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Upstate NY Counties Bypassed by Amtrak

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I have noticed that in upstate NY, some counties contains tracks which Amtrak trains use but have no Amtrak stops along these tracks. Here's a list of such counties I've been able to gather:

 

Putnam County

Herkimer County

Madison County

Cayuga County

Wayne County

Genesee County

Chautauqua County

 

Although two other counties (Bronx and Albany) are also "bypassed" by Amtrak, I have excluded them from this list since they have stations in nearby counties which I believe are more than adequate to serve their needs.

 

I wonder if it may be feasible for Amtrak to add any stops in these counties...

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Keep in mind that adding additional stops along an existing route adds to the time it takes to get from beginning to end of the route, so for example, if there were two additional stops along the Maple Leaf, it will take even longer than the already 12 hours it currently takes to go from NYP to Toronto.

 

Plus, are any of those counties more than an hour away from an existing stop? If the nearest stop was 2-3 hours away, you might have a gripe. As it sits, I think additional stops would be a completely unnecessary luxury. Just my opinion, though.

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(1) The Maple Leaf is sandbagged by the border crossing time. You could arguably add a stop to one of the other two Empire Service trains (or the LSL).
(2) County-by-county:
-Putnam County is served by Metro-North. There might be a case to add an Amtrak stop opposite Newburgh (though that would still be in the neighboring county), but I'm not sure whether even that is necessary given the MNRR coverage.
-Herkimer County is pretty thin, and it's between Utica and Amsterdam. You have three stations "in the neighborhood".

-Madison County is between Utica and Syracuse. I think Syracuse provides sufficient coverage.
-Cayuga and Wayne Counties are between Syracuse and Rochester. Again, the distance isn't that massive.
-Genesee County is between Rochester and Buffalo...but the Depew station is on that side of Buffalo.
-Chautauqua County is between Buffalo and Erie. On the one hand, I think there might be a case to add Dunkirk, NY. On the other hand? The LSL is the only station calling there and the hours would be atrocious, so I don't think there's much gain to be had here. If there were 2-3 daytime trains on this route I'd say it would be a good candidate for an add.

In general, those areas have a bunch of really small towns (<15000 folks) and are served by nearby city stations. Putnam is covered by MNRR.

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The boundaries between counties are usually political and not established for geographical reasons. This question becomes a political one instead of a population, access, or other reasons.

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In any case it is upto NYSDOT to decide whether they want to add stops or not in NY State. It is not upto Amtrak.

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@jis:
That is sort-of true. My understanding, via Charlie's experience out in WA, is that Amtrak has some leeway when it comes to the LD trains (for example, IIRC they looked at adding a stop or two during the CONO PIP, and restoring Hammond-Whiting was also considered in the LSL's PIP). Since the Empire Corridor "happens" to almost entirely be covered by the LSL, in theory Amtrak could go off and add a stop somewhere without NY's involvement. However, given the realities of the situation there the odds of them seeing a business case for doing so at their own expense are effectively zero (and even if they saw a case for it, the odds are pretty good that they'd want to try and hit up NYS for some funding for the new station, siding, etc.).

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Yup. As you also observe, all that is theoretically true. Practically Amtrak simply does not have the money to apply any of that theory in reality. They can write PIPs regularly and then stash them away in drawers for posterity. I don't see anything happening beyond that without state initiated funding.

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The one serious proposal I've heard is for Lyons, NY. Two versions: a stop there, or an Empire Service frequency which turns there and terminates/reverses in Geneva. This would be well-used by people from Canandaigua to Auburn.

 

Also occasionally suggested is a Empire Service which turns from Syracuse down to Cortland and terminates/reverses there.

 

Perhaps the most useful new route in New York State would be the Binghamton-Scranton-Hoboken route, but that's another story.

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(2) County-by-county:

-Putnam County is served by Metro-North. There might be a case to add an Amtrak stop opposite Newburgh (though that would still be in the neighboring county), but I'm not sure whether even that is necessary given the MNRR coverage.In general, those areas have a bunch of really small towns (<15000 folks) and are served by nearby city stations. Putnam is covered by MNRR.

 

Also, it is a very short (20-30 minutes) drive from Garrison and Cold Spring (the two stations in Putnam County served hourly by MNRR but passed through by Amtrak) to Croton-Harmon, which is served by Amtrak and has much much more parking available. Garrison and Cold Spring are "village" stations with very little parking available. Poughkeepsie is only a slightly longer drive.

