Amtrak's ADIRONDACK

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

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Robert Paniagua
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Post by Robert Paniagua » Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:06 am

Wow! I'm surprised about that, Noel.

Amtrak and host rairoads, their speeds usually don't quite agree, but there in the Canadian portion of the Adirondack, trains run much faster than the U. S. portion of that train route. I remember when I was 14 back in 1990 when I rode the Adirondack it was an RTL consist. When we pulled into Canadian Territory, we the were flying so I have to say the CN/Via folks certainly know how to maintain their rails, I must say.

Same for the Canadian (regular Amfleet consist, of course) portion of the Maple Leaf especially when I was there this past April were were doing 70 mph or so, we were flying at times also on the Maple Leaf.

Hopefully this will call for Amtrak or the host railroads to get their act together and improve track maintenace to allow for faster speeds.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

george matthews
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Post by george matthews » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:32 pm

Robert Paniagua wrote:Wow! I'm surprised about that, Noel.

Amtrak and host rairoads, their speeds usually don't quite agree, but there in the Canadian portion of the Adirondack, trains run much faster than the U. S. portion of that train route. I remember when I was 14 back in 1990 when I rode the Adirondack it was an RTL consist. When we pulled into Canadian Territory, we the were flying so I have to say the CN/Via folks certainly know how to maintain their rails, I must say.
That was my impression on the Adirondack about 10 years ago. Once we were passed the immigration stop I thought the train speeded up considerably.

Noel Weaver
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Canada

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jul 19, 2004 12:23 am

I will have to dig into some of my older timetables, I think the speed on
the Canada portion of the Adirondack's route was probably a bit higher a
few years back than it is today.
All I know is currently, 50 MPH is tops in Canada.
Noel Weaver

hsr_fan

Post by hsr_fan » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:40 am

My question, though, is this: Let's say the speed limit was 100 mph. Would Amtrak run at that speed, or would their policy be to follow FRA rules regarding lack of cab signals and max out at 79, even though technically that rule wouldn't apply?

Noel Weaver
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Canada

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:28 am

Amtrak is governed by the rules of the Canadian National or whatever
railroad they might be running on in Canada. If the track speed is 100
MPH, they can go 100 MPH cab signals or not, provided that their equilpment is not restricted for one reason or another.
Of course, Amtrak crews must be totally qualified on the territory in
Canada that they operate over as well.
Noel Weaver

David Benton
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Post by David Benton » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:45 am

I thought id heard that train crew on the Maple leaf and International used to change to canadina crews at the border . Is that the case , and does it happen on the Adirondack?
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Robert Paniagua
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Post by Robert Paniagua » Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:48 am

Yes, it does Solar. They DO change crews at ALL CBN trains, the Adirondack, Maple Leaf (I rode that train recently, FYI) and the Int'l. They change from Amtrak Crews to VIA train crews and they're the ones that rule the train when in Canada.

However in August 1990 when I rode the Adirondack to Montreal out of New York, they never changed the crew back then, just the motorperson, but we kept the same conductors, but I'm pretty sure that since changed also.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

Railjunkie
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Post by Railjunkie » Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:56 am

If memeory serves me the top speed in Canada for the train is 50mph on the Rouses Point Sub and 60mph on the St Hyacinthe Sub. If top speed were 100mph we would have to completly cut out the cab signal/ overspeed system to go over 80mph which would cause problems once we got to Schenectady where cab signal territory begins at the jct of the CP and CSX, ie permission to enter, and rules 554,556.
Train crews do switch at Niagara Falls Can. for the Maple Leaf more or less because of hours of service for the Amt crews.

george matthews
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Post by george matthews » Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:07 am

Robert Paniagua wrote:Yes, it does Solar. They DO change crews at ALL CBN trains, the Adirondack, Maple Leaf (I rode that train recently, FYI) and the Int'l. They change from Amtrak Crews to VIA train crews and they're the ones that rule the train when in Canada.
Alas, the International no longer runs. One can get to Sarnia or Windsor by VIA but there is now no train across the frontier, and no easy Amtrak connection even if one takes a taxi. The same is true of the eastbound direction.

NealG
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Post by NealG » Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:43 am

Robert Paniagua wrote:Yes, it does Solar. They DO change crews at ALL CBN trains, the Adirondack, Maple Leaf (I rode that train recently, FYI) and the Int'l. They change from Amtrak Crews to VIA train crews and they're the ones that rule the train when in Canada.

