Amtrak's ADIRONDACK

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

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PennsyFan

PennsyFan

Post by PennsyFan » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:47 pm

Why not run a night train New York-Montreal via the ex-D&H? You couldn't serve NEC points directly, but it would resolve the routing issues appertaining to the loss of the ex-B&M.

EastCleveland
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:44 pm

Post by EastCleveland » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:03 pm

hsr_fan wrote: Sitting in an Amfleet for 10 hours doesn't really appeal to me, but I would love to be able to catch an evening departure from New York on a sleeper-equipped train and wake up in Montreal the next morning.
Ah yes, but by traveling overnight, you'd miss the scenery along Amtrak's most beautiful (and underrated) route east of Chicago. Even when viewed from an Amfleet seat, large segments of it equal anything you'll see on the Coast Starlight. So save the sleeper for Kansas. This is one trip that deserves wall-to-wall daylight.

jp1822
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Location: New York, NY

Overnight Service to Vermont

Post by jp1822 » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:31 pm

"In the off season, patronage would be quite lite, cost of servicing the train in Canada would be very expensive, it would need to operate via New London again as the reverse moves at Springfield and Palmer would add to the cost on that route and that might hurt business just a little."

I'd settle on a seasonal ski/winter train for sure - through Vermont and up to Montreal. Would operate it Thursday through Monday. However, what's the extra cost for the reverse move in Springfield and Palmer for a train that would carry sleepers? They do this reverse move with the Vermonter on a daily basis - Gensis units on both ends, power is cut on one and turned on in the other when changing directions. Also, I agree there would be some extra costs for operating a trainset with sleeper/diner, but why "very expensive" to service in Canada?

Having the train serve the NEC would be key to sustaining patronage. I'd have the train leave Washington DC after 5 p.m. with the goal of arriving in New Haven before midnight and reaching northern Vermont destinations between the 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. hour with an arrival into Montreal in the late 9 am hour. Not sure how long it would take by rail from St. Albans to Montreal these days, especially with border crossing.

Engineer Spike
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Post by Engineer Spike » Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:58 pm

I Work this line in freight service. The line could never be a high speed line. There are many curves, as the line is on follows the shore of the lake on many spots. There are some open spots like Schenectady-Whitehall, So so to Ticondiroga. Good running Wadhams to Willsboro, Port Kent-Plattsburgh, and Plattsburgh-Rouses Point.
At night the line has heavy freight traffic. This has been slowed by new border crossing requirements. Trains are often held to set out custom holders. This takes time, especially if the 56th and 87th car of a 130 car train need to be set out.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain » Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:01 pm

The line could never be a high speed line. There are many curves
Got a list of the curves and their radii?

Dieter
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Location: Sobeys

Post by Dieter » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:29 pm

Engineer Spike,

Is there enough traffic on that line to warrant double-tracking?

Dieter.

Noel Weaver
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

etc

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:32 pm

Most of the line south of Whitehall was double track at one time. North of
Whitehall, it would cost an absolute fortune to double track this line.
Even if we had a railroad friendly administration in Washington (which we
do not), I doubt if it would spend the necessary funds to add a track to
this route.
In the approximately 112 miles between Whitehall and Rouses Point, there
are only four controlled sidings and three of them are quite short.
Capacity could be increased and delays reduced by increasing the number
of controlled sidings on this line.
Tight clearances and curves are part of the cost of this very scenic piece
of railroad which is generally a delight to ride.
Noel Weaver

Dieter
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:32 am
Location: Sobeys

Post by Dieter » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:29 pm

Mr. Weaver,

I hear you about the clearances north of Whitehall. It might even justify a whole new ROW if it had the traffic to warrant such a project. CPR must have seen some potential or they would haven't snatched that line out of the hands of the Susquehanna.

Given the time of the ride, an overnight trip might be more successful than the present run, but then again, you would miss the spectacular view from the cliffs above Champlain. It would also help if Canadian Customs staff boarded at Plattsburgh and did their work between there and LaColle, shortening the time stopped for inspection. On the Atlantic Limited, the inspection was done while the train was in motion.

To JFB, it's hard not to make the drive in 5 hours in good off-peak conditions, when one merely keeps up the Thruway flow. The traffic is cruising at 80 unless a Trooper can be seen. On a bad day now, the drive takes 6.5 hours.

Perhaps with a change in the Provincial Government in Quebec and a relaxing of the racist language laws, expanded commerce between New York and Quebec will yield faster service on the Adirondack.

Dieter.

