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Fall Railfanning Trip - Quick Trip To Amsterdam On Empire Service - October 21st, 2002

Fall 2002 Railfanning Trip:
Segment 5: Quick Trip To Amsterdam
On Amtrak's Empire Service
Monday & Tuesday, October 21st & 22nd, 2002

Amtrak Empire Service Train #283 Arriving Into Albany-Rensselaer
October 21st, 2002
   Our train arrived into Albany at 4:20pm, about 5 minutes late, but we would have to wait about 5 to 10 minutes before they would let us board as the train had to be serviced and a new crew was to board here. I was one of about 25 passengers, maybe more, who boarded this train. Finally, they let us board, and we were on our way at 4:30pm, 5 minutes late. Today's train had a usual consist of 1 P32AC-DM, today, #703 had the honors for power, plus 4 Amfleet I Coaches and 1 Amfleet I Cafe Car.
   I rode in Coach #44028, a refurbished coach with the updated amenities I've mentioned before. Only the first 2 coaches behind the Cafe Car were open. As we left the station, the Amtrak Maintenance Facilities were visible on the left side of the train. My seat was on the right side so I left my bags there and quickly jumped over to the left side in an unoccupied seat to take some slides of the equipment parked at the shops. The Assistant Conductor came by to take my ticket and had no problem with my taking the slides from that side of the train. Shortly after I was finished, I lost my lens cap to my camera, one member of the crew was able to help me find it, as it had fallen between the wall and the seat.
   The Fall Foliage was now past peak through this area as many of the trees were starting to lose their leaves but still there was some nice color to see as we arrived into Schenectady. After leaving Schenectady, we passed through some more foliage before crossing the Mohawk River and continuing Westward over the stretch of 110mph High-Speed rail that is located between Schenectady and Amsterdam. We began to slow down as we passed through CP-169 in Hoffmans, NY where we joined the CSX Selkirk Branch where most of the Westbound freights run. In just a few minutes we would arrive in Amsterdam, my stop for this short, 39 minute ride. We arrived at 5:09pm, only 5 minutes late and this train would leave on its way West, making stops next in Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo-Depew, Buffalo-Exchange St., and closing up shop for the night in Niagara Falls. Shown below is the consist for today's train. Click in the table below to see my railfanning report from Amsterdam & Vicinity...

Amtrak Train #283 - October 21st, 2002
Car/Engine Type:
Amfleet I Cafe Car
Cafe Car
Amfleet I Coach
Coach (My Car)
Amfleet I Coach
Amfleet I Coach
Amfleet I Coach

Amtrak's Rensselaer Maintenance Facility as seen from the window of an Amfleet I Coach. Today, a set of Turboliners as well as a few F40's were parked at the facility as we rode by around 4:30pm.

P42DC #104 was parked at the Rensselaer Shops as we passed by. On the P42's, the Phase 4 Paint Scheme as shown in this photo is becoming rare as these units are receiving the Phase 5 or Acela style blue and silver paint as shown on the locomotive that powered our train seen at the top of this page.

Representing what has become a "by-gone" era in Amtrak is F40PH #319 sitting at the Rensselaer Shops, only a handful of these units are left, once the pride of Amtrak's fleet, they have since been displaced by P40's and P42's on most trains.