Return to the Grand Hamister and Niagara Falls

By Peter A. Reese

Last Sunday, my bride and I stopped by the bar at the Four Points Sheraton in LaSalle. We struck up a conversation with a nice young couple from Pennsylvania and got to reminiscing about our visit to the Grand Hamister last summer (See “Staying at the Grand Hamister Hotel,” September 1, 2015).These kids needed a ride to the Casino, so we decided to retrace our own romantic steps.

The Grand Hamister looks a lot different now, what with all sorts of holes, fencing  and weird- looking things sticking out of the ground.

reese-1

Clearly we couldn’t stay there, but Ellen decided she wanted to take the train to Canada rather than just go home. I recalled reading about the new “intermodal” train station out on Main Street so we revved up our electric car and took a ride out to begin our Canadian adventure.

The new Niagara Falls Station and Customs House Interpretive Center is spacious and beautiful, but as soon as we got there we sensed that something was wrong.

reese-2

We were the only ones there! We got the same feeling you get when you show up at a locked-up funeral home when you mess up and get there the day after the burial (seems that funeral homes aren’t open every day, like Binky’s Saloon, but only when they have a body to entertain). Just then the Amtrak Toronto Express pulled into view and we thought it might save the day. But Ellen couldn’t get into the locked station and the train didn’t stop anyway.

lonely-station

Ellen locked out , Amtrak passing by.

As we were leaving to take our disappointed tourist bucks back to Buffalo, I did notice one hopeful sign. It seems that there is a brand new, as yet not fully unwrapped, 1.21 Gigawatt charging station apparently standing ready for the next time Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown need a jolt to get them back to the future. Now that is farsighted intermodal thinking of the highest order.


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