Plattsburgh, New York
Bridge and Dock Streets Plattsburgh, NY 12901
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||Plattsburgh Depot Partnership|
|Parking Lot Ownership||Plattsburgh Depot Partnership|
|Platform Ownership||Canadian Pacific Railway|
|Track Ownership||Canadian Pacific Railway|
|Accessible Platform||Enclosed Waiting Area||Pay Phones|
(301) 564-5760 (ph)
Local Community Links:
The Amtrak stop in Plattsburgh is a Queen Anne-style red brick multi-story station that has been standing since 1886, when it was constructed for the Delaware and Hudson (D&H, succeeded by the Canadian Pacific) Railway. It replaced an earlier, simpler structure from 1875. The station sits adjacent to former rail yards and the city’s Water Pollution Control plant on the lake shore where the Saranac River flows into Lake Champlain at Cumberland Bay. The city purchased the depot in 1982 and turned it over to a developer, Plattsburgh Depot Partnership, on January 18, 1983, and the developer renovated it at that time. Today, Amtrak shares the station with other businesses, including the developer’s offices. The train is a popular mode of transportation for students in the local colleges and State University of New York.
The D&H station complex, including the building, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
As part of the Mobility First Initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it is planned that the station receive a new wheelchair lift, pad and enclosure, an accessible route from the parking lot to the platform, and paint markings for accessible parking stalls on existing paving, at an estimated cost of $30,000.
This area at the mouth of the Saranac River was first settled by Count Charles De Fredenburg, who was given a grant from the English Crown for 20,000 acres along Cumberland Bay. De Fredenburg settled close to the lake and built a sawmill at Fredenburg Falls; both home and mill burned during the American Revolutionary War while De Fredenburg and his family sought refuge in Montreal. The area remained largely empty until Zepheniah Platt of Poughkeepsie formed a company for the purchase of a military warrant of seven square miles, and located there in 1784. The settlement was named for Platt. In 1815, the village of Plattsburgh formed, later to be incorporated as a city in 1902.
Because of its strategic location close to the entrance to Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh has long had an American military presence, beginning after the War of 1812 and the Battle of Plattsburgh. During that battle, the British army under Lieutenant General Sir George Prévost and a naval squadron under Captain George Downie converged upon Plattsburgh, which was defended by American troops under Brigadier General Alexander Macomb and ships commanded by Master Commandant Thomas MacDonough. This battle ended the final invasion of the northern states during the war of 1812, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war—and denied British territorial claims to the area.
The Federal government established a military reservation in Plattsburgh by purchasing 200 acres (added onto later) in May 1814. The enlisted men’s barracks and hospital, constructed in 1838, are still standing. The Army enlarged and maintained its presence just to the south of Plattsburgh until 1952, when the area was turned over to a college for a year, the barracks used for housing local students. The area returned to the Federal government for use as a Strategic Air Command bomber base, and Plattsburgh Barracks were renamed Plattsburgh Air Force Base in 1944. The flight wings stationed there had an active and much-recognized history, before and after World War II. Additionally, Plattsburgh AFB had the only ICBM missiles east of the Mississippi, which was strategically important during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was also one of the alternate landing sites for the Space Shuttle, having a sufficiently long runway. After the base was decommissioned in 1995, the airfield became the Plattsburgh International Airport. The U.S. Air Force lists Plattsburgh among its post-commission success stories, as it is now an industrial park.
Abundant water power has also been a continuing influence on Plattsburgh’s economy. Today, Plattsburgh’s industries have produced paper products (including wallpaper), toys, lighting fixtures, passenger railcars, and plastics. Additionally, the city is a base for the Lake Champlain resort area, known for its sailing. The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh (established as a normal school in1889) and Clinton Community College (1966) of the State University of New York system are additional economic factors. During the 1980s, when the Canadian dollar was strong relative to the U.S. dollar, Plattsburgh was a favorite tourist location for vacationers from Montreal and Quebec, continuing its historical association with French Canada. Additionally, the city is close to Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, as well as the Adirondack national parks.
In 2002, New York State authorized $2.75 million in funding to help relocate the Plattsburgh Rail Yard from the D&H yard in front of the station to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. An additional $500,000 in funding was provided to enhance the area and to create new development opportunities on the city’s waterfront. State multi-modal funds were used to relocate the rail yard and clear it. The New York Department of State also provided a $350,000 grant to complete site remediation and to clear and grade the site. The relocation opened about 14 acres for redevelopment. Since 2004, plans have included a waterfront hotel, 3-acre waterfront park and public boat launch parking site. A $75,000 grant was recently awarded to study how to mitigate adverse conditions at the Water Treatment Plant, adjacent to the proposed hotel site. The city’s overall community development efforts, including the waterfront area directly adjacent to the station, are supported by resources and funding from a variety of New York State offices: Department of State, Office of Community Renewal, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
Service on the Adirondack is financed primarily through funds made available by the New York State Department of Transportation.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or help with baggage at the Plattsburgh station, which is opened and closed by a caretaker. Plattsburgh is served by two daily trains.