CN and Amtrak Reach Agreement on Adirondack Rail Line

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
image description
Courtesy of Benjamin Turon

ROUSES POINT, N.Y. – The agreement reached by CN and Amtrak means trackwork will take place on the Rouses Point Subdivision and will prevent long-term shutdowns of the Adirondack Line.

In a joint statement, Amtrak and CN said the work “will help mitigate, but not eliminate, heat slow order speed limits going forward. CN has been planning the work for several months and will endeavor to make the necessary work expeditiously and safely in 2024. . . Adirondack service may be modified on a short-term basis in the coming weeks to ensure completion of the track work, which will help increase reliability of the service during summer months of the year, and in the future. . . Amtrak and CN appreciate the interest of local stakeholders and the leadership of the New York Congressional Delegation in helping to resolve this matter.”

According to a report from Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the line from Saratoga Springs to Montreal will be suspended for six weeks while crews make repairs to the line. The agreement will ensure service resumes in June.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (New York’s 21st District) said in a statement, “I am proud to announce that following my advocacy, Amtrak and CN have reached an agreement that will allow them to continue serving Upstate New York and North Country communities that rely on the Adirondack Line for transportation . . . This result will allow tourism to flourish through the summer months, strengthening economic development in the region and our partnership with our Canadian neighbors.”

President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce Garry Douglas said, “While the journey to a favorable conclusion has seemed longer than the railway itself, we welcome the finalization of an agreement between Amtrak and CN that will avoid another summer long shutdown. . . This means that the six-week suspension starting May 20th will allow the heat related challenges on a stretch of the CN line north of the border to be fully resolved so that, when service resumes at the end of June, we should see no more rail condition interruptions for hopefully years to come. And that means service will be back for most of the summer and can resume the increase in ridership we were seeing before these suspensions. We thank our federal representatives and especially Congresswoman Stefanik for the persistent pursuit of this needed agreement and commitment.”

In June 2023, CN had established 10mph speed safety restrictions that shut down service of the line whenever the temperature reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Amtrak service north of Saratoga Springs was suspended for 79 days. A few months later, in September, Congresswoman Stefanik sent a letter to both Amtrak and CN to come up with a plan to avoid summer service suspensions on the line. Congresswoman Stefanik’s office stated that it has been working with both Amtrak and CN to keep the line functioning.

Tags: , , , , , ,