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Passenger Trains > VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012


Date: 11/24/12 06:31
VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: rombout137

As Promised...here is my trip report from yesterday's Adirondack:

My itinerary was Poughkeepsie NY to Port Henry NY on #69 (As far as you can go with a same day return) and back on #68. My son & father joined me for this unique experience. We had a positively great day!

We boarded #69 in POU using the conventional Adirondack consist and traveled to ALB relatively on time. I inquired if the LSA on this train was moving her and her stuff over to the VIA consist. She said no, someone else was already in ALB preparing the Park Car for Food Service and she would layover in ALB and work our #68 later in the day ALB-NYP. The only confusion was the #69 conductor was unaware of the cross-platform switch in Albany but it was worked out very quickly.

As far as the cross platform transfer goes, it was FINE! There was numerous Amtrak employees and managers on site to help with the transfer and it was completed with a solid 10 minutes to spare before our on-time departure of 11:05am. I thought this was less disruptive then the usual engine change on #69,#68.

My group was lucky to grab the front dome seats out of Albany and enjoyed the view all the way to Port Henry. The weather was great on the way up. The LSA had her hands full dealing with the relatively small space in the Park Car Galley but it worked. The bedrooms were mainly used to store inventory for food service.

#69 was about 20 minutes late dropping us at POH. We had a roughly 40 minute layover there and then #68 showed up. Headed right back to the Park Car and found ample dome seats. We occupied it until the crew cleared it out just before Schenectady.

Cross Platform Transfer again was efficient and simple with lots of help available from Amtrak.

I don't think I have to convince anyone on here that riding in a Park Car is a step way way up from the Amfleet 1's that us non-NYP boarding passengers always get stuck in on this trip. I am also going to read a little between the lines and step out on a limb and speculate: I believe Amtrak is looking to do this again if there is enough public support from the passengers. I think it would be a huge improvement to any train running with this equipment.

I am grateful we had the opportunity to experience this and from multiple trips on the Canadian in the past, we felt right at home.

Below are a few pictures from the trip:

1). 69 on approach to LAB crossing the Hudson after departing Albany NY
2). 69 view out of the dome @ Saratoga Springs NY
3). 69 Front of train departing Port Henry NY








Date: 11/24/12 06:34
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: rombout137

Pictures Continued:

4). 69's Park Car with the Amtrak Port Henry Station Sign in the foreground
5). 69 last view of the Park Car at Port Henry NY
6). 68 view from the dome








Date: 11/24/12 06:37
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: rombout137

Last Picture:

7). 68 view from the rear window of the Park Car

Expect a large Travelogue from TO member Amtrak288 in a few weeks as he shared the dome with us both ways and took over 300 pictures. Nice meeting you Geno.




Date: 11/24/12 06:55
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: Phil1

For those who may not know Geno(Dailey) has arguably the best website devoted to Amtrak with loads of information,trip reports and a huge numbers of great photo shots. He has accumulated an image of all current Amtrak road power and has written many articles about trips has has taken with shots from all over the country. In his spare time he likes to volunteer on the Medina NY tourist train that runs from Medina to Lockport and back seasonally for the fall foliage and for wine tasting trips in the summers. That was where I met him on October 2010.Try www.passengertrainheaven.com. ww.trainweb.org may also get you there.

Phil Blommendahl
Getzville, NY



Date: 11/24/12 07:09
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: andersonb109

What a huge improvement. We are lucky here in Michigan to have easy access to great VIA Rail equipment (either LRC's or HEP2) on the Windsor-Toronto trains. Interesting to note the Conductor kicked everyone out of the Park Car before Schenectady. On The Canadian, you can occupy the dome seats until the train comes to rest at either Vancouver or Toronto. I find it surprising dome seats were so easly available. My guess is most people either didn't know it was there or could care less being busy with their phones or other electronics. They don't know what they missed.



Date: 11/24/12 07:10
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: Out_Of_Service

nice photos ... was the dome pretty well partonized ?



Date: 11/24/12 07:37
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: rombout137

The dome was only patronized by those who knew about it and those who discovered it when they were in the park car looking for cafe service. No official announcement about the dome was made...which selfishly was fine with me.



Date: 11/24/12 07:57
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: joemvcnj

How did they stock the Park car with food since there is no commissary in Albany ?
I assume it had a microwave ?
Did they seat anybody in the HEP-II corridor car just ahead of the Park car ?



Date: 11/24/12 08:37
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: knotch8

Good photos, nice story. Thanks for the travelogue.

Interesting to see that the sides of the cars are clean and shiny, as stainless steel cleans up nicely, but the curved rear of the Park car is dirty. Looks like the car-wash brushes don't extend to reach around to the rear of the car. Probably something that wasn't foreseen when the car wash was designed.

