Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Empire Corridor’

Empire Builder at Glenview

May 27, 2020

Glenview, Illinois, is the first stop for Amtrak’s westbound Empire Builder.

Depending on which timetable you want to believe, it is either 17 miles (the Empire Builder timetable) or 18 miles (Hiawatha Service timetable) out of Chicago Union Station.

No. 7 is allocated 24 minutes to travel from Union Station to Glenview.

In the photo above, No. 7 has completed its station work in Glenview and is underway toward its next stop in Milwaukee.

This photograph was made in May 1997 when Nos. 7 and 8 carried some head end revenue on the rear.

New York State to Take Another Stab at High-Speed Rail

December 28, 2019

New York State will try another tactic toward implement a high-speed rail service on the Empire Corridor used by Amtrak.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will appoint a panel of engineers to review past high-speed rail plans and recommend a new plan for how to build high-speed rail New York-Albany-Buffalo route.

A statement released by the governor’s office said most of the state’s population lives near the Empire Corridor and the average speed of passenger trains on the route is 51 mph.

Various administrations have sought without success over the past two decades to implement high-speed rail service plans but have been stymied by, among other things, high cost.

Previous proposals have also indicated that it would take decades to create a high-speed line to Buffalo.

Cuomo’s statement said the news panel will “reexamine and rethink strategies to bring high speed rail to New York.”

The Empire Corridor hosts Amtrak trains between New York and Niagara Falls, New York, but also sees the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

NY Amtrak Routes Posted Ridership Gains in FY2019

November 23, 2019

Ridership numbers for various Amtrak routes are starting to be released in the wake of the passenger carrier releasing a summary of its fiscal year 2019 performance.

This includes routes serving the Empire Corridor of New York where the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf posted a 6.5 percent increase to 390,355 passengers.

The Lake Shore Limited, which links Chicago with Boston and New York, saw a 5.9 percent gain to 357,682 passengers, while the Empire Corridor south of Albany posted a 5.5 percent gain to 1,214,206 passengers.

The Adirondack between New York and Montreal was up 5.5 percent, while the Ethan Allen Express between New York and Rutland was up 1.7 percent.

Track Work to Delay Trains in Empire Corridor

October 7, 2019

Track work being performed between New York City and Albany-Rensselaer, New York, between Oct. 11 and 13 will affect operations of Amtrak’s Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, and Lake Shore Limited.

On Oct. 11, Train No. 49 will operate 15 minutes later than normal at all stations from Rhinecliff to Albany-Rensselaer, departing the latter at the normal time of 7:05 p.m.

Trains 238, 242 and 244 will depart Albany-Rensselaer up to 20 minutes later than normal and will operate on a later schedule at all stations between Albany and New York.

Train 290 will depart Albany-Rensselaer at 11:25 a.m, 15 minutes later than normal and will operate on a later schedule at all stations en route to New York.

On Oct. 12 and 13, Train 49 will operate 15 minutes later than normal at all stations between Rhinecliff and Albany-Rensselaer, but depart the latter at the normal time of 7:05 pm.

Train 68 will operate five minutes later than normal at all stations between Rhinecliff and New York.

Trains 238, 244, 256 and 260 will depart Albany-Rensselaer up to 20 minutes later than normal and will operate on a later schedule at all stations en route to New York.

Train 292 will depart Albany-Rensselaer at 2:30 p.m, 20 minutes later than normal and will operate on a later schedule at all stations en route to New York.

Train 296 will operate 10 minutes later than normal at all stations from Rhinecliff to New York.

All other trains will operate normally but may see delays up to 15 minutes through the work area.

Track Work to Affect Empire Corridor Trains

September 5, 2019

Amtrak has announced that track work being performed by Metro-North will affect the operations of Empire Service trains on Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.

All southbound trains will leave Albany-Rensselaer, New York, five minutes earlier and northbound trains will leave New York City five minutes earlier.

Train 233 will depart New York 22 minutes later and operate on a later schedule through to Albany-Rensselaer.

