• NF Amtrak station announced

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by videobruce
This isn't really new, but here is the text from the NF paper:

NIAGARA FALLS - The addition of $3 million in funding for a planned international transportation center will further cement the project's credibility and encourage federal and state investment, local officials said Thursday. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, announced that her office had secured funds from a transportation bill recently passed in the House of Representatives for the $20 million Niagara Falls Intermodal Transportation Center & International Railway Station, a project that will relocate the city's Amtrak passenger station and serve as a regional transportation hub.

Slaughter said in a release that transforming the nearly 140-year-old Customs House across from the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge into a joint border crossing/passenger station will improve travel and security along the U.S.-Canadian border.

"Travelers and business in Niagara Falls will benefit greatly from a more centrally located train station. In addition, the new Customs and Immigration facility will make the customs process easier and more efficient for Amtrak passengers traveling between New York and Canada," she said.

Mayor Vince Anello said the funds from Slaughter, coming nearly one month after Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., provided $2.5 million for the project, put the station "in the firm footing to become a reality."

"We're going to keep encouraging all the stakeholders to become part of the process," said Anello. "Now that we have 51/2 million (dollars), it's going to be easier to get other funding from federal and state sources."

Paul Dyster, a former councilman who was heavily involved in the project, said the station may attract more federal grants than other projects because it includes NFTA Metro Bus service and its greater emphasis on security.

"This was the first transportation center proposed after 9/11, so it's important that it's intermodal," said Dyster. "We learned in Spain that terrorists can get to a single train, but the nature of this project makes it more secure and therefore more appealing."

The $3 million from Slaughter will be used to finish the design and planning of the building, and acquire nearby property, said Thomas DeSantis, senior planner for the city.

The project - expected to be finished by 2007, with construction starting as early as next year - will move the Amtrak station from the Lockport Road rail yard to the foot of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, where it would be integrated with the Customs House in a new two-story, 14,000-square-foot station.

The project also would require the realignment of an existing CSX mainline track and the replacement of two old railroad bridges over Main Street.