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The new design for the Schenectady train station

Schenectady train station design rendering

That image above is a rendering of the new train station planned for Schenectady. There are a few more renderings after the jump if you're curious.

Andrew Cuomo made a stop in the city Tuesday afternoon to reveal the design for the $23 million station. It's the second go-around for the project. You might remember that the first attempt -- announced in 2015 -- ended up having to be re-bid after the the only bidder quoted a price $10 million higher than the amount budgeted. The old station was closed last month. [Cuomo admin] [DSIC] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

This new design looks like it might be more aesthetically attractive than the first one. It's scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

The Schenectady train station had just under 55,000 Amtrak passenger arrival and departures last year (compared to more than 842,000 at Albany-Rensselaer). But the station site is a good one, located right in downtown Schenectady. It'll be interesting to see if a new station -- and the track upgrades between Albany and Schenectady, aimed at reducing delays -- will prompt those ridership numbers to rise.


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Quick math:
55k passengers/year, lets say 50 year station life span - for a total of 2.7 million passengers.
That i $8.5 per one-way passneger, or $17 per round-trip.
One way ride to Buffalo is $51, or $43 to NYC. Oh, and both NYC and Buffalo also need new stations...
I don't know if I should rant about NYS taxes, or about Amtrak losses - but things don't add up...

Of course, one of the reasons why there are so few passengers at the Schenectady station is because of the single-rail bottleneck that prompts most people who would use Schenectady to travel to Rensselaer instead. Which is finally being remedied.

Rail travel is only going to become more important, and investing in a long-term structure like the new station makes a ton of sense, especially when it's tied to the significant infrastructure already downtown.

Justin, I am not sure bottleneck is the only reason.
On a weekday there are 6 trains going from Schenectady to NYC (2 before noon) vs 13 from Albany (6 before noon).
At least one of those 6 trains (Lakeshore Limited from Chicago) has a scheduled 1 hour stop in Albany. Besides, trains from Buffalo are routinely late, and I would prefer to use one of trains originating from Albany just for a chance of being less late.
With no room for train parking, Schenectady is limited to trains going beyond Albany for Amtrak. Local service... I am not holding my breath.
So I don't expect surge in ridership...

Unfortunately, little is being said to address the needs for those who live in the Capital Region to be able to utilize the new station. It's well known that a daytrip to NYC by rail from either Saratoga or Schenectady is virtually impossible, unless you like the idea of just going down to the City for a cup of coffee and hopping the mid-afternoon train back. Your only real choice for rail travel there will either involve staying overnight, at a considerable cost, or driving to Rensselaer. Until we get the early and late trains back, as we used to have, there's no really good alternative for a daytrip to NYC, from Schenectady at least.

Don't tell me about your long distance trains that pass through here, either. I won't make the mistake of taking the Lake Shore Limiited to Schenectady ever again. I could probably have walked home faster.

Come on Amtrak. Saratoga and Schenectady need you to expand your Empire Service trains beyond Rensselaer, and add food to the amenities onboard as well. Even one train a day each way would be of immense benefit. Am I the only one who would do a daytrip to the City from here? I doubt it.

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