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Passenger Trains > Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening

Date: 05/22/23 19:00
Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: train1275

TO Member randgust is riding Amtrak 49 the Lake Shore Limited this evening, and sent me this nice shot taken from the train to post for him.
He took 48 from Buffalo to Boston a few days ago, and now is returning.

As always, the ride along the historic Mohawk River in Upstate New York from Albany to Utica is a scenic pleasure. All the more so when watching the sunset.

Hopefully he'll have some sort of trip rerport for us when he gets back.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/23 19:07 by train1275.

Date: 05/23/23 04:12
Re: Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: march_hare

Nice to see that navigation season on the Mohawk is upon us. The river is once again full of water. Should see some boats soon. 

Date: 05/23/23 13:48
Re: Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: randgust

I'm old enough that I remember pre-Amtrak and older Amtrak, when stations were pretty empty and so were the trains.   So seeing South Station just teeming with people, between Amtrak and the commuter traffic, makes you feel like there's still a very valid reason for all of this.  It certainly is being used, and South Station is short enough on capacity that it is equal to any crowded airport I've seen.

The 'good news' on the 449/49 run from Boston was that we left right on the dot, with a very full train; 3 units (one of which was taken off at Rensaleer), viewliner, cafe, and 2 coaches.   Got stuck right of out the gate behind a freight (???) that we lost about 20 minutes on, got in late to Albany but left on time with the ample padding there.

Worcester has a massive project underway for MBTA traffic, and the platform is a jumble of temporary stuff east of the main depot.   Didn't know that, and I'm glad I didn't detain there like I did in the past.   The evidence that MBTA is really beefing up South Station to Worcester was everywhere.

I'd forgotten how curvy and slow and indirect the B&A was between Albany and Pittsfield, lots of speed restrictions, many posted to 35mph.  

There's only one section of jointed rail left between Albany and the CSX junction south out of Selkirk, man, that rough, and they run it hard.  Is the only traffic left on that Amtrak?

Here's a tip if you're stuck on coach:  The 'coffee shop' at Albany station actually has some hot food, which was useful when you discover that the Eastbount 448 closed the cafe for over 2 hours to serve the sleeper car passengers meals.   Hmmm.  So I'd heard that and stocked up in the station, I'll do that every trip now.

Didn't do a car count and consist of the entire 49 when we left, but it's still an impressive train considering how short so many of the western ones are now.  And the train was REALLY full, people struggling to find coach seats.   I'd tried the 'bid up' twice on a roomette and lost both times.

Service was OK but spotty, the eastbound cafe crew was borderline surly, westbound cafe couldn't have been nicer.   Crew in general both directions was patient and proper, can't really hang anybody I came in contact with.  I was surprised on the westbound that half the cafe was 'closed' as 'crew only'.

It's always great fun for me to use a speedometer ap on the phone to track us out of Albany to Schenectady where the line has been upgraded by Amtrak.   I'm not sure where else east of the mississippi you'll bust 100mph behind P42's, but you get about 5 minutes of it there.  And really smooth track.

That shot was the best one out of a bunch of grab shots running at 79mph alongside the Mohawk/Canal.  I've ridden that before, know to get a seat on that side and hang on to it, just for that view, but the red sunset reflecting off the river?   Yeah, that's the highlight.

Somewhere near Geneva we slowed to a halt and just sat there, without any explanation, for well over an hour.   HEP went out twice and came back on, that's not good.   Eastbound main was open, so not a derailment.   No idea what was going on, and they didn't say anything, but came into Buffalo about 1:15 late.   (anybody know what that was)?   Simply got moving again after an hour at track speed, although I'd suspected a unit failure I'm still not sure what that was.   Depew will make it even later as over half the platform closed off for 'renovations', so both the eastbound and westbound Lake Shore is now stuck making multiple stops which really slows them up.

Lots of passengers.... and apparently this is one of the few routes with enough cars to attempt to meet the demand.    Demographics all over the map as it should be, including large parties of Amish everywhere even as far east as South Station.  Usage seems limited by capacity if you ask me.

So in general it was 'OK', probably not as good as in the past, but not as bad as I had feared it was, and yeah, I'd do it again, sure beats driving and you have to be insane to go into Logan and try to get out of there through heavy traffic.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/23 14:00 by randgust.

Date: 05/23/23 18:03
Re: Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: twropr

From what I could hear on the radio feed, 49 got a stop signal at CP 323 - just west of the Seneca River bridge.
Another train said M218 had gotten a hotbox so there was single track ahead.

Date: 05/23/23 18:51
Re: Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: ABB

Several portions of the line between Rensselaer and Hoffmans are rated for 100 and 110 mph. The track was upgraded by Conrail in 1978 & 1979. The line is now leased from CSX and maintained by Amtrak. The Post Road Branch was rebuilt by Amtrak after it was abandoned in the early 1970's, They used second hand PRR 155# rail. I believe a short piece on the east end is now CWR.

Date: 05/25/23 05:39
Re: Sunset on the Mohawk from Train 49 This Evening
Author: randgust

Thanks Andy, that answers that mystery.   I figured somebody here would know.

Now if I can find one of the railfans that was filming 448 passing at the Chester, MA railroad museum on Friday the 19th it would be a slam dunk here.    Lots of cameras as there was a special event the next day.   

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