 

Ainamkartma

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I like the Lyons station idea, along with reopening the Batavia station and making that stretch partially grade-separated and with a 110mph MAS.

 

That said, none of this is possible without NYSDOT signing off on the DEIS, which is now years overdue. If you ask members of the state legislature, it's not going to happen. New York is one of the few places in America where political will is non-existent.

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The basic roadblock (for everything, not just rail) in New York is the stranglehold of the Republican criminal mafia on the State Senate. (I call them a criminal mafia advisedly; among other things, when they were first forced to open up their records they were discovered to be running secret campaign ad studios using government money; their leadership is known for using their government positions to attract payments to their private side businesses.) Their stranglehold is *very very weak* at this point.

 

They malapportioned to the maximum degree allowed by the US Supreme Court, changed the number of districts, gerrymandered as much as physically possible,... and still lost. Then they decided to bribe Senators who were elected as Democrats to vote for the Republican leadership, which was more successful. After the voters kicked out four of the turncoat Democrats, and then another four, the Republicans decided to bribe six the next time. A major campaign is now browbeating these six to fall in line, apparently successfully. At this point the Republican State Senate mafia is dependent primarily on Simcha Felder, a fundamentalist right-wing Jewish extremist who gets elected as a Democrat and votes for Republicans, for their one-vote majority.

 

They cannot survive the next census (2020). They went to extreme measures to survive the 2010 census (as previously noted), managed to talk Cuomo (who prefers having Republicans in office) into signing their gerrymander, and they were still dependent on bribing Democrats to switch sides. The demographic changes from 2010 to 2020 (decline in rural areas, rise in urban centers, older people dying off, younger people entering the electorate, and general left-wing tilt) are going to make their survival completely impossible, no matter how hard they gerrymander.

 

Once this particular criminal mafia is out, it will be possible to get stuff done in the NY State Legislature.

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(1) The Maple Leaf is sandbagged by the border crossing time. You could arguably add a stop to one of the other two Empire Service trains (or the LSL).

(2) County-by-county:

-Putnam County is served by Metro-North. There might be a case to add an Amtrak stop opposite Newburgh (though that would still be in the neighboring county), but I'm not sure whether even that is necessary given the MNRR coverage.

-Herkimer County is pretty thin, and it's between Utica and Amsterdam. You have three stations "in the neighborhood".

-Madison County is between Utica and Syracuse. I think Syracuse provides sufficient coverage.

-Cayuga and Wayne Counties are between Syracuse and Rochester. Again, the distance isn't that massive.

-Genesee County is between Rochester and Buffalo...but the Depew station is on that side of Buffalo.

-Chautauqua County is between Buffalo and Erie. On the one hand, I think there might be a case to add Dunkirk, NY. On the other hand? The LSL is the only station calling there and the hours would be atrocious, so I don't think there's much gain to be had here. If there were 2-3 daytime trains on this route I'd say it would be a good candidate for an add.

 

In general, those areas have a bunch of really small towns (<15000 folks) and are served by nearby city stations. Putnam is covered by MNRR.

 

From start to finish:

 

-Putnam probably has more rail service than it knows what to do with. Of course, since I have bad memories of having grown up there, don't blame me for not wanting an Amtrak stop there.

-Herkimer (the town in Herkimer County) had a New York Central stop until the advent of the Empire Service in 1967. If the DEIS/EIS process moves forward more, I'd argue in favor of adding a stop there.

-Madison County is served by Syracuse

-Wayne County is home to Lyons, which was a Central stop for years. ESPA has been pushing for a stop there for years.

-Genesee is home to Batavia, which was probably one of the first communities to lose Amtrak service (early on in 1971!). The former NY Central station on Lehigh Avenue is still there, now a CSX maintenance base. Batavia probably didn't fare well because towards the end it had service in one direction and because of its layout was a poor place for a flag stop (elevated ROW). And since Geneseo (the SUNY school) is equidistance between both Rochester and Batavia,

-Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) would be a good stop-historic NY Central locale, near Fredonia. That said, you'd need a day train to make it work best.

 

Personally, NYS needs more of a network than it has now. Until Bruce Rauner's election in Illinois, they were in plans to reintroduce service to the Quad Cities (not completely on my preferred routing) and Rockford. I'd like to see Southern Tier service, and with the air service situation there, now would be the best time.

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(1) The Maple Leaf is sandbagged by the border crossing time. You could arguably add a stop to one of the other two Empire Service trains (or the LSL).

