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Metro Rail work compels schedule changes

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Riding the Metro Rail this summer will be complicated, with the NFTA doing a major repair project on a key part of the route.There will only be one track available in the Theater District block for the next two months, which may lead to some delays. Construction work on the rail line is in sync with the project rebuilding the surface section to allow cars on Main Street through downtown Buffalo.

That includes removing the old Theater Station in front of Shea's, which has cut off much of the block with orange construction fences for months.

"What's taking place is a $1.6 million rehabilitation project to replace the track and track bed from in front of Shea's going south to Chippewa Street. It'll replace the entire concrete and all of the tracking in that area," says NFTA Public Affairs Director Douglas Hartmayer

Because there will be such a long section of single track service, trains will only run every 20 minutes. There will be expanded Metro Bus service along Main Street while construction is underway, so there will be a bus or a train every ten minutes.

Hartmayer says the section of the rail line being replaced is 29 years old and is simply "worn out."

For those with mobility impairments, the authority says they should use the rear car and get on and off the trains at Church Station.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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