Cuomo announces $15 million for new Schenectady train station

January 11, 2017 05:58 PM

SCHENECTADY -- The mayor of Schenectady calls the train station as it is now, an embarrassment that does not reflect all the positive growth and development in the city.

Right next to the station is the popular Katie O'Byrnes, where they welcomed news of funding for an improved train station.

"It's terrific for this place," said customer and Schenectady resident Jim Bailey.  "People come off the train and this is the first restaurant they see, so they can come in here, it's great."

Jim Bailey is also a member of the Empire State Passenger Rail Association.

"Right now, they're building the second track between Albany and Schenectady," he said.  "I would have preferred that they build a station first, but we're grateful for any improvement regardless of the sequence."

Governor Andrew Cuomo talked about the Schenectady train station in his State of the State address.

"1971, Schenectady tore down the old train terminal, which needed to be torn down.  But it was never replaced since 1971.  We're going to invest $15 million to build a new Schenectady train station," he said, to applause.  "It is going to be state-of-the-art, latest in security and safety measures, plus world-class passenger amenities.  It'll be a rail hub for the 21st century."

This is a project that has been in the works for a while.  Mayor Gary McCarthy says he believes that what the governor announced is additional money for the project, to close the gap to make the project work, instead of trying to modify its scope.

He says the plans for the next phase involve the elevated platform and the station building.

"With the casino coming, there should be a lot of traffic," said Bailey.

Rivers Casino is expected to open next month.

The mayor thinks a new and improved train station will reflect the rebirth that's happening in Schenectady and add value to the region as a whole.

Schenectady resident Jim Bailey agrees that a new train station is important for economic development.

"The more people walk around, get off the train, everybody benefits."

The mayor is hoping the next phase of work will begin in the spring and that the new station will be completed next year.

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Kumi Tucker

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