Public pushback slows Amtrak’s fence plans

GERMANTOWN—In March Columbia County residents learned that Amtrak proposed to install fences and gates along its right of way at the Hudson River, between Stuyvesant and Rhinecliff.

The railroad cited safety concerns as the reason for the new barrier, but Germantown and other communities that border the river were concerned that the “fencing project” would block access for recreation, fishing, and fire protection and rescue.

A public comment period began in March and ended on May 1.

On April 24, a meeting took place, organized by Congressman John Faso (R-19). Attending were representatives of Amtrak, the state Department of State and state Department of Transportation; the supervisors of Germantown, Stockport, Stuyvesant and Rhinebeck; the mayors of Hudson and Tivoli; Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106) and the chief of staff for state Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43).

The upshot of that meeting was that Amtrak agreed to hold information meetings in each affected municipality to provide details of its plan and to hear from riverfront stakeholders.

At this writing meetings have not been scheduled. Germantown Supervisor Robert Beaury said in an email Tuesday that he had not yet been contacted about a meeting.

Ms. Barrett’s office is in regular touch with the Department of State, which is touch with Amtrak, but her staff had no dates for meetings. Calls to Amtrak and to the Department of State were not returned by deadline.

For background and up-to-date information, visit, a website created by the Waterfront Advisory Committee of the Town of Germantown.

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