Buffalo Light Rail

DAILY POST: Panned View, Buffalo, New York.

Sunny Morning on Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Rail.

Buffalo Light Rail
A Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Tokyu Car-built light rail car glides through downtown Buffalo on May 4, 1989. The brown strip along the side of the car compares nicely with the tint of the stone on St Paul’s beyond. Since this image was exposed, NFTA has dressed the cars in a more modern livery.

I’d argue that the Buffalo light rail line is one of America’s least photographed railways. It’s certainly not something I’ve often seen pictured.

The system has several peculiarities. One of the strangest is its route, which runs in a subway through the northern Buffalo suburbs but on the street in the historic downtown.

I’ve made several visits to photograph and ride this unusual railway. I had an especially  clear morning on May 4, 1989 when I exposed this pan on Kodachrome with my Leica M2. The car is on Main Street and passing St Paul’s Cathedral (located just a few blocks from Buffalo City Hall).

When seeking out railways to document, I’m always on the lookout for those operations that appear to elude other photographers. Admittedly, while the Buffalo light rail isn’t the most exciting railway in western New York, it can be photogenic and is thus worthy of pictures.

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