The Albany-Rensselaer train station opened in 1968 after Penn Central Railroad decided to close Union Station in Albany. A second station was built in 1980, and the next station was completed in 2002.
Albany's Union Station was built in 1899 and operated as the city's transportation hub until 1968. Albany has long been a crossroads of sorts, situated between Buffalo and Boston, as well as between New York City and Montreal, Canada. By the 1960s, commuters and travelers began relying more on cars rather than trains as a means of travel, causing the owner of the rail lines to move the station directly across the Hudson River to Rensselaer, New York. Union Station was converted to a bank building and was occupied by Bank of America until 2009. The building currently stands empty, as of 2015.
The first two stations in Rensselaer were very utilitarian facilities. The 1980 building was a one-story, flat-roofed building with a small platform area. The 2002 station was constructed as a large, brick and glass facility with a high, peaked ceiling. Passengers enter through an elevated, covered walkway directly from a parking deck. Additional covered walkways lead to the platforms. Inside the station is an Amtrak ticket counter, car rental, a cafe and a convenience store.