Empire Corridor

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Empire Corridor
Corridor ne.PNG
Empire Corridor (red) as designated by the Federal Railroad Administration
OwnerCSX (Niagara–Poughkeepsie)
Metro-North (Poughkeepsie–Riverdale)
Amtrak (Riverdale–New York)
TerminiNiagara Falls
New York Penn Station
Stations35 (12 Amtrak, 20 Metro North, 3 shared)
TypeHigher-speed rail, commuter rail
CSX Transportation
ServicesEmpire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Hudson Line
Operator(s)CSX (Niagara–Schenectady)
Amtrak (Schenectady–Poughkeepsie)
Metro-North (Poughkeepsie–Yonkers)
Amtrak (Yonkers–New York)
Line length461 mi (742 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Empire Corridor is a term used to refer to the 461-mile (742 km) railroad corridor between Niagara Falls, New York and New York City, including the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Amsterdam, Schenectady, Albany, and Poughkeepsie. Amtrak's Empire Service and Maple Leaf serve the entire length of the corridor, with the Maple Leaf continuing to Toronto. Lake Shore Limited trains from Chicago join the Empire Corridor just before Buffalo–Depew station, and continue to Albany, where half of each train diverges to Boston, and the other half continues to New York City. The Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack follow the corridor between New York and Schenectady, after which they diverge and continue on to Rutland and Montreal, respectively. Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line merges with the Empire Corridor in Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx, just south of Riverdale, providing commuter rail service between Poughkeepsie, New York and Grand Central Terminal.

The line is electrified by both overhead catenary and top-running third rail on the Amtrak-owned segment between Penn Station and 41st Street, and by under-running third rail on the Metro-North segment, from the merge with the Hudson Line to Croton–Harmon. The Amtrak-owned section between 41st Street and the merge with the Hudson Line is unpowered and can only be served by diesel or diesel-electric trains.

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).[1][2]


The Empire Corridor is largely owned by CSX Transportation (CSX), which owns the trackage between Niagara Falls and Poughkeepsie.[3] Amtrak owns trackage rights for most of the Hudson line section north of Poughkeepsie to their rail yard in Albany. South of Poughkeepsie, the Empire Corridor is coextensive with Metro-North's trackage until it forks off between Metro-North's Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stations in the Bronx, to cross the Harlem River over the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge and make the Empire Connection to Penn Station. Amtrak owns the trackage after that fork, the West Side Line.

The corridor had been part of the main line of the New York Central Railroad; it was the eastern leg of the NYC's famed "Water Level Route" to Chicago. The corridor passed to Penn Central in 1968 upon the NYC's merger with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and passed to Conrail in 1976. In a series of purchases in the 1980s and 1990s, Amtrak bought the Bronx-Manhattan segment, Metro-North acquired the Poughkeepsie-Bronx segment, and CSX acquired the remainder when it split Conrail's assets with Norfolk Southern.

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.[4] Amtrak officially assumed control of the line on December 1, 2012.[5]

Current services[edit]

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


Southbound Amtrak train on Hudson line tracks, just south of Riverdale Station. Looking south from 254th street bridge, Riverdale, Bronx, NY

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

Commuter rail[edit]

Freight service[edit]

Freight service is provided by CSX Transportation.


All stations are in the state of New York.