(2) County-by-county:

-Putnam County is served by Metro-North. There might be a case to add an Amtrak stop opposite Newburgh (though that would still be in the neighboring county), but I'm not sure whether even that is necessary given the MNRR coverage.

-Herkimer County is pretty thin, and it's between Utica and Amsterdam. You have three stations "in the neighborhood".

-Madison County is between Utica and Syracuse. I think Syracuse provides sufficient coverage.

-Cayuga and Wayne Counties are between Syracuse and Rochester. Again, the distance isn't that massive.

-Genesee County is between Rochester and Buffalo...but the Depew station is on that side of Buffalo.

-Chautauqua County is between Buffalo and Erie. On the one hand, I think there might be a case to add Dunkirk, NY. On the other hand? The LSL is the only station calling there and the hours would be atrocious, so I don't think there's much gain to be had here. If there were 2-3 daytime trains on this route I'd say it would be a good candidate for an add.

 

In general, those areas have a bunch of really small towns (<15000 folks) and are served by nearby city stations. Putnam is covered by MNRR.

 

From start to finish:

 

-Putnam probably has more rail service than it knows what to do with. Of course, since I have bad memories of having grown up there, don't blame me for not wanting an Amtrak stop there.

-Herkimer (the town in Herkimer County) had a New York Central stop until the advent of the Empire Service in 1967. If the DEIS/EIS process moves forward more, I'd argue in favor of adding a stop there.

-Madison County is served by Syracuse

-Wayne County is home to Lyons, which was a Central stop for years. ESPA has been pushing for a stop there for years.

-Genesee is home to Batavia, which was probably one of the first communities to lose Amtrak service (early on in 1971!). The former NY Central station on Lehigh Avenue is still there, now a CSX maintenance base. Batavia probably didn't fare well because towards the end it had service in one direction and because of its layout was a poor place for a flag stop (elevated ROW). And since Geneseo (the SUNY school) is equidistance between both Rochester and Batavia,

-Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) would be a good stop-historic NY Central locale, near Fredonia. That said, you'd need a day train to make it work best.

 

Personally, NYS needs more of a network than it has now. Until Bruce Rauner's election in Illinois, they were in plans to reintroduce service to the Quad Cities (not completely on my preferred routing) and Rockford. I'd like to see Southern Tier service, and with the air service situation there, now would be the best time.

 

The Quad Cities route project is still a go, and the Rockford route is just stalled, not dead.

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(1) The Maple Leaf is sandbagged by the border crossing time. You could arguably add a stop to one of the other two Empire Service trains (or the LSL).

(2) County-by-county:

-Putnam County is served by Metro-North. There might be a case to add an Amtrak stop opposite Newburgh (though that would still be in the neighboring county), but I'm not sure whether even that is necessary given the MNRR coverage.

-Herkimer County is pretty thin, and it's between Utica and Amsterdam. You have three stations "in the neighborhood".

-Madison County is between Utica and Syracuse. I think Syracuse provides sufficient coverage.

-Cayuga and Wayne Counties are between Syracuse and Rochester. Again, the distance isn't that massive.

-Genesee County is between Rochester and Buffalo...but the Depew station is on that side of Buffalo.

-Chautauqua County is between Buffalo and Erie. On the one hand, I think there might be a case to add Dunkirk, NY. On the other hand? The LSL is the only station calling there and the hours would be atrocious, so I don't think there's much gain to be had here. If there were 2-3 daytime trains on this route I'd say it would be a good candidate for an add.

 

In general, those areas have a bunch of really small towns (<15000 folks) and are served by nearby city stations. Putnam is covered by MNRR.

From start to finish:

 

-Putnam probably has more rail service than it knows what to do with. Of course, since I have bad memories of having grown up there, don't blame me for not wanting an Amtrak stop there.

-Herkimer (the town in Herkimer County) had a New York Central stop until the advent of the Empire Service in 1967. If the DEIS/EIS process moves forward more, I'd argue in favor of adding a stop there.

-Madison County is served by Syracuse

-Wayne County is home to Lyons, which was a Central stop for years. ESPA has been pushing for a stop there for years.

-Genesee is home to Batavia, which was probably one of the first communities to lose Amtrak service (early on in 1971!). The former NY Central station on Lehigh Avenue is still there, now a CSX maintenance base. Batavia probably didn't fare well because towards the end it had service in one direction and because of its layout was a poor place for a flag stop (elevated ROW). And since Geneseo (the SUNY school) is equidistance between both Rochester and Batavia,

-Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) would be a good stop-historic NY Central locale, near Fredonia. That said, you'd need a day train to make it work best.

