Amtrak and state officials say they're getting close to an agreement that would avoid a suspension of train service.
The agreement on a method of sharing the costs of operating trains on routes of up to 750 miles was required by federal legislation enacted five years ago. The deadline for having agreements in place was Tuesday.
In addition to New York, Amtrak is still negotiating with California's Caltrans officials, as well as with Indiana and Illinois. Agreements have been reached with 15 states and agencies.
"We believe we're getting close," an Amtrak official said late Tuesday afternoon.
A New York State Department of Transportation spokesman echoed that view.
"We are very close to an agreement; I can't put an exact time frame on it, but we are confident that an agreement will soon be in place and there will be no impact to service," said DOT spokesman Beau Duffy.
The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 included a section requiring states to share costs with Amtrak on all routes of less than 750 miles outside the Northeast Corridor.
In states that hadn't reached agreements, Amtrak previously said it would no longer take reservations for travel after Oct. 16, the day it would end service on affected routes.
Copyright 2013 - Times Union, Albany, N.Y.