By Ronn Chesmonde, Ruse Train Beat Correspondent
As talk increases about the prospect of a new train station in the City Buffalo, a split among local elected leaders is forming. On one side, a unanimous Common Council, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, and Congressman Brian Higgins advocate for the restoration of the Central Terminal, an unused national landmark. On the other side, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Byron Brown are pushing for a new train station at Canalside.
In recent comments to the Ruse Editorial Board, Mayor Brown conceded there are attractions to the Central Terminal, such as its internationally renowned architecture, the multimodal transportation opportunities it offers, its actual connection to necessary rail lines, and the fact that it is a train station.
However, Mr. Brown countered, “That said, Canalside has its own advantages. For starters, ice bikes. And there are other attractions. Consider: the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have performed there. Can you say the same about the Central Terminal?” Such attractions, according to the Mayor, make Canalside a clear “no-brainer.”
And, while public opinion and virtually all interested civic organizations and nonprofits seem to be heavily in favor of restoring service to the Central Terminal, sources close to Mayor Brown pointed out that several local rich people, including the Pegulas, support a Canalside investment.
To help leaders grapple with the choice, a committee of experts, convened to study whether to put a train station at a train station or at a seasonal ice rink, is expected to release its decision in April.