Empire State Passengers Association

Welcome to the Association's Website!

The Empire State Passenger Association (ESPA) is a volunteer network of citizens, founded in 1980, constantly working to improve and expand Amtrak and public transit services across New York State, from Montauk to Niagara Falls and Dunkirk to Plattsburgh.


You may now Join the Association or Renew your membership on-line with a credit card payment!

And current members can update their Membership Account information anytime!

Get Involved & Take Action in Support of Passenger Rail

New Mailing Address

Empire State Passengers Association
P. O. Box 3012
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603-0012

ESPA Contact Information



Livingston Avenue Rail Bridge

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that construction has begun on a $634.8 million project to replace the Livingston Avenue Rail Bridge, which will replace the Civil War-era passenger rail bridge

Earlier today, Friday July 12th, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that construction has begun on a $634.8 million project to replace the Livingston Avenue Rail Bridge, which will replace the Civil War-era passenger rail bridge spanning the Hudson River between the cities of Albany and Rensselaer; and provide a modern crossing that will improve service and reliability along New York State’s Empire Corridor and throughout the entire northeast. Governor Hochul also announced a $10 million award to demolish the Central Warehouse, a blighted building in Downtown Albany, pieces of which have fallen onto nearby rail tracks disrupting Amtrak service for thousands of New Yorkers.

“We'll be restoring the two-track operation. Increasing the train speeds from 15 miles per hour to 40 – more than doubling it, building a reliable lift bridge and signal system." stated Governor Hochul. "We're going to create a bike path and a pedestrian walkway that'll connect bicyclists and walkers across the river... That's why I made the commitment saying, “No, we've waited long enough. This community has waited long enough. Our passengers have waited long enough. And we're going to make sure we get this done.”

“A new day has dawned," continued the Governor. "We are announcing $10 million from New York's Restore program to accomplish what has been so challenging in the past, and that is the demolition of this tower of neglect, the Central Warehouse. Let's get it done. Both of these projects send a signal. This is a community that matters. It's worth investing in. Its people are worth investing in and these will both connect our communities in better ways.”



New York State Senate Public Hearing on High Speed Rail

On Monday, January 29th, the New York Senate Standing Committee on Transportation held a public hearing to examine passenger rail within New York State, specifically the “90B” rail improvement plan adopted by the State Department of Transportation. For video of the hearing and ESPA's testimony please visit the link below:

New York State Senate Public Hearing on High Speed Rail

High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Program Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Released

Find out more about the 'Higher Speed Rail' plan for the Empire Corridor

Empire Corridor History

  • Learn about how today's Amtrak "Empire Corridor" service came about, with in 1967 the New York Central Railroad pioneering the first modern intercity passenger rail corridor service, the New York City to Buffalo "Empire Service"

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Questions about passenger rail? What is High Speed Rail? How fast do Empire Corridor trains go? Who owns the tracks? What is PRIIA Section 209? What makes up railroad track? What is an Interlocking? We got answers!

Climate Change and Passenger Rail

  • How passenger rail in New York State can meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act for a net-zero sustainable transportation system.

New 'Airo' Trainsets for NEC and Empire Corridor

  • Amtrak has ordered 83 'Airo' diesel-electric trainsets from Siemens Mobility, with the first entering service in 2026. Seventy-three of the new trainsets will feature dual-mode power utilizing overhead electric catenary or onboard batteries for the Northeast Regional and Empire Corridor services.

Planning and Management of the Empire Corridor

  • How the planning and management of intercity passenger rail in New York State can be improved by adopting the best practices of other states like Virginia, while avoiding the mistakes of others, including the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Lakeshore Rail Alliance

  • The new Lakeshore Rail Alliance was formed to advocate for increased and improved train service along the current Lake Shore Limited route between New York City and Chicago.

East–West Rail Project

  • Imagine being able to take the train from Albany to Boston as conveniently as you can now go to New York City on Amtrak. Well, it could happen if ongoing efforts by Massachusetts to connect the western half of the Bay State by rail to Boston come to fruition.

Hudson Line Projects

  • The combination of a New York-Albany infrastructure upgrade program for Amtrak and Metro-North's ‘Hudson Line’ and the introduction of shiny new modern Siemens Venture trainsets would make for an impressive “Higher Speed Rail” program.

Saratoga-Schenectady Service Extension

  • Extending an existing Empire Service daily roundtrip to Schenectady and Saratoga so that residents of the northern portion of the Capital Region would have an additional daily roundtrip to the Hudson Valley and New York City, providing more options and convenience in traveling by rail.

Southern Tier Passenger Rail Service

  • There has not been passenger rail service to New York State’s “Southern Tier” since before Amtrak’s inauguration in 1971. Historically the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad from New York City had offered a very smart intercity passenger service to Buffalo; made famous by its advertising icon Phoebe Snow.

