Belt Line Railroad - Table of Contents .................... Central Park Neighborhood
Belt Line Railroad: Central Park Station
10 Starin Avenue at Amherst St., Buffalo, N.Y.
Buffalo Trains and Trolleys: Bob Venneman's Recollections
|The train station at Starin and Amherst belonged to the Buffalo Cement Company and was leased out to the New York Central Railroad. Once the Beltline
discontinued service in the 20's, the station was sold to the Boy
Scouts and used as the headquarters for Troop 12 until well after World
War II. The structure remains the last standing station house that
served the Beltline railway.
- Steve Cichon, The Complete History of Parkside, Buffalo, New York, 2010, p. 57
|The Beltline formed a belt
around Buffalo and operated for approximately 30 years, impacting much
of Buffalo’s industry and residential neighborhood development.
There were originally 19 stops each spaced 1 mile apart. The development of Parkside and Central Park can be attributed to the Beltline.
The Station in Central Park, at Starin and Amherst, was known as the Bennett Station. It was owned by Buffalo Cement and leased by New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. After WWI, the Beltline gradually faded from existence due to the development of trolley lines and automobiles.
The station was sold to the Boy Scouts and was used as a scout’s headquarters until after WWII. It is now privately owned and is the only surviving station on the Belt Line. The tracks are still used by Conrail. This train station is the only train station from the Belt Line still standing.
- Angela Keppel, Buffalo’s Central Park: A Street, a Plaza and a Neighborhood
(online October 2013)
|The tracks of the New York
Central and Hudson River's Belt Line Division were originally laid at
ground level. The noise of the engines disturbed Mr. Bennett's plans
for a peaceful community. So, in 1907, he got the railroad to
excavate their right of way and place the tracks 16 feet
lower. A wooden stairway was built down from the station and a bridge
was built to take Amherst Street up and over the trains.
The Belt Line was built in 1881 and passenger trains, as well as freight, operated on it in the early years. It had a lot of passenger use in 1901 during the pan-American Exposition. My folks told me how they could ride around the city for only a nickel. There were nineteen stations at first, of which ours is the only one left.
- "Buffalo Trains and Trolleys: Bob Venneman's Recollections," in Central Park, Buffalo, New York: A Neighborhood of History and Tradition, by James R. Arnone, 2010, pp. 83-84