When Charlie Monte Verde first approached me at the start of the pandemic, he said he had recently moved to Buffalo and wanted to talk about the city. Of course, I said “yes” and before I realized it, we were sitting on the roof talking about community activities, the environment, restaurants, progress … and trains. See, Charlie originates from the background of the train – his family has been in the transportation business for generations, sometimes freight and sometimes passenger, and he moved home to get on it.
Moving from Chicago to Buffalo, Charlie told me that he was excited to be involved in some exciting projects. Originally greeted from Rochester, he followed the economic and cultural revival of Western New York, including Buffalo. He was thrilled to hear all the progress that had been made on the beach as well as in other parts of the city.
After two hours of talking, Charlie hit me with something. He told me that he had identified three train carriages and an engine that were important to the area and were at risk. I immediately understood the consequences of his offer, as I always thought that Buffalo should have some sort of “invitation card” related to the train (along with museum and Central Terminal), which additionally help people understand and communicate the important history of Buffalo as a train station or “nation’s bakery”. An independent engine, with attached wagons attached in an unexpected location on the beach, looked sensational and helped to tell the story of Buffalo and its railroad.
In other cities, I’ve seen train wagons turned into pop-up restaurants, like the wagon-style rescue, as we’ve seen in University District and Larkinville. Now, Charlie was talking about restoring the real gold mine of the WNY Railroad and the history of the industry, which was on the verge of disappearing forever. With the growth of the initiative, the Flour Heritage Project was born by rail.
“At this point, protection is a priority,” said the FBI, Charlie, who is a second-rate railroad professional. “I believe this is an important part of the challenge for the continued revival of Buffalo. Of course, the cars in question weren’t even connected to an active track – Conrail and CSX used them as a shed for road maintenance, and the latter was very serious in keeping these wagons. But lately, serious attention has been paid to their unloading. ”
The first car that Charlie was still working on at Amtrak when he was living in Chicago was working at Buffalo Creek, a railroad station. 3424 – located in Rochester (see pictures). As he began to strategize efforts to save the car, he found another disturbing wagon on the East Buffalo side – New York’s central wagon. 43819 – this is a “displacement” and shows a sense of urgency.
That was when flour was king in Buffalo.
“These are trucks that transported Asian flour from Buffalo to the entire east coast,” Charlie explained. “That was when flour was king in Buffalo. At one point, there were thousands. Now, only a handful remain. ”
Eventually, Charlie moved the cars and engines to the shores of Buffalo and returned them to the grain elevators they were serving. She has a handshake agreement with a well-known property owner and a beach owner who wants to showcase the equipment and put the exhibit on an educational, commentary stand at an outstanding location in Buffalo, which is exactly where (read: ‘Orange-Flat’, 2020) . the equipment has been used once (proposed by Scott Alexander Wood Illustration below).
“Car safety equipment is outdated,” Charlie noted. “That means we have to start them from the East Side site and flatten them. They have been out of the income service since 1975. We need to protect them from further weathering and then we want to restore them with the help of local and national historical communities that can provide us with a clear era. color plans, car number, and so on. ”
Charlie, whose family business as a short line and regional trucking operator (since 1989), feels that part of his mission to return WNY is to preserve this historic monument, which is in danger of disappearing. “The railroad is in my blood,” he told me. “I am working with the construction of railways and historical societies to make this happen, but there must also be support from the community. If I can move this first car, the rest should fall into place. I have to show that this is possible and that the Buffalo community wants it. Finally, we will all play our part in celebrating Buffalo’s shipping history and at the same time improving the famous coastal destination. ”
To spin the wheels, Charlie works towards securing nonprofit status. She is also a crowdfunding platform, where society can strive. “I’m willing to do shoe work and work with property owners, transportation companies, railroad enthusiasts, artists, historians and others,” Charlie said. “However, it will be a community effort – it will start with a significant train wagon found in East Buffalo. From there, we can attract additional supporters and resources. The East Side carriage will be the first test of all efforts, not only because of the urgency, but because of it. We need to show the importance of Buffalo – when people see this first car on the move and safely transport it to the beach, there is a sudden excitement that leads to the rescue and recovery of others. ”
Support the reason: GoFundMe
Also, visit this is a Facebook page
Main image: Charlie Monte Verde, courtesy of Flour by Rail Legacy Project