Modern Rail Station Will Speed Travel, Ease Connections and Expand Passenger Amenities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter today announced the start of construction on the $29.8 million Rochester Intermodal Station. The new station will reduce regional delays by expanding track service at the station, increase functionality through a new and redesigned concourse, and enhance the overall passenger experience in the larger, modern station.
"This new, modern, and more efficient station will be a boost for the local economy and will improve both the travel experience for passengers, as well as the flow of commercial goods in and out of the Finger Lakes region,” Governor Cuomo said. “I thank Congresswoman Slaughter for forging a fruitful partnership with our colleagues in the public and private sectors to get the Rochester Station project underway."
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, “This new station has long been in the works, and breaking ground today is an exciting step to making it a reality. As a growing and thriving city, Rochester needs improved access and mobility. Governor Cuomo has always been focused on saving taxpayer money, and this project will do that while also creating jobs and boosting the economy. I thank Congresswoman Slaughter for securing this investment, as well as all our other partners for recognizing the importance of modernizing infrastructure across our state and in the Finger Lakes region.”
The design of the new Rochester Station is inspired by the aesthetics and architecture of the former Bragdon Station, built on the same site in 1914 and demolished in 1965. The new station will be larger and include passenger amenities such as retail space, as well as provide more comfortable and welcoming waiting and ticketing areas. High-resolution renderings of the Rochester Rail Station can be viewed HERE and HERE.
The new Rochester Station will include two new dedicated passenger tracks. Presently, only one track adjoins the station and passenger and freight trains share it, often having to slow or wait outside of the station area until the track is clear. Having two additional tracks will reduce delays, allowing two passenger trains traveling in opposite directions to stop at the new station and freight trains to pass when passenger trains are stopped at the station.
The new station also will have a two-sided, high-level passenger platform that will be accessed through a concourse from the station. It will greatly improve functionality, helping passengers to enter and exit trains more easily, reducing train delays. The project—including the new station, passenger concourse, platform and passenger information display systems—will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition, station parking and bicycle and pedestrian access at the Rochester Station will be improved. The parking layout will be redesigned, sidewalks and lighting will be added, as will bicycle amenities, such as lockers and bike racks. The configuration of the parking area will allow for commercial bus operations to be linked to the station in the future, and the new station will be enhanced by landscaping on the premises. Construction of the Rochester Station is expected to be completed by 2017.
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "Rochester is a vibrant community home to some of our nation's most iconic companies, best universities and remarkable tourist attractions – and for over 30 years we have been served by a deficient, 'temporary' train station. The 140,000-plus passengers that use this station every year deserve better and that's why I have been working with my partners from the U.S. Department of Transportation and New York State Department of Transportation to make today's groundbreaking a reality. The new train station will be inspired by the work of Rochester's very own Claude Bragdon, and will be built by local companies and local workers. College students arriving for the start of their freshman year and business travelers arriving for an important meeting will be greeted with a beautiful, state-of-the-art station that makes our community proud. But most importantly, this new train station will improve our ability to move people and goods efficiently, which will help our economy. Good jobs and new companies come to areas that invest in local infrastructure, and our efforts here will surely have a ripple effect that will support our local economy and improve the quality of life for our residents."
Congresswoman Slaughter partnered with the New York State Department of Transportation to hold stakeholder meetings to gain perspective about what was important to the community, and incorporated those features into the design. A raised platform will make the station accessible for travelers with physical disabilities and easy and convenient for families traveling with young children, while a special lighting system will benefit the hard-of-hearing community, including National Technical Institute for the Deaf students.
The Congresswoman's efforts were part of a successful collaboration between government leaders and railroad companies on Rochester Station. Funding for the project includes a $15 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration through the Transportation Generating Economic Recovery Program, which was secured by Congresswoman Slaughter. The State Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration supplied $3.5 million in funding for the preliminary engineering phase of the project. The City of Rochester is contributing $500,000 toward final design and construction. New York State rail funds make up the remainder of the project costs.
