City train station a vital engine

A commentary with the headline “City refuses reality” (Nov. 12) is a propaganda statement! It is sad the writer, a former CSX conductor, could do so much to reopen our Dunkirk depot once again, but refuses. Why?

In his article, he tells how he attended a meeting at the Fredonia State Incubator on Central Avenue in Dunkirk. He tells how the organization of the meeting was impressive! It focused on five specific areas, using Dunkirk as the focal point, for the entire Chautauqua County shoreline! Again, we ask, isn’t the Dunkirk train station by the Dunkirk shoreline? Let’s go back a little in time. Let’s see, how about when we lost our Congressman Brian Higgins to Congressman Tom Reed! In his campaign speech, he continued to tell everyone that a train station is not needed in Dunkirk. After all this time, he still refuses to help us.

He has done nothing for the northern end of our county and the city of Dunkirk. We pleaded with him, yes, how important it is, when a tragic accident occurred at the Middle Road Track 6 crossing, the Amtrak stopped right by the old train station! We could have gotten aboard! It also goes through Dunkirk twice a day, from Albany to Chicago and back.

Industries located next to the train station are begging us to get it open – Nestle Purina, Carriage House, SUNY Fredonia, etc.! Why? Because of time and cost, plane fare, cost of gas, but mostly time! The biggest one would be time, for cancer patients who have to travel to Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York. They have to catch the Amtrak in Depew. For someone who is so sick, the treatment at this hospital is crucial, especially time. How cold-blooded have we become?

And yes, there is grant money, if only we have the right people fighting for us! We cannot count on our county government once again, because they got millions to open the Jamestown railroad station, which still today is on deed, and not working out! This letter will be sent to our U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and also our state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is now helping us! Our “Dunkirk Shoreline” as you put it is growing fast, and we need to complete it by opening up our old train station depot! And you are a public relations person for CSX. Tell them to “Get out of our depot building and give it back to us!”

It won’t take much to reopen our Dunkirk station once again! We don’t even need an elevator, “their excuse;” you can see the steps to the train station are not very high! An upgraded walkway would do, even for the handicapped.

And a lesson from all of this is don’t believe everything you read or hear. It could be the truth, fiction, or a little bit of both. It’s your place to do your homework and find out! And please let your local government know! Older people have great stories about our train station. Especially the veterans! The Incubator on Central Avenue is doing well, and it’s only a couple blocks from the train depot, so is the Dunkirk Harbor, and Lake Erie!

Thank you and God bless.

Valerie Pawlak is a Dunkirk resident.