Project to be Bid in January, Construction Set to Start in Spring
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll today announced plans for the new Schenectady Train Station, which will be a modern, fully accessible transportation hub connecting travelers to New York City, Niagara Falls and destinations between and beyond. Station construction is scheduled to get under way in the spring.
“The new Schenectady rail station is one more way Governor Cuomo is leveraging smart investments in transportation to support business, tourism and local economies across New York,” Commissioner Driscoll said. “A new train station in downtown Schenectady will help further the city’s resurgence and support local revitalization efforts.”
NYSDOT today issued a pre-bid notice containing important contract details for perspective project contractors. Bidding details, including project plans and specifications, will be available in December. Bid proposals will be due in January.
Station construction is expected to start next spring as the new second rail track between Albany and Schenectady is being placed. The double track will help minimize train delays between the two cities, enhancing service all along Amtrak’s Empire Corridor. Station construction is expected to be completed in early 2018.
The design of the new Schenectady Station is inspired by the aesthetics and architecture of the former Union Station, built on the same site in 1910. The new station, which will be owned by Amtrak, will be slightly larger than the existing station, which was built in the 1970s. The new station will provide comfortable waiting and ticketing areas, as well as greatly improved accessibility for people with disabilities.
The station will feature a new platform and rehabilitated concourse access to the platform, including a new elevator. It will enhance safety by providing a secondary ramp egress from the platform for emergency use.
Parking and bicycle and pedestrian access at the Schenectady Train Station also will be improved. The parking layout will be redesigned and sidewalks, lighting and bike racks will be added. Landscaping will enhance the facility.
During construction, Amtrak passenger operations will temporarily move to the nearby Liberty Street Parking Lot. The existing station will be torn down, making way for the new facility. Amtrak will continue to own, operate, and maintain the new station on the site of the existing Amtrak station, located on 332 Erie Boulevard. Amtrak also will contribute to the new passenger information display system at the new station.
NYSDOT worked closely with the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) to build on their preliminary station design and oversee final design. NYSDOT was instrumental in reaching agreement with project stakeholders — including the City of Schenectady, CDTA, Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, and Amtrak — for Amtrak to continue to own and operate the new station and the project to include pedestrian enhancements to the Metroplex-owned lot on which the station is located.
Senator Hugh T. Farley said, “This new station is a much-needed upgrade that will provide a more attractive, more functional and more accessible facility. It will be an asset to the community and will continue the revitalization of downtown Schenectady. The new station, in conjunction with the installation of a second track between Schenectady and Albany, will help sustain and improve the option of rail travel for area residents and visitors.”
Senator George Amedore said, “Improving our infrastructure and transportation options are so important to the vitality of the region. I’m glad to see the Schenectady train station getting much-needed upgrades that will modernize the facility, improve access for the disabled, and create a better overall experience for passengers. This is a great investment that will benefit not only the City of Schenectady, but the entire region.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “This additional investment is another significant step in our on-going efforts to revitalize our great city. An enhanced gateway with 21st century improvements will make transportation safer and more accessible for all our residents and visitors, some that may be seeing our new downtown area for the first time.”
Assemblyman Phil Steck said, “I am a huge proponent of improved rail service in Upstate New York. We need to improve the tracks so we have a functional rail system running from Albany to Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Plattsburgh. This is critical to modernize our State and spur economic growth. The new train tracks from Albany to Schenectady and the new rail station in Schenectady are an important first step forward in that effort.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary R. McCarthy said, “The new Schenectady station will be a fantastic addition to downtown. Replacing the current station is something that my administration has worked on since day one, and we are pleased to see this project moving down the tracks with the issuance of bid documents. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in getting this new station built in our downtown and we appreciate the strong partnership between the City, Metroplex and the State DOT, who have all been working closely together to make this project a reality for Schenectady.”
Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority Chair Ray Gillen said, “Metroplex is pleased to see the Schenectady station move forward into the construction phase. This is great news for downtown and for the entire community. We appreciate the strong support and leadership of Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Driscoll and the high speed rail team at NYSDOT for their efforts to get a new station built in downtown Schenectady. The new station features a great design in a downtown location with parking that is easily accessible for Capital Region residents.”
Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, “The new Schenectady station is a welcome addition to our community. We thank Governor Cuomo and his team at State DOT for working with Amtrak and our County economic development staff to move this project forward so that bids can go out and construction can begin. This is fantastic news for Schenectady County.”
Amtrak has been extensively involved in the design of the station building and will be involved in the construction staging and sequencing process once construction begins.
“Amtrak appreciates the partnership of the New York State Department of Transportation and looks forward to successful collaboration on this exciting project,” Marilyn Jamison, Amtrak Director of Business Development, said. “Time and again we have seen that investment in passenger rail infrastructure helps deliver safer, more reliable service that connects our passengers and stimulates economic activity in communities all across the country.”
New York State competed for and won several grants from the Federal Railroad Administration to make considerable improvements to the Empire Corridor, including the construction of a new Schenectady station. The State and the Federal Railroad Administration are investing more than $200 million for projects on the Hudson Line Section of the Empire Corridor between Schenectady and Poughkeepsie, ultimately improving the passenger experience, enhancing reliability and reducing train delays.
“Representing rail travelers of New York, the Empire State Passengers Association applauds Governor Cuomo’s leadership in advancing the new Schenectady Rail Station to the construction phase,” association President Bruce Becker said. “This new, modern, station will greatly enhance the travel experience for the tens of thousands of Amtrak riders who travel from across the state and nation to Schenectady each year. In addition, this conveniently located transportation hub will significantly contribute to the ongoing renaissance of downtown Schenectady.”