Port Kent is one of the few seasonal-only Amtrak stations and is a stop on the Adirondack only when the one hour ferry across Lake Champlain to Burlington, Vermont is in operation. The station is open from about Memorial Day to Columbus Day when the Ferry Operates. It is by far the least used Amtrak station in New York State with 692 passengers in FY 2011. It does beat some of the year-round Triweekly stations on the Sunset Limited and Cardinal, along with North Philadelphia (served only on weekdays). There are also a few houses surrounding the station in the community of Port Kent. When I got off at the station to catch the ferry (with 8 round-trip crossings in the summer and 4 in the fall) to Burlington, $5.05 one-way, there were two other passengers, one was also taking the ferry and the other was simply visiting family on the New York side. The ferry dock does include some amenities in simple wooden buildings for passengers waiting for the ferry (or train) with restrooms, a Vermont gift shop, snack counter with good soft-serve ice cream (and tired looking hot dogs), and enough tourism maps and shelters containing them to get buried in.
The stop was first served during the Summer of 1977 and boasts one of the best views of any Amtrak station I know of located on a bluff with the platform facing Lake Champlain about 150 feet above the lake. It consists of a very short, one-car modern low-level platform (from Recovery act funds) just south of the grade-crossing with Front Street (NYS-373). The Welcome to New York signs are just west of the station for arriving ferry (and Amtrak passengers although they have never left the state). The new platform is high enough that no yellow stool is required, the conductor always just opens one door (including the trap) for the few passengers getting on and off at the station. The platform is surrounded on three sides (the platform edge and the narrower two sides) by tactile warning strips. Along it coming from the grade crossing is first a modern silver station sign. This is followed by the standard brown wheelchair lift enclosure. Next is the platforms nice large, wooden brown open air shelter built in about 1989 (Great American Stations). Beneath the shelter are three benches. There are two more port kent signs hanging from each end with yellow letters on a brown background. There is also a telephone hanging from one of the wooden posts of the shelter. At the southern end of the platform are modern paved wheelchair parking spaces (with a no parking zone between them, to make them van accessible) that end right beyond the platform. To reach them is a gravel driveway around the platform to a few more unmarked parking spaces.
All photos taken on 14 August, 2012
Last Updated: 15 August, 2011