In yesterday's Buffalo News, I read that new high-speed rail service will stop short of Niagara Falls. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, the Fairport Democrat who is leading the congressional efforts to land funding for the Empire Corridor, said she envisions Niagara Falls as part of a long-term high-speed rail system that could connect Buffalo with Toronto, Montreal and Cleveland.
But she acknowledged that Niagara Falls would not likely be included in the first parts of the project, simply because a new route would have to be set to accommodate high-speed trains between Buffalo and the Falls.
Just a month ago, New York’s least popular governor ever, David Paterson, and Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, were exuberant, telling us that high-speed commuter trains would be coming right to Niagara Falls.
In fact, Dyster had this to say, courtesy of Mark Scheer, the Gazette reporter who has already told us he’ll never utter a bad word about the Falls again.
Mayor Paul Dyster and City Planner Tom DeSantis, who attended Paterson’s news conference at the Rensselaer Amtrak station near Albany, expressed confidence that inclusion of Niagara Falls in the strategy will make it more likely for local projects — including the proposed $33 million inter-modal rail station near the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge — to receive much-needed state and federal funding. “It’s just a tremendous announcement from our perspective,” Dyster said. “It’s a big deal. This is a battle we won. It makes us available for funding under the appropriations bills and under the stimulus package.”
Nice job “winning that battle,” Mayor. George S. Patton, you ain’t.