Lease agreement delays train service to new Amtrak Station

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 27, 2016

Niagara Falls City Leaders are in negotiations with Amtrak over the lease agreement for the new train station on Depot Avenue.

This comes just days before the city is set to host an opening house for the station during Niagara Falls Amtrak Station Community Day, on Saturday. Niagara Falls Acting Director for Planning and Economic Development, Thomas Desantis was hoping a deal would be reached by now.

“Trains run whether there is a station open or not and we just want to get that station open,” Desantis said.

The lease agreement for Amtrak to use the state of the art building would be for at least 20 years.

“Obviously the building was built purposely for railway station and Amtrak is eager to occupy that station and then their revenue service for that location verses the current location,” Desantis said.

Amtrak released this statement about the negotiation stage.

“Amtrak continues to work cooperatively with the City of Niagara Falls and New York State Department of Transportation to occupy the new station facility upon its competition. We value our long-standing partnership with NYSDOT and stand committed to providing the mobility, connectivity and economic benefits afforded by intercity passenger rail to the Niagara Falls Community.”

The Niagara Falls Train Station Project was a $43 million investment. The first floor will be the home of the Underground Railroad Museum. The current Amtrak Station is located in the industrial district, near Lockport Road. Once train services start at the new station, Amtrak will use the current station as a place to service their trains.

Desantis said it could be days or even weeks before an agreement is reached between Amtrak and city leaders. Then it will take a couple of weeks for Amtrak to get set up in the building.