Train 259 will depart New York 25 minutes later and operate on a later schedule through to Albany-Rensselaer.

In another development affecting some Empire Service, reconstruction of the Whirlpool Bridge

Between Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, will affect operations of the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf between Sept. 9 and Nov. 1.

Train 63 will terminate at Niagara Falls, New York, with alternate transportation being provided between Niagara Falls and Toronto, stopping at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Bus 4498 will operate between Niagara Falls and Toronto with no intermediate stops in Ontario at St. Catharines, Grimsby, Aldershot or Oakville.

Train 64 will originate in Niagara Falls, New York with alternate transportation being provided between Toronto and Niagara Falls, stopping at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Bus 4497 will operate will not make intermediate stops at Oakville, Aldershot, Grimsby, or St. Catharines.

Proper documentation is required to cross the U.S./Canadian border.

Buffalo Exchange Street Station Razed

August 27, 2019

Razing has begun of the Exchange Street Station in Buffalo, New York, to make way for a new facility.

The former New York Central depot is served by all Amtrak trains in Buffalo except the Lake Shore Limited.

Amtrak passengers have been using a temporary facility since Aug. 12. Exchange Street station opened in 1952.

Its replacement will cost $27.7 million and is expected to open in fall 2020.

Exchange Street is served by two Empire Service roundtrips between New York and Niagara Falls, and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

Funding Approved for Berkshire Flyer Pilot Program

August 2, 2019

Funding has been approved by the State of Massachusetts for a two-year pilot program to launch Amtrak service from New York City to Berkshire County in Massachusetts.

The Berkshire Flyer has been allotted “not less than $270,000” for its inaugural year, which is expected to start in Spring 2020.

Legislation authorizing the funding also set aside $30,000 for a project manager and $100,000 for marketing the service.

The Flyer is will operate on weekends during the summer season between New York Penn Station and Pittsfield, using the Empire Corridor to Albany-Rensselaer, New York, and the route of the Lake Shore Limited east of there.

One train is expected to operate from New York to Pittsfield on Friday while its counterpart will return to New York on Sunday.

Trains will operate from Memorial Day through Columbus Day weekends with the fare set at $70 each way.

A marketing plan will be created by 1Berkshire, the county’s economic development and tourism council while the Massachusetts Department of Transportation needs to work out schedules and other logistical matters with Amtrak.

Also involved in the planning and implementation of the service will be the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

Service Added for Saratoga Racing Season

July 9, 2019

Starting July 13, Empire Service will run additional trains on Saturdays and Sundays. Train 296 will operate in lieu of Train 292 on Saturdays while Train 256 will operate on Saturdays in addition to its normal Sunday operation.

Train 1297 will operate on Sundays in addition to its normal Monday operation.

Track Work to Affect Empire Service Train

May 19, 2019

Track work will result in a temporary schedule change for Empire Service Train No. 288 on May 19 and June 2.

On those dates No. 288 will operate from Niagara Falls to Croton-Harmon, New York, with passengers reaching New York City on a special Metro North train.

That train will terminate at Grand Central Terminal whereas No. 288 terminates at New York Penn Station.

Amtrak said in a service advisory that Metro-North will honor Amtrak tickets on the special train. No Amtrak staff will be aboard that train or at Grand Central.

Passengers will be responsible for making their own arrangements to transfer from Grand Central to Penn Station if they so desire.

Summer Discount Fares Announced

May 19, 2019

Amtrak has announced two summer fare programs, including a buy one get one free sale seeking to boost off-peak ridership on Saturdays in the Northeast Corridor.

The special fares will be available on both Acela Express (in business class) and Northeast Regional (in coach class) trains between May 18 and Sept. 7.

Reservations must be made by June 5th and require a three day advance purchase.

In partnership with New York State, Amtrak will offer 15 percent discounts on regular coach fares for travel across New York State on Empire Service trains on the Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack.

Travel on the Maple Leaf and Ethan Allen Express must be within New York State, but the fares on the Adirondack apply to travel to and from Montreal

A five-day advance purchase is required and black-out dates will apply.