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City Hallways (April 3) Who will take the train from Buffalo?

The Depew question

My 6:45 p.m. flight into New York City was delayed until 11:30 p.m. Friday, so I instead re-booked on an early Saturday morning flight — that I learned four hours before the scheduled take-off was being cancelled.

So I decided to take the train.

I don’t typically share my personal travels on City Hallways, but given all the interest lately in train stations, I thought I’d make an exception.

I booked the 4:30 a.m. train leaving out of Exchange Street. That’s the stop where the roof of the small station house collapsed, precipitating the ongoing debate over where to put a new train station.

The Amtrak Station on Exchange Street in Buffalo. (Derek Gee/News file photo)

Only two of us got on at the Exchange Street station.

Next stop was Depew. I counted 14 passengers getting on there, including a South Buffalo native returning to her new home in Florida after visiting her grown kids back in Buffalo and a Lancaster man heading down to New York City.

We started talking trains.

Why did you leave from the Depew Station instead of Exchange Street? I asked the South Buffalo native.

The answer: The Exchange Street station house isn’t open, so there’s no place to wait. (It's open from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays only, so it wasn't open for the 4:30 a.m. train Saturday)

Also, the Exchange Street station is in a bad neighborhood, the woman said, although she acknowledged she hasn’t been downtown in awhile.

She didn’t seem familiar with the ongoing train station debate, but the Lancaster man was.

Where should they put the new station, I asked: Downtown or at the Central Terminal?

Central Terminal, he said.

What if it costs a lot more to build it there? I asked.

Still the Central Terminal, he said.

The politicians waste money on so many things, let them spend it on something that will help that neighborhood, he said.

So you would rather take the train from Central Terminal than from downtown? I asked him.

He wouldn't leave from either, he said. He'll still take the train from Depew.

They haven't been talking about closing the Depew station, he said, adding that they wouldn't do that because the building already there.

Mayor's race, social media edition.

Seems like was a busy weekend for the city's mayoral candidates.

Facebook posts document incumbent Mayor Byron Brown stopping everywhere from a Japanese Gardens fundraiser to a Women's Conference on Ellicott Street and the 20th anniversary of a lighting store on Hertel Avenue.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Mark Schroeder, who is challenging Brown in the Democratic primary, posted this: "It's been such a busy weekend that I just realized we reached over 3,000 likes on Facebook! Thanks for the support!"

Today's calendar items

  • Council caucus this afternoon to get ready for tomorrow's meeting

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