Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo New York’

Flour Box Car Now on Display in Buffalo

July 21, 2021

The first boxcar in Buffalo’s Flour-By-Rail Legacy Project is now on display.

Buffalo Creek No. 3424, a 40-foot car built by the Pullman Company, is on a display track awaiting a cosmetic restoration.

The car is slated to be repainted to its original appearance, including displaying the the Buffalo Creek “flour bag” logo.

The display in Buffalo’s Silo City neighborhood is expected to gain several more cars and a locomotive.

Buffalo Set to Finish Rail Transit Car Overhauls

May 11, 2021

The Buffalo transit agency said it has about completed rebuilding its light rail car fleet.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s rebuilding project is nearing completion more than five years after the program was supposed to have been completed.

Work is under way on the last vehicle in the 27-car fleet, which will conclude a $45 million program that has had workers stripping  the cars down to the shell in a rebuild process.

The program began in 2004, but the original contractor went bankrupt, leading to delays and ownership disputes.

The rebuilds passed through several companies before completion by Hitachi Rail. The cars, had been built by Japan’s Tokyu Car Company in 1984. Once overhauled, they are expected to operate for another 15 years.

Project Seeks to Pay Tribute to Buffalo’s Flour Industry Heritage

March 6, 2021

A project in Buffalo, New York, is seeking to commemorate the role of railroads in transporting flour, which was once a key part of the city’s economy.

The Flour-by-Rail Legacy Project plans to set up a display in the “Silo City” neighborhood of a locomotive and three railcars used in the movement of flour from Buffalo’s mills.

The cars are expected to have interpretive exhibits of the flour industry in Buffalo.

C. D. “Charlie” Monte Verde, who is leading the project said that at one time Buffalo was the second largest rail hub in North America.

Midwest grain arrived in the city in western New York by boat to be processed into flour.

The flour industry in Buffalo, though, suffered a devastating blow after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which allowed Great Lakes freighters to have all-year water access to the Atlantic Ocean and East Coast ports.

As a result thousands of stevedores, mill workers, and railroad employees lost their jobs.

Some of the silos used by the flour industry still stand along the waterfront and along the Buffalo River.

Some former mills have been or are being transformed into residential and retail purposes.

Although the flour industry is gone from Buffalo, General Mills still produces Cheerios at a mill in the Buffalo region.

New Buffalo Amtrak Station Opens

November 10, 2020

A ceremony featuring state and local officials was held on Monday to mark the opening of a new Exchange Street Station in downtown Buffalo, New York. 

The station was built on the site of the former 66-year-old New York Central facility of the same name.

The new $29.8 million Amtrak station, though, is elevated, located closer to the street and is twice the size of the depot it replaced.

Amtrak passengers will be able to make connections to local bus and light-rail service.

The low-level platforms of the station were redesigned to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act standards. The station features a covered pedestrian plaza.

The project was overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The station is served by Amtrak’s Empire Corridor trains between New York and Niagara Falls, New York. The New York-Toronto Maple Leaf also stops at the station.

The Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited, however, does not use the tracks passing Exchange Street station.

CSX Considering Shrinking Yards in Buffalo Region

October 3, 2019

CSX is considering reducing the size of Frontier Yard in Buffalo, New York, as part of a program that may include other infrastructure reduction in western New York.

Trains magazine cited unnamed sources in a report that said CSX is eyeing removal of bowl track groups 2 through 5 in the main yard.

In recent years the carrier has used these tracks for car storage.

Under the proposal, Bowl Group 1 will remain in service while Groups 6 and 7 will be rebuilt to for flat switching with a new lead at Bailey Avenue.

The report said this part of the yard is now used for light classification work for local industry jobs.

There are no plans to remove the yard hump for now, but CSX will likely flatten it later.

CSX is also reportedly considering changes at other yards, including consolidation, in the Buffalo region that it considers to be under used.

Those yards are Niagara, Kenmore, and Ohio, are underutilized, the source says.

Trains said CSX representatives did not respond to its emailed requests for comment.

Buffalo Exchange Street Station Razed

August 28, 2019

Razing has begun of the Exchange Street Station in Buffalo, New York, to make way for a new facility.

The former New York Central depot is served by all Amtrak trains in Buffalo except the Lake Shore Limited.

Amtrak passengers have been using a temporary facility since Aug. 12. Exchange Street station opened in 1952.

Its replacement will cost $27.7 million and is expected to open in fall 2020.

Exchange Street is served by two Empire Service roundtrips between New York and Niagara Falls, and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

NY Congressman Still Pushing to Make Buffalo Central Terminal an Amtrak Station

April 17, 2018

A New York Congressman is not giving up his efforts to convert the vacant Buffalo Central Terminal into an Amtrak station.

Brian Higgins is continuing to push Amtrak to use the former New York Central depot despite the fact that the New York Department of Transportation plans to build a new Buffalo depot at the site of the current Exchange Street station.

That $25 million project is slated to get underway this fall.

“Almost 90 percent of respondents to the site selection committee . . . preferred the Central Terminal. So this is not a decision that’s widely supported by the public to site a new Amtrak station in downtown Buffalo,” Higgins said.

Higgins planned to attend an information open house being hosted by NYDOT to prod it into reconsidering Central Terminal.

“Keep in mind, that the downtown location for a brand new Amtrak station, you cannot access 65 percent of America,” he said.

Amtrak would continue to serve a station it built in suburban Depew, New York. The Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited would continue to stop at Depew along with Empire Service trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

The Lake Shore Limited is not expected to use the new Buffalo station because that would require a long back-up move.

Aside from its historic character, Higgins said renovating Central Terminal would enable Amtrak to close Depew station.

“There’s tremendous benefits with historic tax credits. A developer could save 30 percent or more of the entire project cost,” Higgins said. “With a tenant in there like Amtrak, the Central Terminal becomes that much more attractive for a private developer that wants to do mixed-use development including retail.”

Buffalo Light Rail to be Rebuilt

April 3, 2018

A recently adopted state budget allocates $9 million to rebuild the light rail system in Buffalo, New York.

The money is in addition to regular state funding for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates the 6.4-mile, 13-station light rail system known as Metro Rail.

State lawmakers representing western New York had argued that deferred maintenance has resulted in declining ridership and deteriorating on-time performance. Metro Rail opened in 1985.

Firm Chosen for Buffalo Light Rail Extension

February 27, 2018

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has chosen WSP to provide environmental review and preliminary design work for the first phase of the Amherst Metro Rail extension project in the Buffalo, New York, region .

WSP will refine a 2017 study of preferred alternatives for extending the Metro Rail light-rail system along Niagara Falls Boulevard from the University Station in Buffalo to the University of Buffalo’s North Campus in Amherst, New York.

The WSP work will also include exploring options for additional storage and maintenance facilities.

Buffalo Station Makes Endangered List

October 19, 2017

Buffalo’s Central Terminal has made a list of dubious distinction. It has been added to the 2018 World Monuments Watch, a group of international cultural heritage sites facing “daunting threats.”

The former New York Central depot that was used by Amtrak between 1975 and 1979 and for a time in 1971, is No. 22 on the list.

Closed in 1979, the station has undergone some renovation in recent years. However, it was bypassed when Amtrak recently sought a site for a new Buffalo station.

Amtrak has two stations in the  Buffalo region. These include a small and antiquated station at Exchange Street in the city and a station in suburban Depew.