Location Mile (km) Station Current station opened Corridor services Connections
Niagara Falls 461 (742) Niagara Falls December 6, 2016[6] NFTA: 50
Discover Niagara
Buffalo 437 (703) Buffalo–Exchange Street November 8, 2020[7] Thruway Motorcoach to Jamestown
Buffalo Metro Rail at Erie Canal Harbor
NFTA: 14, 16, 42, 74
Depew 431 (694) Buffalo–Depew October 28, 1979[8] NFTA: 46
Rochester 370 (600) Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Station October 6, 2017[9] RTS: 37, 41
Syracuse New York State Fair (seasonal) August 22, 2002[10]
291 (468) William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center August 1998[6] CENTRO: 16, 48, 50, 60, 62, 70, 82, 236, 246, 250
Rome 250 (400) Rome 1914[6] CENTRO of Oneida: 4, 7
Utica 237 (381) Utica Union Station May 24, 1914[6] Adirondack Scenic Railroad to Thendara
CENTRO of Oneida: 12
Birnie Bus Services
Adirondack Trailways
Chenango Valley Bus Company
Amsterdam 177 (285) Amsterdam 1973[6]
Schenectady 159 (256) Schenectady Intermodal Station October 17, 2018[11] CDTA: 351, 353, 354, 355, 370, 763, 905 BusPlus
Rensselaer 141 (227) Albany–Rensselaer September 22, 2002[12] CDTA: NX Northway Express, 114, 214
Hudson 114 (183) Hudson 1874[6] Columbia County Public Transportation
Rhinecliff 100 (160) Rhinecliff–Kingston 1914[6]
Poughkeepsie 80 (130) Poughkeepsie February 18, 1918[13] City of Poughkeepsie Transit: Main Street
Dutchess County Public Transit: A, B, C, D, E, Poughkeepsie Commuter Connection
New Hamburg 71.5 (115.1) New Hamburg October 17, 1981[14] Dutchess County Public Transit: New Hamburg Commuter Connection
Beacon 65.5 (105.4) Beacon 1915[15] Dutchess County Public Transit: Beacon Commuter Connection
Leprechaun Lines: Newburgh-Beacon Shuttle
Newburgh–Beacon Ferry
Cold Spring 61.5 (99.0) Breakneck Ridge
59 (95) Cold Spring 1893 Putnam Transit: Cold Spring Trolley
Garrison 56.4 (90.8) Garrison 1892
52.5 (84.5) Manitou 1983[16]
Peekskill 47.7 (76.8) Peekskill 1874 Bee-Line Bus: 16, 18, 31
Montrose 44.9 (72.3) Cortlandt 1996[17] Bee-Line Bus: 14
Croton-on-Hudson 39.7 (63.9) Croton–Harmon 1988[6] Bee-Line Bus: 10, 11, 14
Ossining 37.3 (60.0) Ossining 1914 Bee-Line Bus: 13, 13B, 19
Haverstraw–Ossining Ferry
Briarcliff Manor 36 (58) Scarborough 1851
Sleepy Hollow 33 (53) Philipse Manor January 30, 1911[18]
Tarrytown 31.7 (51.0) Tarrytown 1925[19] Transport of Rockland: Tappan Zee Express
Bee-Line Bus: 1T, 13, T
Irvington 29.2 (47.0) Irvington 1889
28.2 (45.4) Ardsley-on-Hudson c. 1896
Dobbs Ferry 27.2 (43.8) Dobbs Ferry 1899 Bee-Line Bus: 1, 6
Hastings-on-Hudson 26 (42) Hastings-on-Hudson 1910 Bee-Line Bus: 6, 1C, 1T, & 1W
Yonkers 24.3 (39.1) Greystone 1899 Bee-Line Bus: 6, 1C, 1T, & 1W
22.7 (36.5) Glenwood Bee-Line Bus: 1C, 1T, & 1W
21.6 (34.8) Yonkers 1911[6] Bee-Line Bus: 6, 9, 25, 32, 91 (seasonal)
20.8 (33.5) Ludlow Bee-Line Bus: 32
The Bronx 19.5 (31.4) Riverdale Hudson Rail Link: A, B, C, D
New York 0 (0) Penn Station 1968[6] Amtrak: Acela Express, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter
Long Island Rail Road: Main Line, Port Washington Branch
NJ Transit Rail: North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Gladstone Branch, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morristown Line
New York City Subway: 1, ​2, and ​3 trains at Seventh Avenue, A, ​C, and ​E trains at Eighth Avenue
New York City Bus: M7, M20, M34, M34A, Q32

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Lienhard. "Rain, Steam & Speed: Inventing Powered Motion". Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  2. ^ "GREAT SPEED Off THE CENTRAL.; Empire State Express Engine Travels at the Rate of 112 1-2 Miles an Hour" (PDF). The New York Times. May 12, 1893. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  3. ^ Amtrak system timetable, Fall 2010/Winter 2011, page 25
  4. ^ "Amtrak to lease Empire Corridor trackage from CSX". Trains Magazine. October 18, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Building Great American Stations". Amtrak. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Prohaska, Thomas J. (November 8, 2020). "New Amtrak Station Opens Downtown handling Curtailed Runs Amid Pandemic". The Buffalo News. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "New Buffalo Station". Amtrak NEWS. 6 (12): 6–7. November 1979. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Manon, Tianna. "Rochester's new train station is open for business". www.wxxinews.org. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  10. ^ Lankes, Tiffany (September 2, 2002). "State Fair attendance drops, vendors suffer sales losses". The Daily Orange. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of Schenectady Train Station". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. October 17, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Woodruff, Cathy (February 14, 2010). "Train Late? Old Stations Derail New Track". Albany Times Union. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Howe, Patricia; Katherine Moore (February 25, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places nomination, Poughkeepsie Railroad station". Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  14. ^ "New Rail Car to Arrive at New Hamburg Stop". The Poughkeepsie Journal. October 16, 1981. Retrieved December 30, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  15. ^ Ken Kinlock. "Railroad at Fishkill Landing NY First Phase". Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "New York Division Bulletin". Electric Railroaders' Association. July 1993. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  17. ^ Transportation Research Record. Transportation Research Board, Commission on Sociotechnical Systems, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. 1999. ISBN 9780309071031.
  18. ^ "Philipse Manor". The New York Times. February 5, 1911. p. 71. Retrieved December 27, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  19. ^ "Big Apartment for Suburb". The New York Times. October 11, 1925. Retrieved May 18, 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°9′47.6″N 77°36′28.9″W / 43.163222°N 77.608028°W / 43.163222; -77.608028