• What’s missing in this picture in Tonawanda?

  • 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

As I ride my bike headed back to my car, I’m making my way up Fillmore Ave, I’m in Tonawanda. I am standing at the Niagara Falls branch overpass with the Erie RR/bike path just the other side. As I have done since ~1993 I always give the caution signal(search light) for the Erie a nod as I pass by it. Always conniving how to retrieve it before it disappears.

I suddenly realize that it’s gone. It had been damaged years ago. I think it may have been a failed attempt to acquire it(it wasn’t me I swear). The search light was hanging by its own cables. One more piece is gone.

I assume either someone acquired it or perhaps it was knocked down due to the Xmas blizzard.

This picture is the concrete pedestal and it looks like everything was corroded and it snapped.

But as I looked around I see the pole the search light was hanging from was left behind.

I sure hope a RR fan has it and will restore it to some degree. I would assume that that light has been there since 1927-ish when NYC moved the ROW.

Throughout the ex-Columbus McKinnon plant there are these little rails. Some of them had time stamps on them dated back to mid 1920’s. One said USA and an other said Carnegie.

I always thought they should relight that signal as a caution for the bike path crossing. Keep it authentic. Oh well, gonna miss that light.
Last edited by nomis on Mon Feb 27, 2023 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Updated title for search-ability
  by NYCRRson
Back about 1996-1998 the Rochester Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society collected the grade crossing signals protecting that abandoned Erie/DL&W line just past that NYCRR underpass over Filmore Ave.

WITH full permission of the transit authority (NFTA) that ended up owing those tracks after Conrail threw them away.

NFTA accepted ownership of those Conrail tracks because it was going to "expand" their rail service from Buffalo all the way to Niagara Falls as soon as they became profitable (ha ha ha).

That Erie/DL&W line through City of Tonawanda / Town of Tonawanda actually passes close by the Northern end of the NFTA rail service where it ends at the South Campus of UB.

So, in theory the railroad grades where available to expand the NFTA rail service from Buffalo / Main Street through Kenmore, the Tonawanda's and on to Niagara Falls. I think the property has been "chopped up" now so getting an end to end roadbed is probably no longer possible.

We probably should have collected that little "advance cross buck" signal while we where at it.

I remember that signal as a kid, very unique placement.
  by DGC-24711
I know!

Oh wait you revealed but yesterday I rode by there (Tuesday 2/14) and saw it gone. I didn't see the pole on the ground but maybe a plow throwing snow knocked it over and someone took it off the pole.

Further north on Fillmore, there's rails visible in the pavement - the driveway apron, in front of the white garage door, NW side of the road...guessing it -SW bound crossed Fremont and went through that garage door at C-McK and curved under the yellow frames. Some of those pieces became protectors to their pipes?
  by sd80mac
Look like vehicle rammed into it and fence post...