The new station is being designed and built under a best-value contract with a team led by The Pike Company, Inc., an experienced design-build firm based in Rochester. Under an agreement reached in 2012, Amtrak will continue to own, operate, and maintain the station on the site of the existing Amtrak station located on 320 Central Ave. in Rochester. Amtrak also will contribute to the new Passenger Information Display System at the new station. In addition, CSX Transportation, this summer completed preliminary site work in preparation for station construction to start. That work included relocating live signal wires to make room for construction of the new platform, concourse, and additional tracks. Later this year, CSX also will remove signal poles that are no longer in use, clearing additional space for station construction.
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, "The new state-of-the-art Rochester Station will be yet another step forward for our community as we seek to revitalize the downtown area and greatly improve the passenger rail experience for both residents and visitors. Today's groundbreaking would not have been possible without the support and leadership of Governor Cuomo and Congresswoman Slaughter. I am thankful to them and all of our community partners for their continued commitment to reenergizing Rochester."
State Senator and Senate Transportation Committee Chair Joe Robach said, "As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, I am pleased to see investments and improvements being made to the Rochester railroad station and infrastructure, thanks in large part to a collaboration between all levels of government. A new and improved railroad station will provide better service and amenities for area residents and visitors who use train service every year, and is a great investment in our community."
Assemblyman and Assembly Transportation Committee Chair David F. Gantt said, "Railroads are necessary for the efficient functioning of a modern economy. The construction of a new rail station demonstrates the commitment that our political leadership has in strengthening not only the Rochester community, but Western New York as a whole."
City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "The new rail station will improve rail service to Toronto, New York City, Albany and other major cities, for both passengers and freight. I'm glad a Rochester company was selected to lead the station design team. It is projects like this that show that our city is coming back, and our best days are ahead of us."
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, "Governor Cuomo and Congresswoman Slaughter know how important robust transportation is to mobility and economic growth. Thanks to their support and the partnership of the City of Rochester, Amtrak and CSX, this new station will enhance passenger rail service, improve transportation connections and help reinvigorate this downtown neighborhood."
Amtrak Senior Director of Major Projects, Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Investment Development Marilyn Jamison said, "It's an exciting time to be working with this great team. We appreciate the State of New York's leadership in prioritizing passenger rail investment and look forward to continued close collaboration on other Empire Corridor projects. Infrastructure improvements like this help speed trip times, minimize delays and deliver a more reliable passenger experience."
CSX Transportation Resident Vice President for State Government Maurice O'Connell said, "This is a model project which we will point to in the future as an example of how a public-private partnership can be effective in meeting a community's rail transportation needs while ensuring that safe and efficient freight rail service remains available to CSX's customers. CSX is happy to work with communities to develop solutions that benefit everyone involved."
Empire State Passenger Association President Bruce Becker said, "The Empire State Passengers Association enthusiastically welcomes the start of construction on the new Rochester Rail Passenger Station and we applaud the unwavering efforts of the many elected officials, government agencies and interested citizens who have worked to make it possible. Representing the rail users of our state, we are confident that the new station will, with its greatly improved accessibility, amenities and safety features, not only significantly enhance the overall passenger rail experience and increase Amtrak ridership, but also serve as a renewed travel gateway for the City of Rochester and the entire region."
The Pike Company President and COO Rufus Judson said, "The Pike Company is thrilled to be part of this exciting and important project for the Rochester community. We have a long history of delivering high quality construction services and we look forward to bringing our expertise to the project."
Lead by the Pike Company, the station designed-build team also includes: LaBella Associates of Rochester, Kisan Engineering, P.C., of Williamsville, Erie County, Moffat & Nichol Engineering, P.C. of Long Beach, California, Foundation Design of Rochester, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect of Buffalo, and Atlantic Testing Laboratories of Canton.
More information about the Rochester Rail Station is available HERE.
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