ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Amtrak stopped running passenger trains Friday along a stretch of track near an old warehouse in Albany with an exterior wall in danger of partially collapsing.
The track closure interrupted service west from Albany and complicated operations of Amtrak’s new Burlington, Vermont to New York City service. Amtrak officials could not say how long the stretch of track would be off limits to trains.
City officials in Albany are concerned about the stability of the privately-owned Central Warehouse; a massive, old building north of the city’s downtown. Mayor Kathy Sheehan said a structural engineering report states that a collapse of part of the warehouse’s south wall is considered imminent.
Chunks of the facade have already fallen off.
Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said the rail service was taking preemptive measure to keep passengers and employees safe.
Empire Service was running between New York City and Albany, but not west of Albany. Customers on the newly expanded Burlington to New York City route will get off the train and take a bus for the portion of the trip in upstate New York between Saratoga Springs and Albany, Abrams said.
Amtrak said in a release Friday night that alternative bus transportation also will be provided on the Lake Shore Limited and Maple Leaf lines.
In Albany, Sheehan declared a state of emergency.
“We are working closely with local, state, and federal partners and engineering experts to determine the extent of the structural failure and develop a plan to ensure the safety of our residents and businesses, and get the trains running on time and interstate commerce back on track,” she said.