Amtrak's ADIRONDACK

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

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CNJ

Post by CNJ »

I think a lttle perspective is in order here.

Even in the D&H days (I've ridden both the Montreal Limited and the Laurentian), this route was never known for its speed. It was for all practical purposes a 40-50 MPH route.

As to the border delays...well, thats the price we pay for living in the post- 9/11 world.

Mr. de402 seems pretty put off by this train. From the sounds of it he seems to prefer to drive. Well I-87 (The Adirondack Northway) is a nice drive, though it does get hairy in the winter. And you'll still get held at the border.
Last edited by CNJ on Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jhdeasy
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Post by jhdeasy »

The Adirondack is still my favorite day trip out of New York on private car MOUNT VERNON. My next trip is northbound on train 71 on Saturday August 4th and southbound on train 68 on Tuesday August 7th. I admit I might be less enthused about this trip if I was simply riding in coach.

Jeff Smith
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Post by Jeff Smith »

Wouldn't it be common sense to have the customs check in Montreal, rather than right at the border? After all, we don't stop planes bound for LAX from Heathrow at Bangor, do we? This way the train's not sitting on the track while customs walks through, eh?
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dumpster.penguin
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Post by dumpster.penguin »

NJTKid01 wrote:There is no way that trains travel this slow.
The Adirondack does. Think of it as a restful "walking tour" of northern New York. In addition to the delays already mentioned, there is a long section of single track around about Westport. The train sometimes has to sit and wait, as much as about an hour, for its turn at the single track. In my experience there are seldom problems with freight; it's the northbound and southbound Adirondack that trip over each other.

jp1822
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Adirondack

Post by jp1822 »

Customs has gotten ridiculous. It's an archaic system that should be more efficiently handled. That's not to say we should loosen up on border crossings. Quite the opposite.

However, on my recent trip on the Adirondack, southbound, there was hardly a document check for people crossing the border. Amtrak Cascades has the best border crossing process, and this could be replicated to the Adirondack if the powers that be wanted to. Would also be nice if customs could do there check while the train is enroute between NY state line and Montreal. Eliminate the St. Lambert stop if need be - it no longer functions as a connection point for VIA trains as the Adirondack's OTP is so poor these days. As a result of documents not being checked in Montreal, there were a significant number of people being escorted into the "cafe car" for further questioning and background check etc. This took way to long. One person was not cleared for nearly 45 minutes. Sorry - but the person should have been escorted off the train, rather than causing a significant delay. The southbound journey was largely delayed by customs check on my recent Adirondack trip, and this caused many to miss there connections in NYP - and the ticket office was closed to top it off. So passengers were left puzzled.

This morning, Tuesday, I overheard the announcer say that the Adirondack was being held in Sunnyside Yard due to "mechanical problems." So that train was already late leaving the gate. Mechanical could not have been spotted from when the train came in the night before, or substitute coach provided? Not sure if that was even the real problem or not. I overheard in Montreal from a mechanical crew that the southbound train set I was booked on was having air-conditioning problems, but they thought they had it fixed. No complaints enroute and it was fixed. Restrooms were more to be desired though! Again, this train set needs low density coach seating for those enduring the long trip from upstate NY / Canada to NYP.

gprimr1
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Post by gprimr1 »

This is in such sharp contrast to my trip on the Maple Leaf, which had low density seating, clean (alibet older style) bathrooms. The train is alloted 3 hours for customs I believe I heard them say. We lost 30 minutes on the way, but left the checkpoint on time.
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Railjunkie
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Post by Railjunkie »

Top speed for passenger is 60mph, with alot of 30 to 45mph due to curves and grades. The entire railroad is single track with controled sidings this would also include the CN except for the last few miles into Montreal.

On my last trip this past spring it looked like the CN was going to be doing a major tie replacement program on the single track. This coupled with the ever present track work on the D&H will cause delays due to the fact most controled sidings are apprx. 20 to 30 miles apart. The scheduled meeting point is Howards (CPC 123-CPC 125). If one or the other is late you will sit. Freight congestion is never really a problem except for Mohawk yard and Saratoga.

jp1822
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Adirondack

Post by jp1822 »

I've said this before - I have no idea why the only state supported train in NYC is not given more attention - be it NYDOT pressing Amtrak for better service and equipment, or Amtrak doesn't place more scrutiny on managing its state supported trains, as a good trustee so to speak. The Maple Leaf runs through NY state, and thank goodness has been upgraded with Amfleet II's and a renovated business/cafe car. Some attention to the Adirondack would certainly help. It's a long day trip in the high density coaches from endpoint to endpoint and there's a lot of traffic going from end point to end point.

