Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Empire Service’

Berkshire Flyer Eyes May 2020 Launch

February 10, 2019

An effort to build another generation of visitors to the Berkshire mountains is behind an effort by Massachusetts officials to launch a pilot Amtrak service to western Massachusetts in 2020.

The plan is to have one of Amtrak’s Empire Service trains that now terminates at the Albany-Rensselaer, New York, station continue operating to Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The target market for the service is primarily young couples ages 27 to 47 who live in the New York City metro area who don’t own cars and have a household income of more than $100,000.

“We’d love to see rail as an option for the next generation of Berkshire visitors,” said Jonathan Butler, co-chair of the Berkshire Flyer subcommittee and president and CEO of 1Berkshire, the economic development and tourism agency of Berkshire County.

Butler said another market for the train is older people who might already have a second home in the Berkshires.

The train would operate seasonally on weekends and officials hope to launch it by Memorial Day 2020.

The service would be funded by the State of Massachusetts.

A key to making the project work will be offering transportation for the “last mile” from the train to Berkshires resorts.

That could be anything from car-hailing services to rental cars to taxis and local buses.

The Berkshire Flyer is expected to leave New York City on Fridays at 2:20 p.m., arriving at 6:10 p.m. in Pittsfield.

Return trips would leave Pittsfield on Sundays at 2:45 p.m., arriving at Penn Station at 6:45 p.m.

The pilot program is projected to last 20 weeks and cost the state about $237,000.

Pittsfield is already a stop for Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited between Chicago and Boston.

Another task force is looking at adding passenger rail service to Pittsfield from Boston. It is expected to meet in the spring to consider six possible alternatives for that service.

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Empire Corridor Trains Also Canceled This Weekend

January 19, 2019

Amtrak added Empire Service to its list of trains being canceled this weekend due to a severe winter storm in the Midwest and Northeast.

In a service notice issued on Friday, the carrier said it has canceled Empire Service trains 250, 260, 238, 284, 68, 63, 281, 283, 253 and 259 on Saturday.

On Sunday, Amtrak said Empire Service trains that normally operate between New York and Niagara Falls, New York, will only run between New York and Albany-Rensselaer, New York.

This includes the Maple Leaf, which normally operates between New York and Toronto.

Amtrak Resumes Serving Rome NY

December 23, 2018

After a nearly five-month service suspension, Amtrak has resumed stopping in Rome, New York.

Service to Rome was suspended last July after the collapse of a portion of the ceiling in a tunnel leading to the boarding platform.

Temporary repairs have been made while now allow for Empire Corridor trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf to resume serving Rome.

Permanent repairs are expected to be made in 2019. Rome is a stop for six Amtrak trains.

Contracts Awarded for New Buffalo Station

December 7, 2018

Construction of a new Amtrak station in downtown Buffalo, New York, is expected to start next year now that a contract has been awarded to design and build the new depot.

The New York State Department of Transportation awarded contacts to Foit-Albert Associates for architecture work while Hohl Industrial Services and Scrufari Construction will be the builders.

The new depot will replace the 66-year old Exchange Street Station, which will be razed.

During construction, Amtrak’s Empire Service trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf will continue to stop at the Exchange Street Station site.

Passengers will be served by a temporary facility during that time.

The new station, which will be twice the size of Exchange Street depot and is expected to be completed by fall 2020.

The cost of the new station is estimated at $27.7 million. About 38,000 passengers use the Exchange Street station annually.

NYDOT said the new station will be elevated and moved closer to the street to improve access and visibility.

It will be three stories tall and feature a brick exterior. The platform will be longer and better lighted than the existing facility.

Inside the station, the Terrazzo floor will feature an image of a Buffalo. A Taste NY kiosk will provide food and beverages.

The agency also said there will be better access to Buffalo’s light rail system and improved accommodations for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. It is also near popular destinations Canalside and KeyBank Center.

Buffalo is also served by an Amtrak-built facility in suburban Depew that hosts the same trains as Exchange Street as well as the Chicago-New York/Boston Lake Shore Limited.

Rome Station Set to Reopen in December

November 26, 2018

The Amtrak station in Rome, New York, is expected to reopen by Christmas after the city performed temporary repairs.

The station has been closed since July 4 when a portion of the ceiling in the platform access tunnel collapsed.

State funding helped pay for the repairs to the facility, which is owned by the City of Rome.

Those repairs are being described as temporary but will enable the station to operate until a longer-term repair is performed.

Amtrak had been directing Rome passengers to use the station in Utica, New York.

Rome is served by two daily New York to Niagara Falls round-trip Empire Service trains and the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf.

New York LSL Section to Resume Service

August 31, 2018

The Lake Shore Limited will return to Penn Station in New York City on Tuesday, but the Cardinal will not be back in the Big Apple until November.

The New York section of the Lake Shore was suspended in late May due to construction on the train’s route to Penn Station.

Passengers were forced to transfer at Albany-Renssalaer, New York, and take a connecting train to New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

The Boston section continued to operate between Chicago and Boston as usual.

Also shifting back to Penn Station on Tuesday will be Amtrak’s Empire Corridor trains, including the Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack.

The construction work in New York included replacement of components of the Spuyten Duyvil swing bridge between The Bronx and Manhattan; track replacement in the Empire Tunnel; rail, crosstie and grade crossing work between the tunnel and the bridge, and work on Track 19 at Penn Station.

As for the Cardinal, an Amtrak spokesperson said it will continue to originate and terminate in Washington due to other work being done in the Northeast Corridor.

Rome Amtrak Station Closed Temporarily

August 27, 2018

Due to construction, Amtrak has closed its station at Rome, New York. A service advisory did not provide a timeline for when it will reopen.

During the construction, Amtrak said in a service advisory that the public will not have access to the station and trains will not stop there.

Amtrak said passengers should board Empire Service trains at stations in either Utica or Syracuse, New York.

Select Trains to Stop for NY State Fair

August 13, 2018

Select Amtrak Empire Service and Maple Leaf Trains will stop at the New York State Fairgrounds between Aug. 22 and Sept. 3.

The fairgrounds are located between Rochester and Syracuse, New York.

Train 64 and 284 will depart Niagara Falls, New York, 10 minutes earlier to accommodate the added stop.

 

Northern New York Gets Amtrak Thruway Service

August 13, 2018

Amtrak has established a new Thruway bus route in New York State to connect with the Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf and Empire Service trains.

The route, operated in partnership with Trailways of New York, will stop at Amtrak stations in Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Saratoga Springs.

Off line cities to be served by the bus include Cooperstown, Cortland, Ithaca, Glens Falls, Lake George and Oneonta.

“As Northern New York continues to grow as a popular place to visit and live, partnering with Trailways of New York helps Amtrak customers travel where they want to go, even after they step off a train,” said Adam Krom, Director of Transportation Connectivity at Amtrak in a statement.

Ceiling Collapse Closes Rome Station

July 6, 2018

A ceiling collapse prompted Amtrak to temporarily suspend service to Rome, New York, this week.

The ceiling fell in about 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday but just one person was in the depot at the time and was not injured.

Amtrak closed the station in order to make repairs, which are expected to take until at least July 10.

Passengers are being steered to the Utica, New York station 14 miles away.

New York Central built the Rome station between 1912 and 1914 and it has been owned by the City of Rome since 1988.

The station was renovated between 2002 and 2004. Trains stopping there include the New Y York-Toronto Maple Leaf and two Empire Service round trips.