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Eastern Railroad Discussion > A trip along the Mohawk

Date: 06/13/19 16:52
A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

Saturday June 8, 2019

I thought it would be different to do an Amtrak trip from Utica to Schenectady, NY as more of a scenic train ride than simply riding Amtrak. The scenery and history of the Mohawk Valley has always fascinated me and it doesn't hurt that it was once the domain of New York Central's Hudsons, Mohawks, and Niagaras. Later it was the Penn Central Mohawk-Hudson Division, later Conrail under the jurisdication of Supt. Walter Sparks. For this trip I wanted to get a more intimate and scenic experience so it was a ticket in business class leaving Utica on Train 284 and returning from Schenectady on Train 283.

It took a while to work these photos and I admit the quality is rather poor due to having for the most part to shoot through the double windows through the rear vestibule with a less than perfect camera. The windows could have been cleaner but too the track was ROUGH, much rougher than when I rode in the 1977 - 1980 era when it felt like sliding along on a piece of glass. Now it was banging and bouncing at turnouts, corss overs, bridge approaches and road crossings. I "blew" many images on account of blur.

Anyway, so here goes. It is a bit long, but hang in there as we go for a tour and have some fun.

1. CSX 3043 west  meets with ADCX 1835 at Utica while we wait for the 284. The ADCX was getting ready to go north to Thendara.

2. BNSF 5030 east passes the Utica platform.

3. Finally our ride comes in pulled by Amtrak 715 - Train 284 just a few minutes late.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/19 17:40 by train1275.

Date: 06/13/19 16:57
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

4. As we board the ADCX 1835 works the yard getting ready the train for Thendara down by old Tower 31.

5. We are off, and passing a CSX freight just east of Utica.

6. Further down the line we pass MP 210 west of St. Johnsville on a beautiful late Spring day.

Date: 06/13/19 17:03
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

7. A little further along we cross the East Canada Creek, a very historic spot along the Mohawk and where Beardslee's Manor is located on parallel Route 5.

8. MP 196 west of Fort Plain

9. Now we pass Train 63 the westbound Niagara Rainbow. In former times this train ran through to Detroit. 

Date: 06/13/19 17:06
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

10. West of Yosts and approaching Big Nose Curve

11. Lock 13 east of Yosts along the scenic Mohawk.

12. After a stop at Amsterdam we take off and a little fellow is chasing after us in joyful glee

Date: 06/13/19 17:10
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

13. The right of way east of Amsterdam depot near the famous Guy Park.

14. Hoffmans where the Amtrak passenger main splits from the CSX freight mains. Amtrak goes to Schenectady / Albany and CSX goes to Selkirk yard.

15. A short distance later and we go under the CSX as they are heading for the Mohawk River bridge at Pattersonville.

Date: 06/13/19 17:16
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

16. We have now entered the high speed 110 mph running and approaching Schenectady go under the old B&M, now Pan Am truss bridge in Scotia.

17. Then a quick look at the Amtrak Mohawk River Bridge just before our Schenectady stop.

18. Off the train and watching it depart Schenectady for points east to New York City. The new station is nice and downtown Schenectady has shown improvement over past years. The Amtrak crews were very nice; station agents, train crews and cafe car attendants. I also liked the Hoffmans Hot Dogs as a snack. Over priced ? Of course, but it was an entertainment adventure like a ball game. Relax and enjoy. 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/19 17:43 by train1275.

Date: 06/13/19 17:21
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

19. A walk over to Riverside Park past the Stockade District allows for an enjoyable repast of watching boats along the Mohawk and trains over the Amtrak bridge while enjoying a bit of peace and shade. Here Train 281 goes west.

20. Another view of the park and bridge

21. Back to downtown after the brief walk we sit at Katie O'Byrnes Irish pub with an outdoor patio and view of the station and platforms.

Date: 06/13/19 17:24
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

22. Katie O' Byrnes Irish Pub, a nice place to kill time and eat lunch.

23. It is now time to return to Utica and here is our ride, Train 283 pulling in with Amtrak 717 leading the way.

24. Departing Schenectady we cross Erie Blvd, formerally the Erie Canal via the Thru-Truss Bridge.

Date: 06/13/19 17:29
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

A view out the back of the single track high speed line as we head towards Hoffmans.

CSX at Fonda, rough crossing approaches, lots of bouncing about

Back along the Mohawk passing Lock 13 east of Yosts.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/19 17:44 by train1275.

Date: 06/13/19 17:38
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: train1275

Deep in the heart of Mohawk country at Yosts

The view of Lock 15 at Fort Plain from Train 284

Finally back at Utica and here comes an eastbound container train past the landscaped station grounds. A far different perspective from my days here in the 1970's.

The only real complaint was the exceptionally dirty / streaked windows on Train 284 which made looking out at the scenery all but a futile effort. I would have expected a bit more, but perhaps Amtrak doesn't really care. The train originated in New York City less than 200 miles away so it wasn't like it was a thousand miles in its' journey.

So here is more of a "scenic train" ride adventure and it was a really fun time for a bit of a different perspective on the railroad. I may try it again to document some of the track layout and sturctures. About half the photos just didn't come out so a good excuse to try again and get some ideas on trackside locations for photography. It's really a beautiful ride with enough layover in historic Schenectady to relax and have some eats before returning back.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/19 17:59 by train1275.

Date: 06/13/19 19:37
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: nycman

Thanks for the memories.  Born in Little Falls, all those places were part of my childhood and young adulthood.  Of course there were four tracks all along the route back then and yes, it was smooth.  I miss the New York Central.

Date: 06/14/19 06:10
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: KimHeusel

Thanks for the tour. Great pictures in spite of the windows. One shot I found interesting was No. 7, which clearly shows the remnants of what was once a four-track mainline.

Kim Heusel

Date: 06/14/19 06:14
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: mbutte

Beautiful shots 'down the valley' from my hometown of Utica!

Date: 06/14/19 07:29
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: King_Coal

Fun trip - thanks for sharing it! I've only done it in the gloom of winter. Your sunshiney coverage is much better.

Date: 06/14/19 08:51
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: overniteman

Nice series of shots! Looks like a fun trip.

Date: 06/14/19 11:24
Re: A trip along the Mohawk
Author: bluesboyst

Great shots.... thanks for posting

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