Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Empire Service’

Storm Damage leads to Cancellations Friday in East

November 2, 2019

Severe weather in the East led Amtrak to cancel and modify some services on Friday.

Most of the affected trains operate in New York State on the Empire Corridor and north of New York City.

Canceled were Boston-New York Acela Express No. 2190; Empire Service trains 280 (Niagara Falls-New York) and 243 (New York-Albany; and Springfield shuttle trains Nos. 451-490 (Springfield, Massachusetts, andNew Haven, Connecticut).

The westbound Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited was cancelled between Boston and Syracuse, New York, and the New York section was canceled between New York and Syracuse.

Passengers were taken by bus to Syracuse to catch No. 49.

The eastbound Lake Shore terminated at Syracuse and the equipment turned to become No. 49.

Some Acela Express and Northeast Regional Service did not operate between New York and Boston.

The New York to Toronto Maple Leaf was cancelled between Albany and Niagara Falls.

Likewise, Empire Service Nos. 284 and 218 were cancelled between Niagara Falls and Albany, but did operate between Albany and New York.

Amtrak’s website on Saturday morning did not indicate if any services were being cancelled or modified today.

However, the eastbound Lake Shore Limited was running several hours late after departing Chicago at 2:16 a.m. rather than its scheduled time of 9:30 p.m.

No. 48 arrived in Cleveland today at 12:22 p.m., nearly seven hours late.

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.

Select Trains to Stop at New York State Fair

August 6, 2019

Between Aug. 21 and Sept. 2, Amtrak’s Empire Service and Maple Leaf trains will make a special daily stop between Rochester and Syracuse, New York, to serve passengers attending the New York State Fair.

Trains 64, 284 and 288 will depart Niagara Falls, Buffalo Exchange Street, Buffalo Depew and Rochester 10 minutes earlier to accommodate the added stop.

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 Delay Trains in New York

July 2, 2019

Eastbound trains 48, 64, 238, 244, 250, 252, 254, 256, 260, 280, 284, 290 and 292 will operate five to 15 minutes later than originally scheduled.

Westbound trains 49, 233, 253 and 259 will operate 10 minutes earlier or 10 minutes later than originally scheduled.

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.

NY Won’t Fund More Empire Service Cafe Cars

April 5, 2019

New York transportation officials have ruled out for now funding café car service on Amtrak’s Empire Service trains operating between New York City and Albany-Rensselaer.

Food and beverage service was removed by Amtrak from those trains in 2005 in a cost-cutting move.

Earlier this year, passenger train advocates, including the Empire State Passengers Association, began pushing for food service to be offered on all Empire Corridor trains.

However, a New York Division of Budget official ruled that out this week.

“The FY 2020 Enacted Budget does not include funding to restore food service in the Empire Corridor and we continue to look to the Federal government to restore its role in fully supporting train service,” said spokesman Freeman Klopott.

Nonetheless, the ESPA is not giving up. President Gary Prophet said the money needed to restore food service would used to cover startup costs of the service.

“Cafe service on short-distance trains breaks even,” Prophet said, adding that it was only the dining cars on the long-distance trains that lose money.

Café car service is available on several trains operating in the Empire Corridor including the Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf and Lake Shore Limited.

The two New York-Niagara Falls Empire Service roundtrips also offer café cars.

Amtrak cited heavy financial losses for ending food and beverage service on Empire Service trains operating south of Albany in 2005.

It launched a four-month trial in fall 2005 of selling Subway sandwiches aboard those trains, but pulled the plus before the end of the first week of operation.

Passengers since then had to bring their own food or buy something at a coffee shop in the Albany-Rensselaer station.

NYDOT Lists Empire Corridor Improvements

March 4, 2019

The New York State Department of Transportation recently listed the numerous improvements it has sponsored in the Empire Corridor to improve Amtrak service there.

These included a second track between Albany and Schenectady; a fourth platform track at the Albany-Rensselaer station; installation of positive train control on tracks south of Rensselaer; signal and grade crossing improvements south of Rensselaer; and new stations at Rochester & Niagara Falls, both with high-level platforms.

The agency has not yet revealed its plans to increase trains speeds and schedule frequencies in the corridor, but those might be detailed in an environmental impact statement it expects to release in the spring.

One option that report is expected to address is the feasibility of creating a dedicated passenger rail corridor between Albany and Buffalo that would have a top speed of 125 miles per hour.

The expect cost of that option is $14.7 million.

The report will consider five options for improving Empire Corridor service.