By Matthew Saari

One of Whitehall’s most cherished holiday traditions may be at an end.

Amtrak announced last week that its train will not be hauling Santa Claus, U.S. Marines and bags full of toys for children this year as a part of the Marines’ annual Toys for Tots program due to new guidelines the passenger rail company recently implemented.

Said an Amtrak press release: “Consistent with Amtrak’s mandate to provide efficient, safe and effective intercity passenger rail transportation, Amtrak has established a new policy for the operation of charter trains. Amtrak’s objective is to operate its core, scheduled train service safely, on time and efficiently and must therefore decline to operate this charter. Amtrak will continue to proudly support the Toys for Tots program through the collection of toys at participating stations.”

American Legion Post 83 adjutant Jim Lafayette noted just how long the rail line and Toys for Tots has been a Whitehall tradition.

“Oh my gosh, since back in the 90’s,” he said. “As long as I’ve been down there.”

Lafayette added that Amtrak only recently took the venture over, about five years ago. Before then the Canadian Pacific Railway headed the charitable endeavor.

Although many locals have been rocked by the news, Lafayette was not among them.

“They’ve done this ever year for the past few years,” Lafayette said. Last year Amtrak attempted to bail out of the venture but last-minute interventions by U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko kept the train on track.

“It’s a money thing,” Lafayette added, explaining that every year Amtrak operates a passenger train free of charge for the program.

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Obituary: Grace M. Heath

Grace Heath obit Picture

Fort Ann – Grace M. Heath, 80, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Friday, April 12, 2019. […]

Meals on Wheels – Driver positions

meals

Full-time and part-time driver positions available. Go to ontheplatecareers.com to apply.

Lakes Classifieds – 04/19/19

Lakes Class 4-19-19.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 04/19/19

Lakes_4-19-19.pdf-web.pdf

Classifieds 04/18/19

Classifides 4_17_19.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 04/18/19

518 Wheels 4_19_19.pdf-web.pdf

Obituary: Robert “Bob” Henry Poucher

Robert Poucher obit photo

Robert “Bob” Henry Poucher, 87, of Morehead City, passed away Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Carteret Health Care. His funeral […]

Obituary: Carol Anne (Manell) Senecal

Carol Senecal obit with photo

Whitehall-Carol Anne (Manell) Senecal, 85 of Whitehall New York passed away at her home in Whitehall on April 11, 2019. […]

Lakes Region Freepress – 04/12/19

Lakes_4-12-19.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 04/12/19

Lakes Class 4-12-19.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 04/12/19

FreePress_4_12_19.pdf-web.pdf

Church Street bridge to be replaced next summer

church street bridge

By Krystle S. Morey The bridge on Granville’s Church Street is slated for replacement next summer – and with minimal […]