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Date: 07/23/11 22:23
A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: CFG

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 marked the establishment of a new Passenger Railroad in America. At promptly 10 am, a Saratoga & North Creek Railway (SNC) VIP train departed the North Creek, NY station enroute to Saratoga Springs, NY establishing fully compliant 49 CFR 238/239 passenger operations (this is the intercity/commuter standard - not the tourist/excursion standard). Two round trips were made carrying local government, business and community leaders, Canadian Pacific management, and SNC and Iowa Pacific staff.

The Saratoga & North Creek began its first regularly scheduled passenger service today (Saturday, 23 July).

Congratulations to Ed Ellis, the local governmental leaders from Warren County, NY and the Town of Corinth, NY, as well as the scores of project staff and professionals who made this significant achievement possible. Thanks are also due the FRA and NY DOT for their hard work in guiding and assisting the SNC in navigating the significant regulatory requirements that had to be met - there was a truly a "spirit of cooperation".

I don't pride myself on my photographic skills, so I'll apologize in advance for the photo quality.

1.) The VIP train about to leave North Creek, NY

2.) Arrival in Saratoga Springs, NY where additional passengers boarded for the trip back to North Creek (about 56 miles)

3.) The SNC service will provide for "cross platform boarding" with Amtrak at Saratoga Springs (Amtrak's Northbound Adirondack shown here)

Bob Andrews








Date: 07/23/11 22:36
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: stash

What does the new RR have in the way of rolling stock?

What's the route like? I note a rail line running along a river for a good distance (don't see the name of the waterway). Could that be the line?

How about passenger service: any intermediate stops? Population doesn't appear too large there; but I don't know the territory. Curious about this.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/11 22:45 by stash.



Date: 07/23/11 22:49
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: stash

Interest piqued, I've been digging. Here's a link to a story:
http://saratogian.com/articles/2011/07/20/news/doc4e27878578720316115635.txt?viewmode=fullstory


Now for the Web site:
http://www.sncrr.com/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/11 22:53 by stash.



Date: 07/23/11 22:59
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: GenePoon

Passenger cars for now are two ex-Long Island Rail Road bilevel coaches and an ex-ATSF full-length dome car.
In addition to the GE engine shown, S&NC also has an ex-Bangor and Aroostook EMD BL-2. Other equipment
operated by affliiated railroads may be operated, also.



Date: 07/23/11 23:07
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: CFG

1.) The railroad follows the Hudson River for about the northern half of the route. The scenery is amongst the most beautiful in America.

2.) At the moment, passenger equipment will consist of full length dome cars (nee AT&SF and Holland America) and C-1 bi-level commuter cars married in pairs (nee Long Island RR). Additional motive power will also include two Bl-2 and one E-8 locomotive(s). The railroad is committed to adding additional equipment as demand grows (which is expected).

3.) There are intermediate stops along the way. See the railroad's website at www.sncrr.com if you would like to learn more. While some of the cities served along the route have small resident populations, it is an extremely popular vacation destination and in the case of Warren County, adds about 250,000 people (daily) during the tourist season (which is now 10 months long - water sports in summer, and skiing in winter). Service will consist of "coach class" and "dome class" (shown here during the VIP trip).

Bob








Date: 07/24/11 00:39
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: poffcapt

Congratulations to Ed Ellis and his fine group. Now if Customs would cooperate and keep the Adirondack on time...

Barry Stone



Date: 07/24/11 04:40
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: co614

Congratulations to Ed Ellis and his fine team. As one who knows I can tell you that this is a major achievement considering the effort needed to satisfy the seemingly endless requirements of the myriad rules and regulations.

I am absolutely confident that this will mature into a successful operation. All the best of good fortune!!

Ross Rowland



Date: 07/24/11 04:56
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: rfprr

Odd that the northbound train leaves Saratoga at 10am but the northbound Amtrak from NYC doesn't arrive there until 11:57am.
That would make it impossible to make a day trip starting out on Amtrak.

rfprr



Date: 07/24/11 05:18
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: eee

Thanks for the kind comments everyone. The level of cooperation and assistance from FRA is greatly appreciated by Iowa Pacific, and the assistance from PDI Rail Solutions in developing the Emergency Preparedness plan, plus training, testing, signage, was essential to getting to full regulatory compliance.

Regarding the schedule, the objective for connections is to allow for an afternoon departure from NY on the Ethan Allen connecting at Saratoga, and a morning departure from North Creek connecting at Saratoga. Keep in mind, the track is owned by Warren County/Town of Corinth and they are focused (with SNC) on developing hotel stays and longer visits to the west side of the county. Also, if you have a summer home in the area, and work in Manhattan, there's now a way to get out of the city in the afternoon without driving, and make it all the way to North Creek the same evening by train. The Thursday-Monday departures focus on that kind of traffic.

The 10 am departure from Saratoga is oriented to folks staying in any of the 2,000 hotel rooms in the Saratoga area....

Ed Ellis



Date: 07/24/11 09:20
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: Ptolemy

As one who has enjoyed Ed Ellis' San Luis and Rio Grande, this is nice to see. Whose trackage was this?



Date: 07/24/11 09:55
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: DavidP

Ptolemy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As one who has enjoyed Ed Ellis' San Luis and Rio
> Grande, this is nice to see. Whose trackage was
> this?

D&H

Dave



Date: 07/24/11 11:37
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: joemvcnj

Aren't there 2 other LIRR C-1 coaches on another Ed Ellis-owned railroad out west somewhere ? I can't remember if it is in Arizona or Colorado.


