Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Exchange Street Station’

New Buffalo Amtrak Station Opens

November 10, 2020

A ceremony featuring state and local officials was held on Monday to mark the opening of a new Exchange Street Station in downtown Buffalo, New York. 

The station was built on the site of the former 66-year-old New York Central facility of the same name.

The new $29.8 million Amtrak station, though, is elevated, located closer to the street and is twice the size of the depot it replaced.

Amtrak passengers will be able to make connections to local bus and light-rail service.

The low-level platforms of the station were redesigned to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act standards. The station features a covered pedestrian plaza.

The project was overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The station is served by Amtrak’s Empire Corridor trains between New York and Niagara Falls, New York. The New York-Toronto Maple Leaf also stops at the station.

The Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited, however, does not use the tracks passing Exchange Street station.

Track Work to Disrupt Maple Leaf

July 11, 2020

Amtrak’s Maple Leaf will not operate from Niagara Falls to Buffalo-Exchange Street station between July 13 and 15 due to track work being performed by CSX.

On all three days Train No. 64 will originate at Buffalo Exchange.

Passengers holding previously issued tickets who are unable to be re-accommodated will be provided taxi service between Niagara Falls and Buffalo Exchange.

New York Trains to Detour Due to Track Work

June 12, 2020

Track work being performed in the Buffalo, New York, region will result in temporary schedule changes for Amtrak’s Empire Service and Maple Leaf.

On June 12 trains 281 and 283 will detour will detour between Niagara Falls and Buffalo-Depew, missing the station stop at Buffalo Exchange Street Station.

On June 13 through 19 Trains 64, 281, 283 and 284 will detour between Niagara Falls and Buffalo-Depew, missing the station stop at Buffalo Exchange.

No alternate transportation will be provided to Buffalo Exchange during the period of detours and trains may be delayed 10 to 15 minutes.

Buffalo Exchange Street Station Razed

August 27, 2019

Razing has begun of the Exchange Street Station in Buffalo, New York, to make way for a new facility.

The former New York Central depot is served by all Amtrak trains in Buffalo except the Lake Shore Limited.

Amtrak passengers have been using a temporary facility since Aug. 12. Exchange Street station opened in 1952.

Its replacement will cost $27.7 million and is expected to open in fall 2020.

Exchange Street is served by two Empire Service roundtrips between New York and Niagara Falls, and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

Temporary Facility Replaces Buffalo Exchange Street

July 5, 2019

Amtrak is using a temporary station in Buffalo, New York, during the work to replace Exchange Street station.

Plans are to raze the existing Exchange Street facility and replace it with a $25 million depot.

The demolition is expected to occur next month.

The new station will have high-level platforms as well as other modern amenities. It will also be built on the same level as Exchange Street, thus enabling passengers to walk directly from the street into the station and down onto the platforms.

The new station is expected to open in late 2020.

Exchange Street Station serves Amtrak’s Maple Leaf and a handful of Empire Service trains.

Contracts Awarded for New Buffalo Station

December 7, 2018

Construction of a new Amtrak station in downtown Buffalo, New York, is expected to start next year now that a contract has been awarded to design and build the new depot.

The New York State Department of Transportation awarded contacts to Foit-Albert Associates for architecture work while Hohl Industrial Services and Scrufari Construction will be the builders.

The new depot will replace the 66-year old Exchange Street Station, which will be razed.

During construction, Amtrak’s Empire Service trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf will continue to stop at the Exchange Street Station site.

Passengers will be served by a temporary facility during that time.

The new station, which will be twice the size of Exchange Street depot and is expected to be completed by fall 2020.

The cost of the new station is estimated at $27.7 million. About 38,000 passengers use the Exchange Street station annually.

NYDOT said the new station will be elevated and moved closer to the street to improve access and visibility.

It will be three stories tall and feature a brick exterior. The platform will be longer and better lighted than the existing facility.

Inside the station, the Terrazzo floor will feature an image of a Buffalo. A Taste NY kiosk will provide food and beverages.

The agency also said there will be better access to Buffalo’s light rail system and improved accommodations for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. It is also near popular destinations Canalside and KeyBank Center.

Buffalo is also served by an Amtrak-built facility in suburban Depew that hosts the same trains as Exchange Street as well as the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited.

NY Congressman Still Pushing to make Buffalo Central Terminal an Amtrak Station

April 17, 2018

A New York Congressman is not giving up his efforts to convert the vacant Buffalo Central Terminal into an Amtrak station.

Brian Higgins is continuing to push Amtrak to use the former New York Central depot despite the fact that the New York Department of Transportation plans to build a new Buffalo depot at the site of the current Exchange Street station.

That $25 million project is slated to get underway this fall.

“Almost 90 percent of respondents to the site selection committee . . . preferred the Central Terminal. So this is not a decision that’s widely supported by the public to site a new Amtrak station in downtown Buffalo,” Higgins said.

Higgins planned to attend an information open house being hosted by NYDOT to prod it into reconsidering Central Terminal.

“Keep in mind, that the downtown location for a brand new Amtrak station, you cannot access 65 percent of America,” he said.

