|Hudson, NY||Adirondack||Poughkeepsie, NY|
|Ethan Allen Express|
|Albany, NY||Lake Shore Limited|
Rhinecliff (tickets say the awkward Rhineclf-Kngstn, NY for the much more major city of Kingston located across the Hudson River) is located on the Hudson River within Duchess County in Rhinebeck, New York. The name Rhinecliff comes from the name of the hamlet the station is in. Directly around the station are just a few houses of the Hamlet and no where except the three vending machines (a Pepsi soda, a standard snacks one and a coffee machine) to buy something for the now foodless ride on Empire Service Trains (all except the 2 per day in each direction that extend all the way to Niagara Falls). When I was in the station I overheard a lady asking the station agent (who is open all day with multiple shifts) if there was anywhere to pick-up a sandwich and he said no just an overpriced hotel and Chinese restaurant. Both of these are alongside the other end of the station. An idea of how Rhinecliff is not a station in the center of a town or even village. It is though the 46th busiest station on the Amtrak system and receives -- trains a day, every Empire Service train plus the Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack and Maple Leaf, except for the Lakeshore Limited that bypasses.
The stop itself has one low-level island platform on the two track line. This platform is quite long but most trains open just two doors towards their rear (where the cafe and business class car are, the very last car) but towards the northern end of the platform where the main exit is to the station house. This area where trains platform is littered with yellow stepstools conductors put up to doors for easier boarding, there are also two wheelchair hand cranked mobile lifts for ADA compliancy. This portion of the platform has a recently repainted and historic wooden canopy, four simple wooden benches for waiting passengers and yellow lines along both of the tracks. Small posts on the southern end of the platform that are identical to the bottom of the canopy's posts are evidence this canopy used to run the entire platform length. The southern end of the platform never sees a train but is still open to provide access to a footbridge that has been rebuilt but the three staircases up to it do with old wooden steps). This connects to Grinnell Street on the landside and a fairly haphazardly crowded long-term (10 day limit) free parking area. This is right next to the already mentioned Rhinecliff Hotel, and across from the Chinese Restaurant. The otherside connects to the ferry landing (with - scheduled ferry service) where passengers used to connect to go to Kingston and Dutchess Terrace that loops around and crosses over the station right next to the station house.
The other end of the platform is where the main entrance is via a staircases and elevator (at the extreme end) up to a large and wooden enclosed white overpass with windows looking out to the tracks and platform. After another staircase down to the long-term parking area (and closed elevator shaft) this connects to the historic New York Central-era brick Mission style station house with restrooms, vending machines, a Quick-Track Machine and a ticket clerk who announces to the station the arriving and departing trains. It has original light fixtures expect now with CFL bulbs. There are quite a few wooden benches and a closed staircase up to a closed entrance directly from Hutton Street (which connects with the street up from the boat ramp). The only way to access the station house is through the second parking more short term lot which has two levels due to the hills. There are a few open entry doors near the spots reserved for taxis.
All photos taken on 13 July, 2011
Last Updated: 15 July, 2011