< fully compliant 49 CFR 238/239 passenger operations (this is the intercity/commuter standard - not the tourist/excursion standard).>
Does that also mean these 3 cars are certifiable as Amtrak PV's ?

It's nice to see the those coaches in a D&H-like paint scheme.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/11 11:39 by joemvcnj.



Date: 07/24/11 13:41
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: eminence_grise

I've seen that highway "bow truss" bridge in the foreground of Jim Shaughnessy photographs of D&H trains on a high bridge.



Date: 07/24/11 14:07
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: ProAmtrak

Hope they do really well!



Date: 07/24/11 18:46
A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: jp1822

Interesting web site and service! Congratulations! Appears there are a few "rail options" that one can book on this railroad, and it is geared more for a connection with the Ethan Allen Express, as opposed to the Adirondack. Both trains, from what I've seen/experienced do a pretty good business at Saratoga Springs.

Are there any long term plans for service to expand so it can connect with the Adirondack too? Both trains are really popular, but not sure which train brings more passengers to Saratoga. Moreover, the Friday evening Ethan Allen Express northward to Albany/Rutland is often booked up WEEKS if not MONTHS in advance at times, as it has a very good Friday departure schedule from NYP to Albany/Rutland. Many New Yorkers that have "vacation homes" in the Catskills (upstate) use the Ethan Allen Express, as they can get a full work day in before departure time of the Ethan Allen at 5:45 p.m. from NYP. Likewise it has a very favorable Sunday departure schedule back to NYP.

That being said though, I've typically noticed a lot of people getting on/off south of Albany for the Ethan Allen. Not sure what the traffic pattern north of Albany is - to/from Rutland. At times I've wondered if Amtrak would be better off running a northbound "Ethan Allen Express," for example, which indeed runs "Express" from NYP to Albany (or only allows the train to "receive passengers" south of Albany), and then run a regular Empire Corridor train say 10 minutes later from NYP to Albany on a more local schedule. This would then give passengers - and Amtrak - a true read on ridership and opportunity so the Ethan Allen Express serves destinations "north of Albany. After all, only two trains a day serve some stations north of Albany after diverging at Schenectady.

Also curious on what the history of the bi-level LIRR cars are? The one interior picture appears as though one level is re-conditioned with [Amtrak] Amfleet seats. The other interior picture has seats that I don't recall seeing "in operation" on the LIRR commuter trains. It also states that these two LIRR cars are "cast-aways" of some sort so to speak (i.e. new, but LIRR couldn't use them for some reason?).

The other thing that instantly catches my eye is that the bi-level cars appear to be more oriented for "high level" platforms. But is there a "trap door" that opens up so it can serve low level platforms? Most bi-level cars on the LIRR or multilevel cars on NJT of this nature have essentially four doors on one side per car - two that can be use for high-level boarding/de-boarding and one that then has a trap door that opens so it can serve low level platforms.

The full dome car is a really nice option, as I am sure it will be popular during leaf peeping season!

I would definitely get brochures on this unique passenger railroad option into Amtrak stations from NYP to other stations along the Ethan Allen Express and even Empire Corridor trains (including the Adirondack).

Congratulations on the service inauguration and hope all works out as planned and is successful!



Date: 07/25/11 07:11
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: joemvcnj

These are among 10 ex-LIRR C-1 bi-levels. They are totally electrically incomaptible with the prototype fleet of 134 cars. They originally had WABCO "bull-cock" couplers. These are married pairs. No LIRR bi-levels have traps, and have two double-width doors per side as on their MU cars. NJT cars are a completely different species.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/11 07:12 by joemvcnj.



Date: 07/25/11 09:22
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: JJAAMAPOU

The initial public runs were on Saturday, July 23rd. It was a great trip. Rode the 10AM northbound from Saratoga Springs to North Creek, then the 3:45PM run south. Operated on time and both trains were full. There is dining service off a menu in the first class car. It is possible to make a same-day round trip from either end. Trains run Thursday-Monday thru October 30th (no service Tuesday or Wednesday.) See www.sncrr.com for full details and to make reservations. The only caution I would give is that accomodations in Saratoga Springs are limited and expensive in August. It is the racing season. Saratoga Springs is about a half-hour drive north of Albany on I-87. Parking is available at both North Creek and Saratoga Springs stations.



Date: 07/25/11 09:44
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: joemvcnj

Any motels or restauants within walking distance at North Creek ?



Date: 07/25/11 11:43
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: poffcapt

Does the track still go all of the way to Tahawaus, in the Adirondack Park Preserve? What is the farthest up the line that the new railroad will serve; freight or passenger?

Barry Stone
Edmonds, WA



Date: 07/25/11 12:35
Re: A New Passenger Railroad in America
Author: chakk

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Aren't there 2 other LIRR C-1 coaches on another
> Ed Ellis-owned railroad out west somewhere ? I
> can't remember if it is in Arizona or Colorado.
>
>
> < fully compliant 49 CFR 238/239 passenger
> operations (this is the intercity/commuter
> standard - not the tourist/excursion standard).>
> Does that also mean these 3 cars are certifiable
> as Amtrak PV's ?
>
> It's nice to see the those coaches in a D&H-like
> paint scheme.


There are full length domes identical to this one on the railroad in southern Colorado that serves Alamosa, Antonito, and La Veta Pass.



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