We know there are lots of thing happening in Jamestown, but Friday morning was an absolute rewrite of history. For those of you who were unable to attend the grand reopening of the 1930 Erie Lackawanna train station you certainly missed something you will never be able to see again. Hundreds of people were on hand to view this event.
If you were trackside, or any of the other viewing locations, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, you would have seen a locomotive steam engine belching black smoke and sounding a tremendous horn arrive at the Erie Lackawanna train station. You could have heard it and smelled it from anywhere in downtown Jamestown. It absolutely gave goosebumps to the people who were able to see this event. This engine was pulling some very historic, dramatic cars. It was extremely emotional to everyone who was there. It kind of reminded you of a movie as Sen. Chuck Schumer and Mayor Sam Teresi greeted people from the platform on the rear of the historic rail car.
Carl Belke of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad could not believe the crowd he saw as the train rounded the curve heading for the newly renovated Gateway Station on Second Street in Jamestown. Hundreds of people were there to greet this train and welcome the renovation of the station. The Jamestown Fire Department hoisted an American flag over the track in a manner only Jamestown can provide. A Dixieland Band was playing at track level along with vintage cars on display supporting this historical moment. This was an event people thought would never happen-only something that was dreamed about.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, speaks Friday at a ribbon cutting for the renovated Gateway Station on?Second Street in Jamestown. Behind Schumer is the renovated Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Station.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
As dignitaries exited the train they proceeded into the station, up the elevator, down the hall and outside to the stage. The great, and award-winning, Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band played the Star Spangled Banner. This was followed by remarks of all those who have had a part in this great event. It was reported Lucille Ball was spotted looking for a train to get her to New York City. Following the presentations, dignitaries moved from the stage to the front door of the train station for the actual ribbon cutting. The Jamestown Acappella Choir did a great rendition of "Sentimental Journey."
The ribbon was cut, there was confetti and streamers, and the crowd on Second Street was held in awe as they cheered for this project and what it stands for in Jamestown.
Everyone was invited to view the renovated station and there were people located through the station to answer questions. There is a list of people and organizations to thank that is a mile long for this project. I may have to write about this for a couple of weeks so we can cover it all.
I have to tell you this project has taken over a decade to complete. Time and time again we see great projects in other cities - but let me tell you this is one right here in Jamestown and Chautauqua County. We need to be very proud of what is happening here in Jamestown. As Mayor Teresi has said, "Team Jamestown" is up and running and it has proved itself. We promised our elected officials that if we got their help, we would make them proud. Ladies and gentlemen of Jamestown and Chautauqua County, we have done that.
Congratulations to all of you!