Home Open Account Help 166 users online

Nostalgia & History > One amazing day in Lackawanna


Date: 07/11/19 04:06
One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: Roadjob

There was just so much fertile railfanning in the east in the early 70s, that one really needed a clone to hit all of the hot spots that railroads offered up. On a tip from a fan I met at Sayre Pa., he said if I wanted to get it all in one spot, I needed to go to Buffalo NY. No offense to Buffalo, but while I knew a lot of railroading centered there, I had not any interest in going there. Big mistake! On this guys advice I did head up into the area, pumped up on his referral. In particular he said to go to Ridge Road overpass in Lackawanna NY on the south side of Buffalo. [As noted though and am now correcting. This bridge is Tift St. bridge. I was orginally on Ridge St. but found this one to be even better, and this is where I stayed.] Well I did, and my God it was the show of the year! Penn Central's Chicago main, N&W's right next to it, the B&O line up from Pittsburgh, Lehigh Valley's Tift Yard, and even an EL line. My intention was to spend a couple of hours there....ten hours later I was still there, walking from one end of the bridge to the other shooting what was virtually non stop action. The one image I had in yesterday's thread of the guys dumping ballast was also from that bridge that day. As I recall, I shot over 200 images that day. What I have for you today are a few survivors that I have found. You will at least get the flavor of what this spot offered. Sadly I never got back there, but did hit the Buffalo areas a couple of more times. NS and CSX I am sure have not disappeared from under the bridge, so I'm sure it still offers up its share of action...but it ain't 72!

top..westbound PC

middle...eastbound N&W

top...westbound B&O

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 08:14 by Roadjob.








Date: 07/11/19 04:09
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: Roadjob

top and middle...Lehigh Valley's end point. I did get two road freights here, but unfortunately they are among the missing

bottom...undisputed highlight of the day was this OCS on the EL line that for the whole rest of the day produced one freight.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 04:10 by Roadjob.








Date: 07/11/19 04:53
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: refarkas

WOW! What a place that was! Thanks for sharing these.
Bob



Date: 07/11/19 05:22
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: JPB

Great stuff!  Re: the EL OCS photo, that track was the branch between Buffalo and Erie east-west mainline at Waterboro NY, a few miles east of Jamestown. The April 1971 EL employees timetable indicates EL operated 2 daily eastbound and 2 daily westbound trains between Buffalo and Meadville/Marion  via this line:

Eastbound to Buffalo: RC-98 from Meadville arriving Buffalo 12:15AM and MF-74 arriving Buffalo from Marion at 12:15PM
Westbound from Buffalo: BM-7 departing Buffalo at 12:30AM and BM-9 departing at 12:15PM with both trains terminating at Meadville 

Harlem Rd overpass at Bison Yard was also a great place to photograph trains (except for Penn Central).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 05:22 by JPB.



Date: 07/11/19 05:41
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: bluesboyst

Awesome.  The 70's had an amazing variety for railfains.   So sterile now...



Date: 07/11/19 05:58
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: rbenko

Awesome shots as usual Bill - thanks for posting.

The bridge you were on that day was acutally Tifft Street, which is a little over a mile north of Ridge Road.  The giveaway is the B&O freight on the old BR&P (Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburgh) - the B&O line (as seen in the photo) curved to the east just south of Tifft Street, and went under Ridge Road separate from all the other railroads seen here by about a half mile.

My brother Steve (TO handle stevelv) lived in Buffalo for a bunch of years in the early-to-mid 90's, and has some great action shots in and around this area, albeit none with B&O, PC, EL, and LV!!  I was there myself a few times in the 90's - even at that time it was still a pretty cool place to be.

Thanks again for posting these wonderful photos!

Rob Benkovitz
West Palm Beach, FL



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 06:12 by rbenko.



Date: 07/11/19 08:10
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: Roadjob

you are correct sir. I was on Ridge but liked Tift St. better,. Correction noted

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Date: 07/11/19 10:05
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: stevelv

When i got to Buffalo in 1989 Conrail had already done a lot of line consolidations and eliminations throughout the area.  The city was still a great place for action but pretty much a slimmed down version of what is was when Bill was there.  Tift St was still a great spot (and still is) but by the time I arrived the LV yard was a weedy field with one track running through it.  The EL line had become the Buffalo Southern RR and the B&O was to become the Buffalo and Pittsburgh RR in the late 90's.  Tift St also included the South Buffalo RR which had a yard next to the B&O's on the east side of the bridge.  You can see the SBRR bridge over the B&O in photo 2 and in the photo of the EL special you can see hi-cube box cars in their yard on the far right.  These hi-cubes came from the South Buffalo served Ford Stamping plant in Woodlawn just south of Lackawanna.  Also in the EL photo behind the hi-cubes on the right is the sprawling Republic Steel complex which one employed 2500 people.  It shut down in 1982 and by the time I left the Buffalo area in '96 it was also reduced to a weed covered field.
Steve B.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/19 10:08 by stevelv.



Date: 07/11/19 19:35
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: norm1153

How many rolls of film did you use?     Some very excellent panoramic shots of railroading, thanks for posting!
 



Date: 07/11/19 19:59
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: rbenko

Interesting - both Bill and my brother Steve have the street spelled as Tift (one "f" which is the way I always thought it was spelled), but three online maps (Google, Apple Maps and OpenStreetMap) have it spelled Tifft (two "f"s).  I wonder if we are all wrong, or was it changed sometime in the last 25 years?  (EDIT) - I looked on historical maps - it seems to have always been Tifft.

BTW, OpenStreetMap is exceptional for viewing rail lines - in many locales it's even labeled with the railroad!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/19 07:18 by rbenko.



Date: 07/12/19 03:50
Re: One amazing day in Lackawanna
Author: Roadjob

I used 220 film at the time that was 20 shots to the roll. I walked off that bridge with 10 rolls of exposed film. The only two other one day shoots that I ever shot more  were my first day in Chicago in 70, and in 77 when I was on Cajon Pass for the first time, and that was because I shot the same trains at several different locations.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0644 seconds