Pix From Around The System
Signals and Tech
Catenary, TVM's, etc
The upper map is a simplified map of the system and the environs, the lower map is a newer and more detailed version... take your pick!
The above map in PDF format here
The above map in PDF format here
Light Rail pix from around the system
At the Theater station.
Northbound train coming into the Theater station.
Couple of shots of the combined shops and carbarn. This is common practice in snow country.
At the University station.
Hi-res picture of above.
At the entrance to the yard and shops.
OK, so I like busses and snuck a picture of one of them in here.
Found on the internet, author unknown....
Signals and Tech
GRS was selected to supply all of Buffalo's signals, switch machines, DTS systems, etc.
They use GRS type D and J relays in their vital systems.
Track circuits used for ATC, only used in the tunnels, uses a 100Hz carrier to transmit the cab signal speed commands to the LRV's. On the surface, trains are operated by sight.
The majority of the signals are standard 3 aspect GRS heads, notable exceptions are at the tunnel portal and the type P's at the shops.
The three aspect signals used at the surface crossovers at Scott St (a single), and Erie Canal (a double) are used as routing indicators. Red is displayed when no route has been called for, or the switch is out of correspondence. Green indicates a normal route (the train goes straight thru the crossover on the same track), and yellow indicates a reverse route (the train crosses over to the "other" track). An interesting "quirk" provides for flashing indications if the OCC (Operations Control Center) calls for the routing, or the automatic control system calls for the routing. The aspects displayed would be either a flashing green or yellow over red for this case. The signal will flash until the operator pulls the train up to a "SWPB" box, and uses the carborne VWC (vehicle-to-wayside control) to throw the switch is clear. At that time, the signal will stop flashing when the route is clear. The signal will also go solid if the controller or train control system has called for the route, and the switch is already aligned. Also, below the signal, is a key-by box, which allows a supervisor or operator to manually call, or select a route and throw a switch if there is a problem with the automatic system.
On the surface, the LRV's are given priority over vehicular traffic at intersections. In the cab of the LRV, the VWC system has a ready to depart button, and the operator pushes this button when all the doors are closed and he is ready to move on. Upon pressing this button, a command is sent to the traffic light controllers, and once the intersection has been set up for a train move, a signal at the end of the platform lights up informing the operator it is OK to proceed.
When a train transitions in and out of signaled territory,
the train operator has to either set the carborne ATP package to the
surface mode, or remove the surface mode and
enter the cab signal mode. This is
where the PB switch comes in. It reminds the operator to press the
appropriate button in the cab. When the
operator is going into the portal, they have to push the "enter cab signal"
button at the PB sign. This dumps the surface mode on the car, telling the
carborne package to look for the coded track circuit and gather speed commands.
It also tells the railcar to no longer deploy steps when opening doors. On the
other side of the transition; on the way from Allen station to the portal, the
PB sign is in the tunnel at the last track circuit on the way out which has a
special code rate telling the car that its now ok for the car to go into surface
mode. To acknowledge this, the operator must press the surface mode button to
complete the transition.
In the subsurface, signal heads are only found at interlockings. They have a lunar aspect showing that the route is clear for normal or flashing lunar for reverse, red of course for stop, and a green aspect at top which is used for absolute block signaling. This is displayed above the lunar when all circuits between the interlocking the aspect is displayed at and the next interlocking is clear. These are primarily used for high-rail vehicles since they do not pick up cab signals, or for trains if there is a failure in the normal cab signaling system.
I would like to thank an anonymous contributor for ALL OF the technical and fleet updating information presented here, and for the "inside" photos he sent me, THANKS! Picture captions in green are from him.
This is looking down to the Allen crossover against traffic (red aspect).
Signal head at the pocket track in the Humboldt interlocking.
A signal head in the Humboldt interlocking. One with, and one without a flashlight lighting up the signal.
Northbound color light signal on the southbound track, at the tunnel entrance.
2 aspect color light signals guard the portal into the tunnel. NB side on the top (5 pix), SB below (3 pix). These signals give the operator two pieces of information. One is that the gate at the bottom of the grade is open (I guess it is closed during non-revenue hours). The other info it tells the operator is that the track ahead to Allen is clear. As soon as the train passes this signal, it goes to red, when it gets to Allen, it returns to yellow. It will also display a red if the gate is closed. There are GRS 7J controllers attached to the gate to determine if the gate is indeed open.
Switch position indicator signals. They are GRS type P signals, and are the same signals used a few miles away in the old NYC (now CSX) yard.
They decided to use a standard traffic signal, with green on the bottom (in contrast to the remainder of the signals on the system), for train control out on the streets.
The alternating center warning light for pedestrians, and additional views of the tunnel entrance.
Pictures of switches, catenary, signs, and other stuff
Impedance bonds used for our track
Impedance bonds allow DC traction power to pass between adjoining signal blocks, while they block the AC track circuits from going thru.
A sectionalizing insulator in the
traction power system.
(some systems call them IJ's, for insulated joints (like Baltimore)).
Picture of the rock tunnel.
Our GRS 5E switch machine subsurface.
Station Message Boards
The one on the left empowers regular citizens to act as the eyes and ears of the law, it's no wonder we get ragged on all the time for taking pictures.
A couple of the Theater station, and the escalator at University.
Shots down mainstreet.
TVM's and an equipment locker.
The Buffalo system doesn't seem to get a lot of press. I
haven't been following the story behind wanting to tear down the Skyway, but why
would you want to?
And, in case you're wondering, no, you can't view all of the map at once as I have depicted here, it was pieced together.
If this extension does come to pass, please someone, make sure the mile marker(s) are given to a museum somewhere!
Here is one article from a recent posting:
NEW 9/01/2006 / 7/15/2016
Last Updated: 26 Jul 2018