Most of the work happening through this year will be site preparation and design work. CSX, which owns the railway that carries Amtrak trains through Rochester, will remove unused signal poles by the end of the year, for example. According to a press release from the offices of Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Representative Louise Slaughter, removing the poles frees up room to build the new station.
State and federal officials, along with Amtrak and a group that represents train passengers, held a groundbreaking for the new station today. The state also released a new exterior rendering of the building.
Unlike the current station, which was built more than three decades ago as a temporary facility, the new, $29.8 million Rochester Intermodal Station will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. And the new stations will have two tracks, which officials say will help reduce delays, track congestion, and conflicts with freight trains. The station will also have a two-sided platform, which should ease passenger boarding, they say.
Officials also promise a better-looking station — one that draws on the design of the Claude Bragdon-designed station demolished in 1965 — and has better amenities for travelers. The new station will also include redesigned parking, sidewalks, and lighting, as well as bike lockers and racks. And the parking lot's design will allow for bus operators like Greyhound and Trailways to tie their services in with the station.
The project is funded in part by a $15 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. Slaughter, a longtime proponent of a new train station for Rochester, pushed for the funding. The federal government, by way of the State Department of Transportation, is putting up another $3.5 million. The state is covering the rest of the cost, save a $500,000 contribution by the City of Rochester for design.
The new Rochester Amtrak station is officially under construction. Officials say that that the station should be completed in 2017.