Puneet Varma

Empire Corridor

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Empire Corridor

The Empire Corridor is a term used to refer to the approximately 460-mile (740 km) railroad corridor between Niagara Falls, New York and New York City, including the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady and Albany. Amtrak's Empire Service and Maple Leaf serve the entire length of this corridor, and the Maple Leaf continues to Toronto. The Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line provides commuter rail service between Poughkeepsie, New York and Grand Central Terminal.

Contents

The corridor is also one of ten federally designated high-speed rail corridors in the United States.

If the proposed high-speed service were built on the corridor, trains traveling between Buffalo and New York City would travel at speeds of up to 125 mph (201 km/h). In the 1890s service on the Empire State Express service between New York City and Buffalo was about 1 hour faster than Amtrak's service in 2013. On September 14, 1891 the Empire State Express covered the 436 miles (702 km) between New York City and Buffalo in 7 hours and 6 minutes (including stops), averaging 61.4 mph (98.8 km/h), with a top speed of 82 mph (132 km/h).

Ownership

The Empire Corridor is largely owned by CSX Transportation (CSX), which owns the trackage between Niagara Falls and Poughkeepsie. South of Poughkeepsie, Metro-North owns the trackage to Yonkers, from which Amtrak owns the trackage into Pennsylvania Station.

On October 18, 2011, Amtrak and CSX announced an agreement for Amtrak to lease, operate and maintain the CSX-owned trackage between Poughkeepsie and Schenectady. Amtrak officially assumed control of the line on December 1, 2012.

Current passenger services

The busiest segment of the Empire Corridor is between New York City and Albany with multiple trains per day.

Amtrak

The following trains operate along the varied segments of the corridor:

  • Empire Service: local service along the entire corridor from New York City to Niagara Falls. Most trains operate along the southern segment between New York and Rensselaer, with two trains in each direction continuing west to Niagara.
  • Ethan Allen Express: three trains in each direction daily from New York City to Rutland, splitting from the corridor in Rensselaer.
  • Adirondack: New York City to Central Station, splitting from the corridor in Rensselaer.
  • Lake Shore Limited- New York City to Chicago, splitting from the corridor at Depew (though half of the train splits off in Rensselaer to continue east to Boston.
  • Maple Leaf- daily from New York City to Toronto, operating on the entire corridor.
  • Commuter rail

  • Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line, from Poughkeepsie, New York to Grand Central Terminal, New York
  • Freight service

    Freight service is provided by CSX Transportation.

    References

    Empire Corridor Wikipedia


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