Amtrak may close Rhinecliff station temporarily if they can't find more parking spaces
William J. Kemble reports in the Daily Freeman that Amtrak will discontinue stops at the 109-year-old Rhinecliff station temporarily if a new parking area can’t be found, according to Rhinebeck Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia. Amtrak is negotiating with a property owner at Orchard Drive and Lapolt Avenue for additional parking while the Rhinecliff rail station undergoes renovations. Spinzia said, “They are going to need to come up with a parking space for overflow starting this fall.... If we don’t have an alternate parking space for them this station could close down.... It could just go from Hudson to Poughkeepsie.” Amtrak officials say the work could take longer than the four years initially expected. “It could be six years,” Spinzia said. “The station could be under construction for over four years.” Amtrak is improving the signal system on sections of track, replacing crumbling concrete platforms, installing a longer upper-level platform, constructing new stairs, and upgrading the handicapped accessibility access with $28.22 million in federal funding. Currently the Rhinecliff station has about 200,000 passengers per year. Amtrak's work is part of a plan to increase the number of round trips between Albany and New York City from 13 to 17 daily. Amtrak officials did not respond to a request for comments. Spinzia said that Amtrak has, "agreed to do what I think should be a Town Board meeting where they go over their plans with us in public and we have our Historic and Archeological Preservation Committee … and Planning Board weigh in with recommendations for them to consider.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.