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Unknown if food service will now be restored on Amtrak trains

Apr 02, 2019 2:00 pm
The Times Union is reporting both state and Amtrak officials have not said if the new state budget will restore food service on some Amtrak trains. Amtrak suspended food service on Empire Service trains originating or terminating in Rensselaer nearly 14 years ago, claiming heavy financial losses. Passenger rail advocates had hoped this year the new state budget might include an appropriation that would reopen the commissary at the Rensselaer train station and the cafe cars on the trains. Asked if the new spending plan would bring back train food service, an Amtrak spokeswoman referred the question to a state Department of Transportation spokesman, who in turn suggested the question be posed to a person at the state Division of the Budget, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Three years after Amtrak ended its food service on trains originating and terminating in Rensselaer, federal legislation gave states more oversight, and a financial stake, in intrastate passenger services, including fares, frequencies and amenities such as food service. Read the full story in the Times Union.