Facebook Page
Adirondack trip 2008:

Adirondack trip 2008:




            On my trip to Chicago, I observed Amtrak’s last dome car in Chicago. The car is usually stored in California. I had heard rumors that Amtrak may run it again on the Adirondack again this year.



A week or two later, I heard the car was in Albany and soon, it was running on the Adirondack. I decided to ride it again in a similar style as what I did in 2007. I went in the last week of October. The trip unfolded as follows.


October 27, 2008:


            I headed down to Union station. Unfortunately, I realized that I had carelessly left my train tickets and American money at home and had to go get them. By the time I finally arrived at Union Station, I had missed train 56; the train I intended to take. Worse, my ticket was not refundable and non-exchangeable. I ended up buying a ticket for train 60 which left two hours later. However I would have less time to ride around on the subway and buses in Montreal.


This is my original ticket for train 56.


            I noticed there was a special train #656 heading for Montreal at 11:00 am, but it was a charter and I couldn’t buy a ticket for that train.


            To pass the time, I went online at a Bell internet kiosk at Union Station. I researched buses and Porter Airlines to see if I could get a deal, but they either were more expensive or look longer than train 60 getting to Montreal I then walked to the end of the skywalk and photographed a few GO trains and VIA train 41 deadheading to VIA’s Toronto Maintenance Centre. I also photographed and filmed train 85 departing for Sarnia.



            Shortly before 11:00 am, I filmed VIA train 70 arriving. Train 70’s consist will become train 60. I took a photo of the rear of the train.



            Train 60 today consisted of F40PH-2 #6425, an ex Union Pacific Hep1 baggage car. Two VIA 1 class Hep2 coaches, and five economy class Hep2 coaches.


            I walked back and lined up. Unfortunately there was already a long line and I had an aisle seat in the 2nd last coach. The train left 8 minutes late. Shortly after we left, I filmed VIA train 52 and the Greenwood subway yard. We stopped at Guildwood and Oshawa. I bought lunch.


            We soon passed through Port Hope and passed VIA train 57. We then stopped in Cobourg and after we left, we were paced by a CP freight consisting of a GP9 and a single freight car. As we approached Belleville, I saw the Belleville Transit garage with two retired Classics in the back. One of them was #9147 which was the last bus to wear Belleville Transit’s old livery. We stopped at Belleville and soon departed.


            When we stopped in Kingston, I photographed train 61 and filmed it as we went by.



            We were soon underway and stopped at Brockville and Cornwall. We soon crossed into Quebec and were once again running alongside the CP line and passed a westbound AMT commuter train. We stopped at Dorval. Shortly after we left, we were passed by VIA train 67. After we left, I saw a rainbow.



            At this point, I wasn’t sure if the train would front in or back in, but we ended up fronting in. As we approached Central station, I photographed the Ocean and noticed the trailing unit, #6453 now had a third headlight light sister F40s 6420 and 6434.




            Despite departing Toronto 8 minutes late, train 60 arrived into Montreal four minutes early. Once I got off, I took some photos of the train.






            I also photographed the Ocean.




            I then went upstairs and bought a day pass for the Metro. I then got on a subway and rode to the Mont-Royal station and transferred to a 97 bus. I got off at walked over to my hotel which was the Hotel Parc Avenue. I checked in. I managed to get a good rate of exactly $60 taxes included. For $60, the room was pretty basic but comfortable.


I then phoned home and then headed out to try to salvage what transit riding I could. I caught a bus down to the subway and rode to Vendome station. I originally wanted to try to find STM’s oldest bus: Classic 60-013, but now I would be satisfied to ride any Classic.


            Soon, STM Classic 15-044 showed up. I photographed it before I got on.



            After riding the bus for awhile, I got off and headed back to the Metro. I then rode the orange line up to Cote-Verdu. I then boarded a bus on route 215 and rode to the St. Laurent Garage.


            When I got there, I saw several Classics parked along the fence as well as a couple Nova LFS buses. I know some of the buses were retired. I took some photos of them.




            I walked along the fence. Moments later, I found Classic 11-022, the Classic I eagerly photographed on my Montreal trip in 2006. I believe the bus was retired shortly after the trip but has stuck around. I took some photos of it.


Yeah, that’s 11-022.



            I took a couple more photos before I caught a bus back to the subway.





            I then walked over to a nearby Taco Bell and had dinner. I then got on the subway and rode to Lionel-Groulx. I then rode a Green Line train to Barri-UQAM. I then rode the orange line two stops north and returned to my hotel. I watched some TV and asked for a wake up call at 7:30 am and called it a night.


October 28, 2008:


            I got my wake up call and got dressed. I then checked out of my hotel. I walked over and had breakfast at a nearby restaurant. I then caught a Nova LFS on route 535 to the Place de Arts station on the green line. I took some photos.




