Construction of new Schenectady Amtrak station set for 2015

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – New tracks will be laid this spring for a new Amtrak station in Schenectady, and ground will be broken for the new $15 million station in 2015. It will replace the current station built in 1979 by the New York State Department of Transportation and Amtrak, following the restoration of passenger service to the community in October 1978 after an eight-year absence.

The Capital District Transportation Authority is finalizing station design, with state and Amtrak input. Amtrak will be putting the construction of the station out to bid this year. Construction should take about 18 months, with the new station opening in 2017.

Funding for the station includes a $4.2-million state grant awarded in 2010; a $5.9-million federal High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant via the state in 2011; and a $4.5-million Federal Transit Administration grant, also via the state.

Plans for the new station presently include a four-story, 80,000 square foot building, with a transportation-related museum, restaurant/retail shop, and public plaza. The stairs and elevators to the second-story platform would be replaced, and a weather-protected connecting corridor to State Street and Capital District Transportation Authority services will be added.

The city will design the station in a more “classic” style like the original Union Station. The stone and brick-faced Beaux-Arts Schenectady Union Station opened in 1908. The region’s passenger service began to decline in the 1950s, and by 1960 the station had deteriorated significantly. On Dec. 11, 1970, Penn Central sold the station to the city for $20,000, and it was demolished in January 1971 to make way for a parking lot.
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