 

Personally, NYS needs more of a network than it has now. Until Bruce Rauner's election in Illinois, they were in plans to reintroduce service to the Quad Cities (not completely on my preferred routing) and Rockford. I'd like to see Southern Tier service, and with the air service situation there, now would be the best time.

The Quad Cities route project is still a go, and the Rockford route is just stalled, not dead.
Glad to hear. Personally, I wish they would have kept a mostly ex-RI routing, but I'm not sure if there are any track connections between the Rock Island District and lines to Union Station exist.

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Not anywhere near an Amtrak route, but I would like to see an NJT-MN train extended from Port Jervis to Binghamton, and maybe on to Elmira, and beyond...

 

If it was an Amtrak train, it could originate in Philly, use the NEC to Newark, then the NJT route, if Amtrak didn't want to base equipment in Hoboken....

It wouldn't serve Scranton, but at least the tracks are all there, and suitable for passenger trains.

Would be a nice place to run an "Autumn Express", perhaps.....but would probably be too long for a one day round trip.....

 

The last time I rode those rails was around 1970 on one of Ross Rowland's HIgh Iron Company steam excursion's with NKP 759. We went up via Scranton, and returned via Port Jervis, the next day.... :cool:

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If you want to run a service from Philly to Binghamton the routing PHL - HAR - Scranton - Binghamton may be faster than the hopelessly slow Port Jervis - Binghamton segment.

 

Also before MNRR service can run serving any county, that county has to join the MNRR "compact" and contribute money to it. I don't expect any of the Southern Tier counties to do that for just one lousy train on the Erie Line which would serve hardly anyone's business travel needs of any sort.

Edited by jis

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Herkimer (the town in Herkimer County) had a New York Central stop until the advent of the Empire Service in 1967. If the DEIS/EIS process moves forward more, I'd argue in favor of adding a stop there.

I will argue against it. Herkimer County is a tall (North to South) thin (East to West). With two Amtrak stops nearby (Utica and Amsterdam) there is no need for stop in this county. As a resident living southern Herkimer it not much of drive difference to get to Utica to catch a train than a drive to downtown Herkimer.

 

For the record if I am been lazy I do drive to Herkimer than turn left to get to Utica. Direct route can be fun in winter.

 

If funds were available upgrade Utica would be a better investment.

 

Even better would be more service to upstate. A early west bound and late east bound. With the LSL we only have 4 trains a day. The tip point is 5 for growth of ridership. Not sure the LSL counts for one of those 5 train a day.

 

Also all county run buses, but there is no connectivity between bus. Cant get here from there. Cooperstown to Utica. Not happening.

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Herkimer (the town in Herkimer County) had a New York Central stop until the advent of the Empire Service in 1967. If the DEIS/EIS process moves forward more, I'd argue in favor of adding a stop there.

I will argue against it. Herkimer County is a tall (North to South) thin (East to West). With two Amtrak stops nearby (Utica and Amsterdam) there is no need for stop in this county. As a resident living southern Herkimer it not much of drive difference to get to Utica to catch a train than a drive to downtown Herkimer.

 

For the record if I am been lazy I do drive to Herkimer than turn left to get to Utica. Direct route can be fun in winter.

 

If funds were available upgrade Utica would be a better investment.

 

Even better would be more service to upstate. A early west bound and late east bound. With the LSL we only have 4 trains a day. The tip point is 5 for growth of ridership. Not sure the LSL counts for one of those 5 train a day.

 

Also all county run buses, but there is no connectivity between bus. Cant get here from there. Cooperstown to Utica. Not happening.

 

Pine Hill Trailways still operates at least one daily trip between Cooperstown, Herkimer, and the Utica Amtrak station....

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If you want to run a service from Philly to Binghamton the routing PHL - HAR - Scranton - Binghamton may be faster than the hopelessly slow Port Jervis - Binghamton segment.

 

Also before MNRR service can run serving any county, that county has to join the MNRR "compact" and contribute money to it. I don;t expect any of the Southern Tier counties to do that for just one lousy train on the Erie Line which would serve hardly anyone's business travel needs of any sort.

I was just wanting a New York (Hoboken) to Binghamton run....only mentioned Philly, as that is a likely place for an Amtrak diesel train to be based.