Amtrak would continue to serve a station it built in suburban Depew, New York. The Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited would continue to stop at Depew along with Empire Service trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

The Lake Shore Limited is not expected to use the new Buffalo station because that would require a long back-up move.

Aside from its historic character, Higgins said renovating Central Terminal would enable Amtrak to close Depew station.

“There’s tremendous benefits with historic tax credits. A developer could save 30 percent or more of the entire project cost,” Higgins said. “With a tenant in there like Amtrak, the Central Terminal becomes that much more attractive for a private developer that wants to do mixed-use development including retail.”

Buffalo Train Station Makes Endangered List

October 18, 2017

Buffalo’s Central Terminal has made a list of dubious distinction. It has been added to the 2018 World Monuments Watch, a group of international cultural heritage sites facing “daunting threats.”

The former New York Central depot that was used by Amtrak between 1975 and 1979 and for a time in 1971, is No. 22 on the list.

Closed in 1979, the station has undergone some renovation in recent years. However, it was bypassed when Amtrak recently sought a site for a new Buffalo station.

Amtrak has two stations in the  Buffalo region. These include a small and antiquated station at Exchange Street in the city and a station in suburban Depew.

Amtrak to Skip Buffalo Exchange Street on July 23-24

July 21, 2017

Amtrak’s New York-Toronto Maple Leaf and New York-Niagara Falls Empire Service trains will not stop at Buffalo Exchange Street Station on July 23 and 24 due to track work being performed by CSX.

Alternative transportation will be provided between the Exchange Street station and Buffalo-Depew station.

Affected are Trains 63, 64, 281, 283, 284 and 288 on July 23, and trains Trains 63, 64, 280, 281, 283 and 284 on July 24.

Downtown Station Site Favored in Buffalo

April 24, 2017

The committee studying sites for a new Amtrak station in Buffalo, New York, has recommended building the station downtown rather than renovating Buffalo Central Terminal.

The exact site will be chosen by the New York Department of Transportation, although it is expected to be along Exchange Street.

The new station is expected to cost at least $35 million, of which the state is contributing $25 million.

Currently, Buffalo is served by two stations, one at Exchange Street and the other in suburban Depew.

Exchange Street serves all trains passing through Buffalo except the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited.

Eleven of the 17 members of the station site committee favored a downtown location while four voted against downtown. One member abstained.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz voted against the downtown recommendation because he opposed the “arbitrary timeline” given the committee to make a decision this month.

“Not all the issues were taken into account,” Poloncarz said. “The process was flawed but not rigged. And, no, this is not the death knell for the [Buffalo] Central Terminal.”

But Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown defended the timeline. “The governor clearly wants it to be a fast-track process, and I think the same kind of time constraints we had as a committee will be placed on the Department of Transportation,” said Brown, who voted for a downtown location.

A downtown location had been favored by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering consulting firm hired by the state.

Howard Zemsky, a Buffalo businessman and head of Empire State Development, the state’s development arm, voted for downtown.

“This is really a transportation decision first and foremost, and from that standpoint downtown is a clear winner,” he said.

Zemsky said it was not a case of either or in terms of development of the long-dormant Central Terminal.

The Amtrak representative on the committee favored a downtown location. CSX, which owns the tracks in the vicinity of Central Terminal, said it doesn’t want passenger trains at Central Terminal because that might interfere with a nearby freight yard.

Intercity bus companies also favored a downtown site because they fear that clearance issues could prevent them from serving Central Terminal.

Also working against Central Terminal was the estimated $68 million to $149 million cost of renovating the structure. A downtown location is estimated to cost between $33 million and $86 million.

The Buffalo congressman who had championed Central Terminal was disappointed at the committee’s decision.

“This is a generational opportunity lost, said Brian Higgins said. “Obviously, the Central Terminal was not going to win out in an apples-to-apples cost comparison. It’s the vision you have for the property and what you do with the opportunity.”

Higgins said the downtown location will preclude passengers being able to board there if they are bound for Cleveland or Chicago.

He noted that Amtrak opposes having the Lake Shore Limited backing up for more than a mile to serve downtown Buffalo.

Higgins vowed to work to funnel state and federal funding toward development of Central Terminal.

State Sen. Tim Kennedy supported the Central Terminal and believes that although it lost out in the vote to become an Amtrak station there remains hope that the iconic structure will have a new life.

“There has been more attention paid to the Central Terminal than probably in the last 50 years,” Kennedy said. “I think this is going to be at the end of the day a win-win because of the renewed focus on transforming the Central Terminal into a historic building we can all be proud of once again.”

In the meantime, Canadian developer Harry Stinson said he is close to closing on deal to acquire the 523,000-square-foot Central Terminal, which includes a 17-story tower, concourse building, baggage building and ample underground and street-level parking.

“We’re days away from the final version of the agreement,” Stinson said. “It will have to go through a process, but the agreement is essentially done. There is nothing we see as collectively insurmountable.”

Stinson wants to develop the tower into office space, use the concourse for entertainment, dining and special events and transform the baggage building into a hotel.

Eventually, he will develop new housing at the site, which is now considered a brownfield.