New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, on November 8, announced that major construction has been completed on the new, state-of the-art transportation hub in downtown Buffalo. The Exchange Street Station, which was constructed on time and on budget, is twice the size of the city’s previous rail station and provides travelers with a convenient and intermodal gateway to Buffalo’s bustling downtown with easy connections to local bus and light rail service. The new station will promote economic activity and tourism for the entire Western New York region and further Buffalo’s continued resurgence by making it easier to visit the area’s many attractions.
Located near such popular destinations as Canalside and the Key Bank Arena, the new station was constructed on the same grounds as the previous, 66-year-old Amtrak Station, but was elevated and moved closer to the street to improve access and visibility. The structure was also designed to accommodate the future expansion of intercity bus service and additional train routes, creating a truly intermodal transit center for downtown Buffalo.
The new station was woven into Buffalo’s urban fabric, with improved connectivity to the city’s light rail system – via a new covered pedestrian plaza – and increased accommodation for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. With its larger size and modern design, it offers additional seating, more parking, a designated drop off and pickup area, and a redesigned platform to make it easier and safer for passengers to board and depart trains.
The new station has a capacity of more than 40 seats and the image of a Buffalo is featured at the center of its Terrazzo floor. The previous station’s low-level platform was replaced by a new, longer, train-level platform for easier boarding. It also features new lighting and a canopy.
A Taste NY kiosk will serve local food and beverages, encouraging visitors and New Yorkers alike to experience the quality and diversity of New York-made products while supporting local agricultural and food businesses. The kiosk will be open on October weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will add evening hours in November, from 6 to 9 p.m. Offerings will include snacks, fruit, hot and cold beverages, pastries, sandwiches, and more from New York State vendors, including coffee from McCullagh Coffee Roasters, Buffalo, NY; milk chocolate candy from Kelly’s Country Store, Grand Island, NY; and more. The current product list is available here.
Additional products will be added to the menu in the coming months.
Energy efficient and environmentally friendly materials were used in the new station’s construction and the facility is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The New York State Department of Transportation assumed control of the project to replace the train station after the City of Buffalo conducted a location study that resulted in the decision to use the existing station’s footprint for the new and improved facility. The state awarded a $27.7 million design-build contract for the construction of the new station in December of 2018 and work began shortly thereafter. The old station was demolished and a temporary station was erected to service passengers during the construction process.
The design-build project delivery method – where both the engineering design and the construction of a project are contracted by a single entity known as the design-builder – was employed to save time and reduce costs.
Built in 1952, the original Buffalo Station was an important stop along the Niagara Branch of the Empire Corridor, linking Buffalo, Niagara and Toronto. Approximately 38,000 passengers use the station annually.
-via Press Release