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Transportation New train station in downtown Buffalo will open this fall

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1598727733345.png
(Rendering)

The new elevated station is being constructed on the site of the former Amtrak facility that was 62 years old. Work on the new $27.65 million facility on Exchange Street is nearing completion, according to The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

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History - December, 2018:
State awards contract to build new train station in Downtown Buffalo
(Click too see renderings subimitted in 2018.)
 
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RandomPlanner

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Meh. They should have restored the old Central Terminal.
Exactly what I was going to say!
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Why not put that same effort into the Buffalo Central Terminal? It would have been a much more impressive accomplishment, hands down, and I'd be willing to wager it could have come in at less than $27.65 million.

 
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->Important & exciting new prospect!

Wed Sept 16, 2020
Buffalo News Opinion
It’s Never Too Late: Need for Rail Connection from the Central Terminal to Niagara Falls

Snippets (my bolding):

"Ontario has committed to bringing daily commuter rail utilizing the Go Trains to connect Toronto and Niagara Falls by 2022. Buffalo and Western New York has a once in a lifetime opportunity if local leadership steps forward and acknowledges the potential benefits that now presents itself."

"Establishing a commuter line using the existing Amtrak right of way that runs along the Niagara River and through Downtown Buffalo to a restored Central Terminal would offer unlimited opportunities for Buffalo."

"Including the [Central] Terminal in this proposal would add the dimension of jump starting the rebirth of the East Side along with bringing travelers from Ontario within shuttle distance to Buffalo Niagara International Airport and surrounding hotels with the option to use an existing rail corridor to connect directly to the airport."
 

Doohickie

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I checked... the spur I was thinking of is gone, but there's another one that could be used.


The Central Terminal is at the west end where the two spurs I drew meet, the Airport at the east end. The northern spur was the one I was thinking of.

I grew up about 4-5 blocks north of that spur, between the NYS Thruway and Union Road. We used to ride our bikes along that track down to Thruway Mall at Harlem Road and Walden Avenue, which was more direct and actually safer than riding on the surface streets.

When I was a kid, that whole intersection (Harlem and Walden) was elevated and the train rain under it. It's no longer elevated, and part of the railroad bed was used for Galleria Drive when the Walden Galleria was built (northeast of the cloverleaf intersection of the NYS Thruway and Walden Ave.) So that spur no longer exists and could not be re-created.

The southern spur though runs right along the main line parallel to Broadway, and (unknown to me) branches off to the north just east of Dick Road and goes straight into the airport. It looks like it's still active. And it goes right by the Depew Amtrak Station at Dick Road between Walden and Broadway, which would be another logical stop.
 
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Dan

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I don't think that "rail corridor connecting directly to the airport" still exists.
It doesn't. The old West Shore line (really, New York Central) was always redundant, and became even more so with the 1970s Conrail merger.

It would be a massive undertaking to reacquire the right-of-way, rebuild the corridor, and replace all the removed rail, bridges, and overpasses between Cheektowaga and Churchville, just to move an Amtrak stop a couple of miles to the north. Even then, the stop wouldn't be at BUF, but across the street from it.

When it comes to transit, I like the idea of rail to BUF, but I don't think it would get the same ridership as an Amherst, Tonawanda, or Southtowns extension. The downtown-BUF corridor passes through a blighted, depopulated and deindustrialized part of Buffalo's East Side, where bus service on each of the closely spaced, lightly traveled radial still has frequent headways. In Cheektwaga, the residential passenger sheds of possible stations (Harlem/Walden, Galleria, Union Road, Dick Road) isn't that large, and the NFTA traditionally shuns suburban crosstown bus routes that could otherwise feed passengers into those stations.

The idea of Metro Rail lines connecting destinations together is a favorite of the Buffalo Rising crowd, but most transit trips are between home and a destination, not one destination to another. The Walden Galleria is along the line, but what's the prognosis for its continued health? An upscale mall in a blue collar suburb may be vulnerable if the long-planned lifestyle center redevelopments of Boulevard Mall or Eastern Hills Mall becomes reality.

"An East Side Metro Rail line would revitalize the neighborhood!" Three words: Cleveland Red Line. The Red Line route shares a lot of common characteristics with the various East Side/Cheektowaga Metro Rail corridors that have been proposed through the years.

Also, the corridor really isn't a good introduction to Buffalo for a visitor.

IMHO, the NFTA should have express bus service with frequent headways (15 minutes, maybe, to give the route a reputation as "convenient") between BUF and downtown, with upgraded buses (luggage racks, comfy seats, etc.). The route would use the Kensington Expressway inbound and outbound, with downtown stops along the Delaware Avenue hotel corridor, at Harborcenter, up to the Metropolitan Transportation Center bus station, and back out to the airport.
 
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New Amtrak station opens downtown, handling curtailed runs amid pandemic

https://buffalonews.com/news/local/...cle_d33d7dee-21f1-11eb-a049-afa725fae81c.html


Completion (and opening) of new Intermodal Transportation Hub
Very nice photography.

Video - Nov. 8, 2020:
"The Amtrak Maple Leaf Train makes its first stop at the new Amtrak Buffalo Exchange Street"

Video - Nov. 8, 2020:
"Walk through from platform through the new Amtrak Buffalo Exchange Street Station"
 

Doohickie

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New Amtrak station opens downtown, handling curtailed runs amid pandemic

https://buffalonews.com/news/local/...cle_d33d7dee-21f1-11eb-a049-afa725fae81c.html


Completion (and opening) of new Intermodal Transportation Hub
Very nice photography.

Video - Nov. 8, 2020:
"The Amtrak Maple Leaf Train makes its first stop at the new Amtrak Buffalo Exchange Street"

Video - Nov. 8, 2020:
"Walk through from platform through the new Amtrak Buffalo Exchange Street Station"
It's fine. Decent architecture (not great). But it's not the Central Terminal is it?
 
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