The Adirondack used to have a great schedule - faster, good connections to VIA trains in Montreal etc. It has only deteriorated since its inauguration under Amtrak. The Sunday departure used to be at 1 p.m. southbound from Montreal and the train arrived in Grand Central at a passenger friendly time (forget the exact time).

Amrak could inaugurate different classes of service on this line, considering its descent patronage and classic scenery. Even moving a business class car off the Albany-NYP route to the Adirondack route would be a good start.

I've seen many Albany-NYP trains (only) operate with low density coaches (former business class or Metroliner Amfleet coaches off the NEC) and renovated 1/2 business class and 1/2 cafe cars on the route, when this route does not even offer cafe service. The NEC even desginates former Metroliner Amfleet coaches (low density cars) or business class cars as regular coach cars. One would think a re-shuffle of the cars is needed. NEC should definitely be operating low density Amfleet coaches if the train offers business class. Otherwise, there's really no benefit to Amfleet business class cars on the NEC. Except those 1/2 cafe and 1/2 business class cars which have really nice seating (leather or cloth).

After my last Adirondack trip in June, I did my duty in writing to Amtrak on the above points and others. The Adirondack used to be a nice train.

Railjunkie
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Post by Railjunkie »

Cafe service is still offered on select trains, trains going to or coming from NFL or Rutland VT, as all trains with the exception of #63, #69 and #49 start out of ALB and go to NYP there are times when the cafe car is basically a deadhead move.

johnpbarlow
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Post by johnpbarlow »

As CNJ said earlier, this route was never known for its speed. In fact the current published Adirondack schedule and the 1958 Laurentian schedule are quite similar:

............................Adirondack.............................Laurentian
Lv NYC...................7:45AM (NYP -Sat/Sun).............7:40AM (GCT)
Ar Albany area......10:15AM (A/R).........................10:50AM (AUS)
Ar RP.....................3:09PM....................................4:35PM
Ar Montreal...........5:50PM (Central Stn)................5:55PM (Windsor Stn)

The NYC-Albany segment is 40 minutes faster now and the Albany-RP is similarly 45 minutes faster. But clearly customs now consumes a lot more time between RP and Montreal.

hsr_fan

Post by hsr_fan »

This would be a great ride to get a private compartment, but unfortunately unless Amtrak orders a bunch of new Viewliners, that ain't gonna happen.

Greg Moore
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Post by Greg Moore »

hsr_fan wrote:This would be a great ride to get a private compartment, but unfortunately unless Amtrak orders a bunch of new Viewliners, that ain't gonna happen.
I think you mean "until Congress" or "NY Legislature" ponies up the money....

NJTKid01

Post by NJTKid01 »

It gonna sound like I'm going to loose my mind if I ever travel on the Adirondack. But the experience of travelling on the rails internationally is probably once in a lifetime. So, what if I'm on the train for 14-16 hours, I'm gonna loose my mind anyway.

Orgnoi1

Post by Orgnoi1 »

Being from the area... and knowing the last engineer and the current one... I can only say this... from speaking with both...

Amtrak rarely is late because of its own issues... sure there are times that breakdowns and such can cause problems...

But trackspeed restrictions, being last on the priority list, waiting on single track and customs plays the largest chunk (98%) of the reasons that the Adirondack is late daily. I actually sat in on a conference call wednesday where they had to explain local lateness... its not a fun deal... and no one on Amtrak wants to deal with being late and making customers late... and THAT is the real situation...

I havent personally ridden the Adirondack... but I plan to... I mean heck... you are a railfan... and worried about being on a train too long?!?

DutchRailnut
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Post by DutchRailnut »

Greg Moore wrote:I think you mean "until Congress" or "NY Legislature" ponies up the money....
If anyone expects NY state to ever pay for equipment again their sadly mistaken, 3 trainsets in Bear speak louder than words., its been twice NYstate has spend money on Amtrak equipment only to see it disapear within a year or so.
First the herritage fleet used on Adirondack and then the Turbo's. The mind set in Albany now is screw Amtrak.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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