 

I just looked at a 1964 E-L TT...it was indeed a slow, 3 hour and 10 minute ride from PJ to Bingo.....so yeah....added to the already long Hoboken to PJ time, not likely to attract many riders, when the bus can do it in almost half the time....

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It would be a very scenic ride - indeed borderline spectacular, up the Delaware Valley and Gorge though. The very thing that makes it excruciatingly slow. I have driven on the parallel local roads often as a slow scenic diversion away from somewhat scenic Rt 17, on the way to or from the Deposit area where I headed north to visit my old host family at Otego, usually via Franklin and then down the escarpment into the Susquehana Valley, or straight to Sydeny and I-88. I can almost claim it to be my old stomping grounds.

 

Incidentally, the shortest route to Otego from NJ is up Rt 17 to Roscoe and then on little mountain roads to Franklin and then down into Otego.

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I spent a few weeks for 3 summers at the Ten Mile River BSA camp at Narrowsburg. The upper Delaware is indeed very scenic and ever popular with rafters...

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If you want to run a service from Philly to Binghamton the routing PHL - HAR - Scranton - Binghamton may be faster than the hopelessly slow Port Jervis - Binghamton segment.

 

Also before MNRR service can run serving any county, that county has to join the MNRR "compact" and contribute money to it. I don't expect any of the Southern Tier counties to do that for just one lousy train on the Erie Line which would serve hardly anyone's business travel needs of any sort.

Any service past Port Jervis would be intercity. A great place for the Horizon coaches once they are off the Midwest routes.

 

It's a slow route, but for those who have the time to spare, it's scenic. East of Port Jervis you have the Moodna Viaduct. West of Port Jervis it's the Delaware River Valley, which is a little like the Colorado River Canyon, albeit a dollar store brand. Not as majestic, but still worthwhile.

 

That said, the news of Great Lakes Aviation's demise yesterday should only increase the demand for Amtrak service.

 

*As a part-time Sullivan County resident, I would LOVE the county to join the MTA, as my patience for ShortLine is short.

 

Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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If you want to run a service from Philly to Binghamton the routing PHL - HAR - Scranton - Binghamton may be faster than the hopelessly slow Port Jervis - Binghamton segment.

 

Also before MNRR service can run serving any county, that county has to join the MNRR "compact" and contribute money to it. I don't expect any of the Southern Tier counties to do that for just one lousy train on the Erie Line which would serve hardly anyone's business travel needs of any sort.

Any service past Port Jervis would be intercity. A great place for the Horizon coaches once they are off the Midwest routes.

 

It's a slow route, but for those who have the time to spare, it's scenic. East of Port Jervis you have the Moodna Viaduct. West of Port Jervis it's the Delaware River Valley, which is a little like the Colorado River Canyon, albeit a dollar store brand. Not as majestic, but still worthwhile.

 

That said, the news of Great Lakes Aviation's demise yesterday should only increase the demand for Amtrak service.

 

*As a part-time Sullivan County resident, I would LOVE the county to join the MTA, as my patience for ShortLine is short.

 

Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Amtrak Forum mobile app

 

Sullivan county joining the MTA district would not bring back the Ontario and Western....so....Short Line will have to do... :P

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If you want to run a service from Philly to Binghamton the routing PHL - HAR - Scranton - Binghamton may be faster than the hopelessly slow Port Jervis - Binghamton segment.

 

Also before MNRR service can run serving any county, that county has to join the MNRR "compact" and contribute money to it. I don't expect any of the Southern Tier counties to do that for just one lousy train on the Erie Line which would serve hardly anyone's business travel needs of any sort.

Any service past Port Jervis would be intercity. A great place for the Horizon coaches once they are off the Midwest routes.

 

It's a slow route, but for those who have the time to spare, it's scenic. East of Port Jervis you have the Moodna Viaduct. West of Port Jervis it's the Delaware River Valley, which is a little like the Colorado River Canyon, albeit a dollar store brand. Not as majestic, but still worthwhile.

 

That said, the news of Great Lakes Aviation's demise yesterday should only increase the demand for Amtrak service.

 

*As a part-time Sullivan County resident, I would LOVE the county to join the MTA, as my patience for ShortLine is short.

 

Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Amtrak Forum mobile app

Sullivan county joining the MTA district would not bring back the Ontario and Western....so....Short Line will have to do... :P
And I'm the only person who would rather have a three seat ride than ShortLine.

 

Not a fan of any Stagecoach property. No TVM's, inconsistent operations, etc.

 

Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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