Nice service!



Date: 11/24/12 09:09
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: rombout137

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How did they stock the Park car with food since
> there is no commissary in Albany ?
> I assume it had a microwave ?
> Did they seat anybody in the HEP-II corridor car
> just ahead of the Park car ?

Not sure how they overcame the commissary issue. Yes, the park car had a microwave. Yes, the HEP II car was full mostly with the intermediate ridership.



Date: 11/24/12 10:28
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: andersonb109

Of course it should be noted that with the exception of the Park Car, most of the equipment on this train once belonged to....you guessed it....AMTRAK. It wasn't good enough for them so they sold it all to VIA Rail. Now they are leasing back equipment that is far superior to anything they offer with the possible exception of the west coast.



Date: 11/24/12 10:34
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: joemvcnj

Not true. 10 of 12 cars leased are HEP-I cars. They have not been in the States since they left the Red Lion plant in 1955, but several HEP-I coaches are imposters that came from the States, which are the first 2 cars in this consist (windows shorter in height, corrugated letter board), but others are genuine CP cars.

Only the 2 HEP-II cars came from the states, one was PRR, the other RF&P. The never made it to the Amtrak HEP conversion.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/12 10:39 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/24/12 10:48
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: hazegray

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Of course it should be noted that with the
> exception of the Park Car, most of the equipment
> on this train once belonged to....you guessed
> it....AMTRAK. It wasn't good enough for them so
> they sold it all to VIA Rail. Now they are
> leasing back equipment that is far superior to
> anything they offer with the possible exception of
> the west coast.


Look to Amtrak marketing folks for the underlying reason for Amtrak sales of Heritage equipment. Their underlying rationale for years has been "if it's OLD it won't work and won't sell."
This would seem to disprove that argument....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/12 10:49 by hazegray.



Date: 11/24/12 11:48
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: robj

Shooting from the dome question- on the forward facing windows can you get your camera up to the window or are
you forced to zoom through it from a distance.???

Thanks!

Bob



Date: 11/24/12 13:38
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: Amtrak288

rombout137 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Last Picture:
>
> 7). 68 view from the rear window of the Park Car
>
> Expect a large Travelogue from TO member Amtrak288
> in a few weeks as he shared the dome with us both
> ways and took over 300 pictures. Nice meeting you
> Geno.

John, it was very nice meeting you and your family yesterday on the train as well! How many people can honestly say they rode a VIA Park Dome Car on the Adirondack??? I ended up taking 396 photos yesterday, so yes, there will be a big travelogue about this trip online eventually!



Date: 11/24/12 13:39
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: Amtrak288

Phil1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For those who may not know Geno(Dailey) has
> arguably the best website devoted to Amtrak with
> loads of information,trip reports and a huge
> numbers of great photo shots. He has accumulated
> an image of all current Amtrak road power and has
> written many articles about trips has has taken
> with shots from all over the country. In his spare
> time he likes to volunteer on the Medina NY
> tourist train that runs from Medina to Lockport
> and back seasonally for the fall foliage and for
> wine tasting trips in the summers. That was where
> I met him on October 2010.Try
> www.passengertrainheaven.com. ww.trainweb.org may
> also get you there.

Phil, Thanks for your kind comments as always!!!



Date: 11/25/12 01:30
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: poffcapt

Amtrak288 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> rombout137 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Last Picture:
> >
> > 7). 68 view from the rear window of the Park
> Car
> >
> > Expect a large Travelogue from TO member
> Amtrak288
> > in a few weeks as he shared the dome with us
> both
> > ways and took over 300 pictures. Nice meeting
> you
> > Geno.
>
> John, it was very nice meeting you and your family
> yesterday on the train as well! How many people
> can honestly say they rode a VIA Park Dome Car on
> the Adirondack??? I ended up taking 396 photos
> yesterday, so yes, there will be a big travelogue
> about this trip online eventually!


Wow, Geno. Did you do that all on one battery? Of course, I am assuming you are using digital. You would have to bring an assistant to carry enough film for that many photos. I saw your thread too. Thank you both for showing us your photos and telling us about the trip. I haven't been on the Adirondack since the late 1980s.

Barry in Seattle



Date: 11/25/12 04:54
Re: VIA Adirondack Trip Report 11/23/2012
Author: coaststarlight99

Thanks for the scoop on this unusual train ride. And yes, Geno has a really excellent website that is super easy to navigate, and the photos are sharp and have detailed notes on each photo. I can't even begin to imagine how much time it must take to maintain such a site.

(PS: I hope you didn't hog the front windows. That's why I don't do rail fan trips any more. Too crowded, and many rail fans are inconsiderate of others.)



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