Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1


Postby ThirdRail7 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:19 pm

jp1822 wrote:
electricron wrote:It's not a chronic problem to have sold out trains, instead I suggest it's great to have the train selling out. It's easy to suggest adding a car to the train will allow selling more seats and collecting more fares, but I ask how many more seats will it sell, and whether the increased operating costs for the extra car will be paid for with extra fares?

NO it is not a chronic problem to have sold out trains. But to have sold out trains for only half the train's journey - that's a problem. So then it is good utilization to run practically an empty train from Saratoga to Montreal? Sometimes if you don't make that booking MONTHS in advance of the races, you are not going to Montreal. Amtrak has revenue capacity managers that should watch these "passenger loads" and suggest the addition/subtraction of a coach at Saratoga Springs like they used to in the past. The train pulls into Saratoga Springs and it feels like the WHOLE train has just turned over. through traffic heading on north past Saratoga Springs on certain days of the races becomes rare. And for a once a day train north of Saratoga Springs/Whitehall, it's just not good practice. This has gone on for years and Amtrak has ignored it. It didn't though for a few seasons when they literally add/subtracted Amfleets at Saratoga OR ran a special train from Saratoga Springs to Albany and New York JUST for the races and it didn't mess up the Adirondack's patronage.

Do you think the Adirondack would run empty if it wasn't for Saratoga Springs? Not any more!!!

I'm not sure what you're carping about. Do you think every train is sold out between PHL-WAS? Do you think every train is sold out between PHL-HAR? It is not unusual for trains to sell out over a portion of the trip.

Additionally, we've been over the dropping/adding cars at SAR before. Is there a place to store a random Amfleet? Is there 480 standby? Is there an air plant to keep the federally required air tests valid? I think you know the answer.

Additionally, as Backshophoss mentioned, the fleet is quite thin. They've added a local coach to the Vermonter and loaned cars to a state partner even though there is an existing shortage. I've watched corridor trains drop to 6 cars while off corridor trains short turn local coaches when the can.
I want my road foreman!
Posts: 4040
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:07 pm


Postby Railjunkie » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:47 am

If I may, there is no 480 air or otherwise in Saratoga but we already know that. I have been a conductor on those specials that ran for the track a few years ago, and the only one that was ever busy was the day of the Traverse. The others I worked were less than half full. 5 car set sitting all day in Saratoga for maybe 100 people now thats a waste of equipment.
Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am


Postby Ocala Mike » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:57 pm

Just got back from a rail trip from Palatka, FL to Saratoga for the races. Going up, I rode the Meteor and Ethan Allan direct to Saratoga Springs. Meteor was late (of course), but Ethan Allan was perfectly run and on-time. I can attest to the fact that on Tues., 8/9, there were not a lot of passengers left on the train when I got off at Saratoga Springs.
Ocala Mike (formerly Hillside Mike and Deer Park Mike)
User avatar
Ocala Mike
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Ocala, FL

Adirondack´s Crew Change Points

Postby bastian440 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:29 pm


I am interested in crew change points for Amtrak Trains, which go to/come from Canada.
I know, that the engineer of Amtrak Cascades goes all the way to Vancouver B.C. And I know, that the crew of Amtrak Maple Leaf change at Niagara Falls, Ontario, because the train becomes
a VIA Rail Train. But what´s about the Adirondack? I have read, that the Amtrak crew operate all the way to Montreal like the crew of Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver, B.C. But where are the crew change points for this train? I guess Albany Rensselaer. And then? Is there a crew change between Albany and Montreal? Thank you in advance for all the replies.

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:24 pm


Postby Railjunkie » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:26 am

Crews work New York to Albany, Albany to Montreal. Layover then come back the next morning and work Montreal to Albany then Albany to New York. The crews between New York and Albany are three men and between Albany and Montreal are four man crews. The reason for the 4th going north is CROR states there will be two qualified employees on the head end.
Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am


Postby bastian440 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:32 am

Thank you for your information.
Do you mean with "crew" engineer and conductor? So is there a single engineer and two conductors between New York and Albany, and two engineers and two conductors North of Albany?
Thank you in advance.

