Public asked for input on new train station site

Mar 21, 2017

You have a chance to weigh in Tuesday evening and learn more about the proposed sites for a new train station in Buffalo.  The Governor's Train Station Site Selection Committee, led by Mayor Byron Brown, is set to host a hearing at 5 p.m. at the Buffalo Museum of Science. 

The leading sites are the Central Terminal, Canalside an area near the Buffalo News building downtown. There is some opposition to building in an undeveloped east side neighborhood.

Buffalo's Central Terminal.
Credit WBFO News file photo

However, Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins is in favor of the Central Terminal. WBFO asked Higgins on a scale of one to ten, what its chances are of selection.   

Canalside in downtown Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

“I think it is a seven, at least and we have a lot of work to do. The Governor has challenged and the Mayor has followed through. There will be a cost benefit analysis of each of the sites

The Central Terminal once was the destination of 200-passengers every day coming into Buffalo, but was shut down years ago and has remained dormant despite efforts to restore the building.

Inside the Central Terminal in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Higgins argues it would provide the best destinations for Amtrak service.

“The Central Terminal provides service to north and the eastern corridor and also the western corridor. The current Amtrak on Exchange Street and Canalside site does not provide access to points west,” responded Higgins. “If you got on the train at downtown Buffalo, Canalside or Exchange Street, you could not travel to Cleveland, you could not travel to Chicago, so why would Amtrak want to site a new station in an area which limit your service.”

Mayor Brown will be joined Tuesday night with lead facilitator Robert Shibley from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and representatives from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff,  the engineering consultant hired by the New York Department of Transportation. They will be there to hear comments, answer questions and explain the pros and cons of proposed sites. Everyone is welcome to provide input on replacing the current aging structure on Exchange Street.

Late Tuesday afternoon Mayor Brown told reporters he expects a final vote on a site in April and that a simple "majority vote" by the Governor's Train Station Site Selection Committee is all that is needed to select the new train location.