Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — An opportunity pulled into the city Wednesday afternoon, one that local officials hope will draw more people downtown.
The City of Lockport now has a station on the Medina Railroad Museum’s tourist train line. A new platform, located at 5 Gooding St. next to the former Kohl’s Cycle Sales site, was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
The hope is that the train will bring foot traffic from Orleans County to the heart of downtown Lockport. Located on city property, the new platform is within walking distance of attractions such as Canal Street, Main Street, the Erie Canal locks and the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride.
Mayor Michael Tucker touted how important the railroad could be to increasing city tourism, which would be a reflection of Lockport’s history.
“Anyone who has gazed down the canal at the famous Upside Down Bridge knows that rail is thoroughly integrated with the history of the western Erie Canal,” Tucker said. “And once again the two seem to be moving in tandem to build our local economy.”
Access to the platform and parking will be provided on property owned by the Hydraulic Race Co., the company that owns the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride. Co-owner Tom Callahan was looking forward to how the Medina railroad will affect downtown.
“Today we have another piece of the tourism puzzle in place for downtown and Lockport,” Callahan said. “Tourism is a critical industry for this community’s future and the Medina railroad is set to be a big part of that.”
The Glynn Group, a Lockport-based engineering firm and HP Construction Co. put the platform together and prepared the site.
While nothing is concrete, there are plans to add to the platform, Tucker said. A canopy could be added, offering shelter to train riders, Tucker said. A parking lot could be added as well.