New York State provides Amtrak with significant subsidies. Unfortunately, however, the funding has always been implemented in partnership with Amtrak, and as a result, the outcomes have too often been disaterous.
For example, after the State spent millions on a new train station in Rensselaer, Amtrak discontiued its morning services out of Schenectady. Previously, the state had spent millions upgrading the track between Albany and Schenectady to allow 110 mph operation and thereby extending the Empire Corridor to the Mohawk Valley. Now, with no early morning service out of Schenectady, the entire Capital District and Mohawk Valley must drive to Rennselaer, where they must also pay for parking. Moreover, in recent years, Amtrak has raised its fares on the Empire Corridor to increasingly outragous levels. Wow, the taxpayers really got their money's worth with that project.
Meanwhile, in a joint venture with Amtrak, the State of New York spent tens of millions of dollars rebuilding the turboliners, only to have Amtrak reject them upon delivery. For that project, all the citizens of New York got was a big fat lawsuit.
I have no problem with New York continuing its long tradition of subsidizing intercity passenger rail rail service, but I think New York State needs to take over the operation of the Empire Corridor from Amtrak and turn it over to the Metro-North. Presently, State Senator Bruno's task force is considering the purchase of a special fleet of equipment designated for service on the Empire Corridor. I hope the task force has the presence of mind to insist on a new operator for the service, because Amtrak's beltway management has proven itself utterly unfit for the job.