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:24 pm


Postby Railjunkie » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:13 am

Albany/New York/Albany 3 man crew Engineer, Conductor, Asst. Conductor. Albany/Montreal/Albany 4 man crew. Engineer, Asst. Engineer, Conductor, Asst. Conductor.
Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am


Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:41 pm

More on customs improvements: Times Union

Each day Amtrak's Adirondack services face uncertainty at the Canadian border. Will customs and immigration clearances take 30 minutes? An hour? Two hours?

The result: By the time the Adirondack gets to the Capital Region, it's often late.

A multi-year effort to move customs formalities to the downtown Montreal train station, the Adirondack's northern terminus, is moving ahead. Under the plan, U.S. and Canadian customs officers would clear passengers on their arrival and before their departure. The trains would no longer have to stop at the border.

Congress has passed the necessary legislation and former President Barack Obama signed it.
The Canadian Parliament is currently considering it, but is also expected to approve it, a top Amtrak official told the Times Union on Saturday.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8137
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway


Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:37 pm

There is 480v shore power in Saratoga. The problem is that it is on the stub track north of the station. A southbound would have to run around the car. D&H leased the tracks around the station to S&NC. They use the tracks to run around consists. Doubling the layover cars could be accomplished is Amtrak/NYSDOT contracted with either S&NC, or D&H to have a switch engine make the double. I don't see that happening.

As posted, there have been Amtrak extra trains to Saratoga in the past. Some have been for private car owners, while other years they have been standard Amfleet consists. Who knows if running extras is viable to Amtrak, or NYS? Equipment shortage has been mentioned. In holiday periods Amtrak borrows commuter equipment. That is fine, since most businesses are closed, and the commuter line is likely running a weekend schedule. This may be possible during the weekdays,of the track meet. Perhaps Iowa Pacific might have cars to lend.
Engineer Spike
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm


Postby Morning Zephyr » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:48 am

When did the Adirondack shift from the Albany-Cohoes-Watervliet-Mechanicville route to the Rensselaer-Schenectady route? Old timetables show the former route persisting into the Amtrak era, but I don't have a whole sequence of when it changed. It appears the two lines converge (going north) at Baltston or Ballston, about seven miles south of Saratoga Springs. A 1928 rail atlas shows it as Baltston and a current road atlas shows Ballston.
The current Adirondack route (via Schenectady) route appears to be ex-New York Central from Rensselaer to Schenectady, then ex-Delaware and Hudson north of Schenectady. A D.&H. employee TT from 1971 described the "Third Subdivision" as from a point called KN Cabin to a point called SC Cabin. Baltston is not listed as a point on this subdivision, as most of the points are labeled with two letters and "Cabin," making it hard to relate to towns. SC Cabin is 1.7 miles north of Whitehall and KN Cabin is 45 miles south of Saratoga Springs, via (it seems) the Colonie and Mechanicville route, not via Schenectady. Does anyone know what the D.&H. called the Schenectady-Baltston (or Ballston) segment? I am guessing it was not part of the Third Subdivision.
How are the physical mileposts along the right-of-way now operated by Canadian Pacific numbered, i.e., what is MP 0? E.G., if numbered from KN Cabin, Saratoga Springs would be MP 45, Port Edward MP 63.4. Is that the case? Are these "Cabin" identifications still in use, and why did D.&H. use that term rather than place names? Thanks for any background.
Morning Zephyr
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:21 pm


Postby Railjunkie » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:44 pm

The D&H MPs are kinda different and this stems from the Guilford days. The freight main line from Binghamton NY MP 612 to CPF467 which is in Elnora just north of Cresent. Portland ME I believe was MP 0.0. We connect to the CP(D&H) at Schenectady at CPF485 and go north to the Canadian connector at CPF480 around the left hand leg of the wye to CPC24. Then its MP A24 to CPC191 Rouses Point. Now to confuse it a little more Kenwood yard in Albany is on the Colonie Main line from MP A0.24 to to CPF467. The use of the two letter cabin was most likely taken out during the Guilford days.
Posts: 1095
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:24 am


Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:13 am

There's a good chance that someone that participates on the D&H Forum here at might be able to answer your historic D&H questions. Or alternatively some answers may be found at the Bridge Line Historical Society web site:
Posts: 2009
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm


Postby Allouette » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:34 am

According to the posting below, the route change was made October 29, 1976.

Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:07 am
Location: Plainfield NH


Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:25 pm

The reroute was due to many factors. In the old days, Albany had its passenger station, with 2 bridges across the Hudson. About when everything was moved to Rensselaer, the southern bridge, was taken down. The remaining bridge is called Livingston Avenue Bridge (LAB). With both bridges, it was a straight move to the D&H northbound. The D&H goes under LAB, in Albany. This requires a train from Rensselaer to cross the bridge, then back down the Bull Run Connector, to the D&H. Running via Schenectady has two advantages. First, it removes the backing move. Secondly, serving Schenectady provides an additional large market.

Now I will explain the D&H some. Before Guilford, all of the controlled points were called cabins, and had 2 letter names. Some were the initials of the location's name. The Third sub ran from KN Cabin, as mentioned. This was where the Albany Main (Second Sub) came into Kenwood Yard, just after going over South Pearl St. It ran through Albany, Menands, Colonie, Watervliet......, to Mechanicville. Here it joins the B&M. Out by Coons Crossing, the D&H Mechanicville Branch shared track with B&M Fitchburg Div, to Crescent. At Coons Crossing, the Third Sub split, and ran via Round Lake, to Ballston Spa. Here it joined the Ballston Branch, which comes up from Grenville Jct, near Mohawk Yard. The Third Sub continued through Saratoga, Ft. Edward, to Whitehall, where the Fourth Sub began, and ran to Rouses Point.

The Third Sub was abandoned between Mechanicville, and Ballston Spa. In its place, a connector was built, in Crescent. The connector runs one mile between Crescent, on the Mechanicville Branch, to Ballston Lake, on the Ballston Branch. This was done in the 1960s. Guilford renamed the parts of the remaining lines. Albany, to Mechanicville is the Colonie Main. The Mechanicville-Crescent line is part of a through route between Mattawamkeag, ME, and Sunbury, PA. This route contains parts of different Maine Central, Boston and Maine, and D&H lines, to create a through route, called the Freight Main. Guilford then named the Ballston Branch, the Third Sub north of Ballston Spa, and the Fourth Sub, the Canadian Mainline.

Mile posts were changed under Guilford too. Milepost 0 is Albany. The numbers go up in both directions, towards Binghamton, and Rouses Point. 19 is the last whole mile to Mechanicville. Here mileage from Maine starts. The other change was the Ballston Branch mileage was numbered backwards from the Third Sub. MP 31 is just north of the former Ballston Branch-Third Sub junction. Therefore, the Ballston Branch mileposts have been numbered so MP 30 is the last milepost, on the Ballston Branch, and counts down to MP 21.7, which is at Glenville Junction.
Engineer Spike
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm


Postby jhdeasy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:58 pm

Morning Zephyr wrote:When did the Adirondack shift from the Albany-Cohoes-Watervliet-Mechanicville route to the Rensselaer-Schenectady route?

Allouette wrote:According to the posting below, the route change was made October 29, 1976.

http:// ... 42792.aspx

As a person who made a number of trips on The Adirondack, circa summer 1974 thru summer 1981, I don't agree with whatever someone wrote about this in Trains, an article that I am unable to read.

The last Amtrak timetable to list the Adirondack's stops at Watervliet and Mechanicville on the old route is dated January 8, 1978. The mileage listed for Saratoga Springs is 186 miles from New York Grand Central Terminal (NYG).

The spring (April 30, 1978) and summer (July 30, 1978) timetables for 1978 no longer list stops at Watervliet and Mechanicville, but they do show Saratoga Springs, still 186 miles distant from NYG.

The October 29, 1978 timetable shows Saratoga Springs at 179 miles from NYG. It does not show a stop in downtown Schenectady.

The April 29, 1979 timetable is the first to show the new stop in downtown Schenectady, at 160 miles from NYG, with Saratoga Springs at 179 miles from NYG.

Therefore I believe the switch from the old route to the current route was implemented 10/29/1978. This is a "not later than date." However, it is possible they made the switch on 4/30/1978, but failed to update the timetable mileage to reflect the new shorter route.

While we are talking about The Montrealer, the last timetable to show the traditional equipment with dome coach is 10/31/1976. The 2/15/1977 timetable shows Turboliner equipment assigned to the train. This is consistent with my memories/photos of riding this train back then.

I'd have to dig thru more old timetables to see when the train's route between Rouses Point and Montreal was switched, from CP to Windsor Station, to CN to Central Station.
Posts: 2029
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA


Return to Amtrak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andrewjw and 5 guests