Thursday, July 02, 2009

Amtrak’s Adirondack seen at risk

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Amtrak throughout 2009 has reiterated its commitment to long-distance train service, and an infusion of stimulus package funds, along with a healthy dose of appropriations financing, has even spurred consideration of service upgrades, including making its tri-weekly Sunset Limited route daily this fall.

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But New York State budget woes could force Amtrak’s Adirondack to an opposite course, with the daily train possibly becoming tri-weekly—if not discountinued outright—between Montreal and Albany, N.Y., by Sept. 30. The Albany-to-New York portion of the train presumably would remain in operation.

New York State helps finance the train between Albany and Montreal by about $5 million per year, and Amtrak says it wants to retain the train’s current status. "We have funding for the service through Sept.30," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole. "We've been working with the state and we'll continue to work with them to try to ensure that that service continues beyond that date."