            I rode to Lionel-Groulx and filmed my train departing. I then transferred to the Orange Line to ride to Bonadventure. When my train pulled in, I photographed it.



            When I got to Bonadventure, I filmed the train departing. I then went up to the VIA concourse. I had 50 minutes before the Adirondack was to depart. I picked up a form to fill out for U.S. Customs.


            Boarding commenced at 9:13 am. At I got to platform level, I once again saw the Great Dome. I was seated in Amfleet 1 Capstone refurbish coach #82523. On the track next to my train was VIA train 21 which had arrived from Quebec City. I watched the train reverse out of the station and noticed it had two F40s leading. Once train 21 was gone, I saw train 57 which was also boarding passengers.


            The Adirondack left on time. I filmed VIA’s Montreal Maintenance Centre from the train and saw the Renaissance equipped Ocean. I also filmed some AMT commuter trains with some equipment leased from New Jersey Transit.


            Recently, AMT has leased 7 locomotives and 14 coaches from New Jersey Transit. I was puzzled why they were leasing 7 locomotives when I saw that the locomotives were being used to bracket the coaches.


            The train stopped at Saint Lambert. After we left, the café car and the dome opened. I eagerly made my way to the dome. For awhile, I was the only person in the dome. As we went around a curve, I noticed that the café car which was in its usual position in the middle instead of right behind the dome car was lettered for the rebranded Northeast Regional service. I also photographed the training Amfleet coaches.



            The dome car was behind the locomotive which was P42 #105, the same unit that led the Maple Leaf from Schenectady to Toronto last year when I rode the dome on the Adirondack as well as the Maple Leaf on my trip back from Chicago.


            After awhile, I went back to my seat. The café car and the dome car closed for the customs inspection. The train soon arrived at Rouses Point where U.S. customs agents did their inspection. The inspection was quick and painless and I found the agents to be friendly but professional. The agents moved to the cars ahead as the last car was closed off. The inspection was soon finished. We were allowed outside for 10 minutes. I went outside and took some photos.






            I got back on the train and we soon left on time. The café car and the dome reopened and I bought lunch and ate it in the dome car. I also talked with a man going from Montreal to Baltimore.


            One thing I noticed was the dome car was running in the opposite manner as it was last year as the counter in the unused downstairs lounge was towards the engine instead of the trailing Amfleet coaches.


            The train stopped at Plattsburgh and Westport. I filmed three bi-level cars most likely heading to AMT on flat cars in a yard. I also filmed a passing CP work train which had a caboose on the end. This was the first time I had seen a freight train with a caboose on the end since my trip on the Adirondack last year.


            South of Westport, we stopped to let the northbound Adirondack pass us. I filmed it passing and ran to the end of the dome to photograph it.



            We soon stopped at Port Henry. I looked to see if my friend Dan would be there but he wasn’t.


            South of Port Henry, we stopped to flag a crossing which had suffered damage by a northbound train striking a vehicle as the gate on the east side of the tracks was lying on the ground, yet the lights on the gate were still working. I have no idea about the details other than what I saw. It goes to reinforce how trains can’t stop.


This is the damaged railway crossing with the gate lights still working.


            We stopped at Ticonderoga. I filmed the Alco locomotive on display by the station. I looked for Dan at Ticonderoga and again at Whitehall, but he wasn’t there.


            The train stopped at Fort Edward-Glen Falls. We passed a yard where I filmed a freight train with three different leased locomotives. I didn’t notice it at the time but later when I reviewed the video, I saw the last GP38 in the Delaware and Hudson livery! This was just as exciting as seeing the two Dash 9s still painted and lettered for the Chicago and Northwestern on my last trip.



            We stopped at Saratoga Springs. Shortly after we left, I went back to my coach seat and gathered my stuff to get ready to get off in Schenectady. We arrived into Schenectady 12 minutes early!


            I got off and took some photos.





            I decided to go to the hobby store near the Amtrak station. I went downstairs and took two more photos.




            It was raining pretty heavily. I made it to the hobby store and looked around. At one point, I decided to go outside to see if I could film the Adirondack leaving, but it was already gone; bummer. I went back inside for a few minutes but didn’t buy anything.


            I then took my bus to my hotel which was the Econo-Lodge I had stayed at a week earlier as it was now more than $10 cheaper than the Days Inn I stayed at last time I was in Schenectady. I checked in and decided to warm up.


            A little while later, I caught a bus to Erie Blvd and walked over to the Wendy’s where I had dinner the last time I was in Schenectady. I then headed back to a convenience store across the street from the Days Inn I stayed at. I was about to use the payphone when the clerk told me they were waiting for a phone call.


            I then used the payphone at the nearby Holiday Inn. I phoned home and let my mom know I was in Schenectady. My mom told me my cousin and his wife had their baby which was good news.


            I then walked back to my hotel and watched a bit of TV. I asked for a wake-up call at 8:00 am and called it a night.


