After a three-year absence, full commuter rail service between New York City and Montreal, Québec, Canada, will resume next month.
Amtrak announced late last year that it would reopen the Adirondack line this spring; this date has now been set for April 3. Amtrak suspended service along this line from Albany to Montreal in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic while maintaining the route from Albany to New York City.
The closure of the Canadian/U.S. border to all but essential workers in 2020 contributed to the disruption of commuter rail service. The Adirondack line offers stops in Northern New York communities including Plattsburgh, Rouses Point, Ticonderoga and Westport.
U.S. Sens. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, both D-New York, signed a letter dated July 8 to Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Gardner urging the company to reopen the Adirondack line. They wrote that this route had 117,490 riders in fiscal year 2019, the last full fiscal year before the pandemic. This represented a 5.1% increase over the previous fiscal year.
“This is a large economic driver in the community as total tourism accounts for [more than] 16% of the Adirondack region’s share of employment in 2020,” according to their letter. “Hamilton and Essex counties depend on tourism heavily, with 44.7% and 36.8& of all employment sustained by visitors, respectively.”
Both senators expressed their delight upon learning that Amtrak would resume this service.
“I am proud to announce that after months of advocacy Amtrak has heeded our calls and will officially reopen the Adirondack Line between the Empire State and Canada, finally restarting this vital economic engine for the north country and Capital region,” Schumer said in a news release. “From Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie and into Penn Station, the Adirondack line runs through some of the most beautiful parts of upstate New York. And resumption of this service will help pump vital tourism dollars into Main Streets across upstate [New York].”
“I urged Amtrak to open the line for months, and I’m proud to be announcing that it will be resuming service ahead of the busy summer tourist season,” Gillibrand said in the news release. “This is an important development — and I will keep fighting to provide the north country with the resources and services it needs to thrive.”
U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, had also advocated that Amtrak restarting this service.
“I am proud to announce that just one day after my call with the president of Amtrak and following my continued advocacy, Amtrak will finally resume service for the Adirondack line by April 3,” Stefanik said in a news release. “Families throughout upstate New York and the north country rely on the Adirondack line for transportation, and it serves a significant economic driver, connecting tourists and our Canadian neighbors, to our region. When Amtrak initially left the north country out of their reopening plans, I brought New York’s 21st District’s concerns to the highest levels to reopen the Adirondack line. I continued my push to secure a date and deliver this result so our families can have certainty about their access to transportation.”
Several months ago, Amtrak released a report showing that its ridership increased by 89% in fiscal year 2022, according to a story published March 10 by the Times Union in Albany. Commuter usage returned to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, the article reported.
This is excellent news, a development that will benefit the north country. We commend our local legislators for their advocacy on this issue and are pleased to see these efforts proved effective.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.