Noel Weaver
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

etc

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:09 pm

A new right of way through the Adirondacks would probably not be
permitted and even if it was, it would cost billions.
When I lived in Albany, I frequently went to Montreal almost always by
car and the average driving time was four and one half hours at a speed
of not more than 70 MPH. biggest problem as you know even with a car
was the border.
If I could see that there was a problem ahead, I would get off at
Champlain and take a different route to cross the border, sometimes I
would go over to Rouses Point and look around the D. & H. first then cross
over and at Cantic, I could go west to pick up the expressway to continue
north to Montreal.
Although it may have changed today, in my time up there, it was generally
harder crossing into Canada than crossing back into the US. Do not know
what the situation is now.
I sincerely believe that if the two governments were really interested in
rail travel, the train could get over the border in much less time than they
do at present.
One has been on the train for an hour or for most of the day, they do not
want to spend an hour or more at Rouses Point or Cantic.
Noel Weaver

JoeG

Post by JoeG » Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:05 pm

At one time the customs and immigration folks rode the train, checking passengers as the train moved along. Seems like they could re-institute that system at no cost, except for a cab or van to transport the agents one way.

Gilbert B Norman
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Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Concur

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:40 pm

Having had first hand experience circa 1956, I totally concur with Mr. Grossman's statement.

Biggest problem today is the idle time that would arise from fewer trains.

PRRTechFan
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:44 pm
Location: Manasquan, N.J. on the NJCL

"Adirondack" trip

Post by PRRTechFan » Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:03 pm

With the possibility that Amtrak LD trains will be history if the Feds prevail with the budget axe, I decided that it is about time to take the Adirondack up to visit friends near Plattsburgh over 4th of July instead of driving.

Does anyone who has travelled this route have a suggestion as to the best side of the train to sit for the best views of both railroad and landscape?

The train runs north with the Hudson River to the left, but north of Saratoga Springs, Lake Champlain is on the right.

Suggestions? Ideas? Anything else I should know?

Thanks!

NellieBly
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Location: NEC

"Adirondack" trip

Post by NellieBly » Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:09 pm

As it happens, I rode the Adirondack two weeks ago from NYP to Port Kent, where I took the ferry over to Burlington.

Unfortunately, my train consisted of three Horizon coaches and an Amdinette, and A/C in two of the Horizons failed not far past Albany.

I wish you better luck. If you have an experience similar to mine, about a third of the riders will go only to Albany or short of Albany, another third to points north of Albany but south of the Canadian border, and the final third to Canada. The crew seats passengers by destination, which means one car will be mostly or entirely empty at ALB. Therefore, if I were you I would sit on the left side of the train in NYP, and plan to move to a seat on the right north of Albany. You'll pick up the south end of Lake Champlain not too far north of Ft. Edward, and it's a wonderful ride all the way. Have a good trip!

NealG
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:39 am
Location: Waltham, MA

Post by NealG » Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:02 pm

I did it in October, 2000 (when they were running heritage equipment) and sat on the left side, a very pretty ride along the edge of the Hudson. Unfortunately, all of the seats on the right side were taken the whole way to Montreal, so it get a good view, I sat at a stool on the right side of the lounge, so I would recommend sitting on the right side. The scenery along Lake Champlain is spectacular. I was lucky enough to be riding during the peak of the fall foliage season, so the view was nice out of both sides.

quadrock
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:03 pm

Adirondack Trip/Observations

Post by quadrock » Sat Mar 31, 2007 2:19 pm

Hey everyone.

I just got back from a NYP-MTR round trip on the Adirondack and I must say, I had no idea that we had such amazing scenery here on the East Coast. The trip alongside Lake Champlain alone would make that trip worth it.

Few observations
1)When I tried to board at NYP from the lower level, the conductor had me go back up to the upper level to get "documented." This consisted of someone checking my passport, stamping CANADA on my ticket, and giving me a Canada/USA Service baggage tag that I was told I need to attach. My question is what was the purpose of this, if it is pretty much only done at NYP. I know that they couldn't have done this at "open-air" stations such as Croton-Harmon or Rhinecliff, so why would this be done only for NYP passengers.

2)Canadian customs seemed friendlier than US (who brough on board a K-9 Unit, but both seemed to take equally long...about 1:30.

3)On time performance was much better than I expected, as we arrived about 45 minutes late into Montreal and about 1 hour late into NYP. Delays from Metro-North going south were minimal, but expected since we arrived into their territory 1 hour late. Freight delays were non-existant both ways!!

4)This train was a lot more crowded than I expected it to be with many seats being filled up right from Montreal.

5)VIA Rail Canada personnel are very friendly, and upon arriving at Montreal, they actually had baggage handlers to offer help and a greeter that welcomed everyone (in French) to Montreal. The Amtrak crew was great as well, providing constant updates to passengers about delays, smoking stops, etc.

All told, this was a great trip and I was presently surprised in all aspects, including OTP, crew friendliness, and especially scenery. Unfortunately, no volunteers from the National Park Service came on board to talk about the scenery, but this wasn't really a big deal.
One negative though, Amtrak definitely needs to provide at least one low-density Amfleet II for the route, as 10 hours aboard an Amfleet I does get quite taxing on the body. Other than that, no complaints here.

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