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Home > Archives > Empire Service train crossing the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, 2013.

Empire Service train crossing the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, 2013.

Color digital image showing a northbound Empire Service (New York-Albany-Niagara Falls) train crossing the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge in New York City.

<i>Empire Service</i> train crossing the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, 2013.

In this image, a northbound Empire Service train led by P32 No. 712 uses the Spuyten Duyvil bridge to cross from Manhattan into the Bronx; in the background is one of the towers of the George Washington Bridge.

From 1971 to 1991, Amtrak operated from two facilities in New York City: Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. Trains operating over the busy Northeast Corridor and points as far south as Miami and New Orleans used the former, while trains headed to northern and western destinations such as Buffalo and Toronto used the latter.

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. At the northern tip of Manhattan, the steel turntable Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, built in 1900 to span the Harlem River, needed repairs before it could be put back into service. On April 7th, 1991, operations began over the West Side Connection.

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.