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WNYRHS RAILROAD HISTORY


Historian's Corner GIF BUFFALO & WESTERN NEW YORK
RAILROAD HISTORY


This page is devoted to some of the many historical articles about railroading in the Western New York area. Many railroads, people, accidents, structures and events all have made our local news both good and bad over the years. Below are many articles written by our WNYRHS Historian, Greg Jandura and others. So sit back and read or print out and enjoy the rich railway heritage of Western New York.

 PEOPLE   LOCATIONS   ACCIDENTS   RAILROADS   STRUCTURES   EVENTS 

RAILROAD PEOPLE

PERSON

DATE(S)

CONTENT

PUBLISHED

 Warren A Schutt
Erie Railroad
and Combat
Engineer
1909-1944 "Erie Railroad and Combat Engineer"  by Ed Patton. This is a brief glimpse into
the WNYRHS collection of personnel records from the Erie RR, the EL RR. and
the NYC RR. Our HDC Librarian shares the story of a local man who became a
railroader, and then died serving our country as a Combat Engineer in 1944.
2016
Edward Patton
HDC
John L. Kroll
local railroader
saves a life
1939  "A Medal for Heroism"  John L. Kroll, a 42 year-old Erie Railroad crossing
watchman, was awarded a bronze medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund for his daring
rescue of a seven year-old Niagara Falls lad from the path of a freight train.
2004
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS
George J. Daly
saves two boys
1922 "Terror on the Trestle"  It happened May 19th, 1922. 29 year old George J. Daly,
of 638 McKinley Parkway, an instructor at the Collins Street playground,
observed the peril of three lads on the tracks and ran to their rescue.
2005
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS
Edward J. Haley
Railroad
Engineer
1922 "The Railroad Engineer"  Edward J. Haley stopped his last train on March 30th,
1922. Upon reaching his 70 year old age limit, it was time for Ed to retire. Read
about his fascinating 48 years behind the throttle.
2006
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS

LOCATIONS
LOCATION DATE(S) CONTENT PUBLISHED
Buffalo, NY. 1944-1945  "The Blizzard of Buffalo - 1945"  It happened at the height of World War II. On the
evening of December 11th, 1944 the snow started to fall. Every railroad in the city was
unable to move one car. Shovels were no match for mother nature with every able bodied
man helping. Finally on January 8th, 1945, the War Department came to the rescue.
1945
Cpt. John
W. Lovell
Mendon, NY.
Rochester
Jct. Lehigh
Valley
1892-1976  "Rochester Junction"  by Paul Worboy. Rochester Junction was 13 1/2 miles
due south of the City of Rochester and surrounded by bucolic farms, forests
and streams. It was the Lehigh's north/south connection to midstate New York.
The junction was in operation for almost 90 years until Conrail took over.
2002
Paul Worboy
Buffalo, NY.
Heritage
Discovery
Center
2016  "HDC Research Library"  Our collections of material run the gamut from railroads, steel plants, marine and genealogical items. As of this year, we have processed into a database, over 10,000 railroad employee names. Our hours are Tues, Thurs, and Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Please make an appointment by eMail. 2016
Ed Patton

ACCIDENTS
LOCATION DATE(S) CONTENT PUBLISHED
Springville, NY.
Sharp Street
B&O Railroad
1934  "Calamity at the Crossing"  by Greg Jandura. On a bitterly cold day in January, 1934
a school bus had an encounter with a freight train at a grade crossing in Springville,
New York. Luckily there were no fatalities, but some required hospitalization.
2000
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS
East Aurora, NY.
Elm Street
WNY&P RR.
1893  "Into the Pit"  by Greg Jandura. On July 18th 1983, two steam engines hit head-on,
one pulling a 12 car excursion train. and tumbled into a turntable pit in the center of
East Aurora, New York. Luckily there were no fatalities, but many were injured.
2001
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS
Angola, NY.
New York
and Hudson
River RR.
1867  "The Angola Horror"  by Greg Jandura. One of our nations worst railroad disasters
took place on December 18th, 1867. The last car of a seven car NY&HR Railroad
express train jumped the track and tumbled into the freezing waters of Big Sister
Creek. 39 people perished that day and many more were gravely injured.
2009
Greg Jandura
WNYRHS

RAILROADS
LOCATION DATE(S) CONTENT PUBLISHED
Buffalo, NY.
to NYC.
1852-1971  "THE TRAINS WE RODE - BUFFALO TO NEW YORK CITY"  Before the Thruway and the jet airplane took the business away, the most important passenger rail market in New York was the Buffalo to New York City market. Over 170-odd years, eight different railroads developed to serve this crucial market. 2009 -
rev. 2019
Donald L.
Pevsner

STRUCTURES
LOCATION DATE(S) CONTENT PUBLISHED
Machias, NY.
Machias
Junction
BR&P Rwy
1882-1983  "Machias Junction Razed"  Machias Junction was the main cross point and the most
important operations center for all of the trains running between Buffalo and Eldred,
PA. on the North-South Pennsylvania Railroad line and the East-West, Buffalo, Rochester
& Pittsburgh Railway line. On December 20th, 1983, the Depot was gone.
1984
Pat Vadney
Bayview, NY.
Bayview
Tower
NYC&HRR
1898-1995  "Bayview Tower" Bay View tower was the point between the Buffalo terminal
division and the Erie division; there was a connecting track between the New York Central
and the Nickel Plate Road, which was used as a bypass if traffic had to get around a derailment. It was the demarcation between lines east and west
2000
Greg Jandura
Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo
Central
Terminal
1929-2004  "Buffalo's Towering Temple Of Transportation" In 1929 the New York Central Railroad
opened the iconic Buffalo Central Terminal to crowds of cheering Buffaloians. For 50
years, this stately building would see millions of people from all over the globe. Read
this comprehensive story of how the Terminal was conceived, designed and constructed.
2004
Greg Jandura

EVENTS
LOCATION DATE(S) CONTENT PUBLISHED
Buffalo, NY.
PanAmerican
Exposion
May-November
1901  "The Pan-American Exposition - 1901"  Through the collaboration of many railroads, millions of people came and went to Buffalo over the seven month run of the Exposition. Many railroads built fine terminals to handle the passenger flow. Greg Jandura does a wonderful job of how the overwhelming success of 1901 Pan-Am was due in part to the railroads of Western New York. 2001
Greg Jandura


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