Democrat & Chronical via California Rail News
It was only supposed to be a temporary solution. Thirty-seven years after the Rochester train station was built, construction is now near completion for a new hub for Amtrak and CSX and an enhanced traveling experience for passengers.
Together with area business owners, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, led a tour of the new train station that’s slated to be completed in a few weeks. She helped secure a $15 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to help fund the expansion.
The remodel was much needed to help grow businesses and to serve the entire community, Slaughter said.
“Our community is blessed to be close to so many major cities and this new state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant station will help move goods and people where they need to go and encourage new companies to open their doors right here in Monroe County,” Slaughter said.
The project will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once completed, it will feature 12,000 square feet of space, including a passenger concourse, platform and passenger display systems. The station will offer full access to the platform by elevators, escalators, stairs and ramps. Currently, passengers must climb up steps to board the train and passengers with disabilities need to use a lift.
Infrastructure is critical to the success of area businesses and trains are as important as other modes of transportation, Slaughter said. Many passengers prefer to take the train versus flying so they can relax and stretch out on the ride, she said.
Irondequoit resident Marlene Canavan agrees. She was waiting for her daughter, Darla, to arrive from New York City at the train station. Her daughter switches between flying and taking the train and sometimes prefers the train because it is time consuming to go through airport security. Canavan is eager to see the upgrades to the Rochester train station.
Accessibility to Rochester is important for visitors coming to the area, said Naomi Silver, president and CEO of Rochester Red Wings minor league baseball team.
Having a good infrastructure for different transportation is important for businesses in the area, said John Hart, CEO of Lumetrics in Henrietta. The infrastructure helps bring customers in, he said.