Big Chuck: You’re on the right track with train to NYC

May 30, 2016

By “Big Chuck” D’Imperio, The Daily Star

I rode Amtrak to New York City last weekend. It is always a fun adventure.Website Insert 5000 New Seats copy

America’s rail system is positively prehistoric compared to the more traveler-friendly train routes of, say, Europe. Over there everybody rides the train.

Not so here.

Take New York state, for example. Huge chunks of the state are simply out of the bounds of convenient train travel. There are two major structured routes: across the state from Albany to Buffalo, and down the state from Albany to New York City. A few smaller passenger routes can be found but these are the main Amtrak routes known to all. Think about it. Want to catch a train ride from Johnson City to Kingston? Good luck.

So off my wife and I went to Albany to take a ride along the Hudson to the Big Apple last week. The train station in Albany (actually Rensselaer) is modern, airy, well-lighted, comfortable and easy to maneuver.

Oh. And empty.

We have taken this train ride many times and have never seen a crowd at this station. For sure, as the New York City-bound train pulls into the station, travelers appear out of nowhere, emerging from their hidden warrens to queue up to board. But within minutes after, the station is a vast, echoing empty hall.

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