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HDC News 2020

News Updates - 2020

January 2020

HDC Research Library Corner
by: Donna M. Shine

of New York Central Employee Records

The Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society, "BIGS"  is very proud to announce the public release of Index - 5 they created based on actual employee cards of the New York Central Railroad bringing the database to over 4,600 New York Central Employee Records that they have compiled from the archives of the WESTERN NEW YORK RAILWAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Click the link to look at the index and see if you can find any relatives. The collection of discarded cards, represents the 4,654 employee cards that were rescued from the Buffalo Central Terminal by members of the Western New York Railway Historical in the 1980's.

Our Research Libary has also amassed a huge collection of books on railroading, maps, full volumes of  ,  photographs, photo negatives, slides and many, many prints in various formats. For a more comprehensive discription of what we have to offer click "here".

The excerpts on this card are of Irish interest. All nationalities of employee's of the New York Central railroad from the Western New York region are included in the main index.

If you would like a detailed report about an employee that appears in the database, BIGS will be glad to do the research for you by clicking this link:  "Railroad Employee Cards & Records"  to open and print an order form.

Information on New York Central Railroad employee cards may include the following:
  • Name (some with variants)
  • Birth & Death dates, if known
  • Places of Birth 7 Death, if known
  • Social Security numbers
  • School attended
  • Residence
  • Railroad Location worked
  • Railroad Occupation
  • Railroad employment beginning and end dates
  • Leave of Absences
  • Military Leaves
  • Notes may list changes or discrepancies of dates and/or names or other various personal information.
  • PUBLICATION: Patrons wishing to use scanned photographic images from the collection must seek permission first. A user fee is charged per image for one-time use and is established on a case by case basis.
  • COPYRIGHT: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, US Code) governs the reproduction of copyrighted material. Requestors assume all responsibility for any considerations pertaining to copyright infringement that may arise in the use of the reproduction(s).
  • PRINTS: Unless specified otherwise, all photos will be actual size.
  • SHIPPING: Shipping rates may be higher for out of country orders.
  • QUESTIONS: Email:

New Accessions
By: Stephen Kocsis - Director of Collections

The Western New York Railway Historical Society is always looking to add items that document our Railway Heritage. At our November 2019 Greater Buffalo Train and Toy Show, we were astounded when Mark and Eric Coffed showed us a framed photograph of a diminutive 4-2-4 locomotive. At first glance, I knew we were looking at something special. This 19th century photograph was of an early steam locomotive design that was soon replaced by the 4-4-0 American type locomotives. How special and its connection to Western New York would not be revealed until after I had dipped into our budget and acquired it for the WNYRHS.

The locomotive is Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway's number 190, named "Reindeer" and was built in 1859 by the Danforth, Cooke & Company of Paterson, New Jersey for the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad. She spent her first decade running lines Erie west.

Donations of artifacts continue to arrive every week. In mid November 2019, the City of Buffalo donated the original number plate off of the Chesapeake & Ohio "Kanawha Class" 2-8-4 locomotive #2701. Donated to the city by the C&O Railway in 1954, it was placed on display on a short stretch of track in LaSalle Park in downtown Buffalo. #2701 had been on display for only one week and all of the glass was broken and everything that could be removed without a torch was stolen.

Souvenir hunting vandals wrecked her so bad that #2701 had to be scrapped after being on display for only a few months! What a shame it couldn't have been saved. Stop by the Heritage DiscoveRY Center Buffalo to see the new display and read the story of this locomotive. Unfortunately, all that remains is this artifact and newspaper articles now on display in the museum.

We also just received a large donation of pre-war Lionel and American Flyer trains. Many are still in their original boxes and are in mint condition. We will have more information about this generous donation and the donors in our next issue of the Railway Flyer as we continue to catalog and document this vast collection. It will go on display shortly.

With all these latest accessions, we will be very busy cataloging and caring for these items. We look forward to displaying them within the next few weeks for all to enjoy.

Contact Us: Orchard Park - 716-662-7002     Williamsville - 716-633-7002
WNYHDC Inc., 100 Lee Street, Buffalo, New York  14210 - 716-821-9360
All Donations to the Heritage Discovery Center are Tax-Deductible!

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