Albany–Rensselaer station

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Rensselaer, NY
Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station - View from the NW on the Herrick Street Bridge.jpg
Albany-Rensselaer station in April 2016
Location525 East Street, Rensselaer, New York
Coordinates42°38′29″N 73°44′28″W / 42.64139°N 73.74111°W / 42.64139; -73.74111Coordinates: 42°38′29″N 73°44′28″W / 42.64139°N 73.74111°W / 42.64139; -73.74111
Owned byCapital District Transportation Authority[1]
Operated byCapital District Transportation Authority[1]
Line(s)Empire Corridor (Hudson Subdivision)
Platforms2 island platforms
ConnectionsBus transport CDTA: 114, 214[1]
Bus transport Megabus: M27
Parking512 spaces[1]
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeALB
OpenedDecember 29, 1968[2]
RebuiltJune 2, 1999–September 22, 2002[1][3]
2017803,348[4]Decrease 6%
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Schenectady Empire Service Hudson
toward New York
Schenectady Maple Leaf
toward Montreal
toward Rutland
Ethan Allen Express
toward Chicago
Lake Shore Limited Rhinecliff–Kingston
toward New York
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
toward Chicago
Lake Shore Poughkeepsie
Colonie–Schenectady Niagara Rainbow Hudson
toward Montreal
Rerouted in 1978
Preceding station Conrail Following station
Hudson Line
Until 1981
toward New York
Preceding station New York Central Railroad Following station
toward Chicago
Main Line Castleton-on-Hudson
toward New York
Boston and Albany Railroad
Main Line
toward Boston
East Greenbush
toward Boston

Rensselaer Rail Station,[1] signed as Albany–Rensselaer on its platforms, is a train station in Rensselaer, New York, located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown Albany across the Hudson River.[1] Operated by the Capital District Transportation Authority, it serves as Amtrak's primary station for the Capital District. To emphasize the station's location across the river from Albany, as well as to distinguish from the Rensselaer station in Indiana, Amtrak refers to the station as "Albany–Rensselaer."

It is served by Amtrak's Empire Corridor routes, including the Lake Shore Limited, whose Boston and New York sections diverge at the station.

As of 2018 it was Amtrak's ninth-busiest station, as well as the busiest to serve a metro area with a population smaller than 2 million–[5]a distinction it has held since at least 2010.[6] This is primarily due to the large number of passengers who commute to and from New York City.


A Penn Central Empire Service train arriving at Albany-Rensselaer in 1970

The present station is the third on the site. The first station was built in 1968, and the second in 1980.[6] Before 1968, trains stopped at Union Station in Albany. That building, located on Broadway, now houses the northeast headquarters of Bank of America (via predecessors Fleet Bank and Norstar Bank). The New York Central Railroad had plans to leave Albany, in part because Interstate 787 needed the space occupied by a rail yard, but the move took place under Penn Central's watch.

The 1968 building was torn down in order to expand the station's parking facility. The current structure was completed in September 2002 and opened on September 22.[7] It was designed by the Schenectady architecture firm Stracher–Roth Gilmore and the New York firm Vollmer Associates, with Ryan-Biggs of Troy providing structural engineering, Sage/Engineering Associates providing MEP engineering services, Erdman Anthony of Troy providing facilities engineering, and constructed by U. W. Marx/Bovis joint venture.[8] The station was originally intended to have four tracks, but was built with only three due to cost concerns, leaving the station with fewer than preferable tracks.[7] In October 2008, it was announced that a fourth track would be built after the two previous terminal buildings were demolished; a contract for that work was assigned at the same time.[7] Design work was proceeding on the fourth track as of February 2010, but actual construction was placed on hold pending resolution of funding issues and demolition of the two terminal buildings to the north.[7]

On October 27, 2010, demolition of the two other buildings began.[6] In a December 4, 2012 press release, Amtrak indicated that installation of the fourth track would begin in 2013,[9] and the project was completed in March 2016.[10]

In March 2020, Adirondack and Ethan Allen Express service was suspended north of Albany–Rensselaer as part of a round of service reductions in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.[11]

Station layout[edit]

Interior of the current station.

The two floor station features a large main lobby that contains a coffee shop, a newsstand, and a post office. Trains call at two high-level island platforms serving two tracks in each direction. The platforms are connected to the main building by an aerial walkway that is accessed by stairs, escalator and elevator.[12] Each 605-foot (184 m) platform can accommodate up to 7 Amfleet cars, not including an engine.

