Author Topic: Conrail at BV  (Read 836 times)

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lock4244

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Conrail at BV
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:32:55 AM »
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Found this article while looking for something else CR related:

http://www.trainweb.org/wnyrhs/bayviewFrame1Source1.htm

I've only had a chance to read a few paragraphs thus far, but what struck me the mention and images of an old friend I first met in the late 80's; BV Tower, 8 miles from Buffalo, NY., on the Water Level Route (also the site of the distinctive 'Buffalo Division' marker). This was the place where I cut my teeth watching Big Blue at it's finest, moving freight at speed under the ever watchful eye of BV. It was a great place to watch the show, with a mix of the newest and finest power the rails could offer on long, frequent trains, mixed with the odd NS train on the parallel former NKP (that often drew N&W lettered units and cabooses) juxtaposed with the outdated tower, abandoned and waiting for someone far away to decide on it's ultimate fate. We'd sit on the elevated cable troughs that acted as a front row seat in the grandstands to the greatest show on earth (as far as I was concerned), enjoying a bag of Cool Ranch Dorito's and a cold bottle A&W cream soda as train after train flew by, or using the staircase to the 2nd level for a somewhat elevated view until it deteriorated to a point where this was no longer prudent. So many memories.

I'm not sure of the year, but on a visit in the 90's we arrived to find both the tower and the cable trough gone, demolished and removed, save for a smear of brick on the ground where BV had been. It was sad, but not unexpected, and after rooting around in the brush beside the tracks I managed to find a complete brick, which now resides in my collection of spikes, tie plates, and other assorted memorabilia. The tower, as we were told by another railfan that day, did not go quietly. Seems it was home to a nest of hornets that swarmed as the Cat assigned to the demolition made the first few swings at the upper level. The crew beat a hasty retreat and did not return until the following day!

Once Conrail was split, the show seemed muted somehow and in my opinion, CSX has been a less than worthy replacement. There seems to be something missing, call it a soul, who knows, but it isn't Conrail and I have not had the desire to return to BV other than spending a few minutes for old time sake.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 12:20:11 PM »
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Tell me about it...

Definitely a cool story.

Dave V

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 02:24:53 PM »
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I always tended to view Conrail as a Pennsy successor and judge its worthiness by how much it preserved, destroyed, or improved upon PRR.  Very neat to read the "other side," i.e., the NYC's, perspective.  NS has had issues, but all in all it seems mostly worthy of its PRR/CR heritage on former PRR trackage, though the endless parade of colorless dash 9s does wont for--as you say--personality.  It is not surprising CSX has not lived up to its Water Level Route legacy.  Its only personality is found in the faded rust of its loco fleet and the danger posed to railfans by its infrastructure.  In that way, at least, CSX has rise to the bar set for it by its Penn Central heritage.
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ljudice

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 10:58:58 PM »
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I've done very little railfanning since the end of Conrail.  One little thing I miss are it's train symbols...

MAIL trains, TV's,  and the wonder of what you might encounter if you saw an SPL or a DIM... 

I still can't totally wrap my head around the NS or CSX symbology.   Anyone else agree?


conrail98

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 09:12:17 AM »
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I still can't totally wrap my head around the NS or CSX symbology.   Anyone else agree?

I'm right there with you. I will say that I'm slowly picking up NS's but CSXs has no ryme or reason to it from what I can see,

Phil
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 11:25:36 AM »
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Once you start getting familiar with them, NS and CSX's do have some logic to them, but they're like a stareogram, ya gotta look at them for a while to get it...

And yeah, CSX's charm comes from it's "country" nature... doing things like running a mainline freight with an SD40-3, a Genset, and a GEVO. It's funny though, watching videos of earlier CSX (from the 90s), I could find myself falling in love... but all of that is very different from Conrail's character. NS is much more of a successor in many ways, but in others is even more "down to business".

Blazeman

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 07:24:09 AM »
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Lock: Your prose in the post is very David P Morganesque. Very well composed.

lock4244

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 10:53:49 AM »
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Lock: Your prose in the post is very David P Morganesque. Very well composed.

Thanks for the compliment  :)

I've always felt influenced by Greg McDonnell's writing more than anyone else, having poured over his first and second books to the point of obsession when they were released. Given that he was heavily influenced by DPM, I suppose the link is natural. I only wish I had the talent to write like they do.
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Philip H

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 11:18:30 AM »
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So where exactly is this in relation to Buffalo?  I'm up there all the time to see my daughters, and do a fair amount of railfanning, but don't think I've stumbled on this gem.
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lock4244

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Re: Conrail at BV
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2013, 04:42:29 PM »
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Put these co-ordinates 42.77676,-78.846879 into Google Maps. Not as interesting as it was, but I've placed the marker approximately where the tower used to stand.
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