Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Amtrak August 2012

Monday 27th August 2012

Having conquered Canada, or done what we’d actually gone to do, our exit strategy was the Amtrak “Adirondack” 0930 Montreal – New York Penn, into the US. The queue for which was off the scale at Montreal, going right back through the whole station hall. Despite that we still managed to get ourselves some seats to ourselves. GE P42DC #41 was the loco at the head of the train and we departed right time.

It didn’t stay that way for long and as with every border crossing it soon became a waiting game once we’d arrived at Rouses Point. Not only did  we depart 50 minutes late, two of us were also $6 lighter in the pocket as well. Not known to us at the time, ESTA’s are not required if you cross into the US via land but you do have to pay a $6 processing fee. So not only were we $6 lighter in the pocket, we’d also wasted $14 on the ESTA itself!

From Rouses Point onward the train was just rubbish. The queue at the buffet car was constantly about an hour deep, all the way to Poughkeepsie, where we got off and we didn’t even have time to get anything at Albany while GE P32 #709 replaced P42 #41, as we were late. I’d never been so thankful to see the bar/pizza place over the road from Poughkeepsie station when we got there.

Our overnight accommodation was the Days Inn, where we’d stayed before, which is unfortunately a $7.50 taxi ride from the station. It’s ok though and breakfast is included.

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Our day on the NJT, or even short afternoon bash, had been enjoyable but we were ready for a bit of relaxation when we boarded Amtrak’s “Lake Shore Limited” 49 1545 New York Penn – Chicago with GE P32 #704 at its helm. The Boston portion was already sat in waiting for us at Albany when we arrived with P42’s 77/200, which were duly shunted onto the front of our portion and then whisked us forward to Utica, where we stayed for the next three nights in the Hotel Utica, which is a decent place, its only 5 minutes walk from the station and you can’t miss it’s slender physique rising above the Utica skyline.

Wednesday 29th August 2012

We hadn’t actually planned any Amtrak moves on this day but with the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railway not running trains we were back in Utica with virtually the whole day to kill. This little move was really to get Schenectady in the book, the place where it all began, if you like Alco’s anyway. Our last attempt had resulted in a taxi from Schenectady to Utica, thankfully this one didn’t!

The eastbound “Lake Shore Limited” 48 2130 Chicago – New York Penn was only 25 late into Utica but CSX track work over an 11 mile section saw us 90 late at Schenectady. Train 49 was formed of GE P42’s 202/82 with ex F40 cab car 92??? in tow.

Thankfully our return journey wasn’t marred by single line working and GE P32 #707 put in a sterling performance on 283 1315 New York Penn – Niagara to pull back some of its time also.

That was it for our Amtrak moves, it seemed strange doing the US an not doing much Amtrak at all really.

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