Rouses Point, NY (RSP)
Located just south of the Canadian border, Rouses Point welcomes travelers to the United States. Recently renovated, the depot houses a visitors center and historical exhibits.
Delaware and Pratt Streets
Rouses Point, NY 12979
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 1,276
- Facility Ownership: N/A
- Parking Lot Ownership: Village of Rouses Point, Canadian Pacific Railway
- Platform Ownership: Canadian Pacific Railway
- Track Ownership: Canadian Pacific Railway
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Amtrak station in Rouses Point consists of a platform next to the old Delaware and Hudson Company (D&H) depot, which now serves as a history and welcome center. Constructed in 1889, the building stands on the site of the former Delaware Hotel, which was lost to a fire in 1882. The old D&H roundhouse for maintaining steam locomotives still stands nearby but is privately owned. Due to its location just south of the Canadian border, Rouses Point also serves as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection checkpoint.
The depot was built in the Romanesque style popular at the end of the 19thcentury. This architectural style is characterized by squat, compact buildings usually constructed with unfinished stone in dark red, tan, brown, and gray hues. The asymmetrical compositions are often pierced by deep-set, round arches reminiscent of Medieval Romanesque structures found in Europe; polychrome decoration is also a common feature.
At Rouses Point, the designers used red brick with dark stone trim for the base, water table, lintels and trim around the doors. A solid round tower with conical roof marks the southern end of the building and is a highly visible landmark for those approaching the station from Pratt Street. A hipped slate roof with dormer windows extends over the edge of the walls to form eaves that protect passengers from inclement weather. Tripartite, semi-circular windows allow abundant natural light to flood the interior.
The building’s original layout incorporated a ticket office, baggage room, and two waiting areas—one for men and the other for women and children. Finishes included beadboard paneling and wood trim around windows and doors.
At the formation of Amtrak in 1971, there was no passenger rail service available at Rouses Point, and the D&H subsequently remodeled the depot to accommodate its freight services. Three years later, rail service was restored to the Champlain Valley with the inauguration of the Adirondack (New York-Montreal). The new train resulted from a partnership among the state of New York, Amtrak and the D&H, with the state providing financial support for the service.
In 2002, the D&H conveyed ownership of the depot to the Village of Rouses Point for $5,000. Although it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the building sat unoccupied and deteriorating while the local historical society worked to find funds for repairs and restoration.
The rehabilitation project received a major boost in 2009 when it was awarded $832,500 in federal stimulus funding. This was supplemented by $95,000 secured by Rep. John McHugh, a $35,000 donation from the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society and grants won by the village. The renovation project included rehabilitation and/or replacement of rotting woodwork, flashing on the roof, flooring, broken windows and insulation. Drainage issues were resolved and hazardous materials remediated.
Work wrapped up in summer 2014 and the depot now serves as the Rouses Point History and Welcome Center, which is operated by the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society. The group strives to promote knowledge of the Northern Tier—the state’s northernmost counties—and its customs and people. Towards this goal, the depot hosts rotating exhibits, lectures and performances tracing the history and culture of the region.
Although lumberman harvesting oak and pine were there as early as 1759, Rouses Point was settled in 1783 by refugees from Canada who were granted land as a reward for service during the American Revolutionary War. The area derived its name from Jacques Rouse, one of the three who took up residence. When the U.S. Government elected to build Fort Montgomery one mile north of the present village in 1816, the settlement achieved permanence.
Fort Montgomery was intended to command the Richelieu River at its confluence with Lake Champlain. However, after two summers of construction, when it was later determined to actually be on Canadian soil, the partially built structure was abandoned. Parts of “Fort Blunder,” as it came to be known, reportedly live on in the walls of some of the more prominent older buildings in Rouses Point.
It was not until 1842, with the ratification of a treaty that adjusted the border at Rouses Point, that Island Point reverted to U.S. control. On July 13, 1844, construction began upon what would become Fort Montgomery, and would continue over a 30-year period. This massive fortification was one of the nine forts in the U.S. to have a moat, or “wet ditch.” The fort was designed to mount 125 guns, with three tiers of cannon, most facing into the river. Designed for a wartime occupation of 800, this fort was never garrisoned (although it was armed), and was later abandoned in favor of the Plattsburgh Barracks. The Island Point ruin is today privately owned.
The village of Rouses Point was incorporated in 1877, and when the D&H built passenger and freight facilities there as well as a yard, the town grew because of its placement at the border and on a major north-south shipping line. The village was an important part on the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves prior to the Civil War.
During Prohibition (1923–1933), the village became a smuggler’s haven, with ships “rum-running” across the Canadian border, as well as a place where U.S. Customs destroyed a huge amount of liquor bottles. The present village commons and offices are sited on this dumping site.
Rouses Point is still a transportation crossroads for New York, Vermont, and Canada for both freight and passenger services. Redevelopment planning in the village took form in 2006 with a Downtown and Waterfront Revitalization Plan. Following these guidelines, the village constructed a scenic pier and shoreline walkway and made improvements to the boat launch and the downtown.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or help with baggage at this station, which is served by two daily trains. Service on the Adirondack is financed primarily through funds made available by the New York State Department of Transportation.
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 30 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Wheelchair Lift