Group pushing for new downtown train station

Posted at 11:51 AM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 18:50:27-04

The Campaign for Greater Buffalo explained why it is pushing a plan for a new downtown train station during an afternoon press conference open to the public.  The group's idea is being promoted as a "Nexus" for the waterfront and the region.

Proposed plans call for the "Buffalo Nexus" to be located on Washington Street near lower Main Street and the Canal District.  

A press release from the Campaign for Greater Buffalo said the plan took over two years to develop and it will use the new train station as a focal point for recreating the ambiance and economic function of Buffalo's "Golden Triangle" that was the city's economic engine for 100 years.

Specifically, the station would use the existing elevated sections of the I-190 as a roof and would include a bus terminal.  It would also have connections for a ferry and people who bicycle or walk.

However, there is still a very strong push to have the new train station located in the old Central Terminal.  The Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC), with support of several lawmakers including Congressman Brian Higgins, believes choosing this historic location provides better access to trains and will allow for new development in Buffalo's historic Polonia District.

The Central Terminal is the site of a 2017 Dyngus Day celebration which is expected to draw big crowds.

Recent work done to the Terminal included $90,000 in cosmetic upgrades to the concourse that includes new light sconces.  A variety of electrical and structural upgrades were also completed by CTRC volunteers.

Advocates for the Central Terminal say it is the only location that allows direct access to westbound Amtrak trains to Chicago - arguing that the downtown location would have to back up trains onto the main line.

Governor Cuomo warned local officials that he wants a decision by April 26th on where a new train station should go, or Buffalo will have to pay $1 million dollars for a consultant that was hired by NYS.

A spokesperson for the City of Buffalo said the final announcement is expected to be made on Thursday.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly will have more tonight.