Schenectady's new Amtrak station is open, ahead of schedule, and "almost" on budget, in the words of Mayor Gary McCarthy.
A number of state and local elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Congressman Paul Tonko, were on hand for today's ribbon-cutting. McCarthy says this was a lengthy project, and not an easy one to put together.
"There were issues dealing with site control, working with Amtrak, working with the other railroads," McCarthy said. "It was establishing a second line coming from Albany so the trains don't back up."
That second rail line, McCarthy says, is especially crucial.
"Freight trains were getting priority over the passenger trains," McCarthy said. "Passenger trains had to either wait in Rensselaer or be sidetracked on a siding until the freight trains went through."
Construction on the new station began in January. Passengers, up to now, have been using a temporary platform on the north side of Liberty St.