Amtrak has proposed installing fences and gates at eight locations between Rhinecliff and Stuyvesant designed to block access along miles of the east shore of the Hudson River in Dutchess and Columbia counties (between New York City and Albany). The New York State Department of State is conducting a Coastal Consistency Review to determine if Amtrak’s proposal is consistent with New York State’s established coastal policies. There was a public comment period that closed May 1, 2018. Thanks to everyone who submitted comments.

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018 a meeting was held at the Columbia County Office Building at 401 State Street in Hudson. Congressman John Faso organized the meeting between officials from Amtrak, NYSDOT and NYSDOS and the supervisors of Germantown, Stockport, Stuyvesant and Rhinebeck, as well as the mayors of Hudson and Tivoli. In addition to Congressman Faso, Assemblymember Didi Barrett and the chief of staff for Senator Marchione participated in the meeting.

During the late spring and early summer of 2018 Amtrak repeatedly extended the DOS Consistency Review deadline.

During the summer of 2018 Amtrak met on site with several of the impacted communities. The Germantown on-site meeting was on Friday Aug 24th. At that meeting two Amtrak representatives, and an Amtrak Police representative, had informal discussions with Germantown Supervisor Beaury, Germantown Fire Chief Lawson, Germantown Waterfront Advisory Committee co-chairs Jen Crawford and Kaare Christian, and Scenic Hudson’s Jeff Anzevino. Also present were two representatives of the NYS DOT and a representative from U.S. Congressman Faso’s office. The meeting was strictly informational, so that each participant could better understand the views and concerns of the other participants.

On September 6 Germantown Supervisor Beaury and other local leaders sent a second supervisor’s letter to the DOS asking for them “take an interest in how the outcome of this application will have an immediate and negative impact on our communities.” The letter called for additional comment periods, and mitigation to offset any negative impacts.

On September 25th the NYS DOT informed Supervisor Beaury that public meetings would be postponed until early 2019.

On December 15, the towns of Germantown and Rhinebeck, in coordination with Scenic Hudson, held a forum in Germantown titled “Balancing Passenger Rail Safety with Public River Access,” which drew more than 100 people. During the forum, elected officials, engineers, Scenic Hudson leaders, co-chairs of Germantown’s Waterfront Advisory Committee and attendees discussed alternatives to Amtrak’s proposed project, currently under review by the state Department of State. The alternatives explored during the forum—designed to address the railroad’s risk concerns as well as the public’s desire for continued open access to the Hudson River—included new pedestrian grade-crossings, hosting Operation Lifesaver rail education trainings and exploring the rails-with-trails concept, which has been employed along many other rail lines in the U.S.

The New York State Department of Transportation and Amtrak have scheduled a meeting in Germantown for Amtrak to present its proposed plans and reasoning for installing fencing and gates along the Hudson River in Dutchess and Columbia counties. The meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Kellner Community Activities Center, 50 Palatine Park Road, in Germantown. An inclement-weather date has been set for the following Tuesday evening, Feb. 5. In advance of this meeting twelve town supervisors from towns that are impacted by the proposal sent a letter to NYS Secretary of State Rossana Rosado.


Germantown Waterfront Committee Press Releases and White Papers

Media Coverage

Historical Context