Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
NOV 18- NOV 26, 2014

Will New Train Station Bring Same Old Results?

November 18, 2014

Sure the new $45 million train station (above) looks nicer than the old one (below). Will more people come by train to Niagara Falls because of it?


For several years the Niagara Falls Reporter has criticized the Niagara Falls Inter-modal Transportation Center more commonly known as the new train station project on Whirlpool St.

We have opposed it for a number of reasons, ranging from its $45 million cost to build, to its yet-to-be-calculated maintenance and operational expenses. Even its presumptuous name, “Niagara Falls Inter-modal Transportation Center.” raises serious concerns among our Editorial and News personnel.


While it may house a train travel operation and it may accept busses for pick up and drop off, the Center won’t service air traffic, which is how anyone who doesn’t fall into the automobile-drive-in market prefers to get around during these post-covered wagon days.

We accept that, the current train station facility on Lockport Road is in a poor location, lacking amenities and off the main drag.

But does that matter?

Will the sporadic, casual train travelers who frequent the train station even notice the difference between the old station on Lockport Road and the new train station your public dollars are building on Whirlpool Street?

The new train station draws from Federal, State and City funds to the tune of $45 million. The City portion of that total is expected to approach $10 million by the time the Inter-modal Transportation Center opens its doors.

Is there any reason to believe that this new facility - no matter how impressive its physical appearance - will attract so much as one additional train rider than the bare bones facility attracts today?

The present destination train ridership into Niagara Falls, New York remains at about nine persons per day. (About 30 per day pass through from other locations.)

It is difficult to interpret how a new station automatically translates into increased riders. Will new train riding patrons, as in thousands more, choose to travel into our area simply because our new train station has been completed?

Will it be a pretty, empty train station? Or just a pretty empty train station?

Or will it now be filled with riders since the station looks so nice?

No matter what major tourist destination you visit, one would be hard-pressed to find, visitors who have been drawn there because of the ‘majesty’ of its train station. Why should Niagara Falls, NY be different?

Seriously, how many people travel by train because of the condition and design of the train station at their destination? People choose their mode of travel based on the mode of travel, its comfort and practical, expedient access to their destination.

Do people choose to fly because the airport is nice?

Does anybody choose to go by train to New York City just so they can see Grand Central Station, one of the most unique train station complexes in the world?

Perhaps a few might, but not many.

Our present train station, modest though it may be, almost always remains empty.

And, if the small train station is empty, what evidence is there to believe a larger one would be filled?

The inter-modal transportation center has already cost City taxpayers millions of dollars. That number is sure to skyrocket as the complex is completed, with operation and maintenance costs ultimately adding to the bottom line.

The rendering of the new (pictured empty) train station (above) shows it will be pretty, and large, and costly to heat and maintain, with its high ceilings and wasted space. Like the old train station (below) , which is small and cozy, the new one will probably have very few riders.


To date, the Administration of Mayor Paul Dyster has stated it does not know what it will cost to operate and maintain this facility. They are leaving this number up to chance, calculating this cost figure after the ribbon has been cut and the passengers have appeared.

If the courthouse costs the City, according to 2013 figures, $500,000 per year to maintain, the train station, at roughly 40 percent of the size, might cost $200,000 annually. But, it may be more, since some costs are constant and are not tied directly to square footage of the two buildings.

At the end of the day, unless you believe that people will start coming to Niagara Falls by train because the station is attractive, expect the same number of riders per day in a grossly expensive, hugely over-sized building as we had in our old train station.

Nine people a day in such a big and costly building?

Are we being negative?

No, simply realistic.

Only time will tell if we would have been better just providing some updates to a vastly under-used existing train station.

Fixing it up, painting it, paving the parking lot.

Sadly, our City, with no guarantee of increased train traffic, might well have been handed another chapter in a 40- year long list of ’municipal if-comes’.

While the new, giant, train station rendering shows 10 people in it, the sad fact is that train travel has become obsolete for most Americans. Unless the fact of a pretty train station is enough to make people decide to travel by train, the old station (below) with its almost always empty ticket counter, was more than sufficient to accommodate the few train travelers coming to and departing from Niagara Falls. None of this would matter, perhaps, except that you, the taxpayer, will be paying the maintenance on the new train station that supply and demand did not create.


At the old train station the hours are posted on a shelf above a garbage can for the scant few people who need to know.






Police Work in the 'Most Dangerous' City
Pescrillo’s Chilton Ave. Warehouse For Sex Offenders Now Strictly a Money Maker
Will New Train Station Bring Same Old Results?
Hamister May Finally Be Ready To Deliver on Falls Hotel
Is a City-Owned Animal Shelter a Wise Choice? Will Likely Cost Far More Than SPCA Services
Reporter Calls on State Park to Restore Public Access to All of Three Sisters Islands
Dyster’s Budget Actually Increases Deficit Council Should Call for Expert Help
City Budget: Facts Shows Spending is the Problem
Mission Opens Thanksgiving Dinner Hotline For Needy
As ISIS Spills Blood, U. S. Political Warfare Continues
American Education Week, Celebrated, Appreciated in Niagara Falls
Need Help Getting the Right Health Insurance? Memorial Will Help People Meet Health Insurance ‘Navigators’
This Week in Stupid Crime
Letters to the Editor
Niagara Catholic Needs Host Families for Three Students in January
Girl Scouts to Host Information Sessions in December Parents and girls can learn about Girl Scouts and how to join
“Christmas Memories” Show Coming to N. Tonawanda
Niagara's Choice FCU supports Child Advocacy Center of Niagara
Red Cross Needs Holiday Donors
'I Doubled my Business Through the Reporter' Lou Avino Isn’t all About Gutters 40-year Falls Legend Keeping On
Audubon Society Hosts Free Tour ‘Gulls of the Niagara River Gorge’ At Artpark Saturday Morning
A-Hunting We Will Go, Regular Firearms Hunting Season for Deer and Bear has Begun

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina