DGC-24711 wrote: ↑Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:20 am
With eyes on this thread now from those who worked the Falls Road, does anyone know when trains stopped running the track that swung north east towards Lockport at the west end of Erie Ave in North Tonawanda?
Was there a junction/connection with the Falls Road? All I can tell is that it at least went to where the Stevens Street bridge is now, over the Erie Canal in Lockport.
My first guess is that Conrail scaled that line back (just west of Townline Road/Hoffman) 40+ years ago..
'76 CR Track Chart shows the Lockport Branch (not to be confused with CSX's Lockport Subdivision) ending at a freight house near West Genesee (now West Ave) and Hawley Streets. The Gulf Line branched off near Hinman Rd, snaked through the quarry and crossed under the Falls Road, north of which this is now part of the Somerset line, but the Track Chart shows no connection to the Falls Road proper. The Falls Road Branch TC corroborates both of these statements -- There is no connection to the Lockport Branch shown within the city, and the Gulf Line is shown as a bridge only, no connection.
North of the Falls Road Branch where the Somerset Branch now crosses Eighteenmile Creek, the Gulf Line stayed to the south. The Lowerton Branch off the Falls Road served the north side of Eighteen Mile Creek, which is actually now served off a switchback track off the Somerset (if that's even still active?).
'83 Track Chart shows the CR Lockport Branch intact from North Tonawanda to Lockport in the same configuration, by the 1985 TC it is shown as two separate chunks, from NT to Martinsville, and then from "L&O Junction" (where the Gulf Line connected) to the end previously mentioned in Lockport. It appears at some point CR built the "Olcott Branch" to connect the former NYC Lowerton Branch with the former EL Gulf Line Branch and used this to get back to the northern end of the Lockport Branch, still having no connections between the NYC Falls Road and the EL Lockport or Gulf Line branches yet. By 1996 the Somerset Railroad was constructed by the power plant and CR had abandoned the remainder of the EL Lockport/Gulf lines and the NYC Lowerton and CR Olcott branches, but I don't have specific dates for that, I can just tell you they were gone by the 1996 TC.