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Face the Facts: Here's Everything to Know About the Albany Rensselaer Train Station

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The albany rensselaer train station is a popular train station in New York. Here's everything you'd want to know about it!

The invention of the steam engine by George Stephenson revolutionized travel first in Great Britain then the United States and the rest of the world. The U.S. initially imported locomotives from England after starting construction on the first U.S. railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in 1828.

Now more than 140,000 miles of railroad exist in the U.S., including the railroads connecting to the Albany Rensselaer Train Station in New York. If you’re not flying from Albany airport, this station is the next best public transport hub in Albany.

Learn everything you need to know about the Albany Amtrak station before you travel through as well as some fun facts about the station’s history below.

History of the Albany Rensselaer Train Station

The first train station built in New York was Union Station and it was the only one to serve Albany from 1899 to 1968. The city of New York began construction on the first Albany Rensselaer train station in 1968.

In December 1968, all trains from Union Station moved to the Rensselaer station after the merging of the New York Central Railroad with Penn Central Railroad. Amtrak took over the train service through the station three years later.

The Capitol District Transit Authority funded and completed building the new Albany Rensselaer train station in September 2002. The Stracher Roth Gilmore architectural firm from Schenectady, New York designed the building.

A rustic-looking train station made of red brick, it features a stunning clock tower that stands two stores above the station itself. The large building has an open waiting area with massive windows that extend up two-stories on both sides and towards the street. These windows let in natural light to make the waiting room very bright and airy.

The original plans for the Albany train station featured four tracks, but they only built three due to cost concerns. In February 2010, the New York State Department of Transportation and Amtrak agreed to demolish two buildings associated with the station to make room for a fourth train track. They encountered some funding issues and put the project on hold, eventually completing construction in March 2016.

The Capital District Transportation Authority currently operates the Albany-Rensselaer station. It serves Amtrak’s entire Empire Corridor, the 460 miles of railroad between New York City and Niagara Falls and connects passengers to Canada as well. The popular overnight passenger train, the Lake Shore Limited, stops at this train station.

As of 2017, the Albany- Rensselaer station was Amtrak’s 9th busiest train station.

Albany-Rensselaer Station Address, Opening Hours, and Accessibility Information

The Albany-Rensselaer Station address is:
525 East Street
Rensselaer, New York 12144

Here are the opening hours for Albany Rensselaer Train Station, the ticket office, and when they offer passenger assistance.

Station Hours
Monday through Sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

The station closes and offers no services from 2:15 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. every day.

Ticket Office
Monday through Sunday from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

You will not be able to purchase tickets after 9:30 p.m.

Passenger Assistance Available
Monday through Sunday from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Accessibility Information
Travelers with disabilities will find many accessible areas in this Albany Amtrak station, including the:

  • Payphones
  • Platform
  • Restrooms
  • Ticket Office
  • Waiting Room
  • Water Fountain
  • Parking

The station also has a wheelchair lift and wheelchairs inside for passenger use.

If you think you may need help in the station, be sure to book travel from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. when they offer passenger assistance.

Rensselaer Station Building Features

Once inside this Albany NY train station, there are many services available to make your trip easier. Here’s a list of all the features you may use:

  • Waiting Room with no WiFi
  • Ticket Office
  • ATM Cash Point
  • Elevators
  • Public Payphones
  • Accessible Bathrooms
  • Vending Machines
  • Assistance for Unaccompanied Minors

Although the availability of these services is not guaranteed, you will likely have access.

There’s a small café, the Coffee Beanery, where you can get hot drinks and small snacks while waiting in the station. You can also find a newsstand that sells newspapers, magazines, and snacks. There’s even a U.S. postal location for shipping and sending mail.

Baggage at Rensselaer Train Station

Lugging around several heavy bags while traveling can be a drag. Luckily, this Albany Amtrak station offers baggage services to make your life easier, including:

  • Express Amtrak Shipping
  • Checked Bag Service
  • Checked Bag Storage
  • Non-Checked Bag Storage for a Fee
  • Shipping Boxes for Purchase
  • Bike Boxes for Purchase
  • Ski Bags for Purchase
  • Baggage Assistance

If you are traveling through New York and arrive at the station earlier than your train, be sure you take advantage of their non-checked bag storage for a chance to look around the city.

Parking at the Albany-Rensselaer Station

New York residents who want to drive to the train station and leave their car there to drive home on their return will be happy to learn the station offers parking. You can choose between:

  • Same day parking
  • Overnight parking

Just be aware that fees apply and may vary based on the time of year.

There is an Enterprise Rental Car location inside the station as well.

Don’t Panic Trying to Get to the Albany Amtrak Station on Time

Now you should have a better idea of what to expect from the Albany Rensselaer train station on your next visit. You can look around and appreciate the interesting history of the station and feel confident in what services you can find.

If only you could feel as confident in your transportation TO the train station. Actually, you can when you book a ride with Absolute Taxi!

Absolute Taxi’s reliable taxi drivers will get you to the train station, the airport, or anywhere else you need to go on time. Request a ride from Oneonta and Cooperstown to any of the major transportation hubs and sightseeing locations today!

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

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