Facebook Page
BCK History & Diesel Roster


         The Buffalo Creek Railroad was founded in 1868, incorporated in 1869 and was jointly leased and controlled by the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company and the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad Company, a predecessor of the Erie Railroad Company. By 1969 the railroad was located on 5.66 miles of land in South Buffalo with 34.23 miles of total track.(1) The "Crik" was the major workhorse for the grain industry and many other industries in Buffalo. It was the liaison between this section of the city and at least seven major railroads that served nearly all of Buffalo's grain elevators -- those not controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad and others. The "Flour Sack" logo on its fleet of over 1700 (2) company owned 40 foot boxcars was recognized all over the eastern United States.

         A busy section of Buffalo's "First Ward" is alive and well in this image (source unknown) from the early 1930's. A Buffalo Creek Railroad switch engine is making a delivery to one of the many prolific industrial warehouses on Ganson Street near the foot of Michigan Avenue. The General Mills elevator can be seen in the upper left corner of this image. The stake truck in the foreground is likely loaded with sacks of flour or some other type of grain product.

The Buffalo Creek was an all steam railroad up until 1939 when its first two diesels arrived. The railroad bought two new Electro-Motive Corporation  SW  600hp Winton 201-A engines built in 1938 and they became BCK #40 and #41. In the spring of 1940, the Buffalo Creek bought two more 600hp diesels. EMC SW1 #42 with an EMD 567 prime mover, arrived first followed by their first ALCO, HH660 #43 powered by a McIntosh & Seymour 538 engine.(4) The new diesel locomotives served the grain mills and many warehouses through tight curves and thousands of switches located along the Buffalo River. After the war, the BCRR evaluated the performance of the ALCO and its EMD counterparts, taking into consideration such items as percent of time in service, cost of maintenance, repairs and track handling. #43's reliability and the ease of quickly getting replacement parts swayed the railroad to place an order with ALCO in 1947 for four (#44, #45, #46 & #47) of their new 1000 horsepower ALCO 539 powered  S-2  locomotives. These were followed by five more up until 1956. The BCK remained an all ALCO railroad until its take-over by Conrail in 1976.


 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Bld Date             Notes 
 40 & 41   EMC-SW   679 & 750     12/38     To Detroit Steel 111 &112, then Preston Duffy & Son, 2/69, then to MD Friedman Co. and scrapped (3)  
To the left in this 1939 photo, we see BCK #40 shortly after its arrival in the Ohio Street yard with BCK #41 coupled behind. L/R Dan Kless, Charlie Ward, Fred Ernst, Walter Kraus and Bart O'Neil on the pilot proudly pose for this photo. On the right, Bill Volkmer caught #40 crossing Ohio Street in 1951.

 Road No.   Model   Bld No.   Bld Date             Notes 
 42   EMC-SW1   1026   3/40   To Chicago SS & South Bend 601 in 1959; to Columbus & Greenville 514; then to Babcock & Wilcox (3)   

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 43     ALCO HH660       69239       3/40     To RELCO #606, 1966, on lease for 33yrs; to WNYRHS 3/2000 as 43, started 1st time 7/2016.   

As has been documented on all the Buffalo Creek #43 "Update" pages, the WNYRHS is dedicated to get #43 back on the mainline as soon as possible. This HH660 is one of eight still in existence and when finished will be one of two that are in service. With our first start up in 17 years on   July 23rd, 2016 we are committed to continue the long legacy of this historic locomotive.

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 44     ALCO S-2       73917       1/47       To  Conrail 9661,  1976 (3)                                                                                                    

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 45     ALCO S-2       73923       2/47       To Pielet Bros., 5/1974; scrapped (3)                                                                                      

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 46     ALCO S-2       73924       2/47     To  Conrail 9662, 1976; to Ontario Central 14, 1976; to Tioga Central 14, 1984; to LA&L 14, 2014 (5)

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 47     ALCO S-2       76190       11/48       To Conrail 9663, 1976; scrapped 1979. (3)                                                                                

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 48     ALCO S-2       73358       5/45       nee-D&H 3002, to Buffalo Creek 48, 1/56; to Pielet Bros., 9/74; scrapped. (3)                                  

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 49     ALCO S-2       74334       10/45       nee-D&H 3006, to Buffalo Creek 49, 1/56; To Conrail 9664, 1976. (3)                                          

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 50     ALCO S-2       74330       9/45       nee-D&H 3005, to Buffalo Creek 50, 8/56; To Conrail 9665, 1976. (3)                                          

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 51     ALCO S-2       76778       6/49       nee-Erie 552; ex-EL 552; to Buffalo Creek 51, 9/56; To Conrail 9666, 1976. (3)                              

 Road No.    Model   Build No.   Build Date             Notes 
 52     ALCO S-4       79530       1/52       nee-Erie 527; ex-EL 527; to Buffalo Creek 52, 1960; To Conrail 9667, 1976. (6)                              


1. "'Little Giant' Noting 100th Anniversary" Courier Express, 23 March 1969, Cyril M. Johnke.
2. The "Official Railway Equipment Register of the United States," January, 1964.
3. "Comprehensive Guide To Industrial Locomotives," Jay Reed, 3rd ed, 2002.
4. "ALCO's HH Series," R. Daniel Cupper, 2006, pg72.
5.  "ALCO Locomotives of New York State,"  Scot Lawrence, 2014.
6.  "Don's Rail Photos,"  Don Ross Collection, 2010.

back to top

This page was last updated: February 3rd, 2018

Web Site Hosting by    TRAIN WEB

The WNYRHS, Inc. P.O. Box 416, Buffalo, NY. 14231-0416 is an independent organization and has no affiliation with any other local or national group.
The Society is a fully qualified organization under 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations to the Society are tax deductible.
©Copyright 1999 - 2018 WNYRHS Inc. all rights reserved

  Web Design & Hosted by  - Scott H.