[FJGRailroad] BCT, Archives Part 14 !
- The New York Central had Buffalo Central Terminal. It was in a nice
Polish neighborhood back in the 1970's. There was also an old New York
Central Steam heat car that was a converted tender which sat close to the
station and almost under the walkway. There is a road through the
Central Terminal and also underground roads that come up at each track
for baggage and supplies. The passengers walked through the overhead
walkway to get to trains.
The neighborhood around Central Terminal is now a slum and one of the
most dangerous in Buffalo. The terminal itself is abandoned, owned by
Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Committee. In the warmer months she
is open every few weeks for an art exhibit or festival. A few years ago
some nutty "artist" filled the terminal with as many people as he could,
had them remove their clothes, and photographed them.
I went to an Octoberfest at BCT last fall, there will also be the first
annual BCT train show in September 2006. When I went inside Central
Terminal, I was shocked since I have not been in it since 1979.
The railroad pulled out of BCT in 1980 I believe, it sat vacant for some
time until a local "developer" bought her for next to nothing since the
city thought he would restore her. Instead, he drove trucks inside and
removed every piece of marble, brass, and everything of value, and sold
it. While backing a truck inside, one driver ran into the buffalo
statue, destroying it.
The grand concourse walls now look like cinder blocks where the marble
was removed. The walls and stairwells show the holes and markings of
where brass railings, lights, and handrails once were fastened. The
marble floor has lost its shine and is broken. Every window is broken
and most replaced with plexiglass or plywood. The building has the smell
The grand clock was found last year in a Chicago antique shop, purchased
for $100,000.00 I believe and returned to Buffalo. The art deco lights
have been found as far away as Hong Kong, but no one has the money to buy
In my opinion, the only hope for BCT was this winter when the Seneca
Indians were looking for a site in Buffalo for a casino, BCT was number 3
or 4 on their list but it did not happen. They chose the old Hi Ho Oats
Other than the main line to Cleveland and the belt line, there are a few
tracks left of the old Stock Yard at BCT that is now a CSXI van site. It
was once where livestock was unloaded for slaughter. The van site will
soon be gone as well, it will be moving to Seneca Yard.
While I love BCT. I hate going over there in the dark. This winter a guy
demanded to get in my car and demanded money, he got neither but it isn't
easy to speed away when your on a ballast access road. I also found a
dead guy in the area a few weeks ago and learned just how much 911
Unless Bill Gates has a heart for Buffalo railroad history and a few
hundred million dollars to turn BCT into an office building, I don't
think she will last.
From sunny and beautiful Buffalo,