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: , , , , , ,

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/18/19

Lakes_1_18_19.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 01/19/19

FreePress_1-18_19.pdf-web.pdf

Obituary: Marie (Ingalls) Sauerwald

Marie Catherine (Ingalls) Sauerwald (eldest child of Frederick and Johanna Ingalls) was born May 7, 1923 in Whitehall, New York, […]

Obituary: Richard R Plude Sr

Richard R. Plude Sr., 81, of Champlain Avenue in Whitehall, went into the arms of the Lord on Sunday evening, […]

518 Wheels – 01/17/19

518 Wheels 1-18_19.pdf-web.pdf

Obituary: Sharon L Randazzo

Granville, NY – Sharon L. Randazzo passed away on January 10, 2019 at her home, following a long illness. Sharon […]

Obituary: Barbara Fabian

Barbara Fabian

North Granville, NY – Barbara Fabian, age 71, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully in her sleep on January 13, 2019. […]

North Country Freepress – 01/11/19

FreePress_1_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 01/11/19

Lakes_1_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 01/10/19

518 Wheels 1_11_19.pdf-web.pdf

Obituary: Daniel J. Wescott

Dan Wescott obit photo

Granville, NY – Daniel Joseph Wescott, passed away on January 4, 2019 at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. Dan […]

Obituary: Charlotte V. Lewis

Charlotte Lewis obit photo

Charlotte V. Lewis, 92, of Tinmouth, VT, passed away on Jan 2nd at the RRMC following hip surgery. She was […]