LOCKPORT – The city will spend $15,000 to $25,000 to erect a new platform for the Medina Railroad Museum’s excursion trains, Mayor Michael W. Tucker told the Common Council on Wednesday.
The city will use revenue from its “bed tax” on hotel and motel bills for the project, Tucker said. Work will begin soon, with the hope the platform will be available by Oct. 5.
The Railroad Museum runs numerous excursion trains between Medina and Lockport, mostly on weekends. For the past several years, the Lockport terminus has been in a rather unattractive freight yard off Michigan Street in the city’s west end.
The new location will be on city-owned property next to a railroad trestle on Gooding Street, adjacent to the headquarters of the Lockport Cave underground boat ride, Tucker said. It’s also near the site of the giant 19th century factory and warehouse that was destroyed in a huge fire July 30.
Tucker said he expected that Lockport Cave, Lake Effect Ice Cream, the Flight of Five Winery and Sweet Ride Rentals, all within easy walking distance, could benefit from the new platform, which will deposit as many as 100 riders per trip in downtown Lockport.
“We probably should look at putting in a real parking lot next year,” Tucker said. Parking this fall will be on the street or in a field.
James Dickinson, president of the Medina Railroad Museum, could not be reached to comment on Wednesday.
The targeted opening date, Oct. 5, is the last day for the railroad’s Niagara Wine Trail tour, according to the museum’s website.
The site also announced that fall foliage trains will board at the Gooding Street platform at 1:45 p.m. on Oct. 6, 12 and 13. The $22 round trip includes a tour of the museum in Medina, and will return to Lockport by 5 p.m.
The foliage trains also will depart Medina for Lockport at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 16, 20 and 23. A 10 a.m. trip on Oct. 9 will offer a one-hour layover in Lockport, the website said.
The railroad will offer Halloween-themed rides on Oct. 19, 25 and 26.
Also Wednesday, Tucker said demolition of the fire-ravaged 19th century building, last known as Kohl’s Cycle Sales, is complete, and a smaller building at the rear of the property is partially demolished.
He said three truckloads of stone have been saved for reuse in constructing the planned Fallen Heroes Memorial in Outwater Park.