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You asked, we answered: Why spend $20M on a downtown train station?

Almost a year after the Buffalo Train Station Selection Committee decided a new Buffalo train station should be located downtown, plans for the proposed $20 million, three-story project were revealed.

The proposed station would be almost three times larger than the current one on Exchange Street, Mark Sommer reported. You can get a sneak peak at what the new Buffalo train station could look like with these renderings.

Readers still have questions about the project, so we reached out to Sommer, who has been following the train station developments for the past few years.

Question from Rich Andres, James Davide and Maryanne Jackson: Why not put the money into the giant train station Buffalo already has rather than build a new one? Didn't the old train station just need repair?

Sommer: By giant train station, you're talking about the Central Terminal, which appeared to be the most popular and sentimental choice among the public during the committee's public meetings. But the committee concluded the 1929 art deco marvel was an impractical choice mainly because of location, transportation access and cost. The current station on Exchange Street is in poor condition and has long been considered too small and dingy for a city Buffalo's size. Every other train station from Albany to Niagara Falls was built after the 1990s.

Question from Jim Kemp: Why not get rid of a downtown train station altogether? Depew station handles all the traffic nicely.

Sommer: Buffalo has always had a train station in the city. Depew is far for most Buffalo residents and is almost unreachable for city residents who don't have cars.

Question from Nick Caputi: Who designed this? 

Sommer: The firm Sowinski Sullivan Architects of New Jersey, which has designed railroad stations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Question from Mark Popple: Why does the project cost $20 million? 

Sommer: Construction is estimated at $20 million with another $4 million in engineering costs and $1 million to pay for the study, for a total of $25 million.

Question from Margaret J. Orrange and Michael DeWald: How much will parking be at the new train station? Currently, you must park in a ramp and carry luggage quite a distance. There is no long-term parking at the current site. Is there any long-term parking on site?

Sommer: Parking is free now, and Amtrak has not indicated it plans to charge. Parking at the Depew station is also free. Regarding long-term parking, I’m assuming it’ll be like now. It’s available, but there’s no after-hours security.

Plans unveiled for new downtown Buffalo train station

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