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Crews have kicked off the demolition of a 1970s-era Amtrak station in Schenectady, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week.The demolition will make way for a new $23 million station that will connect travelers to New York City, Niagara Falls and elsewhere.The new station is supported by $17 million in state funding for construction costs, as well as an additional $2 million from the state for engineering services and other project costs. The project is in addition to $181 million worth of key rail improvements that were recently completed along Amtrak's Empire Corridor in New York's Capital Region, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office."The new Schenectady Station will provide modern conveniences to rail travelers, support the continuing renaissance of the city's downtown and create a new entryway to the community, helping connect it to the rest of the state," Cuomo said. In spring, work began to prepare the site for the new station, including construction of the platform and concourse.In fall, the New York State Department of Transportation plans to seek bids for a company to construct the new station building, which is slated to open late next year. The building design draws from the architecture and aesthetic of the former Union Station, which was built on the same site in 1910.The new station and four other significant rail projects were made possible by an long-term lease between CSX and Amtrak. The agreement allowed Amtrak to take control of the 94-mile Hudson Line between Schenectady and Poughkeepsie, New York. The pact gave passenger trains priority over freight trains and enabled other work to improve service on one of the busiest commuter and freight corridors in the nation, Cuomo said.Each day, 26 passenger trains travel at speeds up to 110 mph along the Hudson Line.
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