For this recording, Prophet returned to Tower F in Black Rock. As stated before, New York Central's Tower F controlled train movements between the NYC's Niagara Junction and the tracks that connected the NYC with the International Bridge and Canadian National trackage.
The tower also had control over all the trains stopping at the NYC freight station which was located parallel to the main line between the tracks and Tonawanda Street. As I've said before, the freight station is still standing to this day.
This recording highlights Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo's train #382, pulled by Hudson #5366, as it arrives and departs from the Canadian National's Black Rock station. It is 11:30 in the evening at this will be the last train on the T. H. & B. for the day. This train from Toronto is loaded with sleeping cars bound for New York, coach cars for Buffalo. It will eventually stop at Exchange Street and Central Terminal.
As the recording begins, the train slowly pulls into the station. Unfortunately, Prophet didn't record the sequence of events that took place just prior to the start of the recording. As each train crossed the International Bridge and onto Squaw Island, before they crossed over the swing bridge which carried the railroad over the Erie Canal and Niagara Street and into Black Rock, the engine had to give a signal as to its destination. Three blasts of the whistle meant that the train was bound for Buffalo and Exchange Street. A switchman would then throw a switch to position the train on the tracks leading past Tower F, where Prophet was recording, to the NYC's Niagara Branch heading downtown. The switchman would then give a signal to the engineer with his lantern indicating that he has thrown the switch and to pull ahead. As the recording starts, the engineer gives two blasts of the whistle acknowledging the switchman's signal.
After a brief delay with passengers getting on or off, the Hudson pulls the train out of the station and winds its way past Tower F. As it gathers speed, you'll hear it whistle for Forest Avenue. All in all, a great recording.
The photograph below shows the Candian National's Black Rock station on the left with their freight office on the right. The freight train in the picture is on its way over the bridge to Squaw Island and eventually the International Bridge. The track that is curving to the left is the one that the train in this recording is on to head past Tower F.
To see a map of this area, click here.
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The Buffalo History Works