Is The Fix In For A Downtown Buffalo Train Station?

Back and Forth Continues with a Deadline Looming

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - With a final decision likely being made at a meeting this Thursday, some believe a deal was made long ago for a downtown station.  "I think the fix was in for downtown six months ago" said Fillmore District Council member David Franczyk, a Central Terminal supporter. "Why did they raise everybody's hopes?" 

"The fix was in a long time ago" added Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins.  Just who is pushing the downtown site over the Central Terminal?   Higgins said it's the same people who wanted the NFTA to keep Buffalo's waterfront.  "Nobody in Albany should care where Buffalo decides to put a new Amtrak station for Buffalo". 

Tim Tielman with the Campaign For Greater Buffalo History, Architecture and Culture said it's not a fix, but simple geography that makes Washington Street the easiest and most accessible place for a train station. 

Many lawmakers have publicly come out to stand behind the Central Terminal on the city's east side, but a downtown location appears just as likely. 

The group making the decision was put together by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who hasn't publicly backed a site. Still, Congressman Brian Higgins said the state is one of the actors pushing the discussion downtown.

"He's just being ill-advised by state bureaucrats here in Buffalo," said Higgins.

LISTEN: Tielman talks Downtown station -- Higgins backs Central Terminal

Tim Tielman, an advocate for the downtown location, said he believes it's not just a few people pushing the idea of downtown.

"I believe most of the people on the committee are maintaining an open mind, who are looking at the data that's being collected by the engineering firms, are going to make the logical decision," Tielman said. "The weight of the evidence, if you're concerned about transportation, points to doing something on Washington Street."

A decision is expected to be reached Thursday, when the 18 member committee will take a non-binding vote to determine a location.  Higgins is asking the committee to use their imagination, vision and guts. 

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