Amtrak's Empire Service
is the corridor that connects New York State's major population centers. The top city not directly served or served by a station within a 10 miles is Binghamton, the 14th most populated city in the state. The core of the corridor (as of February 2017) are the 9 weekday, and 7 weekend (with an extra southbound trip on Sunday) round-trip trains that run the 141 miles between the state capital Albany and New York City, taking two and a half hours. These trains hug the Hudson River for their entire routes, with impressive river views for the entire ride. Two of these trains (for two daily round-trips) are extended to and from Niagara Falls, these trains are the only ones that offer food service All Empire Service consists are generally the same, consisting of a P32AC-DM dual-mode locomotive pulling 4 Amfleet Coaches, with a split Business Class/Booths/Cafe car (which has been unstaffed on trains only running between Albany and New York City since July 1, 2006).
This corridor is supplemented by a number of other once-a-day trains: The Maple Leaf runs the entire length of the corridor and extends across the boarder to Toronto (the Canadian portion run by VIA Rail Canada) using the same consist. The Ethan Allen Express (using the same consist) to Rutland, Vermont, and Adirondack to Montreal, supplement service as far as Schenectady (with the final two shared stops at Saratoga Springs and Fort Edward-Glens Falls included in Empire Service timetables). Finally the long-distance Lake Shore Limited to Chicago serves the entire corridor (skipping a number of stops) to Buffalo-Depew Station, with Amtrak going back and forth on the train carrying passengers going entirely between New York City and Albany. The first 73 miles of the corridor are well-served by Metro-North Hudson Line Commuter Trains running hourly or better service to and from Grand Central Terminal which Empire Service Trains used before the Empire Connection opened on April 7, 1991, consolidating Amtrak in New York City at Penn Station.