We periodically do a feature on the Niagara Falls International Railway Station and Intermodal Transportation Center because some folks still think it’s an asset to the city.
Problem is, the old train station served the city perfectly well. There was no need to build a $44 million replacement for that very serviceable facility, through which an average of less than a hundred passengers passed each day.
$44 million is approximately half of the budget of the city of Niagara Falls.
According to their guidelines, all that Amtrak would require for a train station here is a simple shelter. Instead, the city got a palace for which we are on the hook for heating and maintenance in perpetuity. Mayor Dyster’s budget line for the train station for 2017 was $380,486, with an anticipated payment of $173,000 being Amtrak’s share.
Wendel Companies, which was the major contractor for the Niagara Falls Train Station, made millions off the project.
Train ridership has steadily decreased over the years, and with the advent of electric, driverless cars, someday in the not-too-distant future, this facility will probably be converted into a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, something that, alas, is always in demand here.