October 29, 2008:


            I got my wake up call and got dressed and finished packing. I went to the lobby. Sure enough, the breakfast selection hadn’t improved. I checked out and walked over to the Holiday Inn and had breakfast. After breakfast, walked over to where the Great Northern Alco RS3 is and photographed it.



            I then walked over to the bus stop on State Street and caught a bus to the Amtrak station. I got there pretty early. After awhile, I took the incredibly slow elevator to the platform and filmed train 280 arriving into the station. I also took some photos of it.





            I filmed the train pulling out. A little while later, I went back onto the platform and photographed a Norfolk Southern freight train that had three units including an Illinois Central unit.




            The train was stopped for a signal. It was waiting for Amtrak train 290 to pull into the station. The train soon showed up and I filmed it arriving. I also took some photos of it.





            I filmed train 290 depart. A few minutes later, train 63 arrived into the station four minutes late. I filmed it pulling in. As it pulled in, I noticed it had a P42, an Amfleet 1 coach, three Amfleet 2 coaches, and a café/business class car. It reminded me of the consist of the Maple Leaf at the time of my trip on the Three Rivers and my Arizona trip.



            I quickly got on and found a seat. I was seated in Amfleet 2 coach #25064. The coach was semi-refurbished with a blue and beige interior, old style signs at the ends of the car, and no AC outlets. The car’s heat wasn’t working all that well.


            The train was soon underway. We stopped at Amsterdam. Between Amsterdam and Utica, I filmed Amtrak train 284. We encountered a few slow sections. We finally arrived into Utica. As we left, I filmed the equipment on the Adirondack Scenic Valley RR and the two RDCs I discovered on my Boston trip.


            The train soon stopped at Rome, New York. Between Rome and Syracuse, we passed the area where I saw the 25 derailed freight cars on my way back from Schenectady last year after riding the dome car on the Adirondack. Train 48 passed, but I only barely caught the last car.


            The train stopped in Syracuse. While we were stopped, a kid who was seated near me was acting loud and was scolded by his father. Fortunately they were getting off at the next stop. We soon left. We passed a scrap yard where I saw an Orion 5.


            As we approached Rochester, I filmed train 64 passing. I also saw a couple Classics operated by the local transit system. We made a quick stop at Rochester and were soon off. Between Rochester and Buffalo, I was given a form to fill out for Canadian customs.


            As we approached Buffalo, I saw a Boeing 737 on approach to Buffalo’s airport which is not to far from the Buffalo Depew Amtrak station. We stopped at Buffalo Depew. However, we were not at the track beside the station and passengers had to walk across the main line. Fortunately, CSX dispatchers stopped freight traffic from passing through the station.


            However, there was a man in a wheelchair getting off at Depew. The station attendant had to wrestle a portable lift across the line to help the man.


            Shortly after we left, we stopped. We had to wait for a few freights. We soon moved forwards and stopped again. After we got started, we stopped again! Fortunately, that was the last time and we were soon underway and stopped at Buffalo-Exchange Street station. The stop was quick and we were soon underway.


            The train stopped at Niagara Falls, New York. Passengers continuing on to Canada were allowed to step out for a few minutes. I stepped out and took some photos of the train.




            The train soon departed and crossed into Canada. The Canadian customs agents came on and began checking the passengers. The person who interviewed me was nowhere as anal as the customs agent who interviewed me on my “Arizona Make-up trip”.


            Soon the customs inspection was done and we left almost an hour late. The VIA crew announced that they didn’t know if we would be held up at the Welland Canal lift bridge. I called home to let my dad know I was back in Canada. I then went to the café car for dinner. By now, it was dark out.


            As we approached the Welland Canal, I crossed my fingers that the bridge was down. Sure enough, it was. We stopped at St. Catherines.


            Between St. Catherines and Grimsby, VIA train 95 passed us. We stopped at Grimsby and Aldershot. VIA train 79 passed us. We then stopped at Oakville.


            Soon, we passed VIA’s Toronto Maintenance Centre. In the yard, I could see the Northlander. We arrived into Union station 46 minutes late. When I got off, I saw a VIA train with F40 #6412 leading. I photographed it.



            I then walked to the end of the platform and photographed the Maple leaf.



            I then went downstairs. I saw on the arrivals board the Canadian was running 90 minutes late and due in at 9:30 pm. I then phoned home and got on the subway. However, I was short turned at Eglinton. I soon arrived at Finch and was met by my mom and headed home.




            I am still upset about missing VIA train 56. Unlike my Washington-Cleveland trip where a lousy cab company was responsible for me missing the Lakeshore Limited, this was fully my fault. At least I had another train to take. As a result of this, I’m considering taking a “Montreal make-up trip” in a month or so.


            The weather I experienced on this trip was also lousy, but at least I wasn’t snowbound like my Arizona Make up trip.


            Aside from the two factors mentioned, I had fun as much as I could. Until next time…