Amtrak withdraws Hudson River fencing proposal

Amtrak and state agencies withdraw Hudson River fencing proposal

Amtrak announced on Friday that the company and New York State agencies have jointly agreed that Amtrak will withdraw its current fencing application before New York State.

The plan was to erect fences blocking unofficial crossings to the Hudson River and locked gates blocking a shoreline access road widely used by anglers, hunters and other river stewards. The proposed project has been a point of contention in affected Hudson River communities in Columbia and Dutchess counties since it was announced in March 2018, sparking widely-signed petitions, meetings, a forum, an Earth Day rally, comments, letters and speeches from state and local politicians urging Amtrak to consider the impact the plan would have on river access.

A public informational meeting had initially been scheduled for Jan. 29 in Germantown for Amtrak and state Department of Transportation officials to present details and reasoning for the project.

The Germantown Waterfront Advisory Committee would like to thank Amtrak officials for deciding to take a fresh look at the project and for pledging to continue working with local and state officials as a new plan for the corridor is developed.

Also, Rob Beaury, town supervisor of Germantown, said Friday, “I wish to thank Amtrak, DOT and DOS for withdrawing the current application and agreeing to work with our communities to finalize a plan prior to submitting a new application. Working together we can achieve the right balance of access and safety.”

Amtrak’s full statement, titled, “Amtrak Withdrawing Current Hudson Line Fencing Project Application to New York State Department of State,” reads:

“After hosting collaborative meetings over the past few months, Amtrak, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the New York State Department of State, have jointly agreed to Amtrak withdrawing its application on the current Hudson Line Fencing Project proposal so it can be revised in conjunction with a five-year corridor plan to improve safety along the Empire Service Hudson Line. Additionally, Amtrak will continue to work with the affected communities, Town Officials and State agencies on formulating the revised plan. Public informational meetings will also be held prior to the submission of a new application to the Department of State.

“At Amtrak, the safe operation of service for our Customers, Employees, and the Public is top priority, and we will continue to work towards providing the safest, reliable, and most efficient passenger rail service along the Hudson Line and throughout the entire Amtrak system.”

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