

  A little further east on Exchange St is another old RR building.





  the Exchange Street Crossing

Nice clear crossing for taking pictures of the Amtrak trains coming thru.  Even has a couple of pedestrian crossing gates which are fairly uncommon.  Outlined in red above.





 




 


RR Bridges and other stuff


If you look at aerial shots of Buffalo today, you will see evidence of the old railroad infrastructure left over from Buffalo's heyday.


    1   

The bridge on the right is a former Buffalo Creek bridge which is still in use by CSX and NS.  The bridge on the left is a former NKP bridge.


    2   

Evidence of the DL&W's entry into Buffalo (off to the left) can still be seen.  The pilings on the half removed bridge look relatively new.


    3   

An ex New York Central bridge, once a part of their mainline to Chicago.


    4   

An unused grain tower, where there once was a substantial NYC yard with 5 tracks looping around to service the tower.  The bridge at the top of the picture is the one featured above.


    5   

Looking from the air, we can easily see why some streets are the way they are.  This is a continuation of the DL&W entrance into downtown Buffalo.


    6   

Plenty of unused track in this shot, the track that hooks on the left goes through a patch of water, so I don't believe it gets used much anymore.


    7   

The top Snag shows you where the former LV and DL&W Depots used to be located.  Below that, the other picture shows the area on the north side of Exchange Street, where it used to be nothing but yard trackage  where the "X's" are.  I won't swear to it, but I believe the B&W picture at the bottom, a partial of a larger picture way below, might be of this area back in the 50's.




    8   

These underpasses are typical of the many that sprinkle the old New York Central right-of-way from Frontier yard into the downtown area.  All the maps I can find of the area show there being four tracks coming through here, although it looks like it could handle quite a few more.... anyone know for sure?


 


Historic Stuff


Vintage Photos & Maps

 

 



 

The two pictures below are from the same area, but the one on the right has Route 5 in it.  Even as old as these pictures are, it looks like a bunch of stuff is already gone!

 



 

 









 



  






Railroad System Maps









Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

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NEW 03/21/2012
Last Modified 17-Mar-2016