Facebook Page


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.


Western New York 1880  "All In One Day"  by the Buffalo Morning Express. November 27, 1890 is one day that will long be remembered in the annals of local railroad history. It was on that eventful date, which no less than four accidents occurred on as many railroads serving Buffalo. 1880 Buffalo
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.
Greg Jandura
East Aurora, NY.
Elm Street
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.
Greg Jandura
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.
Greg Jandura

New York
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 any cars. Shovels were no match for mother nature with every man helping. Finally on January 8th, 1945, the War Department came to the rescue. 1945
Cpt. John
W. Lovell
Clear Lake
1982  "The Atlantic Shore"  On June 1st, 1982, four adventerous WNYRHS members set out for Iowa to rescue the "20th Century Limited" passenger car, the "Atlantic Shore" from a farmers field. Read how the four with help from local folk, make this happen. 1982
Joe Kocsis Jr.
New York
1984  "Railroads on Parade"  Through the efforts of over a 100 people, the WNYRHS put on a railroad show like no other. 50 pieces of real railroad equipment were put on display at the massive Bethlehem Steel plant. Over 15,000 people attended the two day event. 1984
Ron Dukarm
New York
1987  "Open House 1987"  On a frigid but sunny Sunday, January 25th, 1987, a group of Society members held an "Open House" for the public to explore our equipment on display and under restoration at our worksite in Hamburg, NY. 1987
Dave Nowakowski
Buffalo, NY.
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
Williamsville, New York 2004  "Horn & Whistle Blow - 2004"  On August 7th, 2004 at the Williamsville, New York - Lehigh Valley Depot, many WNYRHS members and visitors were treated to the sounds of real locomotive Horns and Whistles. 2004
Scott Hawbaker
Buffalo, NY.
August 2nd-4th
 "Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway Symposium"  This was the third installment of the B&S Symposium. After nearly a year of planning, a group of nearly 60 historians came together at the Heritage Discovery Center in August to learn about the intricacies of the construction, operation and the demise of the B&S Railway from Wellsville to Buffalo. 2019
Joe Kocsis






John L. Kroll 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 to save the life of a seven year-old Niagara Falls lad from the path of a freight train. 2004
Greg Jandura
George J. Daly 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 saving two. 2005
Greg Jandura
Edward J. Haley 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
Devan Lawton 2014 "45 Years At The Throttle"  Local engineer, photographer, historian and patron, Devan Lawton stopped his last train on January 30, 2014. After a fascinating career working for six different railroads, Devan felt he was ready to "pull the pin." Read about his fascinating 45 years at the throttle. 2014
David Hamilton
Buffalo, NY.
2016  "Heritage Discovery Center Research Library"  Our collections of material run the gamut from people, 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
 Warren A Schutt 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
Chauncey M. Depew 1893-1931  "The New City of Depew"  In 1893, Chauncey M. Depew had a vision of creating a new city for the expansion of the New York Central Railroad. This 5 square mile area, of empty farmlands 9 miles east of downtown Buffalo, became a perfect spot to build a new NYC Locomotive Shop, Gould Storage Battery, Gould Coupler Works, National Car Wheel Works and more related industries. By 1897, this 5 square mile area became the home for over 2,500 men and women who worked for the NYC Railroad. 2022
Scott Hawbaker

Retsof, NY. 1899-1983  "GENESEE & WYOMING RAILROAD - A GREAT LITTLE RAILROAD"  In 1859 the largest rock salt deposit in the free world was discovered in Retsof, New York. From this discovery sprand the need for a railroad to move this valuable commodity. In 1983, Genesee & Wyoming Industries Inc. created a brochure to highlight their history and services. This is a very informative history of the railroad. 1983
GWI Inc.
Arcade, NY. 1917-1985  "ARCADE & ATTICA RAILROAD"  Having roots all the way back to 1836, since 1917, the A&A has been a little "shortline" railroad that never gave up. Without question, the A&A has been a WNY treasure and a place to go back in time and get a glimpse of what life was like on the railroad a long time ago. 1985
John Baker
Williamsville, NY. 1893 - 1930  "BUFFALO & WILLIAMSVILLE ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY"  As the Village of Williamsville grew, so did its need for mass transportation. In 1893, passengers rode the first trolley on this 4.5 mile double tracked line. For 37 years the "Toonerville" Trolley served the community until buses replaced the trolleys in 1930. 1987
Harold J. Ahlstrom
Buffalo, NY. 1882 - Present  "THE BUFFALO BELT LINE RAILROAD"  In 1882, when the City of Buffalo was affluent yet still relatively small in size, a new railroad was installed by the New York Central Railroad. It was needed in order to transport goods produced by the booming industry of Buffalo. At its height, the railroad encircled the City of Buffalo and connected to the railway system as a whole in America. 2002
Daniel Zornick
Chuck LaChiusa
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.
Buffalo, NY. 1866-1900  "BUFFALO, NEW YORK & PHILADELPHIA RAILWAY" Way before Norfolk Southern, Conrail, Penn Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads there were five different railroads that created the tracks we know today. The city of Buffalo was the terminus for the start of all of them. 2020 -
rev. 2021
Aaron Heverin

Arcade Jct. to North Java, NY May 16th, 1981  "A&A 1st Railfan Day""- A&A #18 1981 - Ron Dukarm
Gowanda to Salamanca, New York August, 1981  "1st Fall Foilage Railfan Trip" - NY&LE #75 1981 - John Baker
Arcade Jct. to North Java, NY May 22nd, 1982  "2nd A&A Railfan Trip" - A&A #14 1982 - John Baker
Gowanda to Salamanca, New York Oct 9th & 10th, 1982  "2nd Fall Foilage Railfan Trip" - NY&LE #75 1982 - John Baker
Orchard Park to Altoona, PA. April 30th, 1983  "Altoona Railfan Bus Trip" 1983 - John Baker
Arcade Jct. to North Java, NY May 21st, 1983  "3rd A&A Railfan Trip" - A&A #14 1983 - John Baker
Bethlehem Steel Plant, NY September 13th, 1984  "The Lackawanna Limited" 1984 - Vickie Twarog
Bison Yard to Corning, NY June 8th & 9th, 1985  "Glass City Limited"  - NKP #765 1985 - Dave Nowakowski
Buffalo Exchange Street Station to Corning, NY Oct 10, 11, 17 & 18, 1987  "Glass City Limited"  - EMD - E8's 1987 - John Baker

Machias, NY.
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.
Pat Vadney
Bayview, NY.
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
Greg Jandura
Mendon, NY.
Jct. Lehigh
1892-1976  "Rochester Junction"  by Paul Worboys. 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.
Paul Worboys
Buffalo, NY.
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.
Greg Jandura

Back to Top

This page was last updated: June 11th, 2022

Web Site Hosting by    TRAIN WEB

The WNYRHS, Inc., 100 Lee Street, Buffalo, NY. 14210 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 , WNYRHS Inc. all rights reserved

  Web Design & Hosted by  - Scott H.