Belt Line Railroad - Table of Contents  ....................  Central Park Neighborhood

Belt Line Railroad:  Central Park Station
AKA: Bennett Station
10 Starin Avenue at Amherst St., Buffalo, N.Y.



Buffalo Trains and Trolleys: Bob Venneman's Recollections

K. Katherine Smith, First Boy Scout Troop Has Own Headquarters

Central Park Station on the Belt Line and a stone chapel for the Baptist denomination are in progress of construction..."
- "Central Park Dwellings,"  Buffalo Courier, June 13, 1894
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

The Buffalo Courier, May 5, 1918, as found in Fulton History  (online October 2021)

Research by Barbara Townsend

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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