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Home > Archives > Empire Connection inaugural celebration, 1991.

Empire Connection inaugural celebration, 1991.

Color photo showing an event held in honor of the first Turboliner to operate from Albany-Rensselaer to New York Penn Station over the Empire Connection; image dates to April 1991.

Empire Connection inaugural celebration, 1991.

Amtrak began with frequent daily service on the New York–Albany–Buffalo Empire Service route, but until April 7, 1991, all trains terminated at Grand Central Terminal, and passengers had to take shuttle buses or find their own way to Penn Station to continue southward or north to Boston on the Northeast Corridor.

In the summer of 1988, Amtrak and the New York State Department of Transportation announced the West Side Connection as a way to consolidate all intercity passenger rail services at Penn Station. The plan took advantage of a strategic freight line, shuttered in 1982, that ran approximately 10 miles up the west side of Manhattan and crossed to the mainland in the Bronx; from there, the line connected with the existing tracks used for northbound service. On April 7th, 1991, operations began over the West Side Connection. Beside being more convenient for passengers, it saved Amtrak the expense of operating two stations in New York City.

From left to right in the photo: Robert E. Gall, vice president Sales; Neil D. Mann, assistant vice president Personnel; Anthony D. DeAngelo, vice president Real Estate and Operations Development; and Timothy P. Gardner, vice president Marketing.

Photo by and courtesy of Ira Silverman.