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John Bobinyec

Buffalo Exchange St.

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New York State is going ahead with a new Exchange Street station.

https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/nysdot-awards-277-million-contract-to-tear-down-existing-amtrak-station-build-transportation-hub/1641561332

This doesn't help the Lake Shore Limited (LSL) which doesn't stop there.  I was wondering what would prevent the LSL from doing a back-up move into Exchange St. the way the Silver Star is handled into and out of Tampa.

jb

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11 minutes ago, neroden said:

Track congestion would prevent it.

Agreed. There is a potential expensive way to work around the congestion/conflicting moves issue involving flyovers which would have happened in almost any other country. But will not happen in the US.

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2 hours ago, railiner said:

Sure wish they would restore the old Buffalo Central Terminal, instead....then no back up move necessary...

Agreed. Central Terminal is right on the mainline to CHI just before the switch and the route to BFX and NFL and the route to CHI.

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It might help the once a day LSL, but as far as the City of Buffalo, BFX/downtown/Harborcenter area makes more economic sense. Central Terminal might be able to be restored to beauty, but you'd have to spend lots of money on a project that in reality would be more about trying to spur redevelopment of an area, than about where train service makes the most sense.

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I think extending the LSL up to Exchange Street is unneccessary, considering it requires a back up move and would likely lengthen the schedule noticeably. It already serves Depew, which really is not far at all from Exchange, so I just don’t think it’s worth the trouble.

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My last run through there was for a NYSAHA meeting downtown. Empire Service to BFX small cab fare to hotel located in the business end of town.  Left on the LSL from Depew towards Chicago. easy because a colleague lives in Depew about 5 mins from the station and he dropped me on the way home (long boring wait). It isn't terribly far from downtown, but not that close either. Depew is pretty close to the airport, so it isn't off the beaten path either.

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Depew is too far from Exchange Street if you don't have a car.  Taxis are at least readily available.

 

The long-term solution has been known for a long time: extend NFTA Buffalo Metro Rail to the airport along a right-of-way *which they already own* which runs right past Buffalo Central Terminal.  Then move Amtrak's "out of town" station to Central Terminal where it meets that route.  But nobody's been willing or able to fund Metro Rail to the Airport.

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Buffalo could certainly do better with the light rail than its present form. 

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So how much time would an extension to BFX likely add to the schedule?

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1 hour ago, neroden said:

2 hours.  It is not practical with the current track layout.

Yeah, CSX would have conniption before allowing such with the current track layout.

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3 hours ago, neroden said:

2 hours.  It is not practical with the current track layout.

Yeah, that definitely seems like too much of an increase. I do think something that perhaps should be looked into, might be to fiddle with the Empire Service or Maple Leaf shedules to offer some kind of quick and easy transfer to/from the LSL, maybe even with through cars, as I do think direct service between TOR/NFL and CHI would have a big market.

Edited by cpotisch

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And where would they hold the thru cars?:huh: Both BFX and BUF are on the main line - with no sidings to store cars “for a few hours”!

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4 hours ago, cpotisch said:

Yeah, that definitely seems like too much of an increase. I do think something that perhaps should be looked into, might be to fiddle with the Empire Service or Maple Leaf shedules to offer some kind of quick and easy transfer to/from the LSL, maybe even with through cars, as I do think direct service between TOR/NFL and CHI would have a big market.

Really? Something that can be handled by taxi or Uber in a jiffy for the less than a dozen people involved? I don't think so.

You can already change at Depew for TOR/NFL to Chicago.

Proper Toronto to Chicago service should go through Michigan, like it used to.

Edited by jis

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Sorry, didn’t know the extent of the issues at Depew that would prohibit that.

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When you wait for the Lake at Depew,  you see a steady stream of freight traffic going by. Last time I was there it was summer, so the platform had a fair number of railfans watching them go by. When thinking about the market, keep in mind that TOR-NFL operates uniquely, it transitions to a VIA train.

Edited by PVD

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