• NYCRR Freight House-1950

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by SST
While rummaging through my back closet I found some paperwork that was related to my Grandfathers business started around 1945. I knew the paperwork was there but haven't looked at it in YEARS! So this time I looked and I stumbled across a particular photo as it had 2 railroad cranes picking up a large transformer. I was not very knowledgeable about RR's especially in this particular area and I couldn't place the location. So I kept thumbing through the rest of it. I then came back to it and studied the picture more. At first I thought the transformer was being unloaded at the family business on Niagara St. But then I noticed the RR track. The only tracks that I remember were straight down the middle of Niagara St [Trolley tracks?]. My original posting [its been edited] I thought it was the black rock freight house cuz I thought it was a logical place to transfer the transformer. The Black Rock freight house is only 1 mile from the business.

This photo is actually on Ganson St with ADM in the background. What a screw up I made.

The guy in the suit walking across the timber is my Grandfather...A. T. Volland of Volland Electric. Which was originally on Nagara St near Bird Ave. {The company is still in service in Cheektowaga right in the middle of the southern section of the Gardenville yard.] I've posted many times about being located in the Gardenville yard [and exploring it], probably page 500....


BTW....the Black Rock freight house is being converted to apartments. I pray they don't screw it up. I suppose its better to convert than to raze.

https://www.buffalorising.com/2018/09/c ... ght-house/
Last edited by SST on Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by BR&P
Very neat pic and thanks for posting. Those old cranes are neat, wonder who they belonged to. Arch bar truck on the closer one. They seem more like industrial cranes than railroad-owned but maybe.

I'm having trouble seeing that building in the pic as the same one in the redevelopment article. Certainly some similarities, but I'd say there were some big changes in the years between. The clerestory, the ventilator....that just doesn't look like a freight house to me.

Regardless, I wish someone had taken a whole bunch more pics of that operation!
  by SST
When I get a chance, I will take a drive down and snap a picture from the same location as the original photographer.
Original post has been edited. Ganson St across from ADM
  by BR&P
Absolutely! Just "drive" south a couple clicks, then turn around 180 degrees and that building is unmistakable! You nailed it.
  by SST
I took the same "Drive" down Ganson to confirm and correct my screw up. I may still take a drive down anyways to see, in person, where my grandfather once walked. The weather looks nice.
  by charlie6017
SST wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:02 pm I took the same "Drive" down Ganson to confirm and correct my screw up. I may still take a drive down anyways to see, in person, where my grandfather once walked. The weather looks nice.
The next couple days will be perfect to do it. Glad "Old Man Winter" is taking a few days to reload.

  by lvrr325
Was looking right at it when I clicked to copy/share the link. Oh well.
  by RailKevin
Was the transformer being loaded onto the truck for local delivery? Or, maybe the truck was being unloaded because it was being shipped out? There is no parallel track, so either way I suppose the transformer would be set down next to the track after unloading, then bring in the flat car/flat bed for reloading (after moving the cranes out of the way). It would make an interesting tidbit for modeling a team track operation.
  by BR&P
The building suggests some sort of substation or powerhouse. Perhaps the transformer arrived (or departed) by truck, and the cranes are there to reposition it within the property.
  by SST
I am merely guessing here, but I might say this transformer is coming into Buffalo and being loaded onto the trailer. Looking at the actual picture with a magnifying glass, it appears that the transformer isn't freshly painted. Also, the large copper bars on top of the transformer show a difference in color where the unit was connected to the grid. The connection points on these bars are clean compared to the exposed areas on each copper bar.

Therefore, if it is incoming, is has to be trailered about 8 miles to 1511 Niagara St. The original Volland Electric [Now Mead Supply/Volland Electric].

It's so nice outside I'm going to wash my own car. Sad though, I like having a white Christmas.
  by SST
I went down to the Black Rock freighthouse and checked it out. They are really doing a great job on converting it to apartments. Over the years of riding my bike through the area, I was always concerned they'd run it into the ground and then tear it down. It looks like new. Can't tell if the "trackside" overhang is repaired or replaced but either way it looks great. Inside is a thin[narrow] apartment but two floors with a sunroof on each. They already planted bushes too.

In this panoramic photo, on the building across the street on the far right, you can barely see the overhead walkway/conveyor. This is what caused me to make such an error. The freight house is on the left.

This picture is on the opposite end of the building. The location is a guess where the camera man would be standing if this were the correct location. I assumed a track would be logical in this spot due to all the track that use to be in this area. Then put the building across the street and then the company 1 mile away......Eh...….I put a bunch of puzzle pieces together that seemed to fit. Oh well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I myself, would be concerned about this location. The neighborhood isn't all that great. No parking garage. There is already some jerks graffiti signature on the building and they haven't even finished it yet.
  by SST
I also went downtown to Ganson St and took photo's of the correct location. In this photo, you can see the freight house has two additions to it since the original picture was taken. The building on the right, I'm guessing it was there as this building is on an angle that seems to match the angle of the track in the original picture. It also appears to have had a loading dock covered up by brick. It appears to me that the photographer and my grandfather are to the left of this building. There is no evidence of any track still in the ground at this particular spot.

This is the link to Erie.gov 1951 aerial photos. Tried to zoom in with my touch screen but it was to fuzzy. It doesn't seem to match what's there.
http://www2.erie.gov/aerial_photos/site ... _2H114.jpg

It was neat checking this out knowing my grandfather was there 12 years before I was born.
  by BR&P
I'm trying to understand the orientation of this pic. The grain mill is behind your back as you are looking through the fence? If so, I'd say the truck would have been aimed pretty much right at you, with your grandfather facing you on the right hand side of your current photo.
  by SST
We are in agreement :-)