LOST RAILROADS OF WESTERN NEW YORK Vol 1: Lehigh Valley at Buffalo


I just finished re-reading Lost Railroads of Western New York, Volume 1: The Lehigh Valley at Buffalo.  This is the first of three excellent books in this series (thus far) from Stephan M. Koenig.

This book covers the following in b&w pictures, concise text, diagrams, and maps:

A history of the Lehigh Valley in the Western New York area.  Well written and not overwhelmed with minutia.

The City Branch and Lehigh Valley Terminal – the passenger station and freight house in downtown Buffalo and the line from there to sub-urban Dingens Street Terminal.  Lots of fine pictures of station and ROW in various eras, especially with steam in the late 30’s to early 40’s – my favourite.

Dingens Street Terminal, Tifft Terminal, and the Lehigh & Lake Erie – engine terminal, re-located passenger station, yard and lake boat docks.  Nice pictures of steam at coal dock, a great layout drawing of the engine terminal and a few of the facilities.  Tifft Farm Terminal is covered in the then and now format, as are the other sections.

Tifft Junction to Niagara Junction.  One thing where the book could have done a better job at (in all chapters) is giving the reader a better sense where all of these places are located.  There are maps, but I did not come away with knowing how they all related with the city of Buffalo and immediate vicinity.  This is particularly so with Tifft Terminal and the L&LE.  However, there is an excellent website that has USGS maps from 1950 on the Buffalo area – the railroads are well identified (USGS Buffalo 1950).  These are very detailed showing even each road’s roundhouses – of course, that won me over!  It fascinates me how Buffalo had such a dense railroad infrastructure; there were tracks everywhere. It was a rail transportation gateway second only to Chicago.

I very much enjoyed this book and will, no doubt, read it again (and again).  Recommended.