Todd's Railfan Guide to

In General
Getting Here



In General

Nice spot on the (Buffalo) map with quite a few things of interest...... 

Amtrak has their Depew / suburban Buffalo station here.
From the platform you can catch the CSX freights coming through, but at slower speeds because of the close proximity to Frontier yard.

Next door in Cheektowaga, you have Niagara Hobbies and Crafts -- a good spot to take pictures from.
It also offers a park with a caboose and a few other railroad items on display, and the Forks Fire Company where you can get additional good pictures from in their "backyard" on Ellicott Rd.

Thanks to Sal Peragine for contributing additional info for this page.
Thanks to Scott H. for contributing excellent pictures of the signals.
Thanks to Scott H. and Joel C. for information about the CSX/NYC signal replacement

Additional Information to check out:
     http://www.marjum.com/niagjct/  A comprehensive page by Jeff Forys on what is left around the Lehigh Valley's Niagara Junction area.
     http://www.marjum.com/lvrr/  Another page by Jeff - an index page of drawings and other printed material that he has collected over the years... both pages are Great!

Getting Here

From the east (Rochester etc) via I-90, exit 49 for Transit Ave, head south.

From downtown Buffalo, you could take Broadway if you're not in a rush, plenty to see along the way.

From the west via I-90, take exit 52W, and head east on Walden Ave, hang a right onto either Union Rd or Dick Rd to Broadway.  If you take Union Rd to Broadway, you have to be careful to take the exit for Broadway, it's an unusual interchange (below).


The above map in PDF format is here

I guess I should add a dashed line for the old Lehigh Valley tracks, which on the map above, would be paralleling the Erie tracks on the south side.  If the map continued to the right, the LV would have crossed the Erie and DLW, and then continued on to Batavia between the DLW and the NYC.  You can see this in the USGS map at the bottom of the page.


  Amtrak Station - Station Code: BUF
GPS Coordinates: 42.907098, -78.726547


  Niagara Hobby Store
GPS Coordinates: 42.905488, -78.755188

Great hobby store.  Also a great spot to take pictures from in the rear of the store where you have un-interrupted sight lines in both directions, with a signal bridge just off to your right.


 Cheektowaga Historical Museum
GPS Coordinates: 42.903510, -78.751933



  EB 430.8?  Signal Bridge 
GPS Coordinates: 42.908018, -78.720812

A set of WB signals makes for nice framing of EB (headed for NYC) trains, having just left the Depew station. 
To the left, a branchline that heads north joins the mainline with a 3 head searchlight signal.

  WB 431.2 Signal Bridge
GPS Coordinates: 42.904338, -78.751792

A set of EB signals makes for nice framing of WB trains.  You can also see the WB signal bridge in the background, along with the colorlight signal on the left where the branchline comes in.
The NYC era searchlight signals are supposed to be replaced over the summer of 2016 according to Scott H and the signal maintenance guys he talked to.


  These 4 pictures are courtesy Scott H, from March 2016

   WB 432.8 Signal Bridge - Ellicott Rd, kinda behind the Forks Fire Department
GPS Coordinates: 42.904338, -78.751792

  These 3 pictures are courtesy Scott H, from June 2012

  EB 433.1 Signal Bridge - along Broadway Rd
GPS Coordinates: 42.9039.73, -78.755731

  These 2 pictures are courtesy Scott H, from June 2012


Salvatore's Italian Gardens, gets my award for gaudy, it's on Transit Road south of Genesee St

I wonder what he is putting on his sign now that prices are headed over 4 bucks a gallon, this was in 2006

RR Bridges





The dashed line is the former right-of-way for the New York Central's Gardenville Branch.  The same for bridge pictures 5 and 8.  Thanks Sal!





Fire and Police

    2      Forks Fire Company
GPS Coordinates: 42.903966, -78.752499

Nice place to watch trains from, behind the station house.


The Fire Training Academy (and the Central Police Garage at the top of the picture)

The Police HQ along Union Road


1904 USGS Quadrangle Map

These two maps are sections of the 1904 Depew Quadrangle Map.... 4 railroads plus a trolley line... ahhh, the good ole days :-)


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 03/29/2012
Last Modified 20-May-2016