BUFFALO, N.Y. -- There's a new push to redevelop the old DL&W rail corridor from the DL&W Terminal near Canalside to Solar City.
Meanwhile, there's still a big effort underway to renovate the terminal itself. Plans from 2016 show what the DL&W Terminal could look like after major renovations. Last used as a train terminal in 1962, it stores rail cars now.
Thursday, NFTA Director of Public Transit Tom George told 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik that rail service could return as early as 2021, with construction scheduled to start in the spring of 2019.
George says the NFTA is working with a real estate development consultant to figure out what to do with the second floor. It could be transformed into commercial space which could open in three years.
And, George says the NFTA is considering extending rail service to places like the airport, Larkinville, and the Central Terminal. There's another potential destination, too.
"There's also discussion, as I'm sure you're aware, of a new Buffalo Bills stadium at some point in time. We have no idea where that may go, but if it were to go in the area that we're discussing, down along South Park, once again, we would like to be able to have light rail connection to a new stadium," said George.
George says the cost of renovating the terminal is $43-million. The state is kicking in $26-million, and there is a grant request in to the federal government to cover the rest.
A separate project, announced Wednesday, would create a mile-and-a-half long park along the DL&W rail corridor which would co-exist with any rail service extensions.
"We envision that this will be a place where when you go for a walk, there's a great blue heron flying overhead," said Nancy Smith, Executive Director of the Western New York Land Conservancy.
The cost of the park isn't known yet, but Congressman Brian Higgins is confident it will be built within three years.
"I see Power Authority funding, I see Greenway funding, I see Erie Canal Harbor Development funding, I see the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative all as potential funding sources to make this project move from a concept to reality," Higgins said.
The Western New York Land Conservancy will hold an open house in March to get more input from the community before coming up with a formal plan. You don't have to wait until then though to share your opinion. You can participate in an online survey now.