An Amtrak train at Platform 1
G Street level Exit/entrance, platform crossover, station building, parking, buses
Platform level
Track 3      Lake Shore Limited toward Chicago (Schenectady)
     Maple Leaf toward Toronto (Schenectady)
     Empire Service toward Niagara Falls (Schenectady)
     Adirondack toward Montreal (Schenectady)
     Ethan Allen Express toward Rutland (Schenectady)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right Disabled access
Track 1      Maple Leaf toward Toronto (Schenectady)
     Empire Service toward Niagara Falls (Schenectady)
     Adirondack toward Montreal (Schenectady)
     Ethan Allen Express toward Rutland (Schenectady)
     Lake Shore Limited toward Boston (Pittsfield)
     Lake Shore Limited toward New York (Rhinecliff–Kingston)
Track 2      Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express toward New York (Hudson)
     Empire Service, Maple Leaf toward New York (Hudson)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right Disabled access
Track 4      Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express toward New York (Hudson)
     Empire Service, Maple Leaf toward New York (Hudson)

Transportation services[edit]


Two Amtrak trains at Albany-Rensselaer station, as viewed from the parking deck over the platforms

The station's busiest route is the Empire Service, with seven round trips to New York City, five of which originate and terminate here. It is the descendant of the New York Central's express trains running along the eastern leg of the famed "Water Level Route" to Chicago.

With the exception of the Boston branch of the Lake Shore Limited, all trains have southbound service to Penn Station in New York City.

  • Adirondack to Montreal
  • Empire Service: all trains to New York (via Hudson, Rhinecliff, Poughkeepsie, Croton-on-Hudson, Yonkers); most northbound trains terminate here; two trains per day continue to Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
  • Ethan Allen Express to Rutland, Vermont
  • Lake Shore Limited to Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago
    • New York Branch (Train 48/49): Poughkeepsie, Croton-on-Hudson, New York (Penn Station)
    • Boston Branch (Train 448/449): Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Framingham, Boston (Back Bay), Boston (South Station)
  • Maple Leaf to Toronto

Southbound, most non-Empire Service trains swap out a diesel GE P42DC locomotive for a dual mode P32AC-DM, since non-electric locomotives are not permitted in Penn Station. The P42DC is readied for a train coming northbound from New York City.


The Megabus stop at the station

The intercity Megabus operates regular service to New York City and Ridgewood, N.J. Temporary Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach services due to track service work also serve the station from its bus bays.

Two bus routes operated by the Capital District Transportation Authority, the local public transportation agency, serve the station:

  • 114-Madison/Washington: Every 30 minutes during the day, and every hour on nights and weekends.
  • 214-Rensselaer/Third Street-Amtrak: Every 30 minutes during rush hours, every 40 minutes during the day and about every hour on nights and weekends.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Rail Stations". Capital District Transportation Authority. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Penn-Central to Open New Rensselaer Station Dec. 29". The Times-Record. Troy, New York. December 20, 1968. p. 3. Retrieved June 23, 2019 – via open access
  3. ^ Holland, Jesse J. (June 3, 1999). "New Digs". The Post-Star. Glens Falls, New York. p. A5. Retrieved November 14, 2020 – via open access
  4. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2017, State of New York" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2018, State of New York" (PDF). Amtrak. June 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Anderson, Eric (October 27, 2010). "High-Speed Rail Chugs Toward the Fast Lane". Albany Times Union. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Woodruff, Cathy (February 14, 2010). "Train Late? Old Stations Derail New Track". Albany Times Union. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  8. ^ "2002 Award of Merit: Transit Project". Engineering News-Record. McGraw-Hill. December 1, 2002. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces Hudson Rail Lease – Amtrak/CSX Deal Will Improve Passenger Service, Move Projects Forward" (PDF) (Press release). Albany, New York: Amtrak. December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  10. ^ Anderson, Eric (March 7, 2016). "Fourth Track Opens At Station". Albany Times Union. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  11. ^ "Service Adjustments Due to Coronavirus" (Press release). Amtrak. 2020-03-24. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  12. ^ Eric Anderson (2017-06-26). "Rensselaer Amtrak station gets new escalators". Times Union. Retrieved 2019-03-26.

External links[edit]