Putting a new train station in downtown Buffalo would be more cost-effective, according to consultants hired by the New York State Department of Transportation.
During a public meeting Tuesday night, consultants from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff presented the pros and cons of a train station at the Central Terminal and a train station downtown.
Their study found that putting a train station at the Central Terminal would cost between $68.6 million and $149.4 million, depending on the scale of the rebuild. The cost of putting a train station downtown at the existing Exchange Street location, the Michigan Avenue station, or Canalside would be between $34.2 million and $86.2 million.
Right now, there is only $25 million in state money set aside for this project. Both Mayor Byron Brown and the Congressman Brian Higgins are paying close to President Donald Trump's budget proposal. It could effect whether or not a Buffalo train station would receive federal money.
Listed below are the opportunities and challenges outlined during the public meeting.
- Platform and station components would be placed on Amtrak owned land
- Minimal impact to Amtrak services during construction
- Offers highly visible station location
- Tracks, switches, signals formerly servicing Central Terminal have been removed
- Concourse connection between Central Terminal and platforms has been removed
- Impacts to freight rail service during construction
- Requires landowner commitments and joint development partner
- Existing passenger concourse and platforms are not ADA compliant and will require removal/replacement/modifications
Downtown (existing Exchange Street Station Location, station at Michigan Ave, or Canalside)
- Makes use of existing track infrastructure, minimal operational impacts to freight rail operations
- Close to downtown locations, Metro Rail station
- Existing rail may require modifications,
- Need for temporary station or station closure as well as train diversions needed during construction
- Potential lack of free parking
- May require installation of tunnel ventilation
If you want to give a comment to the committee you can email them at the bottom of this link.