Map of the Niagara power line

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Electrical Engineer

New York, NY, United States
vol. 18, no. 395, p. 277, col. 1-2



Last week we published the first drawing given out, of the new 5,000 H. P. generator built for the Niagara Falls power transmission by the Westinghouse Co. Through the courtesy of the Buffalo Express we are now able to show the route of the pole line which is to carry the circuits from the Falls to the city. The tunnel subway that was illustrated in our columns¹ is intended for local distribution chiefly on the Niagara Cataract Construction Co.'s property. The greater portion of the circuits will, however, be aerial and will be built on the plan of the Tivoli-Rome line.² As to the route, it has been assumed by many that the pole line would follow the railway tracks along the main shore of the lake, through Tonawanda or cut directly across the farms on the Lake bank. It will be seen, however, that use is made of Grand Island in a very ingenious and effective manner. The Buffalo Express gives the following information on the subject : —


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When Niagara's power comes to Buffalo, how will it come? The question has been asked so many times that The Express answers it by printing the little map which accompanies this article. It shows at a glance the route which has already been secured for the power lines to the city through Grand Island. Mr. John J. MacIntire of Niagara Falls acquired the right of wav for this line and all the contracts are now a matter of record. It will be noticed that there are two lines to the island. One, it will be seen on examination, comes from Canada and the other from this side. The first heavy dotted line shows the line of transmission as it leaves the power-house on this side of the river. It crosses shoal water in the river for some distance and is carried over the navigable channel at the foot of Buckhorn Island on poles. In fact, the line is to be run on poles all the way. Wherever it crosses a navigable stream it will be carried high enough in the air not to interfere with boats. That at least is the present plan, though before the line is constructed some new insulation may be discovered that will allow the wires to be laid under water. In fact, experiments are now being made with an insulation for that purpose.

The line of transmission skirts the shore of Buckhorn Island, crosses to Grand Island and runs through it on a straight line. In acquiring the right of way Mr. Maclntire took the side lines of the farms and obtained from the owners on each side 15 feet, thus giving the company a right of way 30 feet wide. Of course, if any more land is wanted for transformers or other purposes it can readily be obtained. Where the line turns towards Buffalo it will be seen that it is no longer straight, but has queer little jogs and turns. Local conditions made this necessary. Two lines spring from Grand Island to Strawberry Island on the way to Buffalo. That is simply so that if something should happen to one line there would be another to fall back upon. The transmitting line reaches Buffalo just inside the city limits, where the power will be taken by the Buffalo company formed for its distribution in this city.

A glance again at the map will show how the line from the power which is to be developed from the Canadian tunnel will join the main line on Grand Island. It will also be noted that there is a second line running part way down the island. That is simply a sort of reserve line, though it is also projected to meet the contemplated development of Grand Island, for which there are in existence some very elaborate plans. It will also be seen that a line crosses to Grand Island from the main shore near LaSalle. This is to connect with a line, the right of way for which is now being obtained down the main shore. It seems probable, however, that the line through Grand Island will be used as the main line and that along the main shore as a reserve or auxiliary line. The line through the island is 13 1/8 miles long and that by the shore will be 18 1/2.

All in all, it will be seen that the Cataract Construction Company is making very elaborate plans to supply Buffalo with power and to insure a steady supply. Every precaution is being taken to that end.

¹ See ELEC. ENGINEER Jan. 17, 1894. p. 46.

² See ELEC. ENGINEER May 16, 1894. p. 425.


Keywords:Power Transmission : Niagara : Need Image
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:July 8, 2011 by: Bob Stahr;