Amtrak Adirondack service to resume Monday
PORT KENT, N.Y. (WCAX) - It’s a day New York North Country communities have waited for -- Amtrack’s Adirondack train is scheduled to return Monday after a three-year absence. And those living in the small and large communities along the line are excited to see rail service return.
“We’re starting to recover and this is a step in the right direction,” said Rouses Point Mayor John LaBonte. He says as the region continues to recover from pandemic shutdowns, they have missed the tourism that the train provided. “I think I’ll feel a sense of relief that we are getting back to normal. Our village is now wide open for tourism and it’s a wonderful thing, wonderful feeling.”
Down the road, businesses say they might not see large numbers of people spending their money in town, but thanks to Amtrak, any bit of extra tourism helps.
“Hopefully with everybody being stuck in the house with COVID, they take advantage of it, they come down enjoy the lake, they eat at the restaurants. I don’t see how it could be a negative in any way shape or form,” said Christina Vanier with Sandy’s Deli in Rouses Point.
The train is billed by Amtrak as one of the most scenic and popular lines in the country. Garry Douglas with The North Country Chamber of Commerce says it’ll help create more Canadian travel, help students come to Plattsburgh, and help get tourism to the Adirondack region. “I think it’ll come back strongly by summer once they know, and I think we’ll start to see growth again because there are more and more people who are making a conscious choice, even if given in a situation it costs more or takes longer to travel in the greenest possible way -- and that’s rail,” he said.
Port Kent Deputy Supervisor Patrick Mitchell says they are still missing the tourism the Lake Champlain Ferry from Burlington provided before it was discontinued.
He says with Ubers and Airbnb’s close by, he’s excited for the future of the line. “We have a lot to offer people that do come up and use the train, we have for years. I’ve picked up relatives and friends here and I know a lot of people come from other areas just to pick them up here because it’s a nice handy little spot. Look at the view you have behind me,” he said.
The Adirondack service from New York City to Montreal begins Monday, April 3.
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