Train enthusiasts, history buffs, and any individuals who are interested in learning more about Buffalo’s transportation history are welcome to visit the 2010 Buffalo Central Terminal Toy Train and Railroadiana Expo, taking place today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is being held within the Terminal’s historic passenger concourse at 495 Paderewski Drive at Memorial Drive.
“This is more than just a train show,” said Central Terminal Restoration Corporation President Mark Lewandowski. “It’s one of Buffalo’s largest celebrations of trains and railroading history. Visitors to the Terminal can expect to see everything from highly detailed scale models to family heirloom Christmas trains and archival photos of area railroads. Historians will be on-hand to tell stories of Buffalo’s once important position as the second largest railroad center in North America.”
The purpose of the event is to raise funds to benefit the restoration and preservation of Buffalo Central Terminal. “This event is not just for train collectors,” said Marty Biniasz, media relations coordinator for the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation. “It’s for anyone interested in Buffalo’s history.” The Terminal, which was originally opened on June 22, 1929, is a significant part of Buffalo’s history as a center of transportation. It is an 18-acre complex which consists of a main concourse, a 17-story art deco office tower, a four-story baggage building, and a two-story mail building.
The show features over 100 vendors and displays of toy and model trains. Railroad antiques, DVDS, books, photographs, and other “railroadiana” items will be available for purchasing. Those who visit the expo will have the opportunity to add to their train collections, purchase their first train set, or check out books on Buffalo’s transportation history, all while taking in the historic grandeur of the Terminal itself. “This is one of the only events of its kind that takes place in a historic structure,” Biniasz said.
The restoration project is unique in that the majority of its funds come from the fundraising events put on by its volunteers. “The overall project will take multimillions of dollars, so every little bit helps,” Biniasz said. According to Biniasz, it is the single largest restoration project that doesn’t receive a significant amount of government support. Rather, it is backed by the efforts of the volunteers, a group driven by “pure emotion and dedication.”
Admission to the event will be five dollars for adults and free for children under the age of 12. Information about the event, the restoration project, and the Terminal itself are available at BuffaloCentralTerminal.org.