Proposals for Service Improvements and Expansions

  • Ideas big and small on who to improve and expand our state's intercity passenger rail service, including: full cafe food service on all trains; onboard enroute cleaning, baggage cars, travel packages, and more!

Lakeshore Rail Alliance

ESPA is very pleased to be a founding organizational member of the new Lakeshore Rail Alliance, which is advocating for increased & improved train service along the current Lake Shore Limited route between New York City & Chicago. All Aboard Erie (PA) is the host organization for this new collaboration of seven passenger rail advocacy groups along the route. At a Press Event held on July 27th, 2021 in Erie, PA, the Alliance was formally announced, along with an introduction of it's new Erie-based Executive Director Michael Fuhrman. ESPA's Bruce Becker and Roy Davis represented the Association at the event.

Lakeshore Rail Alliance Press Release


Mobility-on-Demand Service at the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station

The CDTA officially inaugurated their FLEX+ mobility-on-demand service at the Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station on Monday (01/29). FLEX+ offers convenient, on demand connections between the Joseph L. Bruno Rail Station and key downtown Albany destinations including the New York State Capitol, Albany Capital Center, Empire State Plaza, and other popular locations. ESPA congratulates the CDTA stepping forward to improve last mile connections in the Capital City for intercity passenger rail travelers.


Amtrak's Adirondack Service Returns After Three-Year Hiatus

Amtrak's Adirondack returned — after its three-year COVID suspension — on Monday April 3rd, 2023, with the first northbound train from New York Penn Station to Montreal Gare Centrale. Communities along the route welcomed the train back, with members of the Empire State Passenger Association riding the train and joining in the welcoming festivities at Saratoga Springs and Plattsburgh. The 'Adirondack' is a state-supported train by New York State that started service on August 6, 1974.

There was a welcoming event at the Saratoga Springs Rail Station held by ESPA, the CDTA, Discover Saratoga/Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, Senator Jim Tedisco's Office, and Mayor Ron Kim of the City of Saratoga Springs. There was another welcoming event held at Plattsburgh where several people spoke, including: North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of the 21st district, Plattsburgh Mayor Christopher C. Rosenquest, Amtrak President Roger Harris, and Gary Prophet of ESPA. ESPA would like to thank everyone who attended for supporting passenger rail at these events.

YouTube Video: The Adirondack's First Run Since COVID | April 3rd, 2023

Press Coverage by Local Media

PHOTO CREDIT: NYS Governor's Office

East Side Access is Finished!

LIRR Service to Grand Central Madison Inaugurated in Jan 2023

East Side Access, the public works project to extend the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) two miles from its Main Line in Queens to the new Grand Central Madison LIRR station under Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan's East Side was completed and open for public service on January 25, 2023 with limited service to Jamaica station in Queens. The project was originally scheduled to open in 2009 and went billions over budget, making it one of the world's most expensive underground rail-construction projects. The new LIRR terminal contains eight tracks and four platforms in a two-level station 100 feet below street level and was built in conjunction with several other LIRR expansion projects, including an additional third track along parts of the LIRR Main Line. The project was intended to remove or reduce the need for subway transfers from Penn Station for the substantial number of Long Island riders with jobs on the east side of Manhattan.

For More... LIRR Service to Grand Central Madison Inaugurated

ABOVE RIGHT: Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber after riding the inaugural Long Island Rail Road train to Grand Central Madison, which arrived at the terminal platform at 11:07 a.m. LEFT: Happy LIRR Conductor on first public service train into Grand Central Madison. PHOTO CREDIT: NYS Governor's Office

Grand Opening of Moynihan Train Hall in New York City

With a grand opening on Dec 31st, 2020 led by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the 255,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall was opened for passengers in the westward expansion of New York City's Pennsylvania Station into the 100-year-old James A. Farley Building. The East End Gateway to Penn Station at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue also opened on New Year's Eve. The new Moynihan Train Hall is named for former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who in the 1990s proposed and advocated for the surplus space in the historic Farley Post Office to expand the existing railroad station underneath Madison Square Garden.

For More... Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of Moynihan Train Hall in New York City


Build on the historic site of the previous Exchange Street stations, the new station was constructed on time and on budget, being twice the size of the city's previous rail station. Providing travelers with a convenient and intermodal gateway to Buffalo's bustling downtown, the new station has easy connections to local bus and light rail service, with several hotels and attractions a short walk away. A tremendous improvement over the previous 1952-era facility, the rebuild and expanded station is a great addition to the rapidly-redeveloping and increasingly vibrant downtown Buffalo.

Link to Gov. Cuomo's Press Release on Completion of New Intermodal Transportation Hub

Link to Photo Album by Bruce Becker of the New Buffalo Exchange Street Station