However in August 1990 when I rode the Adirondack to Montreal out of New York, they never changed the crew back then, just the motorperson, but we kept the same conductors, but I'm pretty sure that since changed also.
When I rode the Adirondack in 2000, the crew stayed the same after crossing into Canada (though we were being pulled by Genesis, before VIA had any of their own, so they may not have had any qualifying crews) . From what I have read and heard, I believe that VIA does not take this train over upon entering Canada.

RMadisonWI

Post by RMadisonWI » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:26 pm

NealG wrote:
Robert Paniagua wrote:Yes, it does Solar. They DO change crews at ALL CBN trains, the Adirondack, Maple Leaf (I rode that train recently, FYI) and the Int'l. They change from Amtrak Crews to VIA train crews and they're the ones that rule the train when in Canada.

However in August 1990 when I rode the Adirondack to Montreal out of New York, they never changed the crew back then, just the motorperson, but we kept the same conductors, but I'm pretty sure that since changed also.
When I rode the Adirondack in 2000, the crew stayed the same after crossing into Canada (though we were being pulled by Genesis, before VIA had any of their own, so they may not have had any qualifying crews) . From what I have read and heard, I believe that VIA does not take this train over upon entering Canada.
I rode the train in January 2003, and the crew stayed the same. The Adirondack, along with the Cascades to Vancouver, remain 100% Amtrak trains all the way through. The Maple Leaf, and the former International, is/were joint Amtrak/VIA operations, with crews (including food service) changing at the border.

Noel Weaver
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Canada

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:32 pm

Let me assure you that the Amtrak crews on the Adirondack run into
Montreal. They are fully canadian qualified and certified.
Unlike the Maple Leaf and the International when it was still running, the
Adirondack is strictly an Amtrak operation end to end.
The Maple Leaf becomes a Via train, although with Amtrak equipment,
in Canada so you have to have a Via ticket to ride this train in Canada
and it runs with Via crews. The Maple Leaf handles local passengers in
Canada too where-as the Adirondack only handles Amtrak passengers
destined to the United States.
That's the difference.

Robert Paniagua
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Post by Robert Paniagua » Tue Jul 20, 2004 5:34 am

I rode the train in January 2003, and the crew stayed the same. The Adirondack, along with the Cascades to Vancouver, remain 100% Amtrak trains all the way through. The Maple Leaf, and the former International, is/were joint Amtrak/VIA operations, with crews (including food service) changing at the border.

Oh good then, glad Amtrak keeps the same crews for the Adirondack then, and the same food service is also held on for the Canadian side of the Adirondack. But as Mr. Weaver pointed out, yes the Toronto-bound trains MUST change guards at the CBN for crew change, and they also need to replace the food service to VIA's. Also you need a separate ticket to continue on to Toronto even though you keep the same ticket for the Adirondack. I had separate tickets to go from U.S. to Toronto in my rides on the train.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

Aero_rail_nut

Post by Aero_rail_nut » Tue Jul 20, 2004 10:07 am

The adirondak is one of my favorite train rides, it offers some of the most spectacular views of Lake Champlain. I took it once to see my fiance in Plattsburgh when she was home for thanksgiving. But its SLOW as hell past ALB it takes 5 hrs (where its 2.5 hrs by car) past ALB to reach Plattsburgh. Past Ticonderoga station it follows the cliff line and it seems like the speed drops down to 45 mph. Is there any talk of trying to improve the trackage on that run?

Noel Weaver
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Adirondack

Post by Noel Weaver » Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:20 pm

On the former D. & H., it is more than just the trackage, it is the numerous
curves and other obstacles to high speed running.
The Adirondack, especially north of Whitehall can't be considered at all as
"high speed", the curves, tunnels and other obstacles have always
prevented competetive speeds compared with the "Northway".
The Adirondack serves three different purposes: to provide transportation for a rather remote part of the state which does not have much in alternative transportation, to provide a link between Eastern U.S. and Montreal and to boost tourism in the Adirondack area.
All three of the above purposes, it serves very well and are the basic
reasons that this train continues to operate today.
I am reasonably sure that the State of New York realizes the value of this
train, just as it is.
Noel Weaver

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