Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the $23 million Schenectady Train Station—two weeks ahead of schedule. The new, fully accessible, modern rail station connects travelers to New York City, Niagara Falls and other highly sought-after destinations. Inspired by the architecture and aesthetic of the former 1910 Union Station, which was located on the same site, the new train station is passenger friendly and highlights Schenectady’s history.
“Schenectady is in the midst of a renaissance and is home to an increasing number of popular destinations, and it is critical that transportation to and from the area is convenient, affordable, and reliable,” Governor Cuomo said. “The new Schenectady Train Station is a smart investment for the Capital Region, and with modern amenities and historic touches, it will drive tourism and further support the Electric City’s downtown revitalization.”
“Schenectady has experienced a transformation with the revitalization of downtown and the continued momentum of community and development projects throughout the city,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended the grand opening. “This new, modern train station embraces the Electric City’s rich history and continues the progress of transportation improvements on Erie Boulevard. The station will attract more visitors to the area and enhance the overall experience for travelers, continuing to boost the economy of Schenectady and the entire Capital Region.”
The new station on Erie Boulevard is a short distance from Rivers Casino, a popular Schenectady County destination. The station features comfortable waiting and ticketing areas and improved accessibility for people with disabilities. With historical touches that honor the former Union Station, the new facility also serves as a modern beacon within Schenectady’s revitalized downtown, with Proctors historic theater nearby, along with Schenectady County Community College, restaurants, taverns, shops, a movie theater and more.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “Governor Cuomo is rebuilding our upstate cities and our upstate transportation network — rail, roads and bridges alike — with unparalleled vision and investments. This new train station will only add to the resurgence of downtown Schenectady in the 21st century.”
The station’s concourse leads to a new platform accessible by a new elevator and stairs. Parking and bicycle and pedestrian access have also been improved, as the parking lot has been reconstructed and the layout has been reconfigured. New sidewalks and lighting are in place and bike racks will be installed by the spring.
The new building features a red-brick façade with grey stone pilasters and cornices framing the building. At the main entrance, there is a central, gold-colored domed clock tower topped with a weathervane in the shape of New York State. The building has multi-story arched windows and a dark green canopy to shade and protect travelers from the elements on three sides of the building.
Inside, the station features the latest in technology, with large video screens highlighting landmarks within the City and celebrating its history.
The interior also features high-vaulted ceilings and includes a coffee kiosk, charging stations, and Passenger Information Display Systems with up-to-date train status.
The total project cost of $23 million is supported by $17 million in state funding for construction costs and an additional $2 million in state funding for engineering services and other project costs. Amtrak contributed $220,000 toward the Passenger Information Display System, and the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority contributed $48,000 toward the improved parking lot. The Federal Railroad Administration provided $3.6 million toward the new station building.
The new Schenectady Station replaces a smaller 1970s-era station that was demolished in 2017 to make room for the new station.
Amtrak will own, operate and maintain the new station. Metroplex will continue to own and operate the station parking lot. Amtrak, Metroplex and the City of Schenectady worked cooperatively with New York State throughout the design and construction of the project.
Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “I send congratulations to New York State, Governor Cuomo, the City of Schenectady on the opening of our beautiful new train station. I’m proud to have secured over $10 million in federal dollars over this decade-long venture to bring us to today. This, combined with the over $155 million of federal funding to construct the second track from Schenectady to Albany, install the lifesaving Positive Train Control technology and improve rail service throughout the Capital Region, gives Schenectady rail passengers the best and safest service in over half a century.”
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “Downtown Schenectady continues its comeback story with our new train station. I fought and helped secure this federal funding from Washington during the Obama administration. It is a feather in the cap for the Electric City, and I was proud to work alongside Governor Cuomo, Mayor McCarthy, Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen and many others to make today a reality. The new station respects the original and historic design of the old station, while better serving the traveling public of today with upgrades and modern amenities. Today, we celebrate the opening of a new station, while we continue to work on removing bottlenecks on the tracks and expand high speed intercity passenger service. After all, rail is the most energy efficient form of travel and can help reduce congestion on the roads.”
Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara said, “As a Civil Engineer now serving in our State Assembly, I know transportation infrastructure is critical to the economic growth and vitality of upstate cities. With this significant investment we are making transportation safer and more accessible with an enhanced gateway to the Electric City. This latest addition to Schenectady complements an amazing downtown area, brings new opportunity and adds to the success we have seen over the years.”
Schenectady County Legislature Chair Anthony Jasenski said, “Transportation infrastructure is critically important to the strength and economy of our region, but for too long we failed to adequately invest in rail travel. With Governor Cuomo’s leadership and transformative investments in the Schenectady Train Station, we now have a station of the caliber that our community needs and deserves. Thank you Governor for your commitment to our future.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “Improving our infrastructure is essential to the future prosperity of this city and this region. I am proud to be working together with Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul to revitalize our economy, strengthen our communities, and continue Schenectady’s upward trajectory.”
Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority Chair Ray Gillen said, “Transportation infrastructure is critically important to the strength and economy of our region, but for too long we failed to adequately in rail travel. With Governor Cuomo’s leadership and transformative investments in the Schenectady Train Station, we now have a station of the caliber that our community needs and deserves. Thank you Governor for your commitment to our future.”
SUNY Schenectady Community College President Dr. Steady Moono said, “The new Schenectady Train Station represents another exciting improvement for downtown Schenectady, and it showcases how the Electric City is a great destination and a great connector for those who are travelling to upstate and downstate New York cities and towns. It is a terrific addition to the Schenectady landscape.”
Union College President David Harris said, “The stunning new Schenectady Train Station is a tremendous addition to our community. We now have a gateway that reflects the beauty and history of this area. It’s a perfect first impression for Union College students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends coming from around the country. It’s just one more indicator of Schenectady’s resurgence.”
“Amtrak celebrates the opening of the new Schenectady station, allowing visitors and residents traveling by train to have an improved customer experience when arriving into or departing from this new, state-of-the-art station,” said Kevin Chittenden, Deputy General Manager, Empire District at Amtrak. “We thank the City of Schenectady, NYSDOT, the FRA, and all of our partners for their commitment to the delivery of enhanced service for our customers.”
New York has also made key investments in new rail stations in Niagara Falls, which opened in December 2016, and Rochester, which opened in October 2017. Major upgrades are happening downstate as well, with Governor Cuomo’s September announcement of a new main entrance to Penn Station and significant milestones in the construction of the Moynihan Train Hall.