|Environment: safe,kids,permission granted,public,free,24x7,parking,handicap access,dogs,not commercial
The NYC Tonawanda Turnout
Another cache in my WNY Rail History Series.
Prior to WW I, the rails of the New York Central in Tonawanda and N. Tonawanda ran at street level, up Main St and Webster.
With increasing traffic levels, the danger to the public increased to intolerable levels, along with the traffic congestion and decreased speed of the trains.
On March 17, 1917, the NYC signed a contract with the Walsh Construction Company to build the new right of way that is currently in use. The new alignment that was chosen circled the residential area of Tonawanda, and cut through the Gastown section. This new, and elevated route eliminated all but two grade crossings in Tonawanda, as well as several in N. Tonawanda.
Early progress on the construction of the new alignment was slowed by the US entry in to WW I. The elevated section would require some 500,000 (half a million) cubic yards of fill material, which was taken from an area behind the Spaulding Fibre plant, between it and Two Mile Creek. The work on the new alignment was completed in 1922, with much of the work actually being accomplished in that year.
For the crossing of the Erie Canal, a unique bascule type lift bridge was constructed. This bridge can be seen today, and is still in use. As a side note, the bridge was only raised twice in it's entire history and the lifting machinery was removed years ago.
For several years after the construction was completed, the NYC used a temporary wooden station at Main and Roosevelt Ave, which is currently standing and in use by a local company. After years of local agitation, a new station was built at street level on te south side of Roosevelt, between Grove and Main Streets, The new depot, which opened to the public on June 3rd, 1930 featured a covered stairway and baggage elevator to the train level.
The cache itself is a micro which is handicapped accessible. Due to poor GPS reception at the site, the hint is very specific. There is NO need to leave the sidewalk