Metro Rail stations and tracks to get upgraded

Local News

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) As it approaches its 34th birthday, Buffalo’s Metro Rail line is really beginning to show its age.

“Light rail track in some areas has rusted beyond repair, while concrete track bed has crumbled. Surface rail is cracked and interior panels are peeling and rusting,” according to New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, who is now chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, who managed to secure a commitment from Governor Cuomo for $100 million over the next five years to replace the tracks, train controls, panels and video surveillance in the Metro rail stations.

The escalators are already being replaced at the LaSalle Station. By the end of this year, the LaSalle Station will have new escalators, new lighting, and eventually work will begin on a new ventilation system, all in an effort to improve the rider experience.

Robin Tashjin is a regular bus and rail rider who believes the riders will notice the changes. “Absolutely. In the escalator functioning alone, it makes a huge difference in being able to make a connection from the train to a bus and the ability to get from one level to the next with ease.” 

“The growth of our city can’t just be about new housing development. It can’t just be about new streets and sidewalks. It also has to be about new public transportation,” said Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the majority leader of the New York State Assembly. 

The upgrades will take place in all of the existing Metro Rail stations over the next five years as a way to strengthen all of the links of a chain that may eventually be expanded out to the University at Buffalo’s Amherst campus.

The state is providing $6 million dollars now for preliminary design work on the Amherst extension which would take almost ten years to complete, at a cost of over a billion dollars, according to Kim Minkel, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transporation Authority. “This will provide further connectivity that is vital for the redevelopment of the City of Buffalo and all of Western New York.”

The work is tentatively planned as follows:

Metro Rail Capital Projects

2019-2020

2021-2022

2023-2024

Track Replacement

Track Replacement

Track Replacement

Train Control System Replacement

Catenary & Insulator Replacement

Catenary & Insulator Replacement

Escalator Replacement

Station Panel Liner Replacement

Station Panel Liner Replacement

Catenary & Insulator Replacement

Station Ventilation Replacement

Station Electrical Rehabilitation

Station Panel Liner Replacement

Public Address System Replacement

Additional Above Ground Crossover

2020-2021

2022-2023

 

Track Replacement

Track Replacement

 

Escalator Replacement

Catenary & Insulator Replacement

 

Catenary & Insulator Replacement

Station Panel Liner Replacement

 

Station Panel Liner Replacement

Station Electrical Rehabilitation

 

Video Surveillance Upgrade

Station Ventilation Replacement

 

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