Jamestown Celebrates Train Station Grand Opening


Congressman, Mayor, Community Unveil Restored Erie-Lackawanna Depot

Submitted by The Office of U.S. Representative Brian Higgins

Celebrating the official opening of the renovated Gateway Train Station in downtown Jamestown. From left to Right: Congressman Andy Goodell, DJDC Executive Director Lee Harkness, Congressman Brian Higgins, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi. (Photo by Jason Sample)

JAMESTOWN – Congressman Brian Higgins joined City of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi as well as leaders and residents from across the community to mark the completion of the historic Erie-Lackawanna Train Depot restoration in Jamestown.

“Western New York’s ability to thrive lies in recapturing the potential of our unique past,” said Congressman Higgins. “Thanks to great leadership and great people, Jamestown is a city on the rise.  This facility is just one of several new additions to downtown Jamestown that is reenergizing the community, revitalizing the local economy, and enhancing tourist appeal.”

The large-scale rehabilitation project included stabilization of the existing structure built in the early 1930s, restoration and replacement of exterior doors and windows, exterior masonry and copper, roof replacement, HazMat abatement, HVAC installation and electrical repair and replacement.

“This Train Station is truly symbolic of where this City is headed,” said City of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi.  “Jamestown is a community on the move, one that can take people places and a true destination for visitors and economic opportunity.  I am proud to be a part of this landmark occasion and grateful to the many people who have made this possible. ”

In addition to returning to use the facility as a train station providing rail service to Canada, Buffalo, and Cleveland, the newly renovated Jamestown station will incorporate a tourist and welcome center, educating visitors about Jamestown’s past, present, and future.

Jamestown Council President Greg Rabb added, “The Erie RR Station opened in Jamestown during the Great Depression. When asked why the railroad was spending so much money on this project the President of the railroad responded because we believe in the future of Jamestown.  As City Council President, I get asked the same question, having just come out of a recession, and my response echo’s the 1931 quote:  ‘Because I believe in the future of Jamestown and that the best is yet to come!’”

“This is going to be another historic moment for Jamestown,” said Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation (DJDC) Executive Director Lee Harkness.  “The complete renovation of the Erie Lackawanna Station will provide Jamestown with another destination—a destination people will come to see.  It is an example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together”

Completion of the train station restoration was made possible thanks to a community effort, having received state funding; contributions for the Gebbie Foundation; and federal funding, including $1.672 in federal transportation funding secured by Congressman Higgins in 2005.

The Jamestown train station was once a stop along the Erie Railroad’s main line from New York to Chicago, transporting both passengers and cargo. The last passenger train went through the station in January 1970. In 2003